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The Best Note Taking Software for the Paper Note Taker

The Best Note Taking Software for the Paper Note Taker

    My fellow managing editor, Mr. Vardy and I have taken a liking to paper for note taking, especially when it comes to analyzing and clarifying problems. It’s durable, simple, easy to use, has an almost infinite resolution, is aesthetically pleasing, and just feels good. Although paper is awesome for clarifying your thoughts and actions, you can’t easily index, sort, and search it, something that digital notes will always have the benefit of.

    SEE ALSO: 5 Tips for Effective Digital Note Taking

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    So, what do you do if you are a paper note taker in an increasingly digital note taking world? Here are some of the best ways to use note taking software if you are a paper note taking aficionado.

    OneNote for Windows

    OneNote is a great application for taking notes, storing files and links, pictures, graphs, or really anything if you use Windows or even iOS. The great part about OneNote is that you can organize it much like a notebook with different tabs and sections as well as click anywhere and instantly start typing.

    Another great thing is that if you have paper notes you can snap a photo or scan them in and store them in OneNote. Then you can easily search your notes with OneNote’s built in optical character recognition (that is, if your handwriting doesn’t suck). It’s a great hybrid approach for the paper note taker.

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    Evernote

    We wax about Evernote here at Lifehack because it’s truly a ubiquitous capture and note taking application. It works everywhere, and because of that gives you the quickness and ease of use like paper does. You can quickly add notes via your mobile device or the capture applications on Mac, Linux, or Windows.

    Just like OneNote, Evernote gives you the ability to upload handwritten documents that the service will try to OCR for you. This allows you to take notes via pen and paper when you are away from your digital devices.

    Circus Ponies Notebook

    If you are working on a Mac and you want something like OneNote, then look no further than Circus Ponies Notebook. Notebook uses pages, tabs, and sections to make the app feel more like paper and is a great way to store a ton of information. There is also a great tool for recording audio while you are taking notes. Notebook will then map the audio to the notes that you took.

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    You can add charts and diagram’s to your Notebook notebooks and also “free hand” draw with some of the ink tools. Notebook also has a cool feature called “Multidex” which basically indexes all of your notes and even the changes you make to them allowing for an easier way to find notes that you may have forgotten about or “lost”.

    Livescribe Smartpen

    Livescribe is a paper/software hybrid that allows you take handwritten notes on special paper that takes “snapshops” of what you write. The best feature of Livescribe is that you can record any sound that is going on around you while you are taking your notes and the smartpen will map the note taking with the sound. This is great for note taking during a lecture or a meeting where you may want to refer to what was said later.

    After you have taken your notes you can upload the handwritten notes as well as the audio that is tied to it to either a Mac or PC. You can then click anywhere in your notes and the audio that was recorded at the time of the note will play back.

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    Your handwritten notes are also fully indexed and searchable so you can quickly locate things later on. I have found that if you are a strick paper note taker but you want the benefits of note taking software, Livescribe may be your best bet.

    Note taking software for the traditional paper note taker can be a tough sell, especially when it comes to ubiquitousness and speed, but these apps are a great way to transition your handwritten note taking habits to the digital realm. If you have any good note taking software and paper note taking workflows, please share them below.

    (Photo credit: take notes via Shutterstock)

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on September 25, 2019

    7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

    7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

    Project management doesn’t need to be a complicated thing, not if you have apps that make things a whole lot simpler. When you have project management apps, you can take care of your team, tasks and deadlines, without even being in the office. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get most of the apps you might need.

    Here are the 7 best project management apps to super boost your team’s productivity:

    1. Basecamp

      It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more.

      It is user-friendly, and has a free 30-day trial period. After that, the plan is $99 per month.

      Find out more about Basecamp here.

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      2. Asana

        If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well.

        In a nutshell, Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $10.99 per month.

        Find out more about Asana here.

        3. Casual

          This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual, you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks.

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          This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

          Find out more about Casual here.

          4. Trello

            This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes.

            Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

            Find out more about Trello here.

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            5. OmniPlan

              This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of.

              You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion.

              A standard plan for iOS costs just $99.99, and the pro plan is only $199.99.

              Find out more about OmniPlan here.

              6. Podio

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                This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet.

                There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

                Find out more about Podio here.

                7. Microsoft Project

                  This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete.

                  The basic plan starts with $7 per month, which allows you project team members to collaborate in the cloud, via web browser or mobile.

                  Find out more about Microsoft Project here.

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                  Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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