The impact of online notes sharing on productivity and organization has been studied by many scholars. Post-it notes are a diverse but common form of note taking that many students use to organize projects, memos, or pertinent information. From the perspective of the individual who is taking notes about their own personal experience, there is a great deal of freedom to use the medium as they see fit and not be dictated by another individual’s process.
In addition, physical notes can be taken anywhere and are easily accessible, unlike digital note formats. Most students have a very strong preference for taking notes in a physical medium which has been shown to aid memory and learning in certain circumstances. Here are the impacts of online notes sharing on productivity and organization:
Students use organizational tools to determine the order of notes in their notes files and organize notes in a way that works for them. However, when notes are shared online they are often organized along other people’s value systems. For example, in a class, the instructor may have many different ways of organizing and experiencing the course material and these systems become adopted by students and become their new way of organizing the notes.
Unfortunately, this is usually not the way that students organize material in their own files. As a result, students who share online notes must either read everything backwards or try to personalize their system to work for them as opposed to other people.
Cognitive and memory impact
Students may be more likely to use online note sharing as an aid to simply recall information rather than as a tool for learning. As mentioned previously, students prefer taking notes in a physical format and are more likely to retain information if they take their own notes.
Latent learning impact
Some students may share notes online to familiarize themselves with the content and then gain insight into the course material that they would have otherwise not been exposed to. However, other students will try to take notes in their own format and later use the knowledge that was not provided for them with their online files.