Software promotes organized studying

Although OneNote was sold in 2003, many people say they have not heard of it.

Nikki Wee

Taking notes isn’t a problem for prenursing sophomore Melanie Gray. It’s organizing those lecture notes in an efficient manner that sets her back.

To address the challenges students face when tackling note-taking and organization, Microsoft created OneNote, a digital note-taking program that allows users to take, organize and share notes.

Gray said she usually lays out all her notes and handouts and reads through all of them when she is preparing for an exam.

“It’s not very organized,” Gray said. “But it seems to get the job done.”

Like others, she is looking for more effective ways to study and do well in school.

“I’m always open to new methods,” Gray said. “It can get pretty tedious having to bring everything with you so you can study.”

While the program, essentially a virtual notebook, was created in 2003, some people have not heard of it yet.

Retail merchandising senior and campus OneNote representative Ada Ojiaku said one in every 100 people has not heard about Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Outlook. One in 20 has not heard of OneNote.

Because of this, Microsoft has launched a program awareness campaign at 51 schools across the nation. Students are able to download a free trial from Microsoft that will last the school year.

Ojiaku uses the product in all her classes and has found that it helps to keep her more organized and focused in her classes.

“It’s more interactive,” she said. “I was never a huge note-taker, but I find myself paying more attention in class because I actually want to take notes now.”

First-year biochemistry student Anhdung Pham uses the traditional paper and pen to take notes, and occasionally pulls out a tape recorder to record lectures.

“I don’t use a laptop because it’s faster to write than to type,” he said.

But he said OneNote could be useful to him.

In a case study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about two-thirds of students surveyed said the program made their note-taking more productive.

African American studies senior Cory Croft has found the same from the program.

“It’s very efficient,” he said. “Instead of having five notebooks, I can have it all in one program.”

Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence academic progress coordinator Remi Douah said organization, along with class attendance and the understanding of key concepts, is most important to academic success.

But he said writing notes out by hand and rewriting them after class has proven to be a more efficient way for people to learn.

“There’s a generational approach to studying,” he said. “Earlier generations proved to be successful without today’s technology.”