Evernote

Structuring Evernote (Education Edition)

*Feature image used under license from Evernote Corporation

Can you use Evernote to organize in education? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, with some work and dedication in the beginning to get everything setup correctly.

What is better for students and teachers? OneNote or Evernote?

Let me preface this by saying that I am an Evernote Certified Consultant and I use Evernote for most everything in my life. I do however use OneNote on occasion for my sons school, and before switching to Apple products used OneNote exclusively for years.

That being said, each program has its strengths and each program has its weaknesses. For this particular blog post I will be concentrating on Evernote and will be doing a similar post for OneNote at a later date. I am also a Mac user, so I am approaching this from just a Mac and iOS perspective (for the most part).

A little bit about the “why”.

I have two kids ages 13 and 17 currently. One is graduating from high school this on the 31st of May, the other is entering 8th grade. Both of them could use some help in the organization department. I am also married to a law enforcement professional and just like his boys, he could use a little help as well. So that got me thinking. I already have the husband covered in terms of organization since I handle the household notebooks and things like that. The kids on the other hand are a bit different. Up until now I have handled things for them. It’s time that they start doing things like this for themselves and what better way than to start the off with keeping their education in check and organized.

The Target Audience – The 8th Grader

If you have kids you know how receptive they are to “things that mom says are helpful”. This situation is no different. My son has Dyslexia and saw a video about how OneNote was helping people with the disorder and he was set on using it. My son is also an Aspie which makes introducing new things a bit difficult at times. He either loves the idea or is completely devoid of emotion when it comes to it. Take it or leave it is an understatement.

It took some doing, but I finally got him to agree to try Evernote. He still isn’t 100% sure about it, but at least he’s willing to try.

The Notebook Structure

The Stack

*This is organized according to how my son wanted it done and what works with his brain. This is NOT something that has to be followed 100%. Play around with the structure and do what works for you.

As you can see, we have one notebook for each class, a notebook for research, planning, and note-taking. Within each notebook I have placed four “starter” notes.

The Starter Notes

Assignments

This note contains a table where his assignments will be listed with the assignment name, due date, comments, and a tick box for if it’s completed or not completed. We are using a table in the note to keep each of these items uniform and organized.

The Assignment Table

Course Overview

This note will contain the syllabus, teacher information, and any other pertinent information once his class starts. Think of it as a quick reference guide for the class.

Lecture and Textbook Notes

In the image above you’ll see that there are two similar but different notes. Lecture and Textbook Notes and Lecture Notes. These notes are almost identical in their template content. They are based on the Cornell note taking system and give the student an option for combining both textbook and lecture/class notes in one place or having just lecture notes on their own.

Other Notes

Outside of these first notes that are in the notebook, there will be many, many more that range from homework assignments, projects, group work, et cetera.

For each assignment we will use a note link to make them accessible through the Assignments table. This allows me to stay on top of things as well as my son. Even if I’m on the go I can have quick access to things that he has questions on. No more digging around through our notes trying to find anything. Everything will just be a quick click away.

Storing Files

One of my favorite parts of Evernote is that I can drop files in and choose to view them online or as an attachment. This comes in super handy when I know what something looks like but can’t necessarily remember what it’s called. I can scan the printouts for what I’m looking for rather than have to go in and open each one till I find what I’m looking for.

View Inline
View Inline

 

View as Attachment
View as Attachment

 

The file storage works with both Apple iWork applications as well as Microsoft applications, which is nice since I am on the Mac and my son uses a Windows computer. They are also “live” file which means that you can open them (in the desktop app), make changes and when you save they will reflect inside Evernote. This does not work for mobile devices.

Conclusion

Evernote is a program that you can use for keeping tabs on your information within the education sphere. The program works the same for the most part across all platforms. Although the mobile and web versions are a bit more limited than the desktop ones.

If you are looking for something that will allow you to go paperless and be a bit more productive I highly suggest checking out Evernote to see if it fits your needs.

Keep an eye on the blog for more posts about Evernote and use cases.

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