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Best tablet/e-reader/apps for self-study, notetaking, information stor

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I am considering buying an e-reader or tablet in order to pursue a program of self-study. My plan is to compile syllabi from various classes I wish I could afford, complete the reading lists on my own, and save notes, quizzes, etc. for ongoing reference. I would also like to use this information to create an online portfolio to present to potential employers (i.e. to be able to say, ‘I didn’t attend this college but I did complete these portions of the curriculum and here’s a summary of my studies. Please hire me’).

I would like advice on which device to buy and which method(s) to use to track and store my notes. I want to be able to:

o Read for extended periods of time (e-readers are better than tablets for this, right?)
o Access a variety of books, preferably for free from the library
o Take notes online and store them for free (you know, the way you can email something to your gmail account and it will be there no matter how many electronic devices you drop in the toilet)
o Use software that allows me to automatically compile notes in a useful way – where I’m able to search for information and reorganize as necessary
o And probably be able to view media (I want to steal all the knowledge veterinarians possess)

I would like to do this as cheaply as possible, of course, and am interested in versatility and dependability; endeavors that require ongoing fees make me nervous due to woeful financial instability. Software that allows me to store information online forever and in an organized, accessible fashion is most important.

Any advice appreciated! Also, f*ck college.
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Hey there!

Just from reading your wishlist, I think an iPad is the way to go. It doesn't have to be the latest model, if you decide to go with an earlier model it could save you some $$. IMO the iBooks app is wonderful for education, it has a nice clean interface, that is customizable with different fonts, sizes and even reading colours (sepia tone, black on white, white on black etc.). The format of these e-books makes it really easy on the eyes and great for extended periods of reading (although you may want to take breaks every now and again, staring at a screen for hours at a screen is never a good idea). There is also a desktop program by the name of calibre that allows you to convert PDF to e-book format for easier readability (Download Link), although I never really mind reading from PDFs. I find that most textbooks are available in PDF format, but it's probably best to check first.

There are also a whole host of note taking apps available on the App Store, a quick search will probably yield you a ton of results. If you use the standard notes app, you can use iCloud to sync them, but I believe you need a Mac to access them from a computer. A popular alternative is also Evernote, or even Google Drive or Dropbox, although these are more external types of syncing. A great app I use personally on my iPhone is Awesome Note (Link), while not free, it is quite affordable at $4.49 USD. This is a fantastic organizer app, with in built synchronisation with Google Drive, Evernote or Dropbox, so it sounds perfect for your needs, and I can't recommend it enough! (I've been through quite a number of organizer apps, believe me, this is the best I've tried so far). It also has great organization features built in, with tags and an in built search, with customizable categories.

Another great bonus of an iPad is that you have access to iTunes U, where you can access and participate in a number of courses from well renowned universities around the world for FREE! (Link) If you also buy a bluetooth/case combo, it sounds like a perfect study companion. Hope I could help!

Edited by ZaRMan, 07 July 2013 - 08:06 AM.

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