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How to Take Notes and/or Transcribe Efficiently

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Now that it's September, many of us have returned to a class room setting. You may be a student, or perhaps a teacher, or maybe even both! A common issue the typical older student has is taking reading and taking notes, or transcribing handwritten notes to computer files. Besides being a loathsome and tedious task, typing notes is also ergonomically draining. Usually, you hunch over some book or set of notes and furiously swing back and forth between the notes and your screen, as if your head were on a swivel. The problem is that your head is not, in fact, on a swivel and continued movements such as these will doubtlessly take their toll in the form of headaches and even eye strain.

How to Take Notes On Your Computer

  • Make sure you're sitting in a neutral position- nothing hunched, cramped, or bent awkwardly.
  • Use back support if your chair doesn't support you well enough.
  • Keep your monitor raised so that's eye level and also about 20 inches from your face.
  • Use a document holder or an ergodesk so that the document or book you're reading from is placed next to or in front of you and stands on its own (ie without your help).
  • Make sure you take breaks, if only for your eyes' sake. Blink them to re-hydrate them. After long periods of typing, stop and focus on an object at least 10 feet away from your screen. This will allow your eyes a moment to re-start.

By trying any combination of these tips, you'll feel less physical strain on your back, neck, shoulders, and eyes. Happy typing!