How you can take notes digitally…

Akshat Gupta
6 min readDec 22, 2021

Yo readers!! We are always learning something constantly that we might start to forget what we learned that “x” particular the other day, right? Well, you can save your time and increase your learning efficiency by making/taking proper notes. By notes, I meant notes what we write with pen/pencil on paper or digitally...?

But, wait, I know that we all write notes on paper with pen/pencil, then how the heck we can take notes digitally? Is it different than simply taking notes? Is it safe to take notes digitally? What if notes got lost? How to take notes?

I have always heard that people are asking me this question that do I take notes digitally or do I write them by hand on notebook. So I decided to write a blog on this question too!!

Let’s first see what are digital notes first.

Notes taken on software or Note Keeping tools like Obsidian, Notion, One-Note, Trilium, Cherry Tree are called digital notes (if I am not wrong). By storing notes on these softwares are similar to keeping notebook safe. These note keeping tools are reliable and are efficient (in terms of searching a particular word/phrase through lengthy notes) and are easy to use. They are generally hierarchical note taking application featuring rich text and more cool features. They are also available on platforms like Windows, Linux, macOS etc. Most of the features are free and some features are paid so former can suit an individual while latter can suit another individual. Taking notes on these note keeping tools is similar to taking notes in physical notebook. It’s also safe to take notes digitally and we can backup our notes either locally or on Google Drive or Microsoft One-Drive.

Enough with all the intro part and let’s jump into how to take notes. In this blog, I’ll guide you to take notes on Obsidian Note Keeping tool (I prefer this tool over all other tools). We will first see how we can download the Obsidian tool and then how you can start taking notes on your own.

Starting off with visiting website of Obsidian, mainly works on plain text Markdown files,

Here, we can see that on the main page we can see that we have a download options for Windows, macOS and Linux. Clicking on the Get Obsidian for Windows button and the downloading will automatically start. After installing, it will display Obsidian vaults window. You can either Open an existing folder as vault or Create a new vault. If you are confused with the word vault here means, it’s just simply a space used by Obsidian to store your notes.

We’ll start by Creating a new vault (you can also choose an existing folder if you have one already) and after clicking on Create new vault Create button, it will ask you to enter the vault name and location where you want to place/store all your notes (you can do this by browsing in File Explorer in Windows). After this, click on create and you are all set!

You are seeing the main window of Obsidian (Pretty awesome, isn’t it?). You can see the vault name I set for myself, test. Above that, you can see 3 icons. Those are for creating a file, creating a folder, and arranging them in order (time, file name, etc) respectively. Clicking on highlighted icon, it will create a file named untitled for us and we can rename it as well. Let’s get started with basics of Markdown.

Well these are Markdown Basics to get you started with taking your first note or to introduce you with Markdown format. There’s a great cheat sheet for you to become friends with Markdown format, you can access from here. So, you just made your first digital note. Now, what do you think? It’s simple right? It is!! If it’s not, you will become comfortable with time.

So, before I end writing this blog down, I let you take a quick sneak peak at my notes,

Just a random walkthrough of a CTF challenge!

You can also make notes like this easily. If you are new to taking notes and a person who’s just stepping into Cyber Security, it will take a while for you to make better and better than before. You yourself will learn how to improve your own notes with time (same as me)!! Although, there are some cool options to set, community themes to explore, and many settings to set but I will leave that upto you so that you can explore the Obsidian deeply (:

How to take Screenshots!

So you will be wondering that in my notes (picture above), there are images pasted in notes as well. Let’s see how we can take screenshots to make notes effective for us.

The screenshot taking tool which I am about to tell you works on windows, and it’s called as Greenshot. There is another screenshot taking tool as well, called Flameshot which works on Windows, Linux and macOS. You can also use Windows Snipping Tool but it’s doesn’t contain much features. I have tried both of the tool but my personal preference will be Greenshot, because I find it extremely useful and has many various features. Now, enough of wasting time and quickly jumping towards installation and usage process.

First visit website of Greenshot and you can see the page like this,

Clicking on Download Now button will take us to a page where we have to choose the stable releases of tool for either Windows or macOS. Clicking on Latest Stable button and our downloading will get started! After downloading, you can install the greenshot tool easily. After clicking on the icon of the application, it’ll start running in background,

Now, to take screenshot, click on this icon and we will see that our mouse pointer has turned into cross-hair. This means we’re now ready to take screenshots! Now, drag our cross-hair and clicking and select the area we want to capture and then a new window will open containing the area we snipped and we can now edit, beautify our snipped image,

Here in this window screen, there are many options that Greenshot provides us after snipping the area like writing text, blurring, adding border, etc etc.

Now, after we’re done with editing the screenshot, we can copy the image and paste it into our notes. This is really an efficient way to take great notes as there will be many times a particular thing will occur, which is, if we’re doing a CTF (Capture The Flag) challenge, there will be output (lengthy) of commands we ran on terminal and it’ll be very difficult to write the output by ourselves and this is where, this screenshot taking tool, comes handy.

Well I guess that’s it for now as I am writing this blog while my university major exams are going on so won’t write a boring blog. Hope you find something useful in it. Take many many notes, always be crazy to improve the notes for yourself and write them down for later use.

Alright then, I will put my pen down for sure. Be safe, be healthy, stay hydrated. Good day (: