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The one app college students need

NoteBear has been discontinued but I’m proud of all the good the app did during my formative years. Therefore, I decided to keep this article available in case it inspires something in others.

TL;DR: It’s NoteBear, NoteBear is the app you need.

Frankly, the deck is stacked against students. Financial hardship, an exceptional list of responsibilities, “sink-or-swim” learning, a proclivity towards self-destruction; these are some of the qualities that translate to a faulty and inefficient collegiate education model. In this article I will detail how you can be an even better student, make some noble (and easy) money and help transform education in the twenty-first century. All of this can be achieved with one app, NoteBear.

Historically, there hasn’t been software in education that has really pushed the boundaries or moved to shake things up — until now. NoteBear lets you buy and sell notes or tutoring. While this sounds straightforward, the implications are vast.

Being a student is an investment. Duh, right? It’s not just a financial sacrifice however, it’s a cognitive one. Usually, a tremendous amount of mental energy is spent on discovering and learning new things. Both in and out of the classroom. Imagine a pie chart, with three slices. I whipped up this amazing graphic just for you:

Pie chart of the average learning process.

This, on average, represents what it takes to master new, detailed concepts. The blue piece represents discovery. This 45% illustrates energy exerted on finding what you need so that you can start understanding something. This is bad, it diminishes the other parts of the pie. In essence, it’s the processes of figuring out what you need to learn so that you understand vague principals or what questions to even ask. The other 45% represents the energy exerted on actual, true learning. This slice, highlighted in red is good and necessary. It’s the meat of acquiring knowledge (hence the red). The only thing that can be improved here is in how something is being taught or a quality of the learner. The final yellow 10% is what we probably can’t do much about. It’s the pitfalls and difficulties people face; it’s the distractions or resistance one bares when trying to move forward in life and learning.

So, now that we have a vague representation of the general learning process, I ask you this: what if you could have a bigger slice of the pie? What if we could dramatically reduce the overhead of learning? What if the 45% of actual learning could become 70 or 90 percent? The potential and intellectual capability that could be unlocked would be boundless.

We can achieve this radical shift of tasty pie by leveraging the collective knowledgeability of your community. Humans are meant to work together and throughout the majority of your life, you will likely prove this to be true, if you haven’t already. Nonetheless, let me throw another analogy at you. I like analogies.

Let’s pretend you don’t know much about “server-side” software development and someone held your family at gun point. The guy in the ski mask says “you have two hours to learn how to write an application that takes in post data in a form url-encoded request and stores it in a MySQL table or the beloved fam dies.” First of all, that would be a really weird hostage situation. Secondly, you trying to figure this out alone or even if you attended a lecture by some professor, had a textbook on PHP or C# programming, and of course took advantage of Google within the two hour span, it would still be pretty risky. Versus if you had someone like me who has been writing backend code since the sixth grade that could teach you in a fraction of the time. The results would probably be very different.

If I had to pick one concept that you retained from this article, it would be this: leverage your academic community. Imagine how much greater the collective intelligence is over your own. NoteBear makes this accessible. Great students already know that collaboration is key. Study sessions, sharing notes; this exchange is already happening. NoteBear just represents a new medium to enhance this capability.

Enter NoteBear.

An amalgamation of notes, skills, brown bears, and cash.

For about a year and a half I’ve been developing NoteBear, it’s a free iPhone app that allows students to buy and sell notes or tutoring (skills). A skill is anything that can be taught. What makes NoteBear so enticing is that you can directly purchase the content or help you need. No monthly subscriptions, no broadly-titled courses. Simply, specific notes and skills.


So, you’re going to class, creating unique detailed notes, living life. What you may not realize is that those notes have immense value and should be considered a financial asset. Barring really poor handwriting or superfluous doodling your notes can actually help others. NoteBear allows you to upload those notes at a price and comprehensiveness of your choosing. Easy as pie, or instant ramen.

Try uploading your notes now!


A skill is an academic concept. Anything that can be taught to someone. In addition to notes, you can get on-demand and in-person tutoring from people that are either in or have taken that class. Nothing beats being able to ask an actual human a question that may have an ambiguous context.

By using NoteBear you won’t just be learning more, you’ll be able to make money from your notes and brain. Stop throwing money away and download NoteBear now. By using NoteBear you’re not just investing in yourself, you’re strengthening academic communities.

Actually read this article? Reach out to me at peteallport.com if you have any thoughts!




An innovative ed-tech company focusing on analytics and collaboration.

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Peter C. Allport

Peter C. Allport

I’m here to help https://peteallport.com

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