How I take notes on my iPad Pro in medical school - Cambridge University medical student

  • Published on Jun 2, 2018
  • 📝My favourite iPad Screen Protector - Paperlike -
    In this video, we talk about my strategy for taking notes with the iPad and Apple Pencil. I use an iPad Pro but would probably recommend the new 2018 iPad with Apple Pencil if you're buying a new one. We talk about the benefits of taking notes with an iPad vs traditional methods, we talk about Notability vs OneNote (I prefer Notability), and I share various techniques of note-taking that I use in lectures, seminars and hospital placements. Enjoy xx
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    00:48 - iPad vs hand-writing vs typed up notes.
    03:19 - iPad Pro vs normal iPad with Apple pencil
    04:18 - Notability vs OneNote - Which one I use
    06:54 - How I take notes with Notability in lectures
    08:31 - How I take notes in seminars with handouts
    09:27 - How I take notes in clinical settings + split screen mode
    11:07 - Annotating PDFs with Notability and iPad
    11:41 - Sheet music annotation
    12:16 - How I use the iPad to take notes in day-to-day life
    13:03 - Wrap up
    Who am I:
    I'm Ali, a junior doctor working in Cambridge, UK. I make videos about medicine, technology, productivity and lifestyle design. I also have a weekly podcast with my brother (, and I write a weekly email newsletter that contains some quick thoughts + links to interesting things (
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    If you’d like to talk, I’d love to hear from you. Tweeting @AliAbdaal directly will be the quickest way to get a response, but if your question is very long, feel free to email me at I try my best to reply to things but there sadly aren't enough hours in the day to respond to everyone 😭

Comments • 5 073

  • Ali Abdaal
    Ali Abdaal  Year ago +892

    Answering some common questions:
    (1) Screen Protector? - I’ve been using and loving the Paperlike screen protector. If you want to check it out, here's an affiliate link haha -
    (2) iPad Pro size? I use the 10.5 64GB, never really considered the 12.9 because I need to carry it around in hospitals and 10.5 is a good size.
    (3) What cover/sleeve do I use? I use the (overpriced) official Apple leather sleeve and cover combination

    • esdfashion2009
      esdfashion2009 4 days ago

      What type of monitor screen is that in your home that curves?

    • Squirtlehvac Hvac
      Squirtlehvac Hvac 21 day ago

      Has your iPad Pro bent?

    • Alicia Simmons
      Alicia Simmons Month ago

      Great info

    • e r
      e r 2 months ago

      How exactly do you print one note.. people said it always have problem

    • Steve Thea
      Steve Thea 2 months ago


  • badumts
    badumts 8 hours ago

    the very intro part is so chaotic omyuwu

  • Yuval Shaffir
    Yuval Shaffir 16 hours ago +1

    The only disadvantage of notability is that there's no right to left typing support for Hebrew or Arabic languages.

  • CounterStrike GlobalOffensive

    You have actually improved my performance in my university, Since I started watching your videos I have been getting better grades overall...I dont know exactly why, your tips of organazation or maybe your overall energy had an impact on me...just wanted to say thanks!

  • Stasio 63
    Stasio 63 18 hours ago +1

    You’re talking SOOOOOO fast 🤭

  • Copisetic 1
    Copisetic 1 Day ago +1

    I fell asleep while he was yak yak yak

  • Orelius
    Orelius Day ago

    DDDAAARRRRNNNN, You just keep going on and on.

  • Kai Niethammer
    Kai Niethammer 2 days ago

    Which scanning app do you use/recommend on your phone?

  • jtd798
    jtd798 3 days ago


  • My Heaven of Books
    My Heaven of Books 3 days ago

    I want this man to be my mentor in every aspect of my life.

  • Dr. D
    Dr. D 4 days ago +2

    Love your video, as a Dr. myself this is perfect during clinical sessions.

  • MrMeeks09
    MrMeeks09 6 days ago +1

    was throwing away the sleeve supposed to be cool?

