Can I create study notes on Windows, Android or some other platform?
There are Studies apps for macOS and iOS, but not for Windows, Android or other platforms. This is unlikely to change, because we are very focussed on Apple platforms.
What if you have some Apple devices, but not exclusively? For example, maybe you have an iPhone, but a Windows PC instead of a Mac. Or you have a Mac, but use a Windows tablet. Can you create study notes for your Studies app using your non-Apple devices?
Studies supports a simple open format for exchanging notes: StudyArch. The idea of StudyArch files is that they are simple enough that you can create them without any specialized applications, and yet are flexible enough to represent quite complex study cards.
StudyArch files are nothing more than zip files. They contain a simple directory hierarchy, media files such as images, video, and audio, and text in the form of Comma-Separated Values (CSV) or Tab-Separated Values (TSV). Anyone with a text editor can create a StudyArch file, on any computing platform.
A StudyArch file is expected to have a number of directories. At
the root is a directory called
Archive. Inside that
directory are directories called Ungrouped and Groups.
Ungrouped directory contains notes that do not
belong to any group. In the terminology of Studies, these notes
would be Loose Notes. The Ungrouped directory should contain a file
depending on whether the notes are in CSV or TSV format.
Groups directory contains groups of notes. The
subdirectory name is the name of the group. A given group can
either contain other groups, or it can contain notes ( i.e. a
Here is an example of a particular study archive, showing the hierarchy of directories, and data files.
Archive Ungrouped Data.csv Groups Case 1 Stack 1 Data.csv Stack 2 Data.tsv Case 2 Stack 3 Data.csv Image 1.jpg Audio 1.wav Video 1.m4v Stack 4 Data.tsv
The notes in an archive are stored in files named
Data.tsv. The rows and
columns are defined in the standard way, except that the first row
must declare what each column represents. Here is an example:
1 Text, 1 Image, 2 Text
This CSV row contains three columns. Each column begins with a
number, followed by a space, and then a data type. The number
represents the facet of the note. The type label can be
video, and is case
After this first row, each row represents a single note. The
types defined in the first row are used to interpret the data. If
the label of the column is
text, the data is assumed
to be text; if the label is
html, the data is treated
as HTML text; and so forth. If the label is
video, the entry should be a
file name for the media in question. The media itself should be
stored in the corresponding file in the same directory as the data
To omit an entry from a particular facet, an empty column can be entered. For example, if a particular facet should not have an image, the image column for that facet should be left vacant.
Once you have created the appropriate directories, and entered
the note data, the
Archive directory should be
compressed into a zip file. On the Mac, you can do this by
right-clicking (or control-clicking) on the directory, and choosing
the Compress menu item.
Lastly, it is best to change the file extension of the archive
studyarch. In Finder, you can select the archive,
and choose File > Get Info, in order to change the
extension. By setting the extension to
studyarch, OS X
and iOS will know to open the file in Studies.
With the StudyArch file now ready, you can import it in Studies, or send it to a friend with Studies.