Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?  (Read 1480 times)

IAmMultipleBooks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« on: August 01, 2007, 12:05:04 PM »
I've noticed that there's a lot of talk around here about which computer to use during class. I haven't started law school yet, and I have not once ever brought a laptop to any of my classes. Is it extraordinarily difficult to write notes by hand, the old-fashioned way, in law school (T14)?

I'd appreciate any advice or information on this.


littlelisalaw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 12:26:11 PM »
How fast do you type?

I took a con law class in undergrad.  After that class, I stopped taking notes in spiral notebooks.  Rather I invested in Microsoft OneNote and began taking all seminar/lecture notes by laptop.  The reason?  I type about 100 wpm, which means that I type incredibly faster than I can even begin to write.  Also, OneNote will organize your notes with relative ease, which made studying for exams awesome. 

Now, since I am an enter 1L, I too would like to hear have been through the 1L experience. I am hoping my assumption is correct ;)

IAmMultipleBooks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 12:37:38 PM »
I type much quicker than I write. I just don't like the idea of bringing a computer to class.

IAmMultipleBooks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 12:49:34 PM »
Also my computer only goes 2 hours on battery power.

cswinter

  • Guest
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 01:08:23 PM »
A word of caution for those of you who are considering typing:  this is law school, not stenographer school.  What do you mean by that, you ask. It's easy for people to type literally every word that comes out of the professors mouth in hopes that regurgitating a lecture on an exam will get you a good grade.  Wrong.  A large part of law school is learning how to decipher the important from the superfluous, the need-to-know from the bull.  While it's still possible, it's incredibly hard to hand-write an entire lecture vis-a-vis typing it.

On another note, one reason I favor handwriting over typing is for outlining purposes.  Instead of copy and pasting my lecture notes from Word or OneNote or whatever, I have to re-read my handwritten notes and then type them into my computer.  Not only does this process reinforce what I've learned from class, but it immediately helps me identify areas of confusion or issues needing clarification.

Take that for what it's worth.  Remember:  there is no cookie-cutter way to law school - you need to find your own niche in nearly everything you do, including note-taking. I just provided my testimony as a way for you to consider a side to which you may previously have not been privy.

Good luck.

lawmama09

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
    • View Profile
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 01:23:38 PM »
I handwrite my notes in class. I lack the willpower to not surf the internet when I have my laptop in class (apparently many of my classmates suffer this same problem, judging from what I see on screens). I find that handwriting my notes keeps me focused on the class and I don't zone out as much, even in boring classes. I am also older and didn't have a laptop in undergrad, so I am used to taking notes by hand.

As another poster mentioned, I also go through my handwritten notes at the end of the semester to make my outlines which forces me to re-read all my notes and pull out the important ideas for my outline. That forced review is very helpful to me. FWIW, when I compare notes with my study group partners who type notes, I generally have the same information that they do, so I don't think my handwriting speed is holding me back. But as always, you may find that something else works better for you.

Flashman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 08:01:27 PM »
I wholeheartedly agree with the last two posters.  I went the laptop route and then back to handwriting.  Laptops are very conducive to leading you astray (I am a spider solitaire god), especially when the lecture gets boring.  But more importantly, I think you retain more by handwriting notes because you are paying attention to what's coming out of the professor's mouth rather than trying to type out every last word.  You can see the connections the professor is trying to make better. 

I had a really funny professor in Secured Transactions who was getting frustrated by the lack of comprehension among the laptop users to the example problems he put on the board.  He went on at length about how he thought students were too preoccupied with getting everything down and not following along with the explanation of the problem so they could understand the concept.  After all that, the very next person he called on in class to answer a question had a laptop, and the first thing out of his mouth when he looked up was, "Huh?"  The whole class busted out laughing.

Sparkz1920

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Spiral Notebooks or Laptop Computers for note-taking?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 08:03:44 PM »
I was told to get a laptop, which i already have. I will see once orientation gets here what is the best thing to use.