One year of handwritten digital notes - my thoughts

Bjorn

GTD Trainer L1
Here are some thoughts after a year of using a digital notebook device to capture handwritten notes.

I use a ReMarkable 2, which is an impressive device, but surely you can apply these thoughts no matter what device you’re using.

When I write meeting notes, I jot down keywords of the discussion topics chronologically. Keywords, since I want to write and still participate in the meeting with focus. This is a great help during the ongoing meeting. I can follow and reflect on the topics as the meeting proceeds.

Summarizing the main output of the meeting is also important. At the end; I write all key takeaways. Next time I see the note page, I look for the summary at the end and can find out what the outcome was.

I mark all captured next actions with a check box at the beginning of the line. It makes it easy to find them after the meeting. If a task is delegated, I mark this with a ‘W’, indicating I’m waiting for this task to be completed.

I mark the check boxes as completed latest during my Weekly Review, when I review all my notes and move them to my task manager, either to the next actions-list or waiting for-list. When I have reviewed a notebook, I create a new page with a large checkbox and the date of the review, nothing else. This is a bookmark in the form of a nearly empty page. The next time when I review the notebook, I can easily see where I should start, since everything written before the review page is already handled.

The structure of the notes in multiple notebooks is probably a highly personal decision. I work with different clients, so each client has a specific notebook. Another perspective is to use the areas of focus or responsibilities as structure.

If a find that a note is of special interest, I move it from my device into my reference archive either using a picture or a PDF.

One of the differences between using a digital notebook and a paper-based one is the near-endless amount of storage available, all notes can be saved; creating a diary for the future.

How do you use digital handwritten notes? Please share, it would be interesting to learn from others.
 

RomanS

Registered
My attempts with handwritten notes in OneNote on a Surface Go 2 have failed. The problem is the technical effort: I have to turn on the device, unlock it with facial recognition. Then about every 5 minutes the same thing again. - That takes a lot more time than grabbing a pen and paper, which are lying around almost everywhere and don't break if they fall to the floor.

But the post here motivates me to try it digital one more time.
 

Oogiem

Registered
How do you use digital handwritten notes?
All taken on my iPad with Apple Pencil inGoodNotes. Those I need later I use the GoodNotes handwriting recognition to convert tomarkdown that then goes intoObsiidian for further clarificatioa and inclusion in my project support, journal, or just reference material.
 
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schmeggahead

Registered
I have to turn on the device, unlock it with facial recognition. Then about every 5 minutes the same thing again
I had this same problem with my first iPad with Apple Pencil.
A later version allows me to touch the Lock Screen and open a blank note and start writing.

I usually hold the pencil in my hand, so the delay of touching the screen is minimally distracting.
There is no delay as I write on my latest iPad, so there is little distraction in that way.

In my physical hand written notes of the past, I used a star for actions/follow-up and crossed them off when they made it into my system. I deferred separating the waiting for from my actions until later. (@Bjorn I like the idea of using W for the waiting action).

When presenting, I preceded points I wanted to cover with a dash that I could check off when the point was covered in a meeting. I left space between each point in order to allow me to add notes during the presentation for each point as it was covered and feedback received from those I was presenting to was received.

My iPad has a live script to text translation which I do not use when I'm really after getting my ideas captured. It is too unreliable with my handwriting and I am distracted with fixing the errors in translation. it is easier for me to use the selection of handwritten sections and paste them as transcribed text. I can easily fix the transcription errors because I am focused on converting it to text and not capture.

I use the native Apple Notes application.

When I journal on iPad, I print the journal as hand written to put in my circa journal for that day.

into my reference archive either using a picture or a PDF.

I'm using Obsidian more and more for lots of reference. There is no easy way to port an Apple Note into Obsidian for longterm reference. There is an option to export to PDF. I will explore this further.

Thanks for the post.
Clayton.
 

RomanS

Registered
A later version allows me to touch the Lock Screen and open a blank note and start writing.
On my Surface Go 2 would that be possible, too. But that would mean that the access to the tablet is not locked. The risk of unauthorized data access would be too great.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
On my Surface Go 2 would that be possible, too. But that would mean that the access to the tablet is not locked. The risk of unauthorized data access would be too great.
I believe on the iPad this feature works like camera access. From the Lock Screen, you can take a new picture or start a new document, but not access old ones. So it’s not much of a security issue.
 

ckennedy

Registered
Here are some thoughts after a year of using a digital notebook device to capture handwritten notes.

I use a ReMarkable 2, which is an impressive device, but surely you can apply these thoughts no matter what device you’re using.

When I write meeting notes, I jot down keywords of the discussion topics chronologically. Keywords, since I want to write and still participate in the meeting with focus. This is a great help during the ongoing meeting. I can follow and reflect on the topics as the meeting proceeds.

Summarizing the main output of the meeting is also important. At the end; I write all key takeaways. Next time I see the note page, I look for the summary at the end and can find out what the outcome was.

I mark all captured next actions with a check box at the beginning of the line. It makes it easy to find them after the meeting. If a task is delegated, I mark this with a ‘W’, indicating I’m waiting for this task to be completed.

I mark the check boxes as completed latest during my Weekly Review, when I review all my notes and move them to my task manager, either to the next actions-list or waiting for-list. When I have reviewed a notebook, I create a new page with a large checkbox and the date of the review, nothing else. This is a bookmark in the form of a nearly empty page. The next time when I review the notebook, I can easily see where I should start, since everything written before the review page is already handled.

The structure of the notes in multiple notebooks is probably a highly personal decision. I work with different clients, so each client has a specific notebook. Another perspective is to use the areas of focus or responsibilities as structure.

If a find that a note is of special interest, I move it from my device into my reference archive either using a picture or a PDF.