  • Ele Nacarino
    Ele Nacarino 6 days ago +1

    I’m old school and still take notes on paper. Don’t want to boast, but, I am a fast note taker with pretty legible handwriting; I am left handed, as well. With this being said, I wonder if using the iPad to replace my pen and paper hinder or facilitate my note taking? I tend to rest my hand over my writing, which I believe will cause the cursor to jump around. 🤷🏼‍♀️
    Any suggestions?

    • Ele Nacarino
      Ele Nacarino 6 days ago

      Ali Abdaal Awesome! I really want to try it. Thx for the reassurance. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Ali Abdaal
      Ali Abdaal  6 days ago +2

      It doesn’t cause the cursor to jump around. They’ve thought about that :)

  • Amy Fair
    Amy Fair 6 days ago +1

    Parallax 😉

  • Er Emran
    Er Emran 6 days ago +1

    a/a bro...can u give me this?

  • alper kaya
    alper kaya 6 days ago +1

    He speaking like a rapper

  • Melih Arslan
    Melih Arslan 7 days ago +1

    X0.5 men. U need to cool down the engine.

  • _lena __
    _lena __ 7 days ago +1

    my first impression as an German: wow this guy can talk fast...

    • Neil Dixit
      Neil Dixit 5 days ago

      Even as a native English speaker, I think he is a fast speaker.

  • Sriharsha Annamaneni
    Sriharsha Annamaneni 8 days ago +1

    Hi, I am trying to take notes by watching youtube lectures. I am using a splitscreen(youtube and oneNote) and While taking screenshots I always had to close my oneNote app. Is there an app or way which will let me take a screenshot of the particular app. let's say in this case only of the youtube screen.

  • D to the K
    D to the K 8 days ago +1

    There is the Rocketbook that pairs with the Rocketbook app to digitize your notes

  • SawdoffHero
    SawdoffHero 8 days ago +1

    Is that the crescent moon and falcon of house Arryn I spy in the background?

  • ryanrios75
    ryanrios75 9 days ago +1

    Is there any pencil recommendations for a iPad mini 4?

  • Nur Akgün
    Nur Akgün 9 days ago +1

    Will you marry me

  • amusingly chucklesome reader 2019

    You are damn humble and adorable. Btw; u just got a new subscriber.

  • MoviesClipOfficial
    MoviesClipOfficial 11 days ago

    I literally saw the video in .75X and then I could easily understand it .

  • sohnamunda gunu
    sohnamunda gunu 13 days ago +1

    What about importing the power point into notability and marking up that with what the professor is saying

  • Aquaponic101 - mdsharil
    Aquaponic101 - mdsharil 16 days ago +1

    what version of ipad do you use in the video

  • Venkat Reddy
    Venkat Reddy 17 days ago +1

    I like this great deal thanks for sharing. As you indicated in one of the statements, what a blessing to be living and actively engaged in life in its grandeur.

  • Fira lyn
    Fira lyn 17 days ago +1

    This is something else lol

  • Hend Ragab
    Hend Ragab 17 days ago +1

    what is the brand of your watch ?

  • Mithungowda bn
    Mithungowda bn 17 days ago

    Can u make a video of note- taking
    Other than this video

  • Oscar Roberto Brouwer
    Oscar Roberto Brouwer 18 days ago +1

    Hi Ali, thanks for this. I'm wondering, you said you use notability to annotate in your medical books; does notability also show the index of the books to quickly jump to chapters? if no: doesnt this slow you down?

  • Teara Jo
    Teara Jo 19 days ago

    Our poor eyes! Why use an Ipad with harmful light rays for years and years. I am a medical student as well and you are very convincing but when I put some thought into it. 1)you need to charge your ipad while you dont need to charge your trusty notebook. 2)When using papers you can use your photographic memory to remember which page the info was in but with an ipad (untouched papers) you wont likely remember(since you are using only your sight). 3)Expensive. 4)writing using a pen and pencil is not the same as an ipad for studying. 5) If your ipad broke, you are done bro unless you buy another one or get it fixed but If lets say I spill water on some papers ill rewrite them(free) :). Idk but for medical school specifically, the only thing this might work for is radiology, tbh I liked the fact that you can take pics, insert and comment on them but still wouldn't spend one grand for one subject/clinical round. The history taking is interesting as well but for a long rounds (20+ hours) its likely to run out of charge and it will be extra weight the rest of the day.
    Overall there are pros and cons but more cons in my opinion.

