Glean is a note taking tool designed to improve learning and productivity

App of the Week

Glean has been designed to teach students how to take their own notes effectively and, in turn, help them to improve their ability to learn and retain information, resulting in improved student outcomes. Glean’s simple administration features are incredibly easy to use and make it effortless for institutions to invite, manage, monitor and support hundreds of students at a time. Students can then easily capture audio alongside any slides or handouts and mark what’s important using all the information to hand; students learn from the spoken word by following a process that captures all information in one place.

Students can interact with their audio by adding annotations, and the three types of labels help them add meaning to what they are hearing:



A key point that you would need to remember later



It’s easy to become distracted, so if you notice you’ve zoned out of a minute hit review to remind yourself to go back and listen to that section again



Highlights any actions or homework that you need to recall


Formats/platforms used:

The Glean app can be used on computers, chromebooks, laptops and mobiles, which all also work offline


Primary website’s URL:


Problem solved:

When you are taking notes, you are not only capturing information but identifying what is important and summarizing it. The most effective notes are a summary of the original information, not a copy. In many situations, the process of taking notes is more important than the output at the end! By enabling students to take their own notes effectively, and move away from peer-provided notes, Glean enables students to highlight the most important information, and then return to review and digest this information once the lecture is over, creating independence and self-advocacy, while improving learning outcomes.


Grade/age ranges:

All ages but primarily Higher Education



Does the product address core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development?

Glean is an accessible app and is particularly good for those with learning disabilities such as ADHD, Autism, ADD, Dyslexia and those dealing with mental health issues including depression and anxiety.



Higher education, educational tools, note taking, accessibility accommodations


Lesson time needed:

Online tutorials are two minutes long which provide plenty of details for users


Pricing model:

$12 per month


Additional services:

Free trials and tutorials included. Universities and Colleges will also receive a Dedicated Customer Success Manager and Training when they purchase.


What makes Glean unique?

Glean is the only note-taking tool on the market which combines the value of learning with the spoken word as a source of knowledge and understanding. Digital audio recording has been around for decades, but the issue is that it has always been a challenge to come back to access the important information afterward. Ever tried searching for a bit of information in an hour-long recording? It’s time consuming and frustrating.

Glean seeks to overcome these challenges through our patented visual speech display. Speech is represented visually, phrase-by-phrase, making navigating through speech much more natural, transforming listening from a passive process into an active one. As you capture the audio, you annotate your recording with meaningful information so that you understand what you should come back to.

Unlike other note-taking tools on the market, Glean allows students to work smarter, not harder. Glean attempts to help users to follow best practice for learning by simply using the tool to structure the note taking process so that anyone can improve their learning.




'The design of Glean followed a user centered approach which placed users at the heart of our process. From the earliest stages of development, influential experts working within disability services and students with a range of disabilities have provided feedback to ensure Glean is aligned with the needs of our users. They have also worked closely with Assistive Technology Consultants who audited Glean for accessibility and usability issues.

With the design of Glean they have set out to offer an annotation experience which is as streamlined and simple as possible, allowing our users to engage fully in the moment whilst noting down what is important. They achieve this by demanding the smallest possible amount of attention, minimizing interactions and allowing users to defer decision making. Following these principles ensures the lecture is the note takers primary focus, not the computer or device they are using.


Here's what users are saying:

“Glean has made me a better learner. It has been one of the few things that’s really worked and really helped me capture information and at the same time figure out who I am as a learner. It’s taught me how to take notes and how I want to take notes."

-- Samantha, Student, Harvard University

“Glean has dramatically improved my grades. Before I got Glean I was a C- student, I’m now an A student. I wouldn’t do my learning any other way now."

-- Natalie, Carleton University

"Glean's been a gift for us. It's a gift to show a child that they are capable - that a tool doesn't have to do it for them for them to succeed."

-- Jennifer Topple, The Howard School

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