Note taking with a stylus

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Blumpkinson, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Blumpkinson macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I'll be completely honest when the ipad first came out, to me it seemed like another unnecessary gadget for people to waste money on. However, after playing with them at the store, they've grown on me a tiny bit.

    I'm a mechanical engineering student going into my junior year. I have an absurd amount to huge textbooks and 3- 5 subject notebooks for each class, which is a huge pain in the ass to lug around.

    Now for my question, how would a ipad work out for me as a student? I could get all of the e-text books and have instant access to them on the ipad. Have access to the lecture notes in class either by going online or saving them as pdf files. The most important feature would be my ability to take notes on it. I would be using a stylus, since my notes generally aren't text, instead either diagrams or equations. How efficient would this be, since these things are relatively expensive?
  2. Pballer110 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2010
    You would have to check around to see if all the text books you need are available as etext as not all are. Taking notes with a stylus can be tricky i find it is soo much easier to take notes the old fashion way with pen and paper because most of the stylus that they sell are too thick and the point is thick as well so my handwriting is horrible, but it kind of depends on preference. I have to take notes quickly so it wasnt for me.
  3. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148)

    I think it is a bad idea to use ipad to take notes in class room. The technology isn't there yet to replace real paper and pen. It will not be efficient. It will be a distraction. And, as a student, taking notes use real pen and paper is a very important part of learning/training process. Save your money get a MBA instead.
  4. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    The nice part about the ipad for lectures is having all your books with you, but none of the weight. There are also a couple of note taking apps that record your lectures. So even if you didn't take notes on it and carried around a notebook and pen, the ipad would still have a ton of use. If I was a student again that's what I would do, carry my ipad with all my books downloaded onto it which I could annotate, record my lectures onto the ipad, and just take my notes onto regular old fashioned paper.
  5. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    The savings isn't the for textbooks. I have found them to be a discount of only 20-40 percent, but at the end of the year you cant return your textbooks, which wipes out the savings.

    There are other ways to get the textbook for free that would save you the money.
  6. courteous macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2011
    So there is no "pointy" stylus that would allow me to scribble some remark in my PDF textbook?
  7. gatech2 macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2011
  8. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    If you could get your textbooks are PDFs then it's already a pretty sweet deal. My university posts all our lecture notes on their network, so being able to just download them on the iPad instead of carrying around a binder is cool.

    I too am looking for a stylus, for annotation, but sadly I don't think there is a perfect solution on the market as of yet...:(
  9. dmaul1114 macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2011
    Yeah, none of the styluses or programs for hand writing work really well.

    Especially if you're like me and have very sloppy hand writing.

    E-textbooks is just a matter of availability and preference. I'm on the other end now being a professor, but I still struggle to get into using e-textbooks, reading pdfs of articles on the iPad instead of printing them out etc.

    It's just slower and clunkier to highlight things, to flip through when reviewing for class (studying for you students) etc. than the paper counterparts.

    But maybe I'm just old fashioned there.

    I love e-books for reading (have had a Kindle for a couple of years and read some on the iPad as well), just don't like it for things I want to mark up or need to reference quickly when preparing a lecture or writing an article etc. Paper just seems easier for those tasks for me.

    Same for note taking with pen and paper vs. stylus on a screen. Maybe if someone puts out a tablet with a Wacom stylus interface as those are much more accurate for writing that capacitive touch screens like the iPads--especially for those of us who write small and sloppy.

    I have used the iPad for taking notes in meetings--but I just use the notes app and on screen keyboard. It's fine for short notes in meetings, but I couldn't type fast enough on it for taking notes in class. But you could always get a keyboard case like the Wagg one and type your notes in class just like you would on a laptop. That would work fine.
  10. Halamire macrumors regular


    Dec 31, 2009
    I use my iPads for my college books
    I buy them off and they have an ipad app that you can see the books off of pretty useful app and the books were cheap too as for note taking i'd much rather use a stylus too because texts just doesnt doesn't do it.
  11. Blumpkinson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies, i've been able to find pdf versions of most of my textbooks, which i have on my mbp. The only real important feature would be the ability to take notes or jot down diagrams in the pdf version of the text.

    However, i have horrible handwriting and it seems that i would just get very annoyed. The majority of my lecturers speak and write very quick, so being able to take notes quickly is a necessity. Oh well, looks like the technology isn't quite there yet for my needs.

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