College Mac Users =)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Apannone, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Apannone macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    Im a freshman in college and I just got a new macbook pro, Im switching from a desktop pc to a mac and I really like it so far, but thats not the point.

    I wanted to start this thread to get some ideas on how everyone uses their macs at school and so forth and to swap ideas about this kind of stuff

    so the first thing is that I am going to start taking notes on a laptop (which I don't see many people doing at my school.) but I was wondering how everyone organized their notes (folders in folders or some app) I am looking for an app that would make like... a virtual binder for my notes, and PDFs of scanned handouts etc... and then for anything I couldn't take notes of (pictures) i was thinking of taking a picture with my iphone =P I did this with some diagrams in my bio lab and it worked pretty well.

    I have also been looking into working out a system for a sort of "paperless office" for school

    Next, I have Microsoft office for my mac, but I have been looking more and more at iwork 09 and it seems really nice, any students prefer one or the other?

    Any other tips?
  2. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    well, as far as notes, it really just depends on what you like. MS Word has a notebook format. and now you have outlines in pages 09, which might come in handy.

    i've used both in college, and both are fine. i also used google docs, since i have more than one computer, and some classes i had to use windows, so i had all my stuff in one place on google docs.

    and there are other note-taking apps out there. i've tried some, but none that really stood out to me. you just gotta figure out what works best for you, and that can help you do the best you can in school
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    word's notebook mode is nice. i just create 1 doc for each class and then make a new tab in the doc (notebook mode lets you do this) for each chapter
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I would Boot Camp with Windows (choose your version) and run OneNote 07. Or maybe get an HP tablet and run OneNote. I remember using a GateWay tablet during my college course on OneNote (I'm not a college student, just taking classes there).
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    My system is creating a College folder, then subfolders with each class. Within those subfolders are lecture notes (named by date and contents) and folders for projects or notes that should be grouped together. I use Textedit for note taking since it is free and lightweight and Word for any projects.
  6. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    This is what I do, but I also use Task List. It keeps track of all my homework and info about them. It can also calculate grades. :D
  7. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I use stickies to remember my homework assignments :)
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I got the greatest tool of all. It's the size of a fist, fits inside your heard (literally) and you always have it. You don't need to turn it on or type keys or use the trackpad. It's called the brain. Honestly, that's what I use right now in high school to remember assignments exept projects which I write down, but I know college will be much more demanding. :D :D
  9. jlamb0 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    My note-taking style includes typing as fast as I can, paraphrasing what the instructor says (I use MS Word). When there is a figure or a drawing, it is usually on a powerpoint presentation that gets posted on a class web-page. On the rare times that my professors draw things on the board, such as chemical structures and diagrams, or complex equations, I sketch them out on a peice of paper.

    After the lecture I retype the notes and give them some vague sense of organization. At this time I paste in the figures from the powerpoints, or mock up my own drawings and figures to paste in using Paintbrush or ISIS Draw. After I'm done, it gets printed to a PDF and filed away in the appropriate class folder.

    I find having PDFs of all my class notes, handouts and syllabi really comes in handy, because Spotlight helps me find even the tiniest detail months later, taking all the stress out of studying!
  10. No1451 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Ottawa, ON
    I do the same as a previous poster, I have a folder for my notes, broken down by term, then by class. Then I just use a simple naming system, Subject - Date Taken. Then I do a bit of online storage, just in case something happens to my laptop(god forbid).
  11. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2008
    I use a notebook and a pencil. I bring my MBP with me, but that is just for assignments, and entertainment between classes when I don't have any assignments due.
  12. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I'm beginning my 5th year of college (pre-medicine takes a bit longer if you aren't wanting a Biology Degree). And I've had notebook computers for 3 of those years so you can get an idea of where I am coming from with this suggestion.

    First, don't take your notebook to class with you. You think you're going to take notes on it, but you'll most likely end up screwing around on youtube or something during lectures instead (I liked reading tech reviews before I got rid of the computer in class). If you have the self control to stay focused and off line during class (I did at first, and probably would now if I took my macbook with me), you'll have a hard time keeping up with the notes if you're typing them.

    Secondly, that macbook pro is a great item for someone to steal when you take your eyes off it for just a moment, I go to the University of Utah and it happens all the time here, laptop computers are by far the most stolen item on campus. They are also heavy (yes even the Mac's) and with textbooks already breaking your back you'll be better off to save the weight when hiking from class to class.

    Thirdly, if you take notes in a paper notebook or a PDF printed from your professors website, then enter them again into Microsoft Word or iWork, it's a great way to review them a second time. This helps solidify memory. and is a great supplement to your study regimen.

    I've found that having a laptop is great for college, simply because they are portable and you can take them to study at the library or when you go home for the weekend or during holidays. But laptops can be a huge hinderance during class time, especially if you aren't sure you've got the self control to stay off line when you should be devoting all your attention to your professor and the lecture he/she is giving.

    Do check out your campus's software licensing office for some great deals on software though. I believe that one can normally get things like the Adobe Creative Suites for less than $400, which is a huge savings. I got Office 2004 for my Mac for $67, which saved me a fair bit over even the student/teacher edition. If you bootcamp windows, you can probably get a copy of XP pro, or Vista home premium for $60-$70 as well.

