There is no anxiety equal to trying to pull together meeting notes on a project/assignment/student when it is crunch time. How many anxiety attacks must I give myself before I can identify my ideal note taking system?

You remember where it all started, right? Many {in my age bracket} started taking notes on paper, then in locally-installed word processing program like Microsoft Word. And we likely used email as a note taking storage system; and likely have hated life a time or two while we searched our email for that password, address, name, etc.

Instead of being tied to a location or possessing ninja-like searching skills, maybe we can move your notes to the cloud?

Google Doc Notes

The interface most like Microsoft Word and with the organizational feature of folders Google Docs tops the list. Consider the added bonus of ease of sharing and collaborating in real time and this might be enough of a migration for you to last the rest of your career. Consider your organizational strategy early and revisit often so that you are not falling back on your ninja-like search skills, but have an easy to navigate visual layout to follow.

Of course Google Drive contains more than just Docs, but this product would be an excellent product to evaluate for your note-taking needs.



I cannot even say “notes” at the end of the title as it would sound redundant – this product wants to be your note-taking product!

Evernote offers a highly functional app in addition to browser and email extensions and a clean desktop version.

The distinguishing factor is the tags, the metadata, you can add to each note to make the note easily searchable. Evernote also offers “Notebooks” {Read: folders} to categorize your notes, another easy way to search. If you ever lost anything in Evernote, you had to work to do so.

Sharing is also very easy, email a notebook or note to people. Add collaborators; not as nice as the real-time collaboration with Google, but nothing else is yet.

Evernote recently moved to a freemium model. I’ve been using Evernote from 2010. With the recent fee change I am trying to extricate myself from my current $3.99/mo Plus commitment; I am somewhat tempted to go all in at the Premium level when they offer those 40% off promotions. I think I may encourage students to look at the 50% discount Evernote offers. But I feel like I have access to some very functional free alternatives too.

Where are you Saving your Notes



This note-taking product is a Microsoft product. And it looks to integrate with an ever-expanding line-up of your predictably favorite office products. One Note offers integrations into popular Learning Management Systems, like Canvas.

Often this is included in a district purchase of Microsoft products, so ask around if you already have access to Microsoft for work.

Cumbersome with Microsoft legacy, but pliable with persistence and future enhancements, OneNote may be a perfect convergence for those who came up in their careers using Microsoft, but crave the accessibility of the cloud.

There are desktop and Office 365 access points with two very different looks and feels, so do some research before deciding.

I am pausing my Evernote and trying to track an entire project in OneNote this school year. {future post?}


Whichever cloud-based note-taking product you go with you will enjoy the ability to access your notes anywhere anytime.