DoctaJay

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Overall I'm loving my FA book that has been 3 hole punched and put in a binder. However, what I find to be small but very inconvenient aspect is that the type of paper the FA book was printed on is pretty fragile. So constantly turning the pages from one section to another results often in the holes being torn. I just needed to rant about this because I find myself constantly have to put hole reinforcers to keep everything in. Has anyone else dealt with this or am I doing something wrong?
 

Redrox

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No, the worst part about having your book in a three ring binder is trying to write in the right side margin of a page on the left side of the binder. Rings get in the way and tempers flare.
 
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Punkn

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Yeah I had that same problem, so I put those reinforement things around the holes (took forever!) which seems to have helped. Now it just rips occasionally on the side between the holes. I can't win!
 

laxman310

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Initially I was considering doing the whole 3-ole punch thing, but decided against it. I managed to have enough space to write in margins fine without needing a lot of extra sheets. Also, at the end of some chapters there is a note taking page, and so I would just write "refer to page x" and then write whatever it was I wanted to understand on the note page. For the FEW time I wated to inset a sheet, I just used some double sided tape, and inserted a page that fit well within the book.

The more times you go through first aid, the more you will notice that 90% of the information you want is in there, you either just glossed over it the first time you read it, or its in a different section than you expected.

3-hole punching has the disadvantage of losing pages, things getting disorganized, and the things you mentioned.

Also, the way it is its more portable.

My 2 cents.
 

spospo

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super silly question here. i'm planning on getting the 2009 FA (only have the 2006 right now - hand-me-down)...can you just take it to kinkos and ask them to do the whole punching thing for you? i know, stupid question.
 

MedLover25

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super silly question here. i'm planning on getting the 2009 FA (only have the 2006 right now - hand-me-down)...can you just take it to kinkos and ask them to do the whole punching thing for you? i know, stupid question.
yes
 

DoctaJay

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super silly question here. i'm planning on getting the 2009 FA (only have the 2006 right now - hand-me-down)...can you just take it to kinkos and ask them to do the whole punching thing for you? i know, stupid question.

not stupid at all. That is exactly what I did. I took my book to them, asked for it to be unbound and 3 hole punched. I left it with them and like 3 hours later it was done. You can even buy the 3 ring binder from them.
 

cyclohexanol

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Overall I'm loving my FA book that has been 3 hole punched and put in a binder. However, what I find to be small but very inconvenient aspect is that the type of paper the FA book was printed on is pretty fragile. So constantly turning the pages from one section to another results often in the holes being torn. I just needed to rant about this because I find myself constantly have to put hole reinforcers to keep everything in. Has anyone else dealt with this or am I doing something wrong?
D-ring binder as opposed to standard rings can help minimize page ripping. I ended up ripping like 3 pages total. The ones I did rip, I just fixed with clear packing tape and re-punched.
 

HunterGatherer

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I keep everything in a 3in binder but when I study say biochem, I will remove the biochem notes and either put it in a smaller 1in binder or use a clipboard. I like the clip board better. I still get some rips here and there though.

Kinkos F'd up my FA and Kaplan MedEssentials. I asked them to 3 hole punch, cut the binder, and try to give me as much margin as possible near the binder. The clerk must've been new because she cut the binder on an angle cutting some of the material. Man I was angry. She did not charge me because she made a mistake. she was so nonchalant about it I felt like I was in GameStop. So just be aware they are not all experts at kinkos. Luckily I had been over the material 2x already so I knew what was missing.


I actually took the binders home in case I got stuck. FA has more generous margins near the binder than Medesentials.
 

GMDMD

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I had a similar annoyance. I was happy for hole punching my FA at first but realized later I did not add any pages except for xerox copies of the pages I spilled coffee on.

I think I would recommend instead spiral-binding your FA instead.
 

soonereng

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I find that I have to take the page out of the binder to write anything neatly on it.
What kind of stuff exactly are you guys writing in FA? I hear annotating FA is essential, but I'm not the type of person who highlights, underlines, jots, etc. in books. I'm still doing really well in all my classes, and I know the notes are for board study, but I just wanted to know what I'm missing out on.
 
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HunterGatherer

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What kind of stuff exactly are you guys writing in FA? I hear annotating FA is essential, but I'm not the type of person who highlights, underlines, jots, etc. in books. I'm still doing really well in all my classes, and I know the notes are for board study, but I just wanted to know what I'm missing out on.

I try to keep my annotating to a minimum but:
-clarifications
-reinforcement from Qbanks or other sources. Like RR-->FA
-missing info found in other sources
-mnemonics I made up or found elsewhere
 

Taus

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I try to keep my annotating to a minimum but:
-clarifications
-reinforcement from Qbanks or other sources. Like RR-->FA
-missing info found in other sources
-mnemonics I made up or found elsewhere
:thumbup:

You won't regret stooping to the level of busting out the old-school "paper reinforcements" from elementary school. Pain in the a**, but well worth it.
 

