Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Elaborating on Evernote

In an April column for The ASHA Leader based on some recent consultations in the Boston area, I mentioned the tools offered by Evernote and their potential for helping a variety of students with learning difficulties. I have also mentioned Evernote in the past as a productivity tool and the wonderful Meghan Gallahan Graham of all4mychild wrote a guest post here about her use of Evernote some time back. Since the App-titude columns are meant to present a number of ideas in short format, I thought it would be worth talking about some of the free Evernote tools here with a little more elaboration.
We'll start with Evernote itself, a sort of catch-all note taking and idea capturing tool (free for pretty much every platform and on the web). I'm not as much of an early adopter as people think I am, and though Evernote is pretty entrenched and mature, I started REALLY integrating it into my work in the past year. The idea of Evernote is, naturally, a place to add notes. BUT, until an update sometime in the last 6 months or so, you could not organize those notes into Notebooks on the mobile versions- you had to make the notebooks in your web account. This limited my use of it somewhat, and I am really glad that feature is now in the iOS apps. This is yet another example of why it's important to know a little bit about what your Updates contain- they might transform an app from marginally useful for you to very useful.


Given this new(er) Add Notebook feature, here's what I have been doing with Evernote of late:

-I do a lot of classroom observations and I like to use Evernote so that my information is organized in notebooks for the location or student. I DO NOT put the student's name or any specific information into Evernote, as it is a web-based tool and its password-protection is not considered strong enough to ensure confidentiality. It is simply a tool to record my thoughts and observations using initials and vagaries, and when I need to put that information into a specific report, I can easily copy and paste from the Mac version of Evernote I have installed on my computer into a more secure tool such as a word processor.
-In a few tech-based consults for students, they have been very interested in using their device to start to take notes. They often start this by using the built-in iOS notes, and then it has been (usually) easy to help them see the value of Evernote, which of course has Notebooks and is searchable. Unlike Notes.
If your life were one giant legal pad, could you keep it organized? Plus, OH the skeuomorphism!

-Lastly, Evernote is super-useful for general meetings and professional development. I recently attended the Social Thinking Clinical Training in San Jose- great experience!- and, without extra paper, ALL my notes from those three days are in a notebook in my Evernote account.

In my next few posts, I will be talking about some other free tools that integrate with Evernote.

How about you? Are you using Evernote or something similar?

2 comments:

  1. I am using Evernote, and becoming ever-more attached. I am particularly fond of the webclipper tool with Chrome - and am encouraging my students to use it when they're working on research - why not just create a notebook with all the stuff you think you might use - that way your bibliography is easy to put together. I also encourage my students to shift from Notes to Evernote, and work on the idea of it helping them create a "textbook" (of their French grammar notes for instance), as they move into the secondary panel. Looking forward to exploring the recording ability with my second-language students as well - take a picture, put it into a notebook, tell me about it, and send it to me.

    Lots of ideas....:)

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  2. Spectacular ideas, Lisa! I hadn't thought of the research possibilities, and thanks for mentioning the recording feature. My post really just scratched the surface of this powerful tool!

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