If the articles are in pdf format, using pdf annotator (Annotate, Edit and Comment PDF Files. Open any PDF file, add annotations and save all back to PDF in one single step. Fo…) to mark them up works very well.
Another idea is the Livescribe Pen. It's an actual pen that you can take notes with, which you then can upload as digital documents. Like OneNote, the pen also records (but caution to students that you MUST get professor permission before you can record lectures) and the the audio syncs with the pen strokes so if you didn't understand what your professor was talking about when she was discussing derivatives, you could go back in your notes, touch your pen/mouse to the place you wrote "Derivatives" and it would bring the audio back to that point in the lecture. Which is pretty cool. Since you can upload your notes digitally, you can also keep them pretty organized or share them with others. It's a good option for people who prefer to write their notes out rather than typing, or for classes where there are a lot of symbols where it wouldn't be practical to take notes electronically.
When I first asked the question, I was limiting my own thinking to free software or apps, but the other responses reminded me of a program that I can highly recommend as a way to collect in one place notes, drafts, and documents, especially for long or research-based projects: Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php).
You can get a 30-day free trial (30 days of actual use rather than 30 consecutive days, which is nice) and also a slight educational discount for students and teachers.
NoteSuite for IPad and Macs is hands down the BEST program for electronic note-taking and more!
- allows you to write notes from lectures, add audio/video, and grab any internet content on the same "notebook" page
- great organizer for projects or multitasking while taking notes or creating your study guide by setting reminders for homework, reading selections or creating different to-do lists
- annotation feature for PDFs, photos and web clips that can be embedded into class notes
- web clipping with great DE-cluttering functionality so only important info ends up in your notebook page - web source citation a PLUS++
- allows you to email documents to your notes
- folder or tag views for great flexibility and personalization
Best of all it syncs your apple devices so you can then review your notes and better prepare for your next class! The cost is $4.99 and is worth every penny.
If the student has an iPad, Notability is one of the highest rated note taking apps. It has the most features and allows backups to Box and Dropbox, and allows you to save notes as PDFs to read anywhere. Unfortunately, it's not available for Android devices. Another alternative for any platform is Evernote. A number of users swear by it for functionality. I used it for a bit and it's very much an all-or-nothing solution. It works great if you use it for everything, but wasn't very useful for me across several apps.
Hope that helps.
One of my EN132 students asked for ideas for how to take and manage notes electronically (as an alternative to paper index cards), specifically for research papers and keeping track of database articles. I told him I'd put together a list of programs, apps, and ideas. One of his classmates already suggested Microsoft OneNote. Any other suggestions that work for you?