    • Aaron
      Aaron 13 days ago

      1. The ipad battery last like 2 days easily... 2. On ipad you can organize your notes way bettery 3. no argument there it is pretty expensive, though I got mine personally for $100

  • Brooksley Ria
    Brooksley Ria 20 days ago +1

    hello can you please recommend an app for mind mapping using apple pencil on ipad pro? thank you

    • Aaron
      Aaron 13 days ago

      tbh just notability is good at it

  • francis junior Ikemenanwa

    Hi Ali, watched the video on active recall and it was enlightening! Wish I noticed your channel on time. So, can active recall make any difference for someone preparing for exams in 2 days? Thanks

  • Harleen Dhiman
    Harleen Dhiman 21 day ago

    Phone spin 10:49
    Pen spin 11:18
    Your welcome

  • Tanveer Singh
    Tanveer Singh 21 day ago

    Thankyou Ali Veer Ji

  • A A
    A A 21 day ago +1

    Talking to this guy in real life could induce anyone to commit suicide.

  • Pranav Patil
    Pranav Patil 21 day ago +1

    are there any more youtubers like ali with similiar content please recommend

  • Teara Jo
    Teara Jo 22 days ago +2

    Handwritten notes for life.😂 I dont like technology

  • Spandana Matapati
    Spandana Matapati 23 days ago

    Good to know that even smart people feel they could easily fall asleep in class...😛

  • lovely littlegirl
    lovely littlegirl 23 days ago

    I wish he could transfer to my uni and be my mentor🥺💕 However, I am an engineering major so fat chance😔

  • Arastu Singh
    Arastu Singh 24 days ago +1


  • Harsh Mann
    Harsh Mann 24 days ago +1

    Can you please gift me an ipad?

  • Nive Yoga
    Nive Yoga 24 days ago +1

    Not sponsored by notability.

  • G Ham
    G Ham 24 days ago +4

    Was expecting Ebstein’s anomaly to be when someone was told they killed themselves

  • David Broadway
    David Broadway 25 days ago +3

    "What a time to be alive."

  • Bonny Alvarenga
    Bonny Alvarenga 25 days ago +6

    Who else was impressed by the phone spin?

  • Piper010177
    Piper010177 25 days ago

    I am in nursing school & I actually have both iPad's & the pencil's. I find myself using my newest iPad Pro more than the 2018 iPad & pencil. I love using NoteShelf for taking my notes because you can choose to name your Notebooks like Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Algebra etc. Notability is good I have that as well but NoteShelf sold me

  • Chris Abby
    Chris Abby 25 days ago +1

    It started with this video and now I've discovered and learnt so much from this channel

  • Ms. Applepie
    Ms. Applepie 26 days ago

    i like that he's talking fast

  • Ade Torrent
    Ade Torrent 26 days ago

    I was in uni so long ago that it was acceptable to actually handwrite an essay on paper. How things have changed :)

  • JB
    JB 27 days ago

    Hey you’re almost at 500,000 subs 🥳

  • Oscar Roberto Brouwer
    Oscar Roberto Brouwer 27 days ago +1

    Hi ali! thanks, I like your glasses. could you tell me what brand/type they are? tnx!

  • Eduar Munch
    Eduar Munch 27 days ago +1

    From all the videos I’ve seen this one gives details anyone reveals. Like the size of the paper

  • leisurefarm
    leisurefarm 28 days ago +1

    I had to set the speed to 0.75 (0.85 would be ideal) to not get a headache from your rapid fire :P Thanks for sharing!

  • Bilal Khan
    Bilal Khan 29 days ago +1

    Dude can u share ur medicine notes?

  • Earth
    Earth 29 days ago +1

    I thought I had it on seed x2 .. so I double check and nop this is just the way he talks

  • Earth
    Earth 29 days ago +1

    U know ,!! Your gonna have to pick up that cover later ..

  • Jacob Phillips
    Jacob Phillips Month ago +1

    Anyone else think this video was playing at 2x speed??