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    I'd like to type everything up on a laptop, but I envision it being a bit of a faff when I have to write down equations. My current solution is to write down the text on the laptop and equations on paper. Then I would scan the paper after a lecture and paste the equations into the appropriate place on the text document. In practice, I don't know how well this will work. So can any current Mechanical Engineering students advise on the best way to take notes?
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    I'd like to type everything up on a laptop, but I envision it being a bit of a faff when I have to write down equations. My current solution is to write down the text on the laptop and equations on paper. Then I would scan the paper after a lecture and paste the equations into the appropriate place on the text document. In practice, I don't know how well this will work. So can any current Mechanical Engineering students advise on the best way to take notes?
    Lol you're able to take notes on lectures and type too? I just go home and go through the lecture slides at my own pace and make proper notes. I sometimes write in lectures but not as much as most of the time you can't keep up and it's usually good to listen instead of constant typing/ writing.


    Posted from my phone, excuse my typo's
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    Depends on the handouts you get, but I agree with bigboateng above.
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    (Original post by bigboateng_)
    Lol you're able to take notes on lectures and type too?
    As I said "I don't know how well this will work in practice," I'm not at uni yet. Why does the ability to do that surprise you anyway? It's not like I would be typing and hand writing the exact same information. Words are typed, equations are handwritten. It seems efficient to me. But I have no idea really.
    (Original post by bigboateng_)
    I just go home and go through the lecture slides at my own pace and make proper notes. I sometimes write in lectures but not as much as most of the time you can't keep up and it's usually good to listen instead of constant typing/ writing.
    It seems pointless sitting there and listening if you're just going to get the same information afterwards anyway. May as well use lecture time to make notes rather than showing up at all, unless they're the type of lecturer to give extra information in lectures.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    I'd like to type everything up on a laptop, but I envision it being a bit of a faff when I have to write down equations. My current solution is to write down the text on the laptop and equations on paper. Then I would scan the paper after a lecture and paste the equations into the appropriate place on the text document. In practice, I don't know how well this will work. So can any current Mechanical Engineering students advise on the best way to take notes?
    This will lead to:

    (a) paper all over the floor
    (b) trouble from the people sitting around you who are distracted by your noise and activity
    (c) you being unable to keep up
    (d) you listening to the words and not the message.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    This will lead to:

    (a) paper all over the floor
    (b) trouble from the people sitting around you who are distracted by your noise and activity
    (c) you being unable to keep up
    (d) you listening to the words and not the message.
    a) That's what bins are for.
    b) I don't see why.
    c) & d) Depends on your approach. If you're trying to take down every single bit of information, yes. But if you're just taking down the most meaningful points, I think that's more valuable than only listening. It probably enhances your interpretation of the message since it's easier to reflect on the lecture afterwards with notes.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    a) That's what bins are for. Accidentally on the floor, not thrown away
    b) I don't see why. Then you need to become more aware of what effects your actions can have on others, and what the knock-on effect on you might be
    c) & d) Depends on your approach. If you're trying to take down every single bit of information, yes. But if you're just taking down the most meaningful points, I think that's more valuable than only listening. It probably enhances your interpretation of the message since it's easier to reflect on the lecture afterwards with notes.
    See above.
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    I don't think trying to incorp the laptop for primary note-taking is a good idea. Might be better to focus on handwriting. It's a very effective study technique to write it down by hand when first learning (like in a lecture etc), and later typing up those notes. Makes for a great memory technique.

    Also, consider that if you are spreading your primary notes across different mediums they will become quite fragmented and difficult to revise from, which is why you take them in the first place. Mech Eng isn't 100% lectures, and you won't be able to bring your laptop into some labs or workshops which means that you'll have half your notes on your laptop (with multiple missing equations and diagrams that you forgot to scan in) and half of your notes on paper that which you ignore because you focus on the laptop.

    In short: handwritten for primary notes, typed up on laptop for secondary renditions and revision purposes.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    See above.
    The last time I used a notebook, the paper didn't come leaping out of it. If it did, I'm pretty certain I would notice and proceed to bin it. So your point is invalid.

    You're implying that by typing on a laptop and writing on paper I'm going to become some despicable degree destroyer. That's comical. I'm not sat there carving equations into a stone tablet with a jack hammer.

    Clearly you think you've got the whole note taking situation sussed, so why don't you use your esteemed benevolence to share your methods for the benefit of everyone here?
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    The last time I used a notebook, the paper didn't come leaping out of it. If it did, I'm pretty certain I would notice and proceed to bin it. So your point is invalid.

    You're implying that by typing on a laptop and writing on paper I'm going to become some despicable degree destroyer. That's comical. I'm not sat there carving equations into a stone tablet with a jack hammer.

    Clearly you think you've got the whole note taking situation sussed, so why don't you use your esteemed benevolence to share your methods for the benefit of everyone here?
    The first thing an engineering student should learn is that when he/she comes up with an idea and that idea receives criticism they should try to understand why it is being criticised rather than merely coming back with dismissal of the criticism, sarcasm and personal attacks.

