Monday, June 17, 2013

Evernote - There's an app to keep your brain together - "Remember everything!"

Let me tell you a story of a first-year doctoral student who, when researching for papers and presentations, would go to the library for 1 book and come back with 12. You know how it is, when a title grabs your attention, and you're craving new knowledge, you want as many sources as possible! So, this book collecting started to get overwhelming. Plus, that student didn't have enough time to read all the books that she grabbed. She wanted to keep track of the books that caught her attention so that she could go back to them later. But, her arms were full whenever she went to the library, or perhaps all she had with her was her smartphone, so it was hard to create a reliable list of these books of interest. Enter: the app called Evernote! She began using Evernote to keep track of the books that caught her eye but wasn't yet ready to pick up. She could take a picture of the book and the table of contents so she could remember what interested her, then save the picture in a note in her Evernote notebook called "Books to Read". She could even tag the note with its relevant topic. The organization of this new method was wonderful! It was life-changing, because a new doctoral student has a lot of things to keep track of, and new sources of information is important but sometimes unwieldy. This method of organization was great because no matter if she had her hands full or if she just had her phone with her, she could still keep track of what was important.

A photo I captured of a book I found interesting but was not yet ready to check-out from the library.

My on-going list of sources to look into in the future.
Once I started using Evernote for this type of organization, I started seeing other uses for it. I could take notes in class and attach relevant documents as I typed. I could easily access those notes later no matter if I had my own computer with me, or if I was just using my phone, or at a hotel conference using a public computer.


The best way to keep track of all your random notes to yourself, notes from meetings/classes, to-do lists, and more, is to use Evernote. It is a web-based platform that allows you to create notes, organize them into notebooks and stacks of notebooks, and share them with other people. Not only can you save notes that you write, but you can also attach documents, images, and links, too.

Evernote also has a desktop program that runs just like its web-based platform does, except you can use it when you are offline, and it will sync back to your online account when you're back on the internet.

Desktop version.
Evernote also has an app for smartphones (Android and iPhone) and tablets (Android and iPad). You can do everything in that app that you can in the web-based platform and the desktop software.

Screen-shots from the mobile version.

All-in-all, whether you are a student or a professor or a clinician, this app can be a life-saver for your organizational woes. It is free to use, but you can also pay for the premium version which gives you full access to all your notes when you are offline.

Evernote has tons of other cool add-ons, such as a foodie app:
Screen-shots from the mobile version of Evernote Food.

It also has a web-browser add-on that I use a lot, called Web clipper. It "clips" information from websites and stores that information in an easy to read format in your notebook. I use it whenever I want to remember a website, but not just the URL - I also want to remember why I wanted to remember that website, so I include content as well. It's also helpful to clip user guides or tutorials so you can have them on-hand later without having to navigate back to the same page over and over again.
Screen-shot of the webclipper add-on.

So, the final word on this Evernote thing is that its free, its easy to use, and it has so many useful applications that you can't go wrong to at least try it out.


  1. Evernote is such a powerful tool! I'm a premium user and it helps me to keep all of my stuff together. I'm actually going there today!

  2. I know! I keep finding more and more cool things it does, and things it's useful for.