Note Taking Tools- Get your students collaborating early!

When every incoming class of students starts, it’s nice to provide them with a list of resources to improve their organization and retention of the wealth of information you plan to provide them! Below we’ve outlined a few of our favorite note-taking, information sharing, studying and organizational software for students!



This Mac based software allows you to take notes with attached audio, images or files. Each note can be classified into file folders and is linked to a calendar. You can export single or multiple notes to friends or print them later. More importantly when you want to look back over your notes you can search them OR you can tag them so that you can better organize them by subject!

imgres Evernote

This FREE note-taking software syncs your notes across platforms! You can pull up your notes on your mobile device as well as on your desktop. Evernote allows you to organize text, images, audio, video and pdf, although some formats need to be uploaded through your desktop account. (Note the downside of this app is that once you want more space you have to pay for it).

imgres Google Docs/Drive

With unlimited space AND access provided by your ATSU account Google docs and your Google Drive are a great space to take notes. Your docs can be shared, edited by other students at the same time, and link to your drive with uploaded pdfs, images, etc…

screen-shot-2013-08-15-at-6-35-10-pm Notability

Notability allows you to combine handwriting, photos and typing to create visually appealing notes. The touch screen app allows you to zoom in and out to add depth to your notes. These notes can be shared through your Google Drive, Apple AirDrop, Email and Dropbox. What we LOVE is that you can receive verbal AND written comments from the people you share your notes with!

icon_myscript My Script Smart note

This is an app, linked to the larger MyScript software that allows you to draw, write, annotate, and insert pictures into notes. Like other digital note-taking devices, it allows you to manage your notes within larger digital documents. As a mobile app, however, this app also allows you to swipe to make editorial adjustments and look up words.

Information Sharing:

photo Flip Board

Flip board allows you to collect and share articles, videos and photos and displays them like a magazine. This self-curated board imports from curated online sources as well as self-provided content and allows you to follow other boards or subjects. Flip Board is great for completed information and preliminary information seeking,  rather than the note-taking process.

images Diigo

Diigo is my all time favorite resource, designed primarily around Social Bookmarking . Diigo lets you bookmark a variety of sites and sources, annotate PDFs online, and organize your collection of notes, resources and other content. More importantly Diigo shares like social media. You can follow others, see what public material they are saving or commenting on AND you can also comment on their bookmarks.The group aspect of this site allows for collaborative discussion and revision.


Scrible is similar to Diigo. It allows you to save, manage, annotate and share online content as well as store PDFs or other files in the cloud. Scrible lets you create a library, organize it, and offers a full-text search of your collection. From here you can annotate, comment and share articles. Unlike Diigo, however, you can’t see a live stream of participant’s work, you have to share articles individually. We’re including Scrible for the Full-text search function.

imgres Google Drive

As a University run through Google, you can see the appeal of using Google Drive. With unlimited space you can upload and share information. You can manage access restrictions. MORE IMPORTANTLY there are some incredible AddOns for documents and spreadsheets. These include EasyBib for bibliography creation, Translate, and Twitter curator (to search and save tweets). Google Drive will also let you track your revision history.

images Twiddla

Twiddla is the ultimate collaboration tool. It allows you to set up meetings without even signing up to create a creative whiteboard OR co-browse websites. It essentially allows for real-time group annotation and collaborative brainstorming. You can use Twiddla from any computer or web browser! This resource is great for students and teachers alike!

images Cacoo

Cacoo is another collaborative forum for annotations, diagrams, mind-maps etc…Cacoo also offers Google Drive Integration, Security controls and file recovery. It also supports an in-app chat and lets you upload images. Additionally you can send your finished product as a link that you can embed. Cacoo is only free for your first 25 sheets***


Studying/Organizational Tools:


Brainscape lets you find and generate flashcards, share your flashcards AND track your progress. We love it because it allows you to interact during your studying process by saving flashcards for later, while providing a progressive flashcard algorithm to ensure you’re not just guessing the answer.Teachers can also share flaschard decks if they are so inclined.

images Cram

Cram allows you to create and find online flashcards. They also provide their own mobile app. Cram is a great way to digitize the traditional flashcard studying process, but they do not contain any smart algorithms to track or improve your studying process.

unnamed Flashcards +

If you want a great Mac app try Flashcards+. It allows you to make your own flashcards (including images) and study them on your phone. This app is linked to Cram (see above) and you can download your own or others’ Cram flashcards.

images Todoist

Another FREE software that works across all devices. It that allows you to better organize your time and syncs across platforms. It is your Google calendar, reminders, to-do list, and group task manager all in one. It will show you your productivity, allow you to share events or tasks with group members, and can keep track of your due dates!

icon128-2x iStudiez Lite

One of the top-rated academic organization apps, this app allows iPhone users organize courses, assignments, exams etc… The free (Lite) version limits you to 5 courses over a single semester. This app is a great way to keep on top of assignments but doesn’t extend into non-academic activities.

Mind Maps

XMind, MindMeister and Coggle are some of the better Mind and Relationships mapping Software. They allow you to create relationship maps that are stored in the Cloud. This software is great for INDIVIDUAL brainstorming but does not allow collaborative mapping. However you can export your maps into a variety of formats.

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