Taking notes with Pen & Paper VS Apps

February 16, 2017 9:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Taking notes with Pen & Paper VS Apps


There’s a lot of different opinions on the best way to take notes.  Some strongly feel digital note taking is the only way to go.  Others say the old-fashioned pen and paper is easier and gets things done faster.  Then there are some that say both methods work together to create an organized and efficient way of keeping up with everything.

It also depends upon what you’re taking notes for; if you’re are a manager running an office/projects, you will probably be using strictly digital, that can sync important information with others on your staff. Digital notes are simple and easy to share with everyone, so they are all on the same page.

If you’re in a meeting with a client, you might want to take notes with pen and paper, instead of pulling out your phone or tablet to take notes.  There is something to be said about jotting down notes on paper in front of a client.  It gives the impression that you are paying attention to what they are saying.  When you take notes on your phone, they don’t know if you are texting other people or if you are actually taking notes about the meeting.  You can always take a picture of the notes you wrote down and send them to a digital platform later, or just transcribe them later if you prefer.

If you’re brainstorming the best way to come up with great ideas is by writing things down and doodling. When we write, our brain becomes more creative than typing.  We also know that writing is more effective for learning and remembering according to Scientific American website. Something about the mechanics of handwriting stimulates our memory in a way that typing does not.

Digital Apps

Digital note taking apps have features that pen and paper just don’t have, such as due dates, reminders, and tags to easily find what you’re trying to locate.  They also have some sort of system to help you keep things organized.

My two favorite digital apps that help keep me organized is Todolist, and Evernote.



Todolist is a basic reminder app that allows you to keep up with things that you need to accomplish; It also has reminders and due dates.  You can also create different sections to keep organized in different areas of your life, such as personal, shopping, work, errands, etc.   It also syncs across platforms so you can take your list anywhere you go.


Evernote is a massive app that can organize every aspect of your life, it notifies you when things are due, you can share with others, you can have up to 259 notebooks with unlimited notes inside those notebooks.  Evernote has a tag system so you can find what you need quickly.  Also, you can send your handwritten notes to Evernote in digital form.

Pen and Paper

With pen and paper, you have to make your own system that makes sense to you, that will keep you organized.  Two methods that work well are The bullet Journal, and Strike Through.


The Bullet Journal

The bullet journal uses the Rapid Logging system. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.  There is a daily page for each day of the year, and there is a section for each month, for noting important events, and a list of monthly tasks. There’s also a double-page spread for the next six months, known as a “future log,” where you can write deadlines or events well into the future.



The Strikethrough method

There are four components with the strikethrough method.

  1. The live list – The Live List contains what needs done now.


  1. The Dump – A dumping ground for all your ideas.


  1. The Vault – A place to collect tasks that can go straight into a defined list.


  1. The Calendar – The Calendar is a slightly modified version of a standard month by month calendar.

There isn’t a one fits all way to take notes or keep up with important information.  The trick is to find a method that is comfortable for you, and learn that method inside out so you can become proficient at taking notes and locating information.

Until Next Time,

Karen Beth

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This post was written by Karen

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