Educators

Notes and New Beginnings

As we make room for good things to come within the next couple of weeks, some tools are undergoing significant changes. To be specific, our upcoming product release will mean the end of note creation within StudyBlue.

We have come to recognize online flashcards as a powerful tool and are excited to soon announce some amazing new functionality built upon the flashcard and quizzing study experience. If you are an avid creator of notes on StudyBlue, do not fear. There are a number of top-notch tools currently available for note creation, which include our Evernote integration, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and many more. StudyBlue will continue to offer an ability to sync with Evernote, which means notebooks created in Evernote will transfer into your StudyBlue Backpack for easy transition into flashcards.

Even though the ability to create and edit notes will no longer be available, all notes previously created on StudyBlue will be converted to PDFs and downloadable in PDF and HTML format for easy access. We also encourage you to continue to upload class notes to StudyBlue for easy sharing with classmates and quick reviews on our mobile apps.

Another note-taking method to consider revolves around the treatment of notes as flashcards. Have you ever attempted taking notes directly onto flashcards themselves? Content discussed in lectures, small groups, book readings, etc. can be recorded onto flashcards accordingly as each new idea is presented. These kinds of notes would then be readily available for review as either flashcards, a review sheet, or quiz on StudyBlue depending on your study preferences.

As our site evolves into bigger and better things, we encourage you to evolve with us and provide feedback on what may or may not be working for you. Check out our StudyBlue Community page to voice your opinions and read through what fellow users are talking about.

About the Author

Holding a degree in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a knack for discourse, Katie is here to track the needs of our StudyBlue community. She works towards ensuring the voice of the user is heard and valued, while keeping users informed of things they can expect for the future. In her spare time she enjoys listening to hip beats, mumbling under her breath while taking leisurely jogs, and canceling out any progress made on said jogs with lots of sugar. With boxes of Junior Mints at her side, she tries to keep her words sweet and her breath even sweeter so feel free to reach out. Every voice matters.

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Comments via StudyBlue
  • K.C.

    Now, wait a second. Isn’t the sync one-way-only — from EverNote to StudyBlue? How am I supposed to get my notes over to Evernote? Please don’t tell me to convert them to PDF and upload the PDF to Evernote — they won’t be editable, right? This sounds like a disaster in the making. :(

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      K.C. – You should be able to copy and paste any notes you have created in StudyBlue into new notebooks in Evernote. This would allow them to remain editable. With note creation going away, current Evernote capabilities will definitely undergo some evaluation within the next couple of months.

  • Spacealien91

    this is terrible, the only reason I use this site is to take notes and save them on here.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Spacealien91 – Could you please let us know what you found most appealing about our note-taking system? You do have the ability to take notes through other outlets and upload them into StudyBlue so they are viewable on-the-go.

  • guest

    Wow. I guess my friends and I in my classes can’t take notes together anymore. Why fix what isn’t broken? What are you guys, Netflix?

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      kar22 – You and your friends could collaborate on a single set of notes through something like Google Docs and then upload them to StudyBlue to be shared amongst you all for on-the-go viewing. Could you explain how you all collaborated on notes before the StudyBlue update when the ability to edit others’ materials was not an option like it is now?

    • Joknapp

      That was exactly my thought. StudyBlue “plus,” is now “minus” one of the features that I thought I had paid for…Guess paying for something does not guarantee you are going to get what you thought you were paying for. Learned my lesson.

      • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

        Joknapp – We apologize for any confusion caused. Could you point us towards where you were led to believe ‘Notes’ would be a feature of our premium service, StudyBlue+? Features available through SB+ have always been listed as ‘Advanced Filters’, ‘Study Stats’, ‘Study Reminders’, ‘Hidden Cards’, ‘Auto Study Guides’, and ‘No Advertisements’. If you were informed otherwise, we would appreciate additional information on how you were led to believe this so it can be remedied and prevent future users from being led astray.

      • Joknapp

        The “Confusion” you allude to is simple. I purchased a product that had certain features available at the time I bought that product. Then, sometime after I paid, one of those services was discontinued. It’s like buying a cable tv package so that you can have access to a specific channel and then after paying for it, having the cable company change the package while continuing to charge your for it. Notes was part of StudyBlue when I paid. Now StudyBlue no longer has Notes, so their product is less than what I paid for. Was that in the “fine print?” The better question should be, Was it the ethical thing to do? It’s the old question regarding the difference between doing what’s right and doing what’s legal. You have opted to do what’s legal.

