Technology Connections. New on the Scene: Digital Notetaking Tools

Notetaking is a typical part of school, work, and life. It can be as simple as jotting down a list for the store or much more detailed when gathering ideas for a paper or reviewing for an exam. Recording information is a classic part of the learning process, but how the notes are taken, recorded, and shared has changed over time. In this month’s column, some of newer digital notetaking tools will be offered for your consideration. Of course, some people like to go analog and stay traditional but if you’re interested in a few digital options for your notetaking, these online resources offer some great options.


Fetchnotes makes creating and sharing notes easy. Sign up for this notetaking resource online and for greater efficiency download the app to your favorite devices. Then start taking notes, creating lists, and writing out ideas. Fetchnotes is very social media friendly. Users can group notes together using hashtags for specific ideas. Collaborating and sharing is made simple by using the @ symbol and a contact name from your phone, address, or username list. Notes are archived for later reading and Fetchnotes is continuously working on ways to make their product better for their patrons.


This simple, easy to use notetaking resource is a download that can be used across multiple devices and platforms. Simplenote includes Kindle and Linux in their download options. Once you have loaded this resource onto your computer or device you can write, keep, and sync your notes. All notes stay updated across all platforms and technologies. Notes can be searched and each edit is saved in the history option for stress-free access to past work. Simplenote is available for collaborative work and sharing material is also an easy option for users.

Google Keep

Keep is a Chrome extension for your laptop, desktop, devices, and Chromebooks that lets you create, keep, and sync notes and lists across multiple locations. Google Keep is a great tool for organization where users can make lists and then check off items when done. Notes can be taken and then color coded for organization and ease of reading. It’s also very simple to share notes and collaborate with Keep as well. Sharing with Google Keep is just like sharing anything else in Google Drive, select share options, and choose with whom you wish to distribute your notes.

Video Notes


If you are planning to take notes with videos look to Video Notes or TurboNote. Video Notes has been on the scene for a few years. Users can take notes simultaneously with videos. Teachers and librarians can offer notes and ideas to students while syncing them with the video. One of the great things about Video Notes is that it is connected to Google Drive where YouTube, Google Docs, and so many other handy note, writing, and organizational tools are housed. TurboNote is a download and offers users the option of in-page notetaking that will be kept alongside the watched video to be reviewed at any time. The greatest draw for TurboNote is the video options. This particular resource works with YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, TED, Netflix, Coursera, Edx, Khan, and many more video sites. It is very new and has many more updates and features coming soon.

Taking notes, amassing thoughts, collecting ideas, and journaling are daily occurrences for students as well as librarians and their peer educators. Notetaking tools like the ones listed here could be used to amass 'evidence' to support arguments or points of view. They could be useful instruments for students or teachers in collaboration whether in person or at a distance. Digital notetaking tools make it easy to keep, share, and edit information anytime, anywhere. Take some time this month to try these new resources and see if one works for you.

About the Author

Heather Moorefield-Lang, EdD, is an assistant professor for the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. To see more of Heather's work visit her website at, email her at, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.

MLA Citation Moorefield-Lang, Heather. "Technology Connections. New on the Scene: Digital Notetaking Tools." School Library Connection, January 2017,

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Entry ID: 2057208

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