ForumsThird-Party ApplicationsNote Taking Tips plus other questions

Note Taking Tips plus other questions
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Posted: Dec 14, 2012
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I am very new to Toodledo. I am quite unfamiliar with this organizing system and to be honest, i am quite confused, almost frustrated. I am a college student, and i will be picking up classes again in January. My goal before then is to have everything under control within this system and be generally organized, so that going into the new semester, i can have a systematic way of tracking and saving all my information, since thus far in life, i havent. I have done a decent amount of reading and watching videos about the best way to take notes and organize them within this program or others. Evernote seems to be popular, but i cant see an easy way to connect the two, keeping everything in 1 place. The toodledo notebook seems to be very basic and would be difficult to take class notes with, organize, or view easily. So my first question:
1) what are some suggestions for note taking, as in class notes? the goal is to keep notes organized by class, and chapter and to somehow connect the notes for each class/chapter to the appropriate assignment under the task section. So when i am in class, i can take notes and easily save them, in such a way that I can attach them to the appropriate assignemt which is in "tasks". So when I see that I have an assignment coming, I can quickly have all the related notes for the topic. At least that is what i invisioned. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Secondly, im having trouble keeping my tasks uniform (i.e. the same pattern of information in the title, the note section, etc). so my next question....

2) what are some good systematic ways to label and organize my tasks and/or notes?

3) what is good way to keep "calendar" type tasks, such as appointments, or even college classes separate from my to-do list such as assignments and ASAP tasks.... in such a way that I can view one list, the other list, or both together quickly?

And finally,
4) is there any useful way to store "reference information" or important documents in Toodledo or another easily syncable program other than just making a folder of reference information and packing it with information?

Posted: Dec 14, 2012
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I don't know that Toodledo would be the place to store classnotes. However maybe you could store them in google docs and set up hotlinks. I do know that you have to look at work flow and what kinds of assignments you have.

So what's your major?

What kinds of assignment do you have?

Do faculty put up syllabi on line in advance?

I am a nurse, those majors can be set up very differently from school to school.

I also have a BA in history. I'm a fossil though and I went to college prior to the modern approach to college with a lot of content being on-line.

You could make each class a folder or a goal. Then set out the assignments as tasks. Perhaps do a cut and paste of the assignment details in the task notes themselves?

Posted: Dec 14, 2012
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well, I'm a civil engineering technology major. and matter of fact, this coming semester, my classes will either be fully online or a hybrid of online and classroom. only one class is fully classroom. so... my assignments will actually be online, where u enter answers online and submit the assignment online, usually through a program called webassign which automatically grades each assignment as its submitted.
so it's not really possible to copy and past the assignment. the assignments aren't really copy and pasteable if you know what I mean

I have made a folder for each class and plan on making assignments using tasks, but how could I easily store my notes and connect them to each appropriate assignment. I am unfamiliar with google docs or hot links so if it could work, I'm kinda oblivious. ill try to look at it, but any explanation would be greatly appreciated.

up til now, I've never really taken notes, because I always lost em. I was the kid who did well and never really put the time into learning "how" to do well. I've never had any system of organization.... and now I'm being bombarded with documents, appointments, due dates, work schedules, and classes which I need to focus intensely on, and I can't just keep it all in my head anymore.... so I'm trying to relearn how to operate entirely.

so how does that system work, with google docs as you suggested.... and is there a good way to separate "calendar" type things as opposed to to do list type things. like my work schedule/ class times being separated from my homework and projects?

Posted: Dec 14, 2012
Score: 0 Reference I said, I'm a fossil.

Probably you need to go class by class and enter assignments. If it's all largely on line you need to create a link in the actual task note (I hope you know how to do that) to the class website or wherever the meat of the assignment is.

You also need a calendar. I use google's because I can access it from wherever and on my iPhone. I'm sure it would be accessible from almost any smartphone as well. All appointments need to go in there as well as classes and work schedules and you need to look at it twice a day. Once first thing in the morning and once, last thing before bed. You can get Google to remind you where you're supposed to be in advance as well.

