Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Evernote: Who Needs Post-Its?

If you're anything like me you have a lot of "To Do" lists. Those lists are created on any spare scrap of paper, Post-It, phone bill, or Safeway receipt you can find at the time. The problem with these lists is that they get left at the office, in your car, purse, or pants (and subsequently in the washing machine). Then you start a second list, which invariably ends up either shorter or longer than the first list. Now you have 2 lists - essentially different copies of the same document.

Multiple copies of the same document can be problematic because it will leave you trying to figure out which one is the most current. If you're sharing that document with others this can add to the level of confusion. For example, I have a friend who is the part owner of an electrical company and responsible for estimating different jobs. He used to use the regular Notes function on his ipad to write down everything he needed to know about the job. His ipad then automatically sent the Note to his phone, via email, which in turn automatically forwarded that email to his work computer. 3 copies later, he was left trying to figure out which copy was his most current working copy. He needed a simpler solution.

Evernote could be that solution. It is an online Note-taking program that you can sync between different computers or mobile devices (Yes, there's an app for it!). Here's how it works. Sign up for an account on the Evernote website and then proceed to download Evernote to any other computer or install the app on your mobile or tablet device. As you create notes, they will be automatically accessible from any of those devices.
You are also able to create and edit notes on any of these devices as well. As you create new notes, Evernote will organize them based upon the keywords (or tags) you add to them.

In the classroom, Evernote can be used in a variety of ways. Students can type notes, add photographs, take clips from websites, and even store hand-written notes via email in their Evernote accounts. Read this blog post for one district's implementation of Evernote or this blog post for more ideas.

For the visual learners out there, watch this video:

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