  • http://twitter.com/clarfag clara

    Why can’t you just keep the ability to create notes? Was it hurting anyone?

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Clara – Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Could you explain what made StudyBlue a preferable note-taking tool for you?

  • Alex

    Your best feature was the Notes tool. This is outrageous. Integration with other parties (Evernote, etc) isn’t always the best business move. Seeya later StudyBlue…

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Alex – Could you please explain why you found Notes in StudyBlue to be the best feature and preferable to a system like Evernote? Your feedback would be helpful for us moving forward.

      • Alex

        The thing that made StudyBlue so perfect for me was that it was like it’s own separate, dedicated class notes database. It was laid out much simpler than my computer, so taking notes was less arduous, and less mixed in with all of the other stuff on my computer that I had to sift through (being buried with a bunch of other folders/docs). I didn’t have to use multiple applications to organize my notes (Word and Finder), and I didn’t have to use up CPU (MS Word). On top of that, I could share my notes with classmates with ease; it was like a community. StudyBlue put it all in one place. It was built for efficient note taking, and now, midway through my semester, all of this has been interrupted. I had an entire system going with all of my classes, and now I have to move to Evernote and start over (or copy/paste, which means a good long while of copy/pasting, because I have a ton of notes). I understand that this is your company, and you have every right to do what you want with it, and maybe I don’t fully understand your motives… but if you absolutely had to take away notes, I would have done it over the summer at least…

      • Alex

        Additionally, with the Android app, I could check out my notes, and even add to them whenever my computer wasn’t around. It was all just so perfect, and now it’s gone. I don’t mean to be overdramatic, because it’s just notes, but it really is an inconvenience when you rely so heavily (justifiably, I think) on StudyBlue for classes.

      • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

        Alex – Thank you for such a thorough explanation and I am sorry to hear how difficult the transition has been for you. One thing about the Android app though is that it is not and was never able to add to/edit StudyBlue notes. The app on mobile devices only allows for new flashcard decks to be made, which was added during the Fall.

        Your feedback is great to have as we move forward with next steps for the site. Thank you.

      • Alex

        Ah, I double checked and you’re right, I misspoke. Maybe I misremembered; the times I used my Android were for just viewing notes. I feel my point still stands, regardless.

  • Ryan

    The only thing holding me to this site was the notes. I guess this is where we part ways.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Ryan – We are sorry to hear this. Would you be able to explain what about our Note feature on StudyBlue made it preferable to other options?

  • Becca

    This is such a joke. It was so convenient to have all my notes and flashcards in one place and now I have to look elsewhere. Not a smart move.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ty.tyler.ty Ty Neal

    I really liked this feature! It was very nice to type up the notes and then be able to make flashcards with it!

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Hi Ty,

      Apologies for any inconvenience the disabling of note-creation has caused you. Did you take notes onto StudyBlue during lectures or use them in another way?

  • David Haskins

    I think that the note feature was also a very important part of the studyblue community. I think that this change is going to cause current users not only hardships, but now we are angry because now we have to separate our notes. This is a bad call, and I believe that the note function was efficient in the studying process.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      David – Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused you. Did you use our note feature on StudyBlue during class lectures or to take notes off of book chapters? Was there any particular way or for any particular kind of material you found notes helpful?

  • Hidlee09

    SO upset the notes feature is taken away. Flashcards are meant to be used as a quick study tool with little information to review AFTER you have thoroughly taken notes over a subject! I seriously used this site for all of my classes and recommended it to others but that wont be happening any longer. If I wanted to take notes on another program I could just save them to my email or flash-drive. Being able to upload a document to Studyblue is now just inconvenient and redundant.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Hidlee09 – So you used our notes feature in lecture rather than something like MS Word or Google docs? Is there any particular reason you found our note creator easier/more effective to use?

      • Hidlee09

        Yes, I used used the notes feature for lecture and outside reading assignments. It was easy to always have my notes available at any computer and because they were already on studyblue, it was easy to convert to flashcards if needed. I also enjoyed the layout of the note feature as it was simple and easy to use.

