How to Take Notes Using Online Platforms

Since most of the classes at the University of Illinois this academic year have moved to an online platform, it is important for future and current students to possibly adapt to new note taking skills. I am a big fan of writing notes by hand because I learn best in that method. However, it can sometimes be tedious and time consuming if you have a packed week with other work. Here are some of the methods that I have been using in terms of studying and taking notes so far in the semester.

Google Docs and OneNote

Google Docs is a lifesaver! I have been using this platform since high school and it has never let me down. It is easy to use and organize your notes. You can also draw on the notes and add pictures, if that is a method that you like to use when studying. You can also do that feature in OneNote. OneNote resembles an actual notebook at your fingertips. It allows you to divide your content by section and “pages”. It offers more features if used on an iPad. That being said, this does not mean you need one to create fantastic notes for the semester.


Slideshows, you say? Yes! It is the same concept as how you would take notes on any note taking platform. However, it sort of resembles flashcards. Using any slideshow platform–that could be either Microsoft Powerpoint, Prezi, or Google Slides–could enhance your studying skills for tests, especially if they are heavily based on terms.

You don’t have to push yourself to take digital notes at all. If you are trying any of these platforms and are not getting the results you want in terms of grades, don’t be afraid to go back to hand writing notes. Yes, our society has developed so many opportunities to learn virtually because of the pandemic, but don’t let that create barriers for yourself to earn the achievements that you want throughout the semester.



Class of 2021
I was born and raised in Cicero, Illinois. Although I entered Illinois as an English major, I trusted my gut and switched to Journalism. Coming to a big institution and being a first-generation student can feel like a handful. However, knowing your resources and getting out of your comfort zone can help in the long run.

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