A Three Part Note-Taking Series

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Note-taking is fun. Most of my writing starts as a note somewhere. It might originate from my academic work or my morning journaling. These notes often form the basis of long-form, polished writing (e.g., manuscripts, emails, blogs). GoodNotes is one note-taking tool that I’ve used since I was a graduate student. Now, as a postdoctoral research scientist, the app continues to impress me. 

I’ve put together a series of articles on using GoodNotes to organize information and engage in focused reflection. I also discuss some of the benefits of the zoom window in GoodNotes, particularly for focused thought. 

In this article, I discuss the benefits of using GoodNotes for reading and annotating PDFs. I give several use cases for GoodNotes for academics and others who read PDFs. 

Reading PDFs for Research: Three Reasons To Consider GoodNotes

Here, I review the zoom window in GoodNotes. I give a brief summary of how to use it. I also discuss how it helps me focus on the content of my writing and write more neatly. 

How and Why to Use the Zoom Window in GoodNotes

Lastly, I discuss how GoodNotes can be used as a digital journal. I explain my personal journaling process with GoodNotes and how it integrates with other journaling mediums and apps (including my physical journal and Craft Docs). 

A Digital Journaling Setup: Where to Journal?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that GoodNotes is Apple’s 2022 iPad App of the Year. Congrats to the founder of the GoodNotes app, Steven Chan, and all of the GoodNotes team for developing such an intuitive and useful tool!

When reading through this series, I encourage you to keep in mind that there is no perfect system. This is something that I have to remind myself of on a regular basis. The way that we take notes will change based on our situation (interest, energy-level, health, physical space, time constraints). Our writing process should adapt to our current needs. In this article series, I outline some features and practical examples of how people might use the GoodNotes app. 

Ultimately, the intention of note-taking is to develop clear and focused ideas. And, most importantly, enjoy the process. Have fun.

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