    Use paper and transcribe later: it gives you an opportunity to reinforce the lecture in your mind later in the day.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    As I said "I don't know how well this will work in practice," I'm not at uni yet. Why does the ability to do that surprise you anyway? It's not like I would be typing and hand writing the exact same information. Words are typed, equations are handwritten. It seems efficient to me.
    I saw maybe 2 people at the start of the year typing up notes on their laptop, 1. it was annoying to people around, 2. You couldnt type fast anyway so I can guarantee you will not hear a word of what the lecturer is saying. 3. Switching between typing notes and writing equations on paper is not efficient.

    But I have no idea really.It seems pointless sitting there and listening if you're just going to get the same information afterwards anyway. May as well use lecture time to make notes rather than showing up at all, unless they're the type of lecturer to give extra information in lectures.
    Because by showing up you will understand something in the lecturer's own words than what it says in their presentation or notes. Some lecturers still write on whiteboards during lectures, those are the kind of things you should be taking notes off because you will not find them online.
    Typically your lectures are full of derivations, which you not get 80% of the time, thats why its better to go home and learn them at your own pace.
    I attached two random slides from two modules, a typical lecturer will spend at most 2 mins on these, so you most likely will not be able to write it down as well as listening.

    Nobody is saying not to make notes, but make notes where you can, of important stuff the lecturer says and not direct copying the lecturer slides. But again, its still better to go home and go through the full slides make notes so you dont miss anything.

    Attachment 531123531127Attachment 531123531127
    Attached Images
      
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The first thing an engineering student should learn is that when he/she comes up with an idea and that idea receives criticism they should try to understand why it is being criticised rather than merely coming back with dismissal of the criticism, sarcasm and personal attacks.

    Use paper and transcribe later: it gives you an opportunity to reinforce the lecture in your mind later in the day.
    I posted the idea with the sole purpose of being criticised, so your point has no merit in this instance. When recieving criticisms, I like them to be constructive, not blunt sweeping statements.

    Thank you for your contribution.
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    (Original post by bigboateng_)
    I saw maybe 2 people at the start of the year typing up notes on their laptop, 1. it was annoying to people around, 2. You couldnt type fast anyway so I can guarantee you will not hear a word of what the lecturer is saying. 3. Switching between typing notes and writing equations on paper is not efficient.



    Because by showing up you will understand something in the lecturer's own words than what it says in their presentation or notes. Some lecturers still write on whiteboards during lectures, those are the kind of things you should be taking notes off because you will not find them online.
    Typically your lectures are full of derivations, which you not get 80% of the time, thats why its better to go home and learn them at your own pace.
    I attached two random slides from two modules, a typical lecturer will spend at most 2 mins on these, so you most likely will not be able to write it down as well as listening.

    Nobody is saying not to make notes, but make notes where you can, of important stuff the lecturer says and not direct copying the lecturer slides. But again, its still better to go home and go through the full slides make notes so you dont miss anything.

    Attachment 531123531127Attachment 531123531127
    Okay, that's very helpful, thank you. So what do you write the notes on during lectures? Do you print off the slides and annotate them, or do you have a notebook or something?
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    (Original post by geolowiser)
    I don't think trying to incorp the laptop for primary note-taking is a good idea. Might be better to focus on handwriting. It's a very effective study technique to write it down by hand when first learning (like in a lecture etc), and later typing up those notes. Makes for a great memory technique.

    Also, consider that if you are spreading your primary notes across different mediums they will become quite fragmented and difficult to revise from, which is why you take them in the first place. Mech Eng isn't 100% lectures, and you won't be able to bring your laptop into some labs or workshops which means that you'll have half your notes on your laptop (with multiple missing equations and diagrams that you forgot to scan in) and half of your notes on paper that which you ignore because you focus on the laptop.

    In short: handwritten for primary notes, typed up on laptop for secondary renditions and revision purposes.
    So basically, you write your notes in lectures, then type them up with more information during extra reading?
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    So basically, you write your notes in lectures, then type them up with more information during extra reading?
    Yeah exactly, I write everything by hand and draw my equations diagrams etc during lectures.

    When I get back in the evening I type up the notes on my laptop, taking photos of equations and diagrams with the laptop webcam if absolutely necessary, otherwise just rewriting them.

    That way, even if you don't want to organise your notes or can't be bothered to properly sort them, you have another copy on your laptop which you can use if studying somewhere other than your personal desk etc.

    My girlfriend is in law and did exactly the same thing, worked very well for the both of us.
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    (Original post by geolowiser)
    Yeah exactly, I write everything by hand and draw my equations diagrams etc during lectures.

    When I get back in the evening I type up the notes on my laptop, taking photos of equations and diagrams with the laptop webcam if absolutely necessary, otherwise just rewriting them.

    That way, even if you don't want to organise your notes or can't be bothered to properly sort them, you have another copy on your laptop which you can use if studying somewhere other than your personal desk etc.

    My girlfriend is in law and did exactly the same thing, worked very well for the both of us.
    That's exactly the answer I was looking for. It sounds like my perfect system. Thank you Mr Geolowiser.
 
 
 
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