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NoodleTools for Researchers

Learn how to use NoodleTools like a pro to create bibliographies, organize your research notes, and manage your research projects

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How To Create Notecards

There are two types of notecards: those that are linked to a source citation and those that are not. This second kind is called a “thought card” because it contains your own thoughts or a reminder to yourself, and is not tied to any reference in your source list.

1. Once you create and open a new project in NoodleTools, there are two ways to create and access your notecards: the Sources and Notecards screens. Since you can view and edit all of your notecards in either screen, you’ll find that you develop a preference for working in either the Notecards or Sources screen as you take notes.

Create a Notecard From the Sources Screen

On the Sources screen, click “New” in the Notecards column next to a reference.

Create a Notecard From the Notecards Screen

On the Notecards screen, click +New above the Notecard Tabletop.

2. Regardless of what screen you use to create your notecard, once you select new your notecard opens for you to edit.

3. In the Title field, choose a short description (1-3 words) that represent the main idea of the notecard. You might choose to wait and decide on a good title for the notecard once you’ve filled in the notecard content, like your paraphrase or summary

4. Select the source from the Source dropdown list and specify the URL and page numbers if any in the fields to the right.

5. Copy and paste the source material into the Direct quotation field ("Copy, paste and annotate here").

Some helpful hints:

  • Copying the original material will assure that you will always be able to reread or review the author’s words and logic even after you have returned a book or closed a webpage.
  • Aim to put one idea into each notecard (as opposed to just copying an entire article into the field).
  • Images and videos on the Web can be embedded in your notecard within this field.
  • Take the time to reread and mark up the author’s words with text colors and highlighting; the better you understand the quote, the easier it will be to paraphrase or summarize the author’s idea in the “Paraphrase or summary” field. 
  • In the Paraphrase or Summary field ("In your own words"), your instructor may provide specific directions for what is required in terms of paraphrasing or summarizing the material you collect. Then record your thoughts, feelings, and ideas for following up with additional research in the My Ideas field ("Original thinking here"). These are the responses that help you develop a personal perspective. 
  • For hints about paraphrasing, summarizing, or recording your own ideas, click the ? next to each of the fields to see additional prompts for what to include.

6. Add new tags or select previously added tags from My tags in the field to the right.

7. When you edit a notecard, your changes are automatically saved. To revert to an earlier version, click "Manage versions." A new window will display the current version and previously saved versions. To select an earlier version, click the date and time of the version to revert the notecard to that version saved. To return to your notecard, click "Manage versions." 

8. Click Save and Close to close the notecard. 

On the Sources screen, you can show or hide notecards for a particular reference by clicking “Show” or “Hide” in the Notecards column. On the Notecards screen, the new notecard appears in the upper left corner of your tabletop view. 

How To Edit a Notecard

On the Sources screen, in the Notecard column, click “Show” to view the notecard, then select Edit on the notecard's Options menu. 

On the Notecard Tabletop view, hover over a notecard (or long-press a notecard on an iPad) and click Edit.

On the Notecard Detail view, click Edit at the lower right corner of any notecard in the middle panel.

When you finish editing the notecard, click Save to save your changes and close the window.

How To Link Notecards To A Source

When you click New to create a notecard from the Sources screen, it is automatically associated with the source that you are working with. 

link notecards image

If you create a notecard from the Notecards screen, you must select the source from a dropdown list when you are creating the notecard. When you edit an existing notecard (from either the Sources or Notecards screens), you can change this source association by selecting a new source from the Source dropdown list on the Edit notecard screen.

Link notecards from Notecards Table

To link multiple notecards to a source at once, select any number of notecards on the Notecard Tabletop view (they will display with an orange selection rectangle), then click Link to source above the tabletop. Select the source from the Select source dropdown list and click Submit to save the change.

Link notecards image

NOTE: If you delete a source reference, any notecards linked to that source become unlinked from it; they become “thought cards”. If you restore a source reference, you will need to relink its notecards (either by editing each notecard and selecting the right item from the Source menu or by selecting multiple notecards on the Notecard Tabletop and clicking Link to source to relink all of them).

Notecard Piles

How To Create a Notecard Pile

notecard pile is a group of notecards that:

  • Share a common theme,
  • Support an idea, or
  • Center on a particular topic

On the Notecard Tabletop view, a pile is displayed as a stack of notecards with a number indicating how many notecards are in the pile.

Notecard piles can only be created and manipulated on the Notecards screen.


Create a New Notecard Pile

There are two ways you can created notecard piles. You can:

  • Drag one notecard on top of another notecard in the Notecard Tabletop view, or
  • Click Manage Pile above the Notecard Tabletop.

To create a new pile using the Manage Pile option:

  1. On the Notecard Tabletop, select the notecards you wish to pile*.
  2. Click Manage Pile.
  3. Click Create new pile and enter the name of the new pile.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. The new pile appears in the upper left corner of the Tabletop.

View and Modify a Notecard Pile

Notecard piles can be expanded on the tabletop so that you can work with individual notecards within the pile.

To expand a notecard pile, hover your mouse over the pile and click Expand in the summary popup.

To view the full content of all of the notecards in a pile, switch to the Notecard Detail view and select the pile title by clicking the notecard titles in the left panel.

To remove a notecard from a notecard pile, select a notecard in the expanded view of the pile and drag-and-drop it outside the pile.

Delete a Notecard Pile

To delete a notecard pile:

  • Clear any current notecard selection
  • Select the notecard pile
  • Click Delete above the Notecard Tabletop.

NOTE: Notecard piles are not restored. If a notecard was in a pile when it was deleted, the individual notecard will be restored as a stand-alone notecard on the Tabletop when recovered.

Reorder Notecards Within a Notecard Pile

  • Hover the mouse over a notecard pile and click Expand to display the expanded view of the pile.
  • Click on a notecard within the pile and drag-and-drop it to a new location within the pile. Notecards in the pile will automatically move aside as necessary to allow you to insert the notecard between them.