How To Take Notes On YouTube Video (4 Tools Evaluated)

The modern educational landscape is evolving to embrace more means of teaching and sharing such as video learning that is becoming more common with both students and adults. This has provided learning convenience for both group learning not just with institutions but also with individuals learning and homeschooling. Learners can take notes while viewing the videos to capture the information understood for review and contemplation. 

How to take notes on youtube videos?

  1. Evernote – App and Helper
  2. Zoho Notes – App, Extension and Helper
  3. Google Keep Extension
  4. Rocket Note

These 4 tools to take notes on YouTube videos are for your consideration. They each have their own advantages. Read on to find out more…

Take video notes with Evernote App and Helper 

  • Evernote desktop icon
  • No automatic timestamp
  • Takes quick Evernote notes with helper
  • May resize Evernote Mac app and YouTube video chrome window side-by-side 
  • Evernote has a free plan and is a good general note-taking app

This is not an integrated video note-taking solution but Evernote is an established, popular platform for note-taking.

Simply click the Evernote desktop helper icon and start typing away while the video plays.

Take video notes with Zoho Notes  

  • Not a dedicated video note-taking application i.e. No timestamp
  • Not integrated i.e Clicking View Your Notes will open a separate tab
  • May resize Zoho Mac app and YouTube video chrome window side-by-side
  • Both Zoho Notes Web Clipper Chrome extension and helper works without a glitch
  • Zoho notes chrome extension will not close when the video screen is clicked
  • Zoho notes are free, simple and have a professional, colorful outlook

Zoho Notes actually can be used to take video notes if you are not particular about the video particulars like timestamps. Zoho is a good note app for the general note-taking purposes.

Step One: Install and click the Zoho notes Web Clipper Chrome extension to start. Click Write to start typing away.

Step Two: Type away and click the tick button when finished.

Alternatively, click the Zoho notes desktop helper icon and start typing away while the video plays. This can work for other videos playing in chrome. 

Take Notes With Google Keep Chrome Extension On Youtube 

  • Google keep can simply take notes with extension while watching videos
  • Spacebar and video speed control keyboard commands will not work while the extension is open
  • Clicking the video will close the extension window and you have to click to open again
  • The note will automatically save the link address beside a preview image in the note
  • Like Evernote and Zoho, Google Keep is stable

Install and click Google Keep extension icon to start typing. 

Google Keep is a basic way to take notes.

Take notes With Rocket Note Chrome Extension Review 

  • Rocket Note can work fine if you just view the YouTube video without clicking and dragging the timeline. Watching the video faster or slower is tested working the rocket notes too.
  • The only issue I had was when I double-clicked that note and dragged the timeline to set another timestamp. Either it didn’t work or it will affect other saved note timestamp.
  • Rocket note is free for 30 clips per month, $2 for unlimited.
  • No export function for the notes saved.

If you just want to take free, quick but limited notes on YouTube video and does not care much about correct timestamp or exporting your notes, then Rocket Note may work for you. But for the long term beyond the basics, I would not recommend it.

  1. Type your note in the field at Type here.
  2. To edit the note, double-click the above note. 
  3. To change the timestamp, while still in editing note mode, click and drag the red timeline to update it.

You may click the round gear icon above the notes in the YouTube video to open a new tab or to view all your rocket notes as shown above.

Or you may view all your rocket notes by installing and clicking the Rocket Note chrome extension icon. Clicking any of the saved video notes will open up the video page at that timestamp.

Take video notes with Alt-Tab between chrome and a notes app 

  • Press Alt first without releasing and followed by pressing Tab before releasing both.
  • Switch between chrome and a notes app i.e. Evernote or Zoho Notes. This will result in more manual keyboard strokes but simple and easier than lots of mouse clicking between two applications.
  • No need to over-complicate when taking one or occasional YouTube video clips notes.
  • Play and pause YouTube videos with the spacebar. 
  • Press shift and > to increase the video speed. Shift and < to decrease.
  • Press left and right arrow keys to go seconds forward and backward
  • Works for YouTube and any other videos.

This is a simple, straight-forward solution that can work for most people. Personally, I did take notes this way because I do not need a complex solution to take video notes. Mastering the shortcut keyboard commands can help to quickly take YouTube video notes. 

