How I Do Math

This is my current score in Math class.

I’m not going to tell you all kinds of bull—. I don’t do pep talks. #positivity .

This is Epic Pen.

Its a Windows program that let’s you draw on the screen like a tablet. It’s helpful if you have a laptop but not a tablet. OR! You have terrible handwriting. That’s not helpful for math. Life. In general. Work on that later let’s get back to math.

TI – Smartview

This is TI-Smartview it’s another Windows program by Texas Instruments. It’s a graphing calculator for your laptop. It works on any laptop really as the requirements are kind of minimal. It uses the same or similar functions as the TI-84 graphing calculator.

  • This might not be available during a test.

A lot of tests are proctored in the old way.


Where you get a computer that’s not yours in a room with old carpet and an unsmiling old man just a few months shy of “retiring with full benefits.” So. You get access to Desmos. Another online graphing calculator.


Desmos does look pretty but I have no idea how to use it since using TI-84 and TI-Smartview. So. This will be my personal challenge during midterms and finals which require me to not use my personal laptop or TI-Smartview. I’ll have to find a TI-84 for those days. I try to avoid beautiful and pretty it usually leads to expensive relationships that are not very rewarding.

I know. I know. Desmos is free but everything has a learning curve. The Algebra book and the TI-84 is what I’m comfortable with and free isn’t always free.


Microsoft OneNote

I thought this Windows program was sketchy at first. I couldn’t get my notes to transfer to my iPhone. Then, it started using a ton of data because of the constant copying between ‘da cloud.’

Lets look at clouds. Just. Step outside and pause for a second.

There’s no clouds today but we can use Epic Pen to draw some.

The right is the pen tool and the left is this post with some kind of cloud shapes with the circle too inside this very post.

That’s what you need for math. The ability to draw atop the example problems and skip the interpretation.

What is math interpretation in problem solving?

Math is a language. “What do you mean by that?

The problem.

We see the problem.

Is it like another problem?

Did we just learn that concept?

What the hell was that thing again?

Let me write it down and look at it again.

The problem didn’t change. At all. It’s still there unsolved.

The steps one might take when looking at a problem.

  1. The problem.
  2. Interpreting the problem from english to math.
  3. From math to english.
    1. We rewrite and forget a step, symbol, number, parenthesis, reduction, exponent
  4. The answer
  5. The almost answer
  6. The rewrite


Skip all this.


Even Microsoft OneNote let’s you import a screen portion.

Grab the problem and work in a single space.

Ahem. With unlimited paper and no dead trees.

How do you grab a math problem?

That’s using Epic Pen and grabbing a screenshot from the Youtube video in my math class. Its not very functional as it is right? Okay.

That’s fair.

I can do this two ways.

  1. Whiteboard the problem in any whiteboard app.
  2. Add it to my page in my notebook in Microsoft OneNote.

Option 1

Epic Pen has a Whiteboard option.

Option 2

Microsoft OneNote has a bunch of options to solve Math problems. You can then flip or import your work into whatever is required for your class. Every math class is definitely different and this is the Internet so use what info you can and delete the rest. 🙂 

So. As you can see. I use both Epic Pen for the Whiteboard.

Then transfer the finished problem into Microsoft OneNote page.

  • Each assignment or lesson is separate.I tried to have one long a– page for each class. OneNote freaked out. Haha. You can do it but, why?Especially when indexing and searching. One medical program class had about 200 pages of typed notes a week.
      • Typed notes. Imagine if I wrote all those notes. I wouldn’t have time to sleep.Yes some class learning structures are archaic. I don’t know if certain finals would allow basically a personal Wikipedia of your notes for things like an NCLEX class. Or. Any medical cert– acronym.
          • Not everything you do will apply to what you learn in a class. But clear notes that can be found whether written or typed are so helpful. You put a system to something you’re learning.


I don’t get every math problem right.

Let’s look at some wrong answers this way. Haha.

I can write where things went south rather quickly. Haha. While not finding a window and jotting down ‘notes.’ Ah notes. Notepad. Or. Anything else note related. You need a way to test yourself instantly and verify instantly and move on instantly. Like a Call of Duty Deathmatch. Fight. Respawn. Try again.

(Copyright: Activision Entertainment)


Then, recall or go over what you know before you test yourself in the quiz or class test.


Any test.

All tests.

That’s why I like OneNote. They don’t pay me to say that. I did try for a job at the Microsoft Datacenter in Arizona. They said no, or–. “We went with another candidate.” Whatever they say, I have a job in Building Maintenance while going to class at night. So. I don’t care Microsoft. 

OneNote is still pretty good. It even does screen clipping. There are some limitations where you get an annoying time stamp under each screen clipping from the OneNote app.

An example


So. There’s that. It can solve Algebra problems from handwritten notes.  Sara Dietschy made a video about it here at about 6:22. She’s pretty long winded. I guess that’s a Youtuber thing.

So, we didn’t solve a single Math problem by now. You shouldn’t have anxiety. Depression. Eat a bunch of cake because you’re thinking about being incorrect about math problems.

How can I check math problems before I get them wrong?

That is a great question. It took a lot wrong math problems to figure this one out. Haha.

I really like Symbolab. It’s a subscription but if you don’t have anyone to check your work with besides failing homework assignments. This might help. It helped me even in the free version. Look at how cool it looks. 🙂

You might have to adjust your expressions form the book or assignment format. I think out of the 300 or so math problems I tested it with over the week. Only one or two were different answers that were not acceptable to my instructor.

How do you solve math problems then?

This is my workflow for math problems.

  1. Take a screenshot.
  2. Go to the whiteboard
  3. Make an attempt
    1. This is important.Don’t skip this step.
  4. Record the attempt in Microsoft OneNote with a screenshot
  5. Verify its right in OneNote
    1. In Symbolab
    2. In Wolfram Mathematica
  6. Its not? Go back to step 2
  7. Whether it is or isn’t….what’s left of the assignment? Go on with life. Sometimes you just get a D and keep going.


These are the programs I use for Math problems:

Epic Pen


One Note for Windows or Mac