Notetaking Support

Support Services and Resources for Notetaking 

Learning to take notes is an important skill that many students have to develop as they enter college. For students who experience disability-related barriers or limitations with capturing lecture content in real-time, accommodations or other forms of assistance may be available to support their notetaking. We take a holistic approach to note-taking through a combination of strategic resources,  technologies, and/or accommodation(s) as detailed below.

Please review the following information and let the CEA know if you have any questions.

Notetaking Strategies

Many students struggle with note-taking skills such as how to structure their notes, how to abbreviate or use short-hand, knowing what information is important, etc.  Student Success at the CORD can assist students with refining their note-taking skills through one-on-one academic coaching and workshops.  Their Academic Coaches offer one-one-on support for building skills related to listening, processing information during class, note-taking strategies, and using notes to actively study. 

Contact Student Success for more information about their services! 

Student Success | Division of Student Affairs 

Assistive Notetaking Technology 

For various disability-related reasons, students may struggle to record all of the necessary lecture information in their notes. By audio recording, students are able to access and review the lecture as many times as needed to reduce the misinterpretation of information and better process new concepts. There are a variety of apps and productivity tools that can help students with capturing lecture content & taking notes by typing / using a stylus while recording audio, obtain access to written transcripts of audio recordings, importing PowerPoint slides, or drawing diagrams or concept maps.

Students are encouraged to identify the tool(s) that best meets their needs and learning style. CEA staff can provide consultation regarding available products, including some options provided to U of A students free of charge. 

For more information, please review our curated list of apps and productivity tools below. 



Livescribe Echo Smartpen - Not Free.

  • The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is an Ink pen that records audio and links it to the notes you handwrite.
  • Tap on the word with the pen to playback what was being said at that moment in the audio recording.  Check out demo video for more details!
  • BEFORE purchasing, check Amazon & Walmart to get the best price. Items you will need: Echo pen, Extra ink, Livescribe Echo 3-D Recording Earbuds & Livescribe notebooks. Consider getting an inexpensive case from Dollar Tree, Walmart, etc.  to hold the pen, earbuds, and extra ink.
  • NOTE: The CEA has a small number of Livescribe pens available to check-out and return at the end of the semester. The purpose of this is to give you a chance to see if you like the Livescribe before buying your own. If interested, contact

Rocketbook Core Digital Reusable Notebook– Not Free

  • With the Rocketbook Core Notebook, transcribe handwritten notes into searchable, typewritten text using the FREE Rocketbook App (available for iOS & Android).
  • Handwrite notes using any Pilot Frixion Pen and use the free Rocketbook App to scan the pages to almost any cloud service. Wipe notebook pages clean to reuse again and again.
  • Reasonably priced options are available at WalMart and Amazon. Check out  this video for more details! 


Otter AI Transcription (App) - FREE or upgrade for a fee

  • Access the entirety of audio and video content by converting it to searchable, editable and interactive transcripts on smartphone or laptop.
  • Record and transcribe the content of the virtual meetings (Zoom, Teams).
  • NOTE: With the FREE (Basic) plan, each recording and transcription has a 30-minute limit. We encourage you to review Otter’s plans and features to determine which option is best for you!

GLEAN – Monthly Subscription ($12/Mo)

  • Record classes from your computer screen/microphone and add notes. 
  • Combine and edit audio transcripts, PowerPoint slides, and more in one easy-to-use workspace. 
  • Automatically highlight the current sentence and word being spoken when listening back to recording. 
  • No download required. Compatible with Windows, Apple, Android, iOS, and Chromebook. Refer to the Glean website for more information on pricing options and features! 

Note Taking Express  – NOT FREE

  • Record your lecture, meeting, or study group with the mobile app (available for iOS and Android).
  • Use mobile or desktop app to write notes yourself or upload audio-recordings to receive detailed summary notes or transcripts from professional note-takers. 
  • Refer to the Note Taking Express Website for more information on pricing options and features! 


MS OneNote - FREE

  • MS OneNote allows you to audio record within your typed notes. 
  • Available to all UARK students via Microsoft Office Suite, for FREE.
  • Check out this video tutorial for more details! 

Evernote (iOS Devices Only) - FREE or Subscription

  • Write, sketch, draw or doodle notes and information on your iPad.
  • Sync with your Evernote account for access anywhere, anytime using your computer or mobile devices.  Search your notes using the search feature in your Evernote Account.
  • For more info, refer to Evernote application details.

SoundNote (iOS Devices Only) - $4.99 in Apple App Store

  • Type or write out your notes while the audio recording is synced to each word or pen stroke.
  • Tap on the word and then the play button to playback what was being said at that moment in the audio recording.
  • For more info, refer to Other application details.
Note: A product's name on the list above does not constitute endorsements by the Center for Educational Access (CEA).

Reasonable Accommodations

Permission to Audio-Record LecturesSome courses may require students to have formal accommodations  to utilize an audio recorder, laptop, or tablet for note-taking purposes. Permission to Audio-Record Lectures is the most comprehensive accommodation to obtaining access to the lecture content. It allows for listening to the lecture as many times as needed to reduce the misinterpretation of information.

Please refer to our Need Services webpage or contact if such accommodation(s) are needed. 

Peer Notetaker: For students with disabilities who are unable to effectively utilize the above supports and accommodation to take their own notes, a peer notetaker may be as reasonable accommodation. This accommodation provides access to copies of a peer's notes, who has volunteered and been identified by the course instructor.

For more information on how to request and use this accommodation, please refer to our Receiving Peer Notes webpage

NOTE: Recorded lectures and peer notes are for personal use and should not be shared, posted, and/or sold to others. Additionally,  peer notes are supplemental in nature and do not replace actual class attendance. Students with this accommodation are still required to attend class to receive

Interested in volunteering to be a peer notetaker? 

Please refer to the CEA Notetaker Process webpage or contact