All iPads Any university students here using iPads?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by vmflapem, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. vmflapem macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013

    I have a MacBook Pro which I use primarily for making notes.
    However, although it is a 13" mac, I still find it quite heavy especially when I have to carry at least 2 thick textbooks with it.

    So I am thinking of buying an IPad Air just for the purpose of taking some quick notes in class.
    Are Ipads useful for this purpose?
    Can you guys share your experience?
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I prefer paper. It's just faster. I use the iPad to put my notes down and organize them afterwards.
  3. vmflapem thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013
    I definitely agree that nothing beats paper.
    But I normally finalize my notes using my Mac so I feel like printing lecture notes just to take some partial notes is a waste of paper.

    How do you put your notes down on your iPad? Do you use those keyboards or pens?
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I have an Intuos Creative Stylus, but I only use it to draw out storyboards and ideas. I also have one of the Belkin keyboards, but I like to leave that for typing up papers and articles.

    Noteshelf lets you do drawings, handwriting, text, and all that nice stuff, and I find it easier to just use my fingers with it. It's faster too. I use it for complex notes.

    Evernote is mostly used for stashing the handouts, keeping all the vocabulary, and just general text.
  5. markthrash macrumors 6502


    Jun 21, 2010
    I use my iPad mini for taking notes (with a Bluetooth keyboard). There's some really nice apps out there for note taking that allow pretty much anything to be done from bullet points, highlighting, and drawing. I find it easier to type my notes from my professor showing their PowerPoint slides for short periods of times rather than trying to write it all down with my crappy ass handwriting.

    It does get a little difficult to work around drawing out graphs and all that stuff on an iPad in a quick manner that would otherwise be easier on regular paper. But other than that, using the iPad for notes beats paper for me.
  6. macNwindow macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2013
    I use my ipad for note-taking and it does slow me down alot. I still use it anyways though. I just hate using paper and wasting it.
  7. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I'm a PG student, and do everything on an 11" MacBook Air and an iPad Mini.

    So much lighter than my old MBP + iPad 2.
  8. iPodJedi macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2013
    Apple Store, USA
    i think that a laptop is best for taking notes but if you have an ipad with a bluetooth keyboard that u can really type fast on-i bet it would work out well.
  9. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    If you're using the paper then it isn't wasting it. Having been raised before laptops and tablets, pen and paper is astronomically more efficient than either of those for my own uses. I would imagine that those being raised with tablets would find them more efficient than paper. But, it would also depend on the course and the instructor -- if your professor speaks fast, then use what's fastest for you, but if he only makes important points a few times during the class, then time won't be of the essence, so you could resort to a slower method of note taking. It's just a matter of common sense and figuring out what works in your particular situation.
  10. macNwindow macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2013
    You are correct, but i still choose to use ipad over paper and pen because there are functionalities on the ipad that you just don't have with paper/pen.
    I use notability and it provides me with a lot of tools to help me improve my notes: picture import, lecture slides import, sound record, graph paper, line paper, color coding... etc
  11. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I'm not sure about taking notes, but iPads are fantastic for replacing textbooks. At least in math, most textbooks I'm aware of are available in electronic form. Of course you could read a textbook on a macbook as well, but I find an iPad more convenient for that purpose.
  12. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA

    I hate threads where someone says 'convince me to get X' because no two people have the same use needs.

    I did get my senior year of Uni with my iPad. All my texts have electronic versions. I found an app that allowed me to audio record my lectures and add notes, drawings etc that were timed to the recording. My teachers even allowed us to download copies of their slides. Several in fact recorded their lectures and posted them for us to go back and watch again.

    But other teachers at other schools might not be so tech keen. Some might even be anti tech and prohibit computers etc in class. So you have to sort it out case by case.
  13. iPodJedi macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2013
    Apple Store, USA
    I get what u mean but he just wants u to tell him what is good about the product-the he will decide what best fits his needs.

    What is the name of the app?
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I found this to be the case in community college. In those instances, I'd just use the voice memo app on my iPhone at the time. Turn it on, put it back in my pocket.
  15. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I like iPad for datasheets, and digitized notes in smart evernote moleskin, for referring back.

    But take all new notes on paper.
  16. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    writing on it is pretty hard even with a stylus. if you get a keyboard for it maybe, but i might also suggest if you are getting an iPad to get your books on it, i use an app called kno and its much cheaper than buying or renting elsewhere, not to mention the weight.
  17. fabianjj, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

    fabianjj macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
    I personnally don't like paper notes (my handwriting is slow and almost illegible). But a friend of mine recently told me how he did his notetaking and it totally changed my world:

    1. Get plain wihte printer paper (or you know with lines or a graphing grid).
    2. Do your notetaking on that (preferably writing which subject, date and whatever 'metadata' you want, on each page).
    3. Go to a scanner (most universities have these pretty much everywhere built into their printers), and (this will not work if the folloing isn't true), put the papers in the tray that allows multiple pages to be scanned (don't know what it's called, but not the flatbed, usually allows for twosided pages as well), then scan the notes.
    4. Throw away the notes.

