Website review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2020

Nimbus Note

Comprehensive note keeper offers loads of organizational features

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Grades
6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Students can organize notes and filter searches by folder, color, and tag; syncs easily with the creator's web clipper and screencasting tools.

Cons: Things can get cluttered easily if students don't maintain good organizational habits.

Bottom Line: Customized notes sync across devices to enhance productivity and promote a paperless classroom.

For students, Nimbus Note provides a web- or app-based platform for organization, creativity, teamwork, and productivity. Students can easily organize anything research-related into folders, whether they're notes, web clips, links, images, or fully fleshed-out prose. Markup language features are accessible as students type, making it easy to add headings, links, and quotes to writing. For students who prefer multimedia, video or audio notes can be a time-saver for recording important information, summarizing concepts, or getting ideas down for later review. Tables and checklists help students keep track of assignments, and the ability to set reminders can keep kids on track to meet important deadlines. Students can also share notes with peers, helpful for collaborating in both traditional and asynchronous environments. 

For teachers, those same features allow for collaboration with colleagues, keeping track of parent communication, supporting students with different learning needs, and planning lessons, field trips, or professional development workshops. One concern: The platform can easily become cluttered, especially when viewing notes on the app. An easy solution for this is to make use of the folder option. This prevents individual notes from taking over and encourages users to think carefully about where each note fits best. 

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Nimbus Note is a digital notebook and web clipper where teachers and students can organize information from a variety of personal, shared, and online content. Notes sync between the app and the web-based version, so students using different devices won't need to worry about information being lost in the transfer. The app is functional, but the web-based version is a bit more intuitive when it comes to customization features. Within the workspace, students tap on the plus sign (web-based) or note icon (app) to create a note. There are tons of options for making notes unique, including colors, tags, folders, and the chance to add notes in all kinds of formats. Notes are searchable by keyword and can be filtered by tags or favorites. Within the workspace, students can add headings, background colors, tables, checklists, and other features to create customized notes that range from fun and creative to organized and professional.

Students using Nimbus Capture or Nimbus Clipper also have the choice to send their screencasts, clips, or links directly to their notebooks, cutting out unnecessary extra steps and encouraging students to think a bit more creatively about the note-taking strategies that work best for them.

Digital notebooks like Nimbus Note aren't just great for reducing the volume of paper students tote around. Nimbus Note's features such as multimedia formats, automatic syncing, and the ability to easily share notes with others transform the traditional notebook into a living one. There's no need to write in margins, create messy cross-outs, squeeze in forgotten content, or search through pages for notes; students can easily add or move text, highlight important concepts, and find information with a simple keyword search. Students who struggle with writing can create an audio or video note, while those who need help with organization can color-code notes, set reminders, or create graphic organizers to help make sense of content. When paired with Nimbus Capture (web only), kids can create videos annotating images or working out the steps to a math problem and store them in their notes for later review. 

Of course, some of these skills won't come naturally to students. Especially with younger students or those who struggle with note-taking, teachers will want to check in regularly to ensure that kids avoid the temptation of using their workspace to randomly dump content without any thought to structure or format. Just like with traditional notebooks, teachers will need to guide students in the most efficient and most effective ways to record, organize, and use their notes to aid in their learning. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Students will like the ease with which they can clip and save items from the web or upload them from their devices, and the color and tagging options add some pizazz.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids can take charge of their assignments and habits using features on both the website and the app. Markup language is helpful for efficient note-taking.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The ability to record notes via video, voice, photos, or text provides learners with multiple options, and folders are great for research and organization skills.


Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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