I'm self-studying math and CS and am wondering how people like to organize their notes.

This is because sometimes math is very symbol heavy and hard to write out, even with Latex sometimes, but sometimes it's helpful to have code too that you can copy/paste/run/modify/test later when you re-reference your notes. Doing everything on paper makes it harder to organize and test.

So the ideal setup would be a digital mix of typed text with Latex support but also support for handwritten inserted elements. What would allow this?


  • I run Win 7 and VirtualBox Ubuntu. Free, paid, irrelevant to me as long as it does exactly what I need. Windows, though, is preferable if the option to choose exists.
  • I will buy hardware if I need to.

2 Answers 2


First off I would suggest using python, ipython & Jupyter - this will let you store your notes as Jupyter notebooks which can include:

  • Markdown including equations in LaTex/MathJax, you can also use prettyPy.
  • (re-)Executable code in Python, R, Julia, Scala & more including the output of the last run
  • Graphs & Plots which again can be recreated on demand
  • Video & Images, both local and remote, this would allow you to insert pictures of hand written notes.
  • Exportable to a number of formats including: nbviewer, pdf, etc

All of the above meets the following criteria:

  • Cost: Free Gratis & Open Source
  • Platform: Multiple including Linux, Windows, OS-X and several others
  • Interface: Web browser, with console options = Programming Language(s): Multiple including Python, R, Julia, Scala, Haskell, Ruby, Perl & more.

Examples from the iPython notebook gallery: enter image description here enter image description here


I know people who rely heavily on OneNote on a Windows Tablet PC for things like this.

So, its a hardware + software combination.

For more details in this space you can start at TabletPCReview Forums and branch off to a lot of blogs of people using it for notes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.