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What is the best way to take notes for your PhD?

This week on the monthly live #phdchat on Twitter we talked about taking notes - a topic suggested by @riotk. It's an area researchers don't talk about much; we tend to make up our own idiosyncratic systems. I wondered: what can we learn from the note taking systems of other people?


  1. Some people talked about hand writing their notes - even if this was sometimes limiting and frustrating
  2. We tended to agree that making the switch from pen and paper to digital systems of taking notes can be difficult
  3. Those 'old skool' ways might have merit though. Franziska shared a great blog post on the old practice of using index cards. Those were the days eh?
  4. Paper seems so... permanent. We might worry that digital notes are prone to disappear, but there are dangers in a non digital system too!
  5. When we got to talking about digital systems there were a surprising number and variety of ways of doing it digitally...
  6. Many people were evernote fans. If you haven't checked it out yet, you probably should. It's free!