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.


On TOP of the Literature- technologies for Students and Teachers

Staying up to date on the literature is key for the 21st Century Medical Professional. We’re highlighting THREE technologies that can help alert you to new developments in your field! Share these with your students or incorporate them into your lesson plans/ course LibGuides to encourage your students to keep up with new publications.


RSS Feeds

Why we love them

RSS feeds are a great way to get news and article notifications on your phone or right next to your inbox! Because ATSU has a Gmail-based mailbox, you can literally get all your news and article alerts whenever you check your mail on your desktop. If you prefer a phone app, there are a variety of RSS reader apps available!

How they work

Think of a RSS feed reader as a daily newspaper published specifically for you. Each day you’ll see the titles and descriptions of articles, blog posts, or news
specifically curated by your expressed interests. By subscribing to a RSS feed you will get notifications of new posts all in one place. You can set up the RSS feed parameters to reflect your specific interests.  You’ll only see a brief synopsis of each article, but if you want to read it the feed links directly with the full text! The downside is that you have to take the time to set up the feeds you want to follow. RSS feed readers are great for websites, etc… with content that you already like to look at.ETDCnotes

How you can use them

Create a Feedly account by logging in to their FREE service with your ATSU email. From there you can pick some broad subject areas OR search for discipline specific key terms. From there you can organize your feed by categories you create.

RSS Readers like Feedly allow you to save articles for later, and help you stay on top of the news. All you have to do is click on an article to mark it as read. The reader will also let you mark or un-mark multiple feeds as read.

You can also share your RSS collections through email, and you can export content from your feeds into Google docs!


Get your students involved!

Once you determine which RSS feeds you like, these feeds are a great resource to share with your students. Get them to engage by having them search for new feeds to follow! This is a great opportunity to help teach them how to 1. manage their time while they stay on top of the literature and 2. evaluate online sources for their reliability. It will also create new feeds to add to your collection.



Browzine Shelves


Why we love them

Browzine is easy to use AND it syncs across platforms! You can access all the journals that ATSU subscribes to in one place, organize them, AND pull them up on your phone, tablet or desktop. Our library search also has a Browzine feature so each time you search and find a journal you want to follow, it is easy to add it to your online library. More importantly, Browzine will send you notifications when a new Issue is published!

How they work

You can register for Browzine with ANY email, however you will want to authenticate your library access with your ATSU login. From there you can search for a specific journal title OR browse by subject. Although the journal display is set to alphabetical by default, you can also display the journals based on their SCImago journal rank. With each journal you can add them to your shelf AND you can label each of your shelves by category. (Note you can drag and drop books to different shelves on the APP but for now you have to right click and Move books to new shelves on the desktop.)

How you can use them

What is GREAT about Browzine expanding to desktop access is that searches AND bookshelves all create durable links. You can share a specific course bookshelf with your students in your lectures, course site, or LibGuide. Much like your RSS feed reader, your Browzine shelf will show you when there are new titles published by each journal in your shelf. This is a great resource for online scholarly journals, and a great way to encourage students to stay on top of published literature.

The setback for Browzine shelves are that they only reflect what ATSU has access to. Other journals, or journals with embargos will not show up on your shelves and you cannot receive notifications for them. These are great static resources, but less individualized.

twitter pic



Why we love it

Using Social Media in your classroom doesn’t need to be another gimmick. Used well, twitter can help to create a virtual archive or pictures, links, and commentary on a given subject. Twitter helps keeps students engaged and it opens up classroom discussions beyond the classroom or BlackBoard walls. It also makes tagged information accessible indefinitely and can help keep it current! What is also great about using twitter is that many students use their personal accounts and end up interacting in new ways with the course material outside of school.


How it works

Twitter allows you to post links, pictures, and comments online and connect with people with similar interests. Signing up for a twitter account is free, and you can always maintain both a professional/educational and a personal twitter account. Your posts will show up on your timeline, along with comments other people make in response to them or posts you are tagged in. More importantly, adding #hashtags to posts makes your content searchable.



How you can use it

Some of the best examples of using twitter within the classroom come from creating either specific hashtags or a twitter account.

Creating a class account will allow students to tag the account and will create a timeline that reflects the course content. “@ATSU_PT2016” for example could be an account used specifically for the Physical Therapy cohort. In a class account you need to create guidelines for students regarding how to appropriately tag the account. You should encourage them to tag the account for articles related to the class and for comments or questions about the material.Encourage them to think of it as an informal discussion board for them to pin articles or ask ideas when they come across them.Note that managing a class account can be time consuming, especially if you want to reply to the posts and post content.

Creating a class hashtag allows students to search for related course content, questions, and comments. A class hashtag needs to be as short as possible but also unique. (The shorter the hashtag the more space for the students to comment). The class hashtag requires students to search for course material, but it also consolidates all hashtagged material into a single location. This hashtag will work so long as the students once again think before they tag. Posts should be informal but relevant.