Study tools

There is a range of tools available to help you with your study, including notetaking, brainstorming and mind-mapping tools, as well as tools to help you read, highlight and annotate PDF documents and books.

Note-taking tools

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online training Cost
Evernote Evernote is available online or via apps on your desktop or mobile device. The free, basic model has a 60mb download limit, and syncing is limited to two devices. Evernote allows you to organise your notes by notebooks or by tag and has a robust search function. You can embed a wide range of file formats into your notes, including PDFs, images, and audio recordings. You can also download the "Clip to Evernote" add-on for your browser to bookmark or easily save web pages. No

Evernote for Students by Oliver Schinkten (, 1h5m)


Google Keep Google Keep is a streamlined note-taking tool available online or via a mobile app. You can colour or label your notes, or search by keyword. Google Keep is more suitable for short notes, or to-do lists, rather than lecture notes, as many text editing features are missing. You cannot embed PDFs or audio recordings within notes in Google Keep. Google Keep is the built-in app on Android phones.  No

Google Keep by Android (YouTube, 47s)


Notability Notability is a note-taking app available to Mac users. Notability allows users to type or handwrite create and sync notes across devices. Embed and annotate PDFs. Record and sync lecture recordings with your lecture notes.  No Limited


Notes Notes is Apple's note-taking tool and is available on Apple computers and mobiles, as well as online. You can sync your notes across several devices by logging into your iCloud account or some other email account. You can organize notes into folders, browse notes by material (photos, sketches, websites, audio, document), but cannot tag or colour code notes. Notes offers a range of text editing features and is suited to recording lecture notes. You can easily send content from your Safari web browser to Notes, but the tool does not have a browser add-on for non-Apple browsers. This is a good option for someone who uses Apple products already. No

Notes from MacOS Mojave Essential by Nick Brazzi (, 4m32s)


Microsoft OneNote Microsoft OneNote is available online, on your computer or via a mobile app. Organise notes into notebooks, by colour-code, assign tags or search across all of your notes. Microsoft offers most of the text edit functionality, which makes this an ideal tool for recording lecture notes. Insert images, sound recordings, and other files into your notes. You can share material using OneNote and sync your notes across devices. No

OneNote 2016 Essential Training by David Rivers ( 3h46m)


Brainstorming and mind mapping tools

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online training Cost is a free, web-based, collaborative mind mapping tool that includes a presentation mode. No

Introduction to (YouTube, 2m14s)


Coogle is a web-based, collaborative mind-mapping/flowchart tool. It offers users 3 private diagrams or unlimited public diagrams for free.

Coggle introduction (YouTube, 1m30s)


Padlet Padlet is an online whiteboard tool that is ideal for collaborative brainstorming. You can post links, images, sound recordings, screen recordings, and maps to the board. You can share, export or embed your board. UQ has it's own Padlet domain that offers additional functionality compared to the free version including bigger file uploads, extra security, more privacy and no limit on the number of "Padlets" you can create. No Limited (see Padlet How-to guides)


PDF and eBook tools


Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online training Cost
Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions is an eBook reader available to download on your computer, table or mobile device. You can download and read Library eBooks in PDF or EPUB format, as well as organize your books using bookshelves. You can bookmark pages, highlight or annotate text.

No Limited (see Adobe Digital Editions FAQ)


Adobe Reader DC Adobe Reader is a free PDF reader available on your computer, tablet or mobile device. Use Adobe Reader to read, annotate or highlight text, or share PDF with colleagues. By signing into Adobe Reader with your free Adobe ID you can sync your library between devices. No Get to know Acrobat Reader DC (Adobe, 3m43s)


Bluefire Reader Bluefire Reader is a free eBook reader for your mobile device. Organise your books into folders, or backup on Dropbox. You need an Adobe ID to use the Bluefire App. No Limited



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 Free tools are completely free to use with all features.

 Freeware tools include basic functionality for free. Additional features may need to be paid for.

 Open source tools are developed in a collaborative manner and can be used, modified or shared openly. This software can be used for free and often includes a lot of support documentation.

 Paid tools can only be used after purchasing, and agreeing to, a product licence.