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I would like to play Skyrim, pause the game and switch to a program to take notes on. Any suggestions?

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A pen and a notepad? – Doozer Blake May 17 '14 at 2:32
Skyrim does not handle alt-tabbing gracefully. At all. Though, there are some mods out there, like Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn that let you take notes within the game. I've not tried that particular mod, however, anything that's featured on G.E.M.S. is usually good. – Unionhawk May 17 '14 at 2:34
Save Take Notes from game to computer drive? – linuxfreebird May 17 '14 at 2:35
@linuxfreebird According to the info page, it's saved to /Skyrim/Data/SKSE/Plugins/FISS/TakeNotes/JournalExport.txt, usually. – Unionhawk May 17 '14 at 2:37
I'd like to echo what @Doozer said - while it may take a while to set up, the reward is definitely worth it. – Riking May 17 '14 at 8:41

I have used a web based editor in the browser within the steam overlay for this. You could use something like gist, evernote, markable.

Press shift tab to bring up the overlay.

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facepalm I forgot about the Steam Overlay being a thing that doesn't crash the game >_> – Unionhawk May 17 '14 at 2:58

Skyrim doesn't handle switching between applications very well. At all. Roughly 50% of my alt-tab attempts with Skyrim end in a crash to desktop. You could switch out of Skyrim with alt-tab (or similar key combo, depending on your operating system), but I don't really recommend it.

If you're not too afraid of mods, you could use Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn. It adds an in-game journal which could be used to take notes within the game. It also allows you to export your journal entries to a text file.

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Play in windowed mode. After starting Skyrim, go to options and enable the windowed mode setting. The windowed mode plays much better with alt+tab compared to playing fullscreen.

Unfortunately, you will now have a non-borderless window decorated with the Skyrim titlebar and the max/min/close buttons of a normal Windows' window. I have yet to find a way to launch in borderless window mode without mods.

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There are many solutions for borderless windowed mode, OneTweak being my favorite. – kotekzot May 17 '14 at 5:17

Why not use a tablet while you play?

Thats what I do

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Or smartphone... or just a pen(cil)+paper. – Trent Hawkins Jun 2 '15 at 14:05

Overwolf is an overlay system similar to steam but offers a number of addons including a notepad that i use for the similar purpose, when playing some games.

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