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 • 4 845

  • Ali Abdaal
    Ali Abdaal  Year ago +703

    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

    • Marta Żakiewicz
      Marta Żakiewicz 26 days ago

      could you give us the link to your iPad case? i

    • Chowow
      Chowow Month ago

      if you buy notability app on the ipad store, do you also have the app on your mac? because on the ipad it is 12,99 eu and on the mac it is 10,99 eu?

    • Kristin Woodcock
      Kristin Woodcock 2 months ago


    • coco
      coco 2 months ago

      are you a virgo?

    • براق اشرف
      براق اشرف 2 months ago

      Translate it to arabic pleaaaase

  • Becky Connolly
    Becky Connolly 20 hours ago

    Can you share your notes with me, I'm at Nottingham 😬

  • ck yap
    ck yap Day ago

    watching this video makes me feel like going back to uni and start makings notes and go paperless....

  • o2brhubarb
    o2brhubarb Day ago +3

    "what a time to be alive" I love this

  • Irina V
    Irina V 2 days ago

    Thank you so much! This video was very helpful for me 😊

  • Vicki Liu
    Vicki Liu 2 days ago +1

    he speaks way too fast, I hope he speaks slower and reduces hand gestures which could reduce distraction from the video content

  • Bruce Schierstedt
    Bruce Schierstedt 3 days ago +1

    Enjoyed video. Currently use Notability and find it useful. My question to you is how do you export your dividers with all of their info? Use to love and use Circu Ponies on my Mac and you could export(print) to a pdf. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Cynaria Stephens
    Cynaria Stephens 3 days ago +1

    Wow 😍 super helpful ❤️

  • Karen Maldonado
    Karen Maldonado 3 days ago +1

    I graduated college 3 years ago, yet I watched your whole video 😁...I’m thinking of giving all these tips to my little sister who’s starting college next year!

  • Hazardman51
    Hazardman51 3 days ago +1

    I really enjoyed this video, thank you.

  • Kel Diaz
    Kel Diaz 3 days ago +1

    Hehehe he keeps doing the pen flip thingy

  • Little Suruk
    Little Suruk 4 days ago +1

    i used goodnote for 2 years and then notability for 1 year.
    goodnote for large textbook pdf since it can detect text very godly, notability for lecture note on power point slide pdf because it sound and note record which help navigate very godly but it poor for text dectection than good note.

  • Aisha
    Aisha 4 days ago +2

    Hey first year med student here! You’ve persuaded me to buy an iPad for my notes lol but had a quick question. So if I have a windows laptop, you wouldn’t recommend buying notability? Can I still access my notes on windows? I’m really bad with tech and stuff lmao I’m 18 but feel 90 rn sorry :)

    • Ali Abdaal
      Ali Abdaal  4 days ago +1

      Use OneNote if you have a windows laptop

  • Alex Roy
    Alex Roy 5 days ago +1

    Can u share me your 1st year notes

  • Charles Gabriel
    Charles Gabriel 5 days ago +1

    But I just watched your video about writing notes is very inefficient. 😪 Im confused

  • Åce The Åłien
    Åce The Åłien 5 days ago +5

    His accent really threw me off.

  • Christian Castillo
    Christian Castillo 6 days ago +1

    Do you recommend the 64gb over the 256gb version to take notes?

  • Miguel Rojas
    Miguel Rojas 6 days ago +2

    Probably one of the best, most organized video I've ever seen!

  • Raw Footsteps
    Raw Footsteps 6 days ago

    Bro, you self indulge(speak too much) in your videos, more doing less bla bla

  • roxy monro
    roxy monro 6 days ago

    I wanna know how you do the pen trick
    N oh i luv u n ur videos:))

  • Dev Dev
    Dev Dev 7 days ago +1

    Go slow, I m not from Cambridge.

  • Elisabeth Pusta
    Elisabeth Pusta 8 days ago +2

    Dude! You are awesome! Love your video. And I sooo appreciate how organized you are and how logically you think. You’re like my brain twin! Thanks for the great tips! And thanks for having a clean room in the background! Great job!

  • Emma Anna Agneta Rünzel

    Every nerd with an iPad and Apple pencil 10:25

    KEEMO 9 days ago +1

    Translations please, if you can add some. This video is so informative that should be in many languages. So, many people can get benefits of it.
    As you said "sharing is caring".
    Let's help the world.
    The world will really be better if many youtubers are like you.
    I am now just imagining if the number of such helpful youtubers increases. Wow. I wish in the next years that there will be.

  • Nivedha S. Krishnaraj
    Nivedha S. Krishnaraj 9 days ago +17

    Imagine walking into a clinic and this guy being your doctor…I’d get sick on purpose because I love to hear him speak ksksksjsk

  • Kelyrin - douceur et dessin

    There is no way I’ll ever dare to spin my apple pen like that. It’s so cool though !

  • Potter
    Potter 10 days ago +1

    I check whether I changed the speed before....he speaks really fast

  • Anten
    Anten 10 days ago +1

    I want to buy a Ipad pro 64gb on this price

  • Coraline T
    Coraline T 10 days ago +1

    I always have my laptop played baroque music while I'm studying, but I have a smartphone now, an Oppo, should I use a smartphone to play baroque music? I'm afraid it will decrease my phone's ability to do other jobs. ;-;

  • Thomas Huth
    Thomas Huth 10 days ago +1

    You speak by far to quick.

  • Qudsia Shakeel
    Qudsia Shakeel 10 days ago +1

    you mentioned that your ipad pro is the 64 GB model; does this suffice your storage needs, especially note-taking? also, do you have a lot of medical apps on this like Complete Anatomy or so?