  • Elizabeth

    I have created over 100 notes on the StudyBlue site an now we can no longer use this feature nor edit our old notes. Why would remove this vital feature from the site and suggest we do something different that takes us more time. Why not just keep it anyway?
    And why keep the icon to add notes if we can’t add notes?
    That is what upsets me the most.

  • Katelyn

    I’m sad you decided to get rid of this feature. I don’t want to have to switch back and forth between evernote and studyblue to simply type a few paragraphs. It was really nice being able to make flashcards and take notes in the same place. Students like that. Now, I might start using a different website that offers what you used to.

  • Jswim

    To respond to your replies to people’s complaints: Taking notes here is just SIMPLER than having us convert documents and upload them. PERIOD.

    No matter how many times you ask, you’ll be getting the same response and asking the redundant question is an insult to the poster for taking time out of their schedule to blatantly address the same issue over and over again.

    People use SB as an online “Dropbox” (if you will) and having to save, find the file, upload it, then hope it transfers over in the right format, is a hindrance we do not wan to deal with. Does removing the Notes section really make that much of a difference on the SB servers or is there some other reason behind it we do not know?

    Bring Notes back, and Users will be much happier.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Jswim – There was no intention to insult anyone by asking those who have commented similar questions and we apologize if it came off that way. We are interested in what the appeal of our particular note system was seeing as it was not as developed/fancy as other outlets like Google docs, Word, or Evernote. Gauging what each users’ interest was in our tool and why they chose it over something else was our goal and those responses could differ slightly from individual to individual. This is certainly the case if someone just used notes on StudyBlue or if someone used notes in conjunction with flashcards on StudyBlue.

      With aims to focus more on our flashcard tool development rather than notes, we decided to take a different route. Clearly notes were more valuable to users than we believed and further evaluation is underway in terms of how we will be moving forward.

  • Leila

    I was so upset when I saw that the notes feature had been removed – it was so useful/integral that without it I don’t think I’ll be using studyblue anymore or as often.
    I created flashcards by condensing the information that I had typed on notes or used notes to keep extra information that wouldn’t be suited to flashcards.
    It was much simpler to simply create notes within studyblue because everything was integrated (and I loved the UI).
    I’m really, really upset by this and am desperate for the feature to be returned.

  • Alexia Mersola

    I like the notes feature because it would help me with my lectures…I can’t use note cards for alot of things in my english or spanish or algebra class except for vocabulary

  • Chelsea

    The entire reason that I used and recommended StudyBlue to others was because it really was like a virtual backpack; all of my notes and flashcards in one place, accessible from anywhere. It was efficient and perfectly simple. I had an entire system of organization that I have to scrap now in the middle of the semester. And no, being able to upload notes from other places does not make up for it. I don’t WANT my study materials spread all over the internet. It’s a hassle to maintain and it pointlessly complicates studying.

    There are already tons of sites that offer nothing but fancy flashcards. This was the only one that offered a one-stop hub for studying and an easy method of turning notes into flashcards. I really hope you reconsider this decision.

  • Sarah Mack

    I also agree that the note feature should not be removed. I think it was useful in many ways that flash cards cannot be. Not everything can be studied as a flash card– timelines for example. In my AP European history class we use timelines constantly in lectures, and there is not enough space in a flash card for me to make one that is complete. It wastes time and disk space to save it to my computer and upload it to this site. Also, when one is taking notes in class, it is much easier to type everything as it is being said and then go back and create flash cards later from the necessary information. It is -for lack of a better term- a pain in the butt to be taking notes and then suddenly run out of space on a flash card, and then as you try to shorten it to the information you need, you lose part of the lecture and have to play catch up. Plus, since teachers and professors tend to jump from one subject to another and then come back later as necessary, if we were to take notes in flash card form, then we would end up with a lot of disorganized flash cards, a lot of duplicates, and a lot of chances to misinterpret the information recorded.

