Why Humanities Students Need Goodnotes

June 24, 2024

Humanities disciplines — they tackle the age-old questions that have fascinated man: “What does it mean to be human?”, “How do we understand and interpret the world around us?”, “How have different cultures and societies evolved over time?”

Now we’ll do you one better: can these questions be answered on a digital note-taking app? For us, the answer is an obvious yes.

In the humanities — disciplines which emphasize close reading and imaginative thinking first — Goodnotes is more than just a nice-to-have. We think it’s a necessity.

PDF Markup: Reading just got even better

Close-reading is central to the humanities. In college seminars, it’s common to have weekly reading lists that exceed 100 pages. If you want that A in English or Philosophy class, you’ll probably need to have specific references to key texts.

These days, required readings for class are all digital, often found on platforms like Canvas or Moodle. Weekly readings? Exclusively PDFs. Reading a primary historical source? Chances are it’s through a screen.

With Goodnotes, close reading PDFs has never been easier. All you need to do is import the document of choice into our app. From any application, open your PDF, press Share > Open in Goodnotes > Import as New Document:

Goodnotes allows students to highlight important texts efficiently. Read line by line and mark important sections with highlighters. Or, use a color-coded system to separate different ideas from each other.

With the most crucial parts noted and organized, you won’t need to re-read the entire text later on.

Take notes in the margin, even! Leave annotations (or doodles!) that trigger your memory or help you recall key terms.

Easily search through hand written notes and long readings 

The 90s called. They want their note-taking methods back. 

Although less convenient, science has proven that handwritten notes are better than typed ones. But what if your handwritten notes were digital?

Goodnotes makes using and reviewing handwritten notes a seamless process, removing all the flaws of analog note-taking. When you’re tired of sifting through 100+ pages of notes for one definition or concept, our search function helps to find exact matches to what you’ve written. 

Even better? Our new AI study buddy, Ask Goodnotes, will answer any and all of your questions about your own notes or readings.

Just type your question directly, and in seconds, it will scour your document to find the answer. It even references the exact page and spot where it found the information, so you know exactly where to look if you want to dive deeper.

Read more on that here, or open the Goodnotes app to sign up to our waitlist for a limited time.

Templates — we have (Good)notes of any kind!

For conceptual subjects like Philosophy, perhaps Cornell notes are the ideal. For subjects requiring direct responses to arguments, like Political Science, the two-column template may work best. Or, when revising for written exams, you might benefit from drawing mind maps on a blank page to understand how different events, theories, and concepts are interrelated.

The GoodNews? Goodnotes provides a variety of notebook templates to suit different note-taking styles, fitting the unique needs of each subject. If your note-taking needs aren’t met by our existing templates, you can also import your own.

What’s more, Goodnotes even offers a template for writing sheet music. Every note-taking need is covered, guaranteed.

You can also change the size and color of your template completely to your liking!

With the scanner, anything print can be digital too

But Goodnotes is also print-compatible: with a built-in “scanner,” Goodnotes can turn any piece of paper digital. 

It’s bye-bye to printed class handouts or browning physical copies of library books. You can scan printed documents for reading and annotating directly into Goodnotes. 

When you’re creating a new document, click “Scan Documents” and take pictures of what you want to scan. 

Goodnotes’ scanner also uses Optical Character Recognition on the text. What does this mean for you? Essentially, your scanned document will work with our search function and with Ask Goodnotes!

Studying just got even better. No piece of paper is ever just for print, not with Goodnotes, at least: after scanning, you can now annotate and search through any possible printed text. 

Reach all your academic goals with Goodnotes

The ultimate close-reader, note-taker, annotator. A game changer for humanities classes — download Goodnotes today!

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