    Now you have the notes in a nice digital format, readable on your laptop or tablet of choice, but with the fast note-taking abilities of handwriting (which, despite my own lack of proficiency, is superior in many subjects (especially engineering, math, or anything that will require figures other than plain text), and you don't have to carry around a much of physical papers that may get lost, coffee-stained or otherwise cumbersome.
  18. Tsepz macrumors 68000


    Jan 24, 2013
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    +1 this.

    I do use my iPad for research though, I find it so much more convenient to pop it out when I want to quickly Google something related to what the lecturer is saying, or Google something for an assignment, I also use it to manage my timetable, do reminders etc... It's like a mini laptop, with great battery life, compactness, and a big enough display :)
  19. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    I think that a little paper is worth you getting a great education. You can write small and use the back and front!:D
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I just started up again a good 10-15 years since last being in college. Oh, if only I had this stuff before. Back then I was lucky to have my desktop with a Pentium -- OOOH -- processor.

    I knew I wanted to use my iPad -- it's a 3 -- for textbooks. I rented one for chemistry, bought a lab manual for geology after getting told I could print out the pertinent pages, and bought a book for a history of Af-Am music. Mucho savings buying via Kindle. But be aware of whether e-books are even allowed, especially in labs, and what the drawbacks are. Some of the chemistry books had a hybrid version with access to some online tutoring stuff. You can buy that in addition, but just a warning. Also most of the textbooks that have a lot of integrated art are "print replica" -- which pretty much means a PDF. You can highlight text, but you can't adjust print size. This might be a bitch on an iPad mini.

    I am a slow writer -- maybe 10 or 15 wpm handwriting. But I can type 80 wpm with a keyboard. So far note-taking using a keyboard hasn't happened because of a lack of a desk-type surface to use in these classes. So I have made do with note-taking apps using thumb typing. I started with Evernote, but after hating the lack of integrated handwriting input I found Notability. After one day of using it, I really like it. The professor for chemistry puts his slides online prior to class, so I can load the PDF of that into Notability and then either handwrite or type notes on top of them. You can also add audio, which I almost did for a class with a guest speaker who played a little music, but I didn't. It's a steal at $2.99, and I think it syncs via iCloud.

    I'm struggling a little bit to learn stuff in chemistry, so I have been hunting for apps galore. I found stuff like a mah jongg game that uses different chemistry stuff, such as intro and advanced periodic table symbols/names. These may turn out to be VERY helpful.

    One other thing I recall is having my syllabi in PDF form in iBooks. Sure does beat the crumpled up paper. I still have some paper, but nowhere near as much as I would without an iPad. Also I can easily take my iPad to work and read some when I have a little down time. It weighs 1.5 pounds, compared to the 8.5 gigagrams some of those paper books do.
  21. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Google docs or anything based on Latex helps with typing equations and things.
  22. 8.33 macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2011
    I have an iPad that I use to read research papers etc. on and find it really good for this. But during lectures pen and a notebook are the way to go. But then MBP for creating anything.

    What do you people with slow/bad handwriting do when it comes to exams? Surely it is worth getting in some handwriting practice through the year so that those 3 hour blocks for exams aren't so bad.
  23. bridic macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2014
    I am many years removed from school but i use the Air daily for note taking. Noteshelf + JOT Script works great and keeps up no problem.
  24. cardfan macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2012
    Paper and pen. I never really did take many notes. I noticed others writing the whole time practically transcribing what the prof says. It's more important to focus on listening. I wouldn't have had time to read through transcriptions or heaven forbid, listen to a recording of the whole lecture again. I suppose it varies with people and memory.

    I think an ipad would have been good for some things like supplements we always had to buy or pick up, but in general it'd be useless because I'd have a much better laptop. I'd still have bought physical textbooks and study guides.
  25. enthusiastic macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I used an iPad 3rd gen (now with mom) for about 4 semesters in grad school. I used Notability for taking notes and synced them with Dropbox. It was very easy to share my notes with friends. The accessibility of the notes was also very good. I did not have a single piece of paper in my backpack during the time period. Reading PDFs was also pretty convenient.

    As you can see, it has many advantages if you are ready to use it and adapt yourself a bit. Paper may be the best for writing, but iPad isn't too bad, given the other advantages. I still have the notes from those classes intact and if I had them in paper, I'm sure they would be in recycle bin long back.

    I would like to point out that Microsoft's Surface is a VERY GOOD device for taking notes. I got one for my dad and I tried writing on it in a few classes. It is better than iPad in that regard. Add Microsoft Office to it and it is a great device.

    I gave my iPad to my mom since I won't be taking too many classes from now on. I want to wait for a while before I buy one for myself; simply because I don't know how useful it will be a research-only student.

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