I'm looking for a software which may help me to both take notes and draw graphs during university lectures. It must have the ability to switch between texts and graphs, add other formats such as Office related format and pdf. Also, the the graphs should be easily tunable (preferably on the fly) and of course, shareable. Being able to draw matrices and operate with them would be great too.

I can't seem to find an application/software for laptop which makes all of those easy in an economics related setting. Any idea?

Thanks a lot

  • $\begingroup$ I assume you intend to use a mouse and not some sort of digital stylus to draw your graphs? $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jun 12, 2017 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ What operating system do you use? $\endgroup$
    – Ubiquitous
    Jun 12, 2017 at 9:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Also, I assume that you are aware that research shows taking notes on a computer to be detrimental to learning (e.g. journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614524581). $\endgroup$
    – Ubiquitous
    Jun 12, 2017 at 9:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't think there is such software (yet), not even in other disciplines which might be diagram-intensive like physics. You can create graphs with LaTex, using TiKz, Pgfplots, or other libraries, but they take time to produce, and there is a trial and error whilst compiling, which will distract you from the lecture. I suggest you use standard methods (pen an pencil?) and then translate that into a nice electronic document. This will also count as a helpful revision :) $\endgroup$
    – luchonacho
    Jun 12, 2017 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ @denesp Yeah, I'm on a laptop so there, no tablet of any kind. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2017 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


I've been trying to find a solution for this same question. As mentioned by others, most of the solutions are a bit too time consuming to do on the spot if you're taking notes, so I still think it's easier to draw out the graphs by hand on the spot.

There's a good post referencing some of the different software options, along with how to do this with R and ggplot if you're interested on Andrew Heist's blog

Also, see Create simple graphs without functional forms

Among these options, I'm trying to learn to do everything with TiKZ, but it's a work in progess...


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