    • Sarah Mack

      Also, file transfer is a huge hassle. I feel like if someone wanted the special format for their notes, then they could take the extra effort to make it in a “more developed” Word format. However, for most notes, one font and one color with simple bold/italics/underlining capabilities was just fine. I use Notes all the time and now I have to change my entire system of organization because of its removal. I liked Sparknotes because I could take all my notes/study materials/etc directly on the web site without any tricky file uploading. I feel like the flash cards were fine how they were, anyway. There are TONS of sites out there where you can make flash cards, but the Notes capabilities made Studyblue special. I was finally getting organized, and I feel like the removal of this valuable program is going to turn a lot of people on their heads as they scramble to find a new way to do what they have been doing for years. Especially with finals coming up in May and the ACT next month, I want to feel as prepared as I can, and this change is making me kind of nervous. I realize that the staff up at StudyBlue probably knows more about website building and marketing than I, but I feel like before you make any drastic changes like this in the future you should send out a user poll (perhaps a quick pop up upon login asking whether or not they use the Notes/whatever capabilities) so you can get a full scope on who uses what and for what reasons. I think this move was bad for business and if you want to keep customers and users using StudyBlue exclusively you should bring Notes back as soon as possible. Thank you for being considerate and asking what people liked about the Notes feature on here and for responding so cordially to the sometimes rude comments being made. I appreciate your patience and I hope you consider bringing Notes back.

  • Ahumphrey83

    I used the notes much more than I ever used the flashcards, so it looks like I will be using Google Docs from now on. I don’t understand why this feature would be removed.

  • kthg

    I’m very sorry to see the note feature being taken away. To answe your question as why: I like to have all of my things in one place. And I DON’T like c/p og transferring files between programs or applications… I used to like StudyBlue cause I could both take notes and then make flashcards, but now I’ll be looking for a new website.

  • Joknapp

    As much as I dislike that you are fixing something that wasn’t broke, and, in fact, could have been awesome had you developed it further, I am trying to be flexible and attempt to use what you are forcing me toward…so…why can’t I? Every time I try to start an account with Notes, it tells me that “some already has that account name.” Well, of course someone does, me! What do I need to do? Can you look into this? I have AP students who are going to be looking for material I told them would be available and it is not!

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Joknapp – A little confused what you mean by ‘trying to start an account with Notes’. You can only have one account per email address you have entered. You should be able to upload notes to the account you have already made with StudyBlue. If you could explain further, it would be appreciated.

  • Joknapp

    I’m going to try this again…Is there any real explanation why you are no longer supporting Notes on StudyBlue that does not have to do with greed (the earlier comment referring to NetFlix debacle)? After several attempts to create an Evernotes account, I was able to do so. Then, in reading the user docs, I find out that to used Word or other such products requires me to purchase EverNotes Premium…

    Are you reading the posts on this page? No one thinks this is a good idea…No one. All it has done is create a convoluted mess for users who WERE relatively pleased with the product they were receiving.

    I’m not happy about this at all.

  • Leila

    Can you not see that everybody is dissatisfied with this? Although you may be trying to push the focus on flashcards and evolve the site, if this is receiving such strong negative feedback could you not consider returning the feature?
    I need notes back to use studyblue properly…

  • Katie Rubitschung

    this is awful. I definitely have a ton of homework saved on this site because i thought it was a good thing to invest in but clearly not. taking away the Note feature and focusing on flashcards is the most awful idea ever considering the fact some of us, such as myself, do not learn well from flashcards and we learn well from well typed notes that are available anywhere and everywhere.
    I have very pleased with the Studyblue site before all of this has been changed but now i’ll have no other choice but to use microsoft word on my laptop. VERY dissatisfied with what you’ve done considering the fact that i am a college student and using study blue used to actually help. not so much anymore.

  • Sarah Mack

    I don’t like how you keep avoiding our questions: Why was the Notes feature removed? What do we gain as customers from the loss of the Notes program? Why didn’t you at least warn us well in advance that this would be happening? I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly was not notified of this change and it has caused me a great deal of inconvenience over the past few days. The thing is, plain and simple, that old StudyBlue was easier to use and more applicable to students’ needs. Do you realize that there are literally hundreds of other sites offering sharable flash cards? This one was the only one I could find where everything was in ONE place, on ONE website. That simplicity was what people really liked about StudyBlue. When I found it, it was like a dream come true. Never again would I lose my class notes on a subject. It made my life so much easier, and now, AFTER i signed up for a premium account, I feel like I am being screwed, and so does everyone else. So please answer our questions directly, and don’t ask me again why I liked Notes rather than Word or Evernote. I am sorry if I sound upset, but this has really inconvenienced me recently.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Sarah – We have close to 1.4 million users and, based on our own data observations, the majority of those users spend most of their time on our site utilizing the flashcard and quiz tools we offer. As a smaller company, our time and resources are limited and we have decided to focus on the pieces of our site that are most heavily used.

