Sharing the notes I created when I took a class

    A few months ago I "took" a class in ordinary differential equations by enrolling MIT's open courseware class on the subject. I've already written about the testing strategies I picked up from that experience. I want to share a subset of the notes I took so everyone can clearly see what I did. Plus, when I review the notes, some new behavior of OneNote shows. Get the section here:


    For instance, this is a snippet of my notes from lecture 1. Notice how the graph field is in a separate container than the rest of the notes above and below it. That seems odd to me: if I am not careful, when I start dragging and dropping outlines around, I could wind up leaving this one at its old location. Then, when I am done, the outlines won't be lined up and the text written around them will not have any meaning.

    Being a tester, I had to go ahead and drag the outline off to the right. This is what I wound up with:


    Hmm: only the slope points were in that outline. This is explainable, but somehow not intuitive. I have a workaround for these "move outline" behaviors: select everything on the page with CTRL+A, then move the elements. I'll also try to move elements around until I "break" something, but that's just the tester in me.

    Going on to my class 2 notes, you can see where I decided a thicker pen was easier to read than the thin pen I had been using. I also changed to black ink from blue. This is just personal preference and I set my default pen to be the thicker, black pen after this.

    Going down the page I remember this:


    I started switching pen colors to better match the chalk the teacher was using. I paused the video while I set my pens toolbar to the bottom of my screen, and already commented that this is the type of thing students should do before class. I see this as the modern equivalent to making sure your pencils are sharpened before the lecture begins.

    I also printed the lecture notes, recitations and homework files to OneNote so I would have them handy in the class section. I did not annotate them, but left room to the right to do so (maybe during a study group or the like). I'm only including the first four sessions here - the rest was more of the same. I used Nani's Table of Contents powertoy to create the table of contents.

    My server has a 10MB file size limit (which is why I'm only including the first four lecture notes). If I had the room, I would have embedded the video files on the page - then my notes would have been synced to the timing of the video.

    Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (3)
  1. An alternate workaround to moving things is using the lasso tool. If you want to move just the graph, use the lasso tool to select everything ( it is really accurate)and move it. Much better than moving containers I think.


  2. JohnGuin says:

    Good point – I’ll give it a try.


  3. Feydaykyn says:

    Dear Mr Guin,

      First, thanks you for your blog, it’s a really great one !

       I am a French student (Sorry for my broken English…), I use ON daily on my slate (LE 1600) and I have a major issue I feel you haven’t include in your student personae :  the use of ink with tags. Tag is a really great idea that could be very useful but:

       – I you select a few lines of ink and hit tag I you may have, randomly : one tag per line; one tag for the  whole selected ink.

       – The tag summary uses an alphabetical order (based on ink badly converted to text of course)and there is no way to change that. So the course logic is shoot to hell and the summary usefulness with it.

       – tag personalization seems buggy: sometimes tags will be classified as I have set up them (title, color) and sometimes  they will appear as they were by default.

       Otherwise ON is mainly great and I thanks everyday you and your team for it !

    Best regards,


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