taking notes: paper or laptop

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by djphill, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    I was wondering if anybody knew which is better for taking notes during a class/meeting that runs around an hour or so long. I use a macbook and keep it on energy saver with the screen as dim as possible. I wanted to know if the energy used to keep my macbook running is worse for the environ. or just taking notes on paper. I know overall its a really small difference and doesn't mater that much, but I just like to pay attention to detail and small things.
    thanks:target:
     
  2. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    How fast do you type?

    I type 65-75 wpm with fair accuracy. I use my laptop for notes.

    I don't think the impact on the environment for one hour is that large.

    Also, my handwriting is pretty bad (I've been known to not be able to read my own handwriting). I think the paper is more wasteful. Especially considering I'd have to attempt to transfer the class notes either to another piece of paper slowly with better handwriting or to the laptop. I'd rather take out the middleman, as it were, and input directly into the laptop.

    But your mileage may vary.

    (I used to take notes on a PDA using an external keyboard and then import that into the laptop. But the PDA died.)
     
  3. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    If you really want to take it this seriously,,, the lap top would win hands down for a number of reasons,, but go by a ~60 watt foldable solar panel with the proper charging plugs and charge the battery from it!

    Icarus
     
  4. Mjolinor

    Mjolinor New Member

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    Use a pencil then rub it out after you transfer it to the laptop, one piece of paper per year should suffice then.. :)
     
  5. PriuStorm

    PriuStorm Senior Member

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    I don't think you should worry too much about one or the other being marginally better, but instead focus on which solution will help you excel better in class.

    I used to compete in typing (in high school I thought I would be a secretary), and type regularly 85-100wpm with few errors. But I would elect to take notes on paper for several reasons, primarily because it allows me greater flexibility in my notes.

    I was in engineering classes (lots of higher math, equations, problems, etc.) and lecture often involved a complicated problem being worked out. Everything the teacher wrote on the board I annotated in pen/ink. But often he (yes, they were all male teachers) would make a clarifying statement about the problem or maybe answer another student's question... these ad-lib statements that weren't necessarily part of the lecture or problem I would work into the appropriate area with pencil. Really important things were highlighted. Sure, probably overkill complicated, but it worked well for me to recall the class lecture and how the various problems were solved. It helped that my handwriting was neat, too. :)

    But probably for a class that is just straight lecture without complicated equations and such would be fine just typing on your laptop.

    Best of luck... what are you studying?
     
  6. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Damn hard to draw a quick sketch when your typing. Sometimes a sketch is the easiest way to recall some things.
     
  7. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    ya the thing is I'm going to start taking classical civilizations and asia in the 21st century, so they are mostly factual/lectures. I also think it is a good point, because my handwriting tends to be pretty bad. Any other suggestion to help me make the final decision.
     
  8. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    How about a pocket recorder,,, digital or cassette?

    Icarus
     
  9. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    A good MP3 player will have a voice recorder option. Just take it up to the head of the class. Later, you could interface with Dragon dictate (the higher end versions can transcribe audio files). Of course, the problem with that would be that DD needs to learn the speech patterns of the speaker, so perhaps that idea is shite, but it's worth looking into. Here's an idea, at the start of the semester go to your profs office hour and get him/her to train DD and then this might work. Of course, some profs might tell you to sod off, but could be kinda cool, and a neat way to you to get to know the prof (they wouldn't forget that meeting). Certainly shows that you give a shit about their course.

    BTW, Admiral Ackbar is tha man (or Calamari, anyways).
     
  10. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    first of all I would like to thank you for the Ackbar acknowledgment

    thanks for the ideas, but i'm not that into the voice recording thing. My main question is which is better environmentally paper or laptop, and if i end up choosing laptop is there anything I should know/do to make it as useful as possible.
    thanks
     
  11. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    If you choose paper, try to use only paper that is a high percentage of post consumer recycled content. :)
    As far as pen/pencil, get a mechanical pencil (saves trees dying for standard #2s) that is actually refillable, and hang onto it! Or, get a decent pen that takes refills, and hang onto it!
    I'm a writer, myself. I love my laptop, but I prefer physically taking notes. I'll transcribe them into electronic documents later.
     
  12. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Just a note:

    You cannot record the professor unless he gives you permission to do so.

    I normally hate mechanical pencils. They're always breaking. But I found one at Levenger that I love. It has a big, honkin' lead. It has a built in sharpener and eraser. And it comes with colored leads for highlighting. It's for "dry" highlighting. It doesn't soak through the paper; and no chemicals.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mrblaise

    mrblaise Go Lakers!!

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    Has anyone tried one of the PC tablets? I saw one at a deposition the other day and it looked pretty cool.
     
  14. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    You know, given the massive amount of paper in recycling bins on any given campus, I'd just nick some out of the bin and scribble on it. How much to you really need to write? I mean really. You're not in there to be a stenographer, you just want the salient nuggets of goodness. I'd just use paper, scratch paper from a bin. Then you don't have to lug a laptop around with you. It's obviously up to you. Do what works.
     
  15. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I had hand writing recognition on my PDA which after just a little training was 99% accurate at recognising my scrawl. Maybe a tablet will work well? Let us know if you go that way.
     
  16. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    Let me offer a bizarre suggestion. Try out one lecture forgoing both computer and notes. Listen and think about what is being taught actively and dynamically. See how well you retain the info.

    The answer to your original question may preclude the best answer of all.
     
  17. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Notes??? what the heck is that?

    I never too notes,, and I turned out OK! Avoid the rush,,, drop out now!

    Icarus
     
  18. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    yeah, I was never a big note taker myself. But I went to a pretty small school and lecture classes were not the norm (and I never liked that format anyways).
     
  19. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    Everyone has their own learning style. Some learn by seeing, some by hearing, some by doing (writing). I'm a writer-learner, with secondary visual, my daughter is auditory (she can read something all day, but won't remember a thing unless it goes in the ear).

    How do YOU learn best? that's the main issue.
     
  20. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    I'm a visual learner.

    I took notes on everything and kept all of the handouts. (I've still got stuff from junior high.) I internalize by both writing it and seeing it in writing.

    Learning is a whatever floats your boat thing. That's why the current attempts at standardization, testing and reform are failing. One size does not fit all.

    Try a lot of things and then use what works best.

    There was very little diagraming or the like in the classes I took. In a few, I'd either draw it on a pad and transfer that to computer later, or I'd use the "draw" in Appleworks (and the pen for my Wacom tablet) or a program like Inspiration or Omnigraffle.

    I wouldn't do that if I were taking a math class with lots of equations. For that, pencil and paper and then rewrite everything legibly when I got home.
     
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