      You are right to say that there should have been notification regarding this ability to add/edit notes going away. We sent out emails a week or so in advance drawing notice to this blog post and used a number of social media outlets but it was clearly not enough. We apologize for this and inconvenience that has been caused.

  • kenyc514

    Not cool StudyBlue, not cool… When I emailed you guys, I recommended improvements, not restrictions. Evernote won’t even sync with my StudyBlue even though I have the StudyBlue folder in Evernote so I’ve only used StudyBlue to take notes.. now I can’t :-( Just realize your mistake, read people’s concerns and revert the removal of the note taking feature in StudyBlue or else you’ll someone using your service.

    • kenyc514

      *or else you’ll lose someone using your service

  • KJay

    I understand how people can use other tools, like Google Docs, to make and share notes, but on StudyBlue I found it much more convenient to do everything on one site. Evernote sounds like something I’ll be willing to try, but its almost a hassle to make another account on another website when previously I was able to get everything done on one app and one site.

    • KJay

      Okay, I did not find Evernote effective and it’s a huge hassle to try to upload everything from Google Docs with all the copy/paste afterwords. I’ll be looking for a better alternative for online studying other than StudyBlue in the near future.

  • Michael

    I’m upset that the note taking feature has been removed. I’m considering using another service.

  • Dhoward9

    I can’t believe you guys are doing this to us midway through the semester. I can’t believe you guys care more about the monetary aspect rather than being a help to students across the nation who USED this powerful tool. Read the comments! This is your feedback; change this decision now, please. Else, as others have said, bye Studyblue.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Dhoward9 – There is no monetary aspect behind our decision to get rid of the ability to create/edit notes on StudyBlue. Our site is still completely free, aside from our Premium service that does not and has never included any extra note capabilities.

      We are reading the comments and can see this decision made has not been a popular one among a number of individuals. We do offer new capabilities for flashcard creation and sharing, including a much more powerful search option, and hopefully you’ll be able to check them out. If you have any additional feedback to add regarding notes, feel free to be a part of the discussion on our community forum here: http://help.studyblue.com/studyblue/topics/editing_previous_notes

  • Michael

    Hey, here’s an idea. Instead of StudyBlue just responding to comments by saying,

    “(Username) – Could you please explain why using notes was better on StudyBlue than on other programs?”,
    or,
    “(Username) – Could you please explain why you do not like uploading notes from Evernote or Google Docs, as compared to directly using StudyBlue?”,

    maybe they could just say, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll return notes to our program.”

    • Christina

      Seconded…I’ve stopped using studyblue since the notes feature went and it’s just not as effective for me anymore.

  • Erin

    I find the flashcards totally useless; notes were the only element I ever used. Well done, StudyBlue. You just lost yourself a customer.

    • http://www.studyblue.com StudyBlue

      Erin – Sorry to hear this. Everyone has their own methods of study that seem to work best for them. Our flashcards are the most popular and frequently used feature of StudyBlue but we understand if you do not find them useful for your particular needs. If you did not utilize the flashcard feature at all, why did you choose to put notes on StudyBlue rather than another site such as Google Docs and Evernote, which allow for flexibility and portability options as well?

  • Natalie

    I still wish you had not gotten rid of the note feature. I thought it was a bad idea to get rid of them then, and I still do. It just made taking notes in class so much easier! It was organized in different folders, you had unlimited space – it was just so easy to have everything in one place. The fact that they’re still not back is a real disappointment. I barely use study blue now because of this. If you brought them back, you’d also bring back a lot of happy users!

  • Dissatisfied!

    Wow. THIS REALLY SUCKS!!!! I was about to SPEND MONEY to get the pro stuff, but I’ll actually be deleting this app and my account, because it’s totally lame now, without the notes function. Who’s lame idea was this?!

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