Taking Notes While Reading: Digital Options

Taking notes while reading your textbooks is strongly recommended. To learn more about note-taking strategies, check out Note-Taking in Communication Essentials for College.

Here are some suggestions for digital note-taking. Make sure you investigate to see how to save/backup your notes, so you can be assured your notes are safe and accessible. Suggested software and applications have not been extensively tested in all scenarios. Please take responsibility and consider you own privacy and security before installing any apps or software on your device.

You may need to experiment to determine what works best for you.

Online web book

Electronic or Print PDF

  • Try Adobe Acrobat PDF reader (free download for many operating systems) and annotate your PDF using the highlighter, comments and sticky notes
  • Download and save specific chapters before using with Acrobat PDF reader to take notes – the full PDF is quite long and the file size could become unmanageable
  • Use Pen/Highlighter as you would normally if you’ve printed your readings

Taking notes in PDF files

Watch Annotating PDFs | Acrobat for Education (2 mins) on YouTube

Video source: Adobe for Education. (2020, September 3). Annotating PDFs | Acrobat for Education [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/Zz53EgZShHQ

Attribution & References

Except where otherwise noted, this page by Jen Booth, OER Design Studio at the Georgian College Library is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.


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Using OER textbooks: Student Guide Copyright © 2023 by Jen Booth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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