GMDMD

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What kind of stuff exactly are you guys writing in FA? I hear annotating FA is essential, but I'm not the type of person who highlights, underlines, jots, etc. in books. I'm still doing really well in all my classes, and I know the notes are for board study, but I just wanted to know what I'm missing out on.
If you're not the markup type (provided you're doing well currently), I would not suggest you change your style around majorly for the boards. You might end up bogging yourself down with a new highlighting system which isn't that efficient for you. I know many people who waste too much time making notes and notes on their notes when it is clear they lack fundamental conceptual understanding of the stuff they are memorizing.

The reason many people annotate in FA is to consolidate most of the important info into one source. By the time I was in my second pass review I was using the review texts less and less (only as a reference, not for reading through) and mainly relying on FA. I would annotate useful pathophysiology notes from Goljan's book for example, in places where FA explanations were lacking.
 

Random Anesthesiologist

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Just to clarify for the students starting this coming fall, before they jump the gun.....

If they plan to take Step I in Spring/Summer 2011 they should wait for the 2010 book (for annotation purposes), right????

;) :D
 

spospo

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What kind of stuff exactly are you guys writing in FA? I hear annotating FA is essential, but I'm not the type of person who highlights, underlines, jots, etc. in books. I'm still doing really well in all my classes, and I know the notes are for board study, but I just wanted to know what I'm missing out on.
i'm not big into that whole "highlighting system" type thing either. just seems annoying to me. instead, as many others have said, i write other useful details or my own way to remember things. i often find myself rewriting lists i used during class to study for that topic. i take a bit from goljan as well. i wouldn't say a write a ton though.
 

WizardHowl

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Looking back, would you guys suggest 3 hole punching and putting it into a binder? Or spiral binding, and maybe adding post it notes to the packet? Or just keeping the book as itself?
 

njbmd

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No, the worst part about having your book in a three ring binder is trying to write in the right side margin of a page on the left side of the binder. Rings get in the way and tempers flare.
Stick on notes work great. You can move them from place to place, add and subtract, revise as needed.
 

ENThopeful

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my test is in june and my book is falling apart already. the binding is splitting, pages are falling out, and its looking like an awful mess. i wish i had hole punched before i started writing on the margins..
 

spospo

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Got my 2009 hole punched but it is a good half inch narrower than lined paper, which is a little annoying. Not sure if it was their ''fault" or not. I'll get over it eventually
 
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Twitch

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For those concerned about the flimsy paper: You can buy the e-book version here and print it out on decent quality paper. Not the flimsy one MH prints out on. This has been brought up to MH before, however they continue to ignore it.
 

scube

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had mine spiral bound. added pretabbed pages with numbers and table of contents at the begging. makes it super easy to get to the right section. added a few sheets to each section. LOVE IT> so easy to flip thru. Office max screwed it up with a bad cut. Tell them how crucial it is. Office depot was able to fix it mostly.

as far as the three ring binder. get a good one. avery heavy duty the rings meet flush so you are less likely to rip a page and they are D ring.
 

scube

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my test is in june and my book is falling apart already. the binding is splitting, pages are falling out, and its looking like an awful mess. i wish i had hole punched before i started writing on the margins..
you may still be able to get it spiral bound if the place is good.
 

leahmaria

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I just had mine done today, and the man at office max cut the book into four or five parts before cutting the binding off so that it would save as much of the page as possible and the cut would be the most even. you could suggest that to whoever is cutting yours.
 

rock_climber

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what type of writing utensil do you all use to annotate your FA? i've found gel pens work like crap and i dont really care for pencils...any tips?
 

Vonsmack

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what type of writing utensil do you all use to annotate your FA? i've found gel pens work like crap and i dont really care for pencils...any tips?
I guess that leaves ball point pens, which is what I use. They don't smudge like the gel pens.
 

becool5

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I know this is off-topic, but has anyone had the spine removed/hole-punched their textbooks? I would like to do that as it seems like it would much easier to organize by section in a binder, plus you can take individual sheets out if you want to just sit there and study without holding a huge text? Any thoughts? I am just worried about ruining my textbooks.
 

scube

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I know this is off-topic, but has anyone had the spine removed/hole-punched their textbooks? I would like to do that as it seems like it would much easier to organize by section in a binder, plus you can take individual sheets out if you want to just sit there and study without holding a huge text? Any thoughts? I am just worried about ruining my textbooks.
I have a book that was designed to do this. Toronto notes. Its great I can add all the stuff for the unit i am in (cardio resp renal) my binder and have a quick resource with me at all times. I put toronto notes into a high quality(theres a huge difference) binder. I could see where getting a physio, path, pharm book done as well would be a benefit. at the end of the day, they are your books. instead of three big books you would have a three ring binder with everything you need, sounds pretty sweet to me.
 

becool5

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I have a book that was designed to do this. Toronto notes. Its great I can add all the stuff for the unit i am in (cardio resp renal) my binder and have a quick resource with me at all times. I put toronto notes into a high quality(theres a huge difference) binder. I could see where getting a physio, path, pharm book done as well would be a benefit. at the end of the day, they are your books. instead of three big books you would have a three ring binder with everything you need, sounds pretty sweet to me.

It would be sweet! I think I will try it with one of my older textbooks to see what it looks like, however as other people have said it seems like the quality depends on the person doing it. Thanks for the reply!
 
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