The iPad App I Cannot Live Without

The app that I cannot live without is Goodnotes. I would recommend everyone who has an iPad and is in school use this app. I use it for literally everything. My school has all of the lecture slides, our full class schedule, and other important information posted online as PDFs. I store all of this in my Goodnotes app. I also scanned my dental anatomy book, all my syllabi, and multiple information packets into the app to stay organized. You can create multiple folders to keep everything separated. In these folders you can have different notebooks for different units or however you want to separate things.

One of the greatest things about this app is being able to write with a stylus. It has a close up writing box with auto advance feature that is just great for writing. The writing is fluid and natural, and can either be a ball point or fountain pen. There is a section below the close up box that doesn’t recognize your hand so it is more comfortable than most handwriting apps. You can change colors and sizes of pens, and highlighters. There is also a lasso tool to circle what you wrote/drew and move or resize it, a great great great feature.

The PDFs are also searchable which is awesome for studying. (My physiology notes packet is 900 full pages long. Searching is much better than scrolling.)

Goodnotes also can automatically sync with Skydrive or Google Drive. Whenever you update a notebook, it syncs to one of these platforms above saving everything in case your iPad crashes.

There is also WiFi transfer. The app gives you a web address to go to and upload the document you want. You can then access it from your Goodnotes app and download it. I downloaded a 300 page book yesterday in about 5 seconds. It is very fast.

If you don’t believe me, there is a light version of this app available for free. Try it and you will see how great it is. The full version is $4.99 I believe, but it is worth every penny. I could not be happier with this app.

Just so everyone knows, I am not affiliated with this app or being compensated for this review.

As a sidenote, I really like the stylus I use. Here is a link. They are sold on amazon and work great. I used several styluses with the rubber tips but they always wear out really quickly. Rubber tipped styluses don’t slide easily on the screen after they get a little worn. The stylus I use now has a metal-like mesh over the rubber tip. It slides soooo easily on the screen! I have used these for about 6 months and they still have not worn down. I would highly recommend them.

Good luck!

Orientation, First Few Weeks and My Daily Schedule

Well, I have officially completed week three of dental school. Sorry it has been so long since my last update, I have been busier than I was expecting.

Four weeks ago, we had orientation. It was Tuesday through Friday, 7:30am to around 6:00pm. Yep, that is quite a long day to be sitting in the same room. We also had building tours, get-to-know-you lunches and other things like that. The most helpful activity was the current student panel. The D2’s told us all about our professors, how to handle some differently than others and what books to buy (basically none of them so we saved a lot of money) and other info you can’t get from faculty. It was really helpful.

Even after almost a full week of orientation, a lot of introduction activities needed to be included in the first week of classes. That made days drag on a little bit. But, we are through it and officially in a routine which I am happy about.

Here is what my daily schedule looks like:

I get up either at 5:30 or 6:15am depending on the day. Tuesday and Thursday I work out from 5:30 to 6:30. After that, and every other morning, I take the bus to school at 7:15 and arrive at 7:30 then study the notes for that day as a kind of preview. Class normally starts at 8:30 with biochem on and then physiology. In the afternoon we have dental anatomy Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1 to 4:30 which consists of quizzes Monday and Friday as well as practice waxing teeth in the simulation clinic for competencies. The rest of our schedules vary from day to day. We have Problem Based Learning where we analyze the handling of a case and research relevant topics. We also have ethics where we look at different scenarios and decide the best course of action. I normally get home around 5:00pm, sometimes earlier because they are starting us out slow and adding classes as we go through the semester.

Studying has also been quite a transition. In high school and undergrad, I did not study much. I got in the bad habit of studying for o-chem and biochem the day before the test. It wasn’t until the DAT that I really buckled down and studied ahead of time. That’s not going to fly in dental school. So far, I have studied anywhere from 2 to 5 hours after class. I fell a little behind in keeping up with physiology and biochem notes but I spent 6 hours yesterday (Saturday) catching up in phys. We have our first phys test this coming Friday so I wanted to be up to date.

In case any of you pre-dents are wondering what I do to study, this is my strategy:

I read an article about a Harvard study that showed that writing out notes after class by hand as you say them out loud can result in over 90% retention due to the use of multiple senses at once. If participants either wrote out their notes or read them out loud, but not both, it resulted in a huge decrease in retention. So that is what I have been doing. I look over lectures in the morning before class, take notes in class and then write out those notes while reading them out loud to myself at home that night. This much repetition in one day as well as using so many senses at once is actually giving me great retention of material. I wish I had done this through all of undergrad.

Well, I think that is all I have for this post. I will put up another soon about the iPad app that I cannot live without.

Good luck!