Easiest way to take notes while reading?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dubs83, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. dubs83 macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    I have to do a ton of school reading online and was wondering is there a way to have my air go split screen so I can take notes while reading easily?

    If not, is there a way to easily switch between applications (1 button). I have to go back and forth a lot.

    thanks guys
  2. abbeybound macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2014
    1) Create an extra space for each application.

    2) Use command+tab

    3) Get a second monitor
  3. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I do this very often. I find switching spaces is not very good for taking notes (maybe this is because I don't have good short term memory YMMV)

    Instead I make sure to use a note taking app that can open a single note in a separate window that can take up ~1/4 of the screen and have the browser (or PDF or whatever) open in the other 3/4 of screen. You can use the built in notes app for this but I switched to evernote. The key is don't take notes in Word or Pages. It is simply the wrong application for that job and will make things harder for you.

    I use better touch tools for window snapping (there are probably other apps that do this too but that is what I use)

    And then when you want to turn your notes into a written report you just have Word or Pages etc open in 3/4s of screen with your notes on the side.
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    In full screen mode, just swipe left and right with three fingers on the trackpad. You may need to enable this feature in the trackpad pane in System Preferences.
  5. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    Why not just use pen and paper? Then transfer the notes later to your computer. That's how I write all my professional documents. Pen and paper first, MS Word second. Print it, review it, edit it, then publish it. Give it a try. You'd be amazed at the level of creativity that will come out of you when using old fashioned pen and paper.
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon

    I thought I was in a minority, but that is how I do it, too.

    Anytime I write a paper for a presentation, or take notes from a book or some other source, - even, or especially online sources - I always use pen and paper.

    Then MS Word on my lovely MBA, when I want to put context and coherence on the notes I have taken or if they are to be used in a more formal way (i.e. published, or distributed).
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I always have windows open side-by-side while working - one for writing, one for reading/research. It's a fundamental capability of a windowed, multi-tasking operating environment, whether Mac or Windows. You size the windows so that they fit side-by-side (or above-and-below). Now, it's not nearly as nice on an 11" or 13" display as it is on my 27", but it's entirely possible and practical, so long as eyesight allows.

    If we were talking about an iPad Air, that's a horse of a different color. Maybe we'll get that with iOS 9.

    Modifying windows: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2487
  8. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    I often just size the ereader or browser so that it leaves room along the righthand edge of the screen, then open a text editor window so its righthand edge is just beyond where the ereader/browser window ends. That way I can click on the little sliver of text window when I want to make a note and otherwise be in the reader. Just click back and forth to switch. Works for me when I'm not just using pen and paper instead.
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I have two windows open side by side, one that I'm reading and the other that I write my notes in. My active window is always MS Word for example. So anytime I type on the keyboard it's taking down my notes. In the window where I am reading I never click on it to make it the active window I only hover over it and scroll either with the mouse wheel or by swiping down on the trackpad. You never have to switch back and forth between windows this way, thereby eliminating the extra step to switch between applications.
  10. iterva macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Easiest way to take notes while reading?

    Agreed. I then use Scanner Pro to scan my hand written notes and upload them to Dropbox/Drive for reference and safe keeping.

  11. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA

    You should get BetterSnapTool. Saved my life in college.



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