Organize your digital life with Evernote

| January 24, 2011

Recently, I blogged about one of my favorite online services, Instapaper ,¬†which is a space for collecting links to things that you’d like to read later.

Today, I’d like to share another one of my favorite online services: Evernote, which is an extremely versatile management system for all kinds of files. When you put your stuff (Word documents, PDFs, photos, plain text) into Evernote, it becomes stored “in the cloud.” Evernote offers several methods for accessing your account: software for your computer, apps for your smartphone, and a regular website that you log into from your web browser. Although premium (paid) accounts are available, the free version is highly functional and very popular.

Evernote is great for academic purposes. You can create multiple notebooks within Evernote for different classes, projects, or topics. For instance, you might create a notebook for a course on School Change. Let’s say you’re at home on Monday night, downloading your readings for the week onto your desktop computer. With a simple drag and drop, you can put your first School Change reading into Evernote. Then, on Tuesday, when you have some time to kill at school, you can swing by the Gottesman Libraries and use a public computer to access that same reading and whatever notes you’ve made. On Wednesday, when you go to class, you can use your laptop or iPad to access the reading – no more lost, forgotten, and heavy stacks of paper. And, on Thursday, when you’re caught in line at the grocery store or riding the bus, you can review a part of your School Change reading that confused you during class by pulling it up on your smartphone using the Evernote app. Later in the semester, as you research and write your term paper for School Change in many sittings using different computers, you can save yourself time and avoid plagiarism by saving all of your sources in an Evernote notebook that you’ve made specifically for that purpose.

Evernote is great for personal uses, too. You can install its handy web clipper button on your browser to save recipes, health information, instruction manuals, addresses and directions – whatever you’d like to have later. You can sort these items into your Evernote notebooks and tag them so they are easy to find later.

Because Evernote is leading the pack in terms of cloud-based document management, there is a wealth of resources online devoted to helping users get the most out of the service. For instance, a quick Google search turns up many websites explaining how academics can best use Evernote.

It’s not too late to get your digital life organized for the new year and the new semester – Evernote can help!