When you are setting up your calendar you also should explore google drive. It's what they now call google docs. Show yourself how to get a regular document going as well as a spread sheet if that works for you. Play with it. link to it, link from it. all the stuff, until you can make it do tricks. I can't imagine how you couldn't be more facile with that stuff than I am...

Now the most important thing? You are building new habits, start with looking at the calendar twice every day and, when you look in the evenings make a plan for the next day. even if all it is is a plan for when you're going to do organization work and when you're going to hang with your friends or go skiing. The important thing is to DO it. Look at the calendar.

You will add looking at Toodledo twice a day or more...but the calender should be the hub, toodledo is where you fit all those things that you wouldn't write on the calendar for space.

Don't think this will all happen right takes time to build routines.

Posted: Dec 14, 2012
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thanks for the suggestions...
I have an iphone as well so i will take a look at what u said. Reminders are always good. I guess as long as the reminders go to the same place (my phone), then it doesnt matter where they are coming from. Figuring this out is equivilant to pulling my fingernails out with a wrench. For some unfortunate reason, this whole organization and planning idea goes against every particle in my body.

I guess i know how to typically make a link to a typical website. This is slightly different, so i dont exactly know how to make it work. I guess ill just have to trial and error it out. Unfortunately, i wont be able to start that until after school starts, which i was really trying to avoid. Maybe I shouldnt worry about linking assignments and appropriate notes.... Having notes for each class by the end of the semester will be a step in the right direction. I guess i was a little too ambitious. :/

Posted: Dec 15, 2012
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It's really hard to get organized when you aren't used to it.

It's really common to bite off more than you can chew.

What typically works is to develop a simple daily routine and do it. then as you add things to it they will fall into place more easily.

And yes. a calender is at the center of it and Toodledo goes along side.

This fossil used a 5 subject notebook with papers in the pockets when I was in college the first time. The second time I was getting a lot of worksheets and pre-printed notes. I used 3 ring binders to contain it. They work very well to contain that sort of thing and keep it in order.

Good luck. and remember...a step at a time...

Posted: Dec 15, 2012
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I tried to use 5 subject notebooks..... didn't really work..... my 3 ring binder turned into a massive, overstuffed, dividerless mass of unorganized and random papers collaborated together. lol. so far I'm still scatterbrained, but I'm trying lol

Posted: Jan 30, 2013
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I didn't have much online coursework in my schooling until the very end. I had some computation heavy and writing heavy course work. I kept my notes in Word documents organized in folders by subject. This was great for history and some psych course, but in math and chemistry, note-taking/or transcription on my laptop was slow and cumbersome.

I now work in IT and have to take notes to keep up my skills.
Evernote is great for working on a project or research paper. I use to organize thoughts or to jot down random thoughts I may have on any subject. Using tags is crucial.

I use MS OneNote ( take notes on my various studies. Now, most of my coursework is online training books and modules and OneNote is the best. I tried Evernote, but it didn't work out. It is the most underrated MS product. It does screenshots (crop only what you want), resizes automatically with one click to your active window, built math equations and equation builder. This will be helpful for math, physics and engineering. They also have drawing which I can only hope will be awesome if you get a compatible tablet.

You can have it sync with your smartphone and use it online when your computer is not available. It also autosaves like Google Docs.

Posted: Feb 02, 2013
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I've gone through a lot of programs but the one that works best for me is Zim Wiki. It is written in Python and works on all systems (I use Linux). What is nice is that all of the files are stored in text files with some wiki formatting. You can create tasks list within any page and then search form them with context similar to Toodledo. Since you are in Engineering, it is also capable of interrupting LaTex. You could store the Zim file on Dropbox so that it syncs across all of your computers.

I use Zim Wiki for notes and normal GTD actions. I use Tooledo for recurring tasks and home tasks.
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