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Argument and More: General Resesarch Guide: Note Taking Software

Here is help with research for argument and expository papers for any introductory English, writing, or communications course, including Engl1101 and Comm1201.

Note Taking and White Board Software

Software for Taking and Organizing Notes

Few things are more intimidating than a large disorganized pile of notes. Fortunately, there is software that helps you keep your notes organized as you take them or lets you arrange and organize them after the fact. Note taking software is also useful for organizing ideas to narrow down or help find a topic. This is especially true of white boards and mind mapping tools. The software you choose depends upon the material in your notes (statistics, images for PowerPoints, just plain text), your personal style, and whether you are working by yourself or in a small group.


Google Drive Google Drive allows for text notes and Works Citeds. It has limited choice of text color and font, and you can not push notes around on a screen. It also has spreadsheet and presentation capabilities and can handle graphics to a limited extent. Google Drives' main advantages are that you may all ready have a GMail password. It is also one of the few note taking packages that allows for selective collaboration. You can share your notes with your friends without having to let the whole world see them.

Everonote logo Evernote is  more limited than Google.Docs. It is purpose-built note taking software. It also makes your notes searchable by any word in the text. What Evernote does not do is allow you to attach spreadsheet tables to notes or to share them with only your friends. Notes are entirely public or totally private.

Zoho Notebook For a full-featured alternative to Google Docs or Evernote, try Zoho Notebook. Zoho Notebook not only lets you create word processor style documents with a variety of fonts and colors and upload spread sheets and graphics, it also lets you create notes that you can push around on the screen to organize into virtual piles. All Zoho notebooks are by definition private.

A.nnotate takes a different approach. If you like to write in the margins of books or highlight PDF articles, this is your software. A.Anotate let's you upload a PDF file or capture a web page and then leave virtual sticky notes and highlight marks all over it. A.anotate allows you to selectively share your marked up documents. The free version, however, places a fairly generous limit on the number of documents you may mark up per month.

For visual thinkers, nothing beats a white board for making flexible outlines or arranging notes. White boards use color, font, and limited graphics to help distinguish one note from another.

Scribblar Board800

Both Scribblar or Board 800 offer an assortment of text colors, and fonts. Scribblar lets you change board background and shape colors. Both white boards allow you to place text on colored shapes, a plus for making good presentation graphics. Neither board allows selective sharing, and's creations disappear after a limited time. Taking a screen shot or making a download creates a more permanent record of your work.