    Good luck with your studies!

  13. Apannone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thanks for everyone's replys =)

    Im going into physical therapy (seven year phd) so im hoping this system will work all 7 years

    I shouldn't have any problem with paying attention in class, its a smaller university so if im screwing around the professer will know =P plus im pretty good with self control in classes. My laptop will only be out if im using it, otherwise it will be in my backpack.

    Also I wont be using my laptop for all my classes, especially my athletic training classes. but i would like to not have to retype from handwriting, im a very fast typer but I have very poor handwriting, instead I would like to only retype them if I need to study or memorize them.

    I will have to check about the notes feature in ms word tho, sounds pretty cool
  14. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    Im not sure if this is something that would interest you but if you have an Iphone or an Ipod Touch there is an application called Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards. Its a really awesome application that has flashcards with information about muscles bones ect. I think it would be excellent for physical therapy.
  15. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    I use Word's built in note taking template since it's the best I've come across. Then I organize everything with an app called Schoolhouse.
  16. Educ8r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2007
    4th largest city in the USA

    Keynote is far superior than PowerPoint!
  17. Apannone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    I have checked those note cards, they seem pretty cool but pretty expensive, are these the ones that are $30? I wont have anatomy till next semester anyway =P

    I checked out the notes thing in ms word, its really cool and I am sure it will be great for notes. Im still thinking of getting iWork tho, is there anything comparable in pages?

    I checked out both schoolhouse and task list, both seem like great programs, especially schoolhouse, do these have iphone apps or any way to sync or export to ical?

    I will probably end up getting iWork for projects and such (along with iLife in the mac box set), then use msWord for note taking.

    also I know this may sound kind of intensive but is there any way I could get my macbook to record the lecture im in for playback later? My GPA and academic requirements are very high and I really enjoy school =P

    Also, does anyone have any school spaces? if so what are in it?
  18. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Pretty much what I do, except I use OmniOutliner. Works well.
  19. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    I'm still in high school but what I do is take notes in Pages which I find to be a worthy opponent to Word. I used to take notes in Word Notebook view. I will tell you however that by far the best note taking system I've ever come across is Microsoft OneNote 2007. It's Windows only but incredibly powerful. The second they release it for Mac I'm buying a copy of office and ditching iWork entirely.

    I save my notes in a "~~~NOTES~~~" folder. If there are handouts I write a label on top (like for AP History it would be like APH-01 for the first handout) and this way I can easily find what I'm looking for.

    When I go to college I hope to get a cheap scanner or camera and scan in my notes when I reorganize them.
  20. Apannone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    Ive actually been looking at a scanner, I am thinking of either geting a fujitsu scansnap or a canon pixma and then getting rid of binders and notebooks entirely, it would also be nice to just scan all my mail/bills/receipts/manuals/etc. and have everything be in a digital format.
  21. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    This is an excellent post, and I agree with all of it. My notes are handwritten, and I use them to type up a study guide for any exams. The added weight and distraction (trust me, you will use your computer for something other than notes at least once) are not worth it. If I want to use a computer inbetween classes I just head to one of the many computer labs on campus (I'm lucky I go to such a large school). Plus I have the additional benefit of knowing my notes won't be suddenly inaccessible due to hardware failures, a dead battery, or laptop theft. A crummy 3-subject notebook isn't a desirable item for thieves.
  22. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    I also write notes by hand, then type them in and organise them afterwards. It is incredible, the amount of study time I save that way.

    I use an Olympus voice recorder to record lectures, then dump them into iTunes. Finally I put the typed notes and the sound files together. A great way to study before exams is to listen to the lecture again before / after reading the notes through again.

    I've tried lots of different note-taking apps, and they all seem to be good. It comes down to a matter of taste.
  23. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR

    I use Things and Omnifocus for notes. (Although I think I'm going to settle on Things)
  24. Apannone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    So it seems half the people posting are for taking notes on a laptop in class and half are against (rough estimate :p)

    I am very sure that I wont get distracted in class (i would have already done this texting on my much less conspicuous iphone :D), the class sizes are very small (10 to at most 40 in a big lecture hall) so I would easily get caught goofing off and smited at in class. and I was going to set up a space for school work so thats that much less chance of getting distracted :cool: Also I cant use the student internet anyway (moreso wont, they install a program blocking you from using p2p clients and torrents) and I would usually be to lazy/in a hurry to sign into the guest email

    But on the other hand I don't want to be the only kid using a laptop in class now do I? and if it gets stolen or broken Im boned...

    But it would be really nice to not have to retype all of my notes, I am a fast typer and my handwriting is very poor (nerve problems) and it shouldn't be to big of a deal since I wont be using it for half my classes.

    It is pretty heavy but if it means not having to carry around a binder full of papers and a notebook, maybe even a book, then it may pay for its weight.

    Im a commuter student (live with the rents still) so i would either have to keep it in my backpack all day (its really not that heavy imho) or leave it in my car.

    I can check my email, calender, etc from my iphone but what if i need something off my laptop. I cant do that from a school computer

    So there is my arguing with myself lol, what does everyone else think?

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