Another way to take notes while watching a video? (General)  

Resize video page or window and notes app window side-by-side. This is useful if you are watching a long video and you do not wish to Alt-Tab often to see both video and note or you prefer to use the mouse to switch between.

On a side note, did you miss this post?   How Effective Are Traditional Note-Taking Systems? (5 Evaluated)

Screen captures while watching YouTube videos?

  • The below screen capture (visual note) on the Android phone was done with pressing for a few seconds Power button and Lower Volume Button together. iPhone can be done with the Power Button and Home button. Evernote Helper on Mac has a clip rectangle function.
  • Then go to the Android Gallery, select the photo and edit to add Text.
  • Screen captures can be very useful if you do not wish to be distracted with typing, traveling on the road or in a hurry.

What if I just want to record my Android or iPhone screen as video?

DU Recorder. This Android app is tested working to record the screen, added an intro and uploaded to YouTube. You may even stream live with DU Recorder. Please read related questions for YouTube on fair use.

Other options for videos and images are as follows:

For this example, Intro “Du Recording” and outro “Take Notes Guide” are added to the beginning and end of the recording. The recording was also middle trimmed.

Conclusion for YouTube video note-taking tool:

  1. I would recommend Alt-Tab with Evernote App to keep it simple and just take notes for the longer term and search function.
  2. Zoho has a colorful outlook but I still prefer Evernote.
  3. Google Keep Extension can take basic notes but clicking the video screen will close the extension window.
  4. DU Recorder for screen recording and basic edit.
  5. I would skip the Rocket Note.

Hope this will help you decide how you take notes for YouTube or other videos. Good luck!

More Information

There is a growing number of YouTube videos, some with quality information and useful to the audience but you have to siphon which are the ones. Some speakers talk for a long time and take a while before arriving at the gist of the matter, but we cannot discount the quality simply because of the video length. I personally do watch quite some YouTube videos including for information so hopefully, this can help: We may quickly deduce if the video is likely to be worth our time watching or not with the following points. It makes sense to decide if a video is worth watching or for taking notes beforehand.

How may we tell the quality of content for a YouTube video?

  1. The ratio of thumbs down to thumbs up to decide the quality of video e.g Less than 5% can be a good sign. More than 10% may be a skip, especially it is a long one and other similar videos are available
  2. Read the comments quickly for a feel of the general sentiment. Good videos may likely have overwhelmingly positive feedback. Remember to click subscribe and the notification bell beside for updates from good channels. If the channel has numerous videos, go to the videos page of that channel, sort by most popular, and start with the top ones that are relevant to your topic interest.

Another note-taking tip for video is to copy starts from URL to insert into notes as shown below. A note can refer to a specific part of a video with accuracy and especially when the speaker starts talking about the main point. And read comments for start from, some people tend to help others out by leaving the time of video where the main topic discussion starts.

Click Share
Click Start at option box and then COPY for the link in notes

Related Questions

How to take notes while watching YouTube videos?

  1. Turn on subtitles if available. 
  2. Only take notes of important or useful information
  3. Fast-forward (shift + >) or right-arrow key to skip over trivial or unrelated matters
  4. Pause and play again with the spacebar to take breaks
  5. Rewind seconds with the left-arrow key to re-watch that part
  6. Scan the comments for possible common questions and answers

Where can I download resources for video note-taking?

  1. Evernote
  2. Zoho Notes and Chrome Extension
  3. Google Keep and Chrome Extension
  4. DU Recorder
  5. Rocket Note

Can I reuse materials from YouTube videos?

It depends on fair use guidelines (4 factors) which may differ with countries. For example in the United States on the purpose and character of the use such as commercial nature or non-profit educational purposes:

Commercial uses are less likely to be considered fair, 
though it is possible to monetise a video and still
take advantage of the fair use defence.

Are there other alternatives to video note-taking tools?

  1. Evaluated, but YouTube videos cannot be loaded in chrome. On YouTube with the extension after the note is taken it failed to export to Evernote when clicked. From the site, the profile page clicked returns a 404 error. Based on these factors, is not recommended.
  2. site displays Application error. 
  3. I skipped another one or two because it involves downloading YouTube content (not moral) or another one that is inaccessible with a safety warning site.

Can you embed YouTube videos into Evernote?

From what I read, it is not possible to embed and play the YouTube video in that note. But you can drag-and-drop (25MB for free users) videos into the note.


Oh hi there 👋 Join to receive

content in your inbox

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.