If you are a student, take a look at Stu.dicio.us, a new service designed for students that helps with organization and notetaking. Claimed to be a social notetaking service, Stu.dicio.us allows students to publicly save organized notes, manage a class schedule, and keep up to date with tasks using a time sensitive to do list.
I’ve seen products built specifically for students, but nothing quite like Stu.dicio.us. It’s simple, dead simple. As of now, students can organize themselves using a class schedule tool, note manager, and a to do list in an Ajax based interface with barely any clutter to be found. Students can also search other member notes, making Stu.dicio.us a social notetaking service. But what has me excited for the service are the features to come September 1st. Stu.dicio.us says to expect a grade manager to record test and quiz grades, a 1gb file manager to save documents and school related material, and Wikipedia integration for class notes. It is also said that they will be making the service more social with the adding of “friends” and a voting system for public notes. Makes me wish I didn’t graduate from college already so I can really put Stu.dicio.us to the test!
The schedule tool allows you to add classes to your account with basic information including class name, teacher, and the dates and times that you have the class. Once you have atleast one class added to your schedule, you can start adding to your todo list and notes manager for that class. The “Todos” area is a very basic to do list allowing you to add time specific tasks for things like project deadlines and the notes manager has, in my opinion, a very well done notetaking editor.
The Stu.dicio.us notetaking editor is one of the best notetaking tools I’ve used online. Too often I signup to notetaking services only to find a big textarea or WYSIWYG editor that makes taking notes unorganized. Stu.dicio.us is different. It doesn’t have many features like some notetaking tools out there, but it’s very fast, easy to use, and organized. You can even write a complete page of notes without ever taking your hands away from the keyboard. When taking notes for school, I learned to take fast notes writing structured lists on a subject and drilling deeper in each item of the list when needed, like an outline for an essay. Stu.dicio.us uses the same approach by allowing users save their notes in an outline type format along with any text formatting when needed (including Textile support). Notes are saved as the student types and when complete the note can be searched and downloaded as an HTML or Word Document.
One thing that bugged me with the site though was content. As far as I know, two people are involved in the development of Stu.dicio.us (Winton Welsh and Meredith Toher) and not much else can be learned by visiting the website. This is one problem that Sam Davyson picked up that I have to agree with. When first visiting Stu.dicio.us, I had no idea what the service was about (except for the hint in the name) or how the service could be of benefit to me. I couldn’t even find method of contact. My advice is that if you want to be taking seriously as an educational product, provide atleast an about section, maybe some legal print being its a social service sharing student notes, and a method of contact.
Overall, I like the direction of Stu.dicio.us and feel that it has great potential. It is clear that Stu.dicio.us knows what students want and the simplicity in the service makes it a joy to use. The hard part, I imagine, would be to get the service out to the not so “geeky” students ;-).