  • Thoughtful Samosa
    Thoughtful Samosa 11 days ago +2

    Why are his videos so mesmerizing

  • Jasmin P. Wall
    Jasmin P. Wall 11 days ago +1

    Great ideas! 💡 Thank you!

  • AJonP
    AJonP 11 days ago +1

    Love the timeline bubbles, are you doing that in Adobe Premiere Pro somehow? Keep up the good work!!

    • Ali Abdaal
      Ali Abdaal  11 days ago +2

      Final cut. More details here

  • _SpaceNugget _
    _SpaceNugget _ 11 days ago +2

    So y'all not gonna mention the should should at 3:19

  • Aditya Gupta
    Aditya Gupta 11 days ago +1

    Stupid video. Super dislike. #stupid #useless

  • Hero Hour
    Hero Hour 11 days ago +1

    I need to do WORD and PWPT and PDF for law school. Does iPad work with Word????

  • Shaun Chow
    Shaun Chow 12 days ago +1

    Nice video. Very informative. All the best in your career.

  • zee g
    zee g 12 days ago +1

    I love how fast you talk and that thing you do with the pencil. Do you know if you can upload notes from Notability to OneNote?

  • sarahnghaeyo
    sarahnghaeyo 12 days ago +1

    Is there a How I take notes on budget Ipad video?

    • Ali Abdaal
      Ali Abdaal  12 days ago +1

      It’s exactly the same process

  • SaltySkeletor
    SaltySkeletor 12 days ago +1

    sorry dude but i honestly had to slow you down for a bit cause you just speak too quickly for me but other then that its cool info you give

  • Harsh Gupta
    Harsh Gupta 13 days ago +1

    Hi there. I am thinking of purchasing an Ipad primarily for note taking and other education purposes.
    Can someone tell me if we can import a web page to notability or goodnotes and take notes on it?

  • Sadia Khaf
    Sadia Khaf 13 days ago

    I'm not in med school, hell I'm not even a student anymore. I don't have an iPad.. But the you talk made me watch the whole video. Your voice is so calm, I'm listening to you and I'm like, dude marry me.... and I don't even want to marry anyone ever actually.
    In short, you're amazing. Keep talking forever.

  • Nima Sedaghat
    Nima Sedaghat 13 days ago +1

    You should talk slower , where're you going with so tempo?

    • chocmilkshake24
      chocmilkshake24 12 days ago

      Nima Sedaghat with the current type of attention span it’s the perfect speed. You can always adjust the speed of the video though.

  • Adam McDonald
    Adam McDonald 14 days ago +1

    *Does this video not contradict your other video that says notes are not an effect way to learn...?*

    • Ali Abdaal
      Ali Abdaal  13 days ago +2

      Summarising with the book open isn’t an effective way to learn. Note taking during a lecture is an effective way to stay awake

  • Red Rebel
    Red Rebel 14 days ago +4

    If he becomes a surgeon he will probably perform 7 surgeries for 1

  • Hmfirestormz
    Hmfirestormz 14 days ago +2

    These are the types of dudes I make friends with in university so I can get good grades. Have to do what your have to do if your not a genius lol

  • Breanna K
    Breanna K 15 days ago +8

    He looked so serious at first then melted into the cutest smile O MY LORD! That’s so pure and adorable 😭🤗

  • Asha Blue
    Asha Blue 15 days ago +6

    lol I like how he got excited about the colors 😄

  • - m7k0z7 -
    - m7k0z7 - 15 days ago +1

    I take allot of paper notes (I started it to build a habit of writing in lecture to increase my focus), but in reality, I don't read my notes that much.
    Do you recommend getting an iPad pro as a medical student?

  • Cynthia Ream-Garcia
    Cynthia Ream-Garcia 15 days ago

    Do you avoid writing on lecture powerpoints that are provided by the professor ?

  • Ayeshay
    Ayeshay 16 days ago +2

    U r so so so so cute, sweet and generous, u always inspires me and give me positive vibes , lots of love from Pakistan..

  • Angelique Davis
    Angelique Davis 16 days ago +1

    Thank you for time stamps!

  • Kiefer Nobody
    Kiefer Nobody 16 days ago +7

    I wish we could use an ipad for notes in Highschool. Paper is quite annoying.

  • Premnath
    Premnath 16 days ago +1

    I want you to be my family doctor 👨‍⚕️

  • J Ch
    J Ch 17 days ago +1

    Thank you so much Ali! This is so helpful. I am gonna run out to the apple store tomorrow to buy the ipad air that I have been going back and forth about for the past 2 months.

  • Atul kumar mishra
    Atul kumar mishra 17 days ago +1

    Keep your playing speed 0,25 for better understanding....

  • tHIs cHIcken
    tHIs cHIcken 17 days ago +11

    0:48 - iPad vs Hand-writing vs Typed up notes
    3:19 - iPad Pro vs Normal iPad + Apple Pencil
    4:18 - Notability vs OneNote Which one Ali uses
    6:54 - How Ali takes notes with Notability in lectures
    8:31 - How Ali takes notes in seminars with handouts
    9:27 - How Ali takes notes in clinical settings + split screen mode
    11:07 - Annotating PDFs with Notability and iPad
    11:04 - Sheet music annotation
    12:16 - How Ali uses the iPad to take notes in day-to-day life
    13:03 - Wrap up

    KERRY WHITE 17 days ago +1

    Love your accent its hotnsexy

  • moo zint
    moo zint 17 days ago +12

    A soon to be doctor: 'you can drag and drop images. What a time to be alive!' 😂