Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekend Wonderings: Taking Notes

This past week there was a bit of discussion on the Transitional Genealogists Forum about note-taking, especially at conference lectures. Do you take notes at all? With pen and paper? On a laptop or tablet or phone?

Does other peoples' electronic note-taking bother you, either as a listener or as a speaker?

I find myself splitting the difference. Sometimes I take notes the old-fashioned way, but they are often illegible. Sometimes I'm the guy at the side of the room using one of the very few electric sockets. Either way, I need to find a way to reunite the notes with the syllabus, and a way to locate them both again when that topic arises in my work and I need to double-check the six crucial steps in tracking down a War of 1812 veteran!

Harold Henderson, "Weekend Wonderings: Taking Notes," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 14 July 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Stephanie said...

I prefer digital now. I tried using only my ipad at NGS this year, and it was fantastic. I was able to take notes in One Note, tag them, and keep it accessible on my ipad as well as on my computer for later reference. And, they were easy to edit if I needed to rearrange due to my mind jumping faster than my fingers during the lecture. I hope it didn't disturb the speakers, but it was definitely more convenient for me in the long run.

Cathi at Stone House Research said...

I was astounded to hear that taking notes on a laptop could offend or annoy someone. Digital note taking is standard in college classrooms. We all need to respect each other's learning styles. I'll be using my iPad and keyboard at GRIP and any other conferences and institutes I attend, and I promise not to be offended if someone else is taking notes with a pen and paper.

Harold, to find your notes again easily, consider taking them in EverNote. If you use an iPad to do so, you can snap a photo of the syllabus and store that in EverNote with your notes.

Denise Spurlock said...

I do both, although I find that my handwritten notes are difficult to read and I haven't always taken the time to transcribe and file them away where I can find them later. I have always used Word for taking notes digitally, but I like Cathi's idea of using EverNote and appending a copy of the pages of the syllabus to the notes.

Harold said...

Thank you, Cathi. That might just be the solution to a chronic issue for me. Enjoy GRIP -- and blog about it for us if you get a chance!

Cathi at Stone House Research said...

Thanks, Harold. I plan to blog from GRIP. Now hold me to it!