academia, digital organization, note taking, productivity

organization || digital study tip | doing readings directly in OneNote

OneNote is a fantastic application for digital studying, textbook reading and note-taking.

If you’re not currently using it, maybe you relate to some of these scenarios:

  • You’re printing materials over and over to have physical copies just so you can annotate them.
  • You might be struggling to read long articles in a restrictive PDF reader because you don’t have a printer and/or want to save paper.
  • Maybe you’re take notes on the side, and end up re-writing or re-iterating content that’s already right on the page you just read.
  • When attending class, you arrive realizing that you forgot to print the professor’s PowerPoint and don’t have it as reference in front of you. (I’ve done this too many times!)
  • Your binder is full and your backpack is heavy!

Migrating your system to OneNote can make your studying so much more efficient (and paperless)! 👇

perks of using OneNote for readings and class notes

  • You can annotate right next to the file in OneNote.
  • You can add signifiers next to the file like task boxes or icons, and filter through them later.
  • It’s all in one place and SEARCHABLE which is amazing when it comes to final papers or studying for exams.

how to insert printouts into your digital notebook

To import a file into your OneNote notebook, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the PDF or PowerPoint.
  2. Click the print option, and “Print to OneNote”. I prefer to use the Desktop app so that’s what I select.
  3. OneNote will pop up on your screen (if it doesn’t, click the icon in your bottom menu bar to navigate there). Select the digital notebook section you want the printout to go to.

insert file printouts in the background

An important setting to make annotating easier is setting the inserted files in the background. This means you can scroll and move the notebook page without moving the printout too!

set a default printing destination

If you’re printing a LOT of files/readings at once for the same class, you can set a particular section as default under the OneNote Options. This saves you the time of waiting for the dialog to pop up that prompts you where to print. Then, you can reset it to ask you next time when you’re done.

if the printing doesn’t work…

This one was life-changing for me! It’ll be particularly useful for any fellow business school students out there. Some websites encrypt their files so that you can’t print them, in order to prevent people from re-sharing paid material. However, I still want to be able to annotate those materials and don’t like to just read them in the PDF reader.

A workaround in those cases is to upload your file to Google Drive. Then, go to your uploaded file and print from there. See the photo above for how to print from Google Drive. This bypasses the encryption on the original file!

a reminder for PowerPoints

If it’s a PowerPoint, remember to check off “Landscape” so that it imports in the right orientation. See below:

for more digital studying

If you haven’t yet, check out my video in collaboration with textbook and learning company, Pearson Canada. In it, I walk through my entire digital system for studying and taking notes:

SAVE this tip for reference later and let me know if you plan to try it!

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