So in previous posts I’ve talked about how great and mobile the Passport is for backing up your files. Well when it comes to dealing with notes in law school, I’ve come up with a few different methods. I’m personally torn at the moment between whether or not I’ll use my laptop in class or go the old paper and pen route.
In undergrad I’ve tried to stick with paper and pen, and its served me well. My fear is the ease with which you can get off track on a laptop. Although I do have one professor who simply moves too fast to use the old school method and I have to use a laptop. However, even then, while I’m on task 95% of the time (it helps to turn off your wireless and maximize the window for your word processor) I’m constantly afraid of getting off track. The biggest disadvantage to using paper and pen is the difficulty of making copies and sharing notes for study groups in a law school setting.
I’ve recently discovered and absolutely love this little app for the iphone. DocScan does an amazing job of scanning in your notes and providing you a great PDF file. Not only does it scan them amazingly well and let you crop and detect where the page is, but it also lets you compile larger PDFs all in one. So you can organize your notes by individual class and have the whole semester in one gradually expanding PDF file. Go ahead and download it. The free version simply limits how many files you can have on your phone at once. When I bought it they only charged $1.99 for unlimited PDFs, well worth the piece of mind that you’ve now got your hand-written notes backed-up for those inevitable coffee spills late at night.
Having now uploaded your handwritten notes, you can easily save them to Google Docs or Dropbox and now you can access your lecture notes anywhere, at any time. Using these methods you could even get around my prior advice of grabbing an external hard-drive. Although I’ll still use one to make yet another redundant copy, this is a fairly inexpensive way to copy and move around notes while costing almost nothing. Plus I just love the thought of having folders on my computer with each having a different class nice and orderly.