One of the differences between using a digital notebook and a paper-based one is the near-endless amount of storage available, all notes can be saved; creating a diary for the future.

How do you use digital handwritten notes? Please share, it would be interesting to learn from others.
I like this. I handle tasks in a similar fashion.
In terms of client notebooks on the remarkable-I find it easier to write notes using the Quicksheets function, and later move to the client notebook. It saves me finding the current client notebook before taking notes.

I like your idea of creating a black page once you process the notes.
 

dtj

Registered
My handwriting has atrophied over the last 30+ years of basically not using it. Atleast for more than like a sentence at a time. It looks like i've had a stroke or something. Not to mention that I am like 10x faster typing. That doesn't stop me from doing my tactical level notes on index cards and preprinted sheets.
 

René Lie

Registered
I have recently started using a rocket book (core) for meeting notes. But this is maybe a different use case than Björn's, as it basically just replaces a plain tear-off paper notebook.

The downside to the rocket book is that I won't be able to look back as I would on a digital device, but it's a great way of being present (as opposed to typing on my iPad) in meetings, and that I can transfer the notes to one or more digital destinations for later processing, using the OCR with fairly decent result.
I second what @dtj says about handwriting looking nothing like what it used to, but this forces me to write more clearly in order for the OCR to work.
I also type faster than I handwrite, but this has some positive sides, too: I have to be more selective about what I choose to write!
 

Oogiem

Registered
There is no easy way to port an Apple Note into Obsidian for longterm reference.
I just tried this. I have a shortcut set up on my iPad that creates a note from text. I've been using it with GoodNotes but it also works with Apple Notes. In the apple note you click the 3 dots, then send a copy and then use the shortcut.

To set up the shortcut use ToolBox Pro to set the folder in your Obsidian vault where you want the notes to end up. I use my Inbox folder. Then use Shortcuts on the iPad to create this shortcut.
 

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gtdstudente

Registered
Here are some thoughts after a year of using a digital notebook device to capture handwritten notes.

I use a ReMarkable 2, which is an impressive device, but surely you can apply these thoughts no matter what device you’re using.

When I write meeting notes, I jot down keywords of the discussion topics chronologically. Keywords, since I want to write and still participate in the meeting with focus. This is a great help during the ongoing meeting. I can follow and reflect on the topics as the meeting proceeds.

Summarizing the main output of the meeting is also important. At the end; I write all key takeaways. Next time I see the note page, I look for the summary at the end and can find out what the outcome was.

I mark all captured next actions with a check box at the beginning of the line. It makes it easy to find them after the meeting. If a task is delegated, I mark this with a ‘W’, indicating I’m waiting for this task to be completed.

I mark the check boxes as completed latest during my Weekly Review, when I review all my notes and move them to my task manager, either to the next actions-list or waiting for-list. When I have reviewed a notebook, I create a new page with a large checkbox and the date of the review, nothing else. This is a bookmark in the form of a nearly empty page. The next time when I review the notebook, I can easily see where I should start, since everything written before the review page is already handled.

The structure of the notes in multiple notebooks is probably a highly personal decision. I work with different clients, so each client has a specific notebook. Another perspective is to use the areas of focus or responsibilities as structure.

If a find that a note is of special interest, I move it from my device into my reference archive either using a picture or a PDF.

One of the differences between using a digital notebook and a paper-based one is the near-endless amount of storage available, all notes can be saved; creating a diary for the future.

How do you use digital handwritten notes? Please share, it would be interesting to learn from others.
Bjorn, You make a great case for writing meeting notes and digital form from preparation to 'end.' As such, with all due respect, I would try making further use of digital's "Cut-&-Paste" capabilities by "Cutting-&-Pasting' the "Summary" to the beginning of the Meeting Notes beneath the Meeting Title with the Meeting Details thereafter, just thinking, as you/anyone sees fit. In any event, and further more, thank you for offering your very good Meeting Note skills, most appreciated, thank you!
 
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QuillenWatson

Registered
Here are some thoughts after a year of using a digital notebook device to capture handwritten notes.

I use a ReMarkable 2, which is an impressive device, but surely you can apply these thoughts no matter what device you’re using.

When I write meeting notes, I jot down keywords of the discussion topics chronologically. Keywords, since I want to write and still participate in the meeting with focus. This is a great help during the ongoing meeting. I can follow and reflect on the topics as the meeting proceeds.

Summarizing the main output of the meeting is also important. At the end; I write all key takeaways. Next time I see the note page, I look for the summary at the end and can find out what the outcome was.

I mark all captured next actions with a check box at the beginning of the line. It makes it easy to find them after the meeting. If a task is delegated, I mark this with a ‘W’, indicating I’m waiting for this task to be completed.

I mark the check boxes as completed latest during my Weekly Review, when I review all my notes and move them to my task manager, either to the next actions-list or waiting for-list. When I have reviewed a notebook, I create a new page with a large checkbox and the date of the review, nothing else. This is a bookmark in the form of a nearly empty page. The next time when I review the notebook, I can easily see where I should start, since everything written before the review page is already handled.

The structure of the notes in multiple notebooks is probably a highly personal decision. I work with different clients, so each client has a specific notebook. Another perspective is to use the areas of focus or responsibilities as structure.

If a find that a note is of special interest, I move it from my device into my reference archive either using a picture or a PDF.

One of the differences between using a digital notebook and a paper-based one is the near-endless amount of storage available, all notes can be saved; creating a diary for the future.

How do you use digital handwritten notes? Please share, it would be interesting to learn from others.

When writing texts, I always try to work on them as long as possible so that they are written professionally and without errors. I use an online plagiarism checker https://fixgerald.com/ to check my texts for plagiarism and remove it.
Thank you very much for sharing your experience, it is useful for me.
 
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