Back to school is an exciting time of the year. Hectic too. New classes, new schedules, new activities after school. Sometimes it’s hard for kids and parents to adjust to the new program. But there’s help out there for the asking: Evernote.
Whether it’s organizing and accessing lecture notes, collaborating with a group on a class project, creating a book report, or even organizing after-school activities, Evernote is there to help you focus on what matters most, both inside and outside of the classroom. It’s simple to use and the organizational tools are flexible. Which means you can use Evernote the way you want to.
The big picture is that you can put almost anything into Evernote. You can type in notes. Hand write notes. Capture audio recordings of classes and meetings. Take photos. You can even take a picture of any document or whiteboard, like assignments or class notes, and Evernote will store the text and make it searchable. Even handwritten text is searchable!
In order to get a first-hand view of Evernote in the classroom, we decided to go straight to the source, and we didn’t have to go all that far. We sat down with one of our summer interns, Marcelo Coelho, to learn how Evernote helps him stay focused while pursuing his degree.
Evernote: Where are you in school and what’s your after-graduation goal?
Marcelo: I grew up in Brazil and I’m doing my Masters in UX Design at L’École de Design in Nantes, France. I’m planning on a career in tech after graduation.
Evernote: How does Evernote help you stay focused with a heavy course load?
Marcelo: So many ways. Actually, I used Evernote from the very beginning when I was just looking at different schools and trying to find the right Masters program. Then there was all the paperwork involved with getting a visa. I kept track of all the immigration bureaucracy and the application process in Evernote. So before I even got here, Evernote was an amazing help in making these big changes easier to handle.
Evernote: Any specific features that helped you during the application process?
Marcelo: Having everything in one place was great. Applications, letters, responses, program descriptions, letters of recommendation. It all went into Evernote. The other part is that all of that information was always with me. Laptop or phone. So when it was time to make an important decision like which country to move to, or which Masters program to choose, I had all the relevant info with me and well organized. I wasn’t wasting time at the last minute looking around my room for something important. It actually helped me make better decisions. It was amazing, after I got here and started work, I looked back at my notes and realized that I had gotten my Evernote design internship by using Evernote!
Evernote: Do you prefer the desktop or the mobile version?
Marcelo: Both, because the ability to access your notes everywhere is so important. But I mainly use the desktop version of Evernote, since it’s more comfortable for me to write there. The full-sized keyboard and big screen are a huge advantage for working on long docs. At the same time, the fact that I can always have my notes with me on mobile helps a lot when trying to remember essential things or documenting ideas that happen when I am away from the computer.
Evernote: What advice would you give students thinking of adopting Evernote as part of their toolset for school?
Marcelo: Set up Evernote on all your devices and start adding content, including pictures of your handwritten notes or paper documents from school. In the beginning, it may be hard to create the habit. But the fact that you can quickly search everything, wherever you are in the future, pays off!
Here’s a close-up of some of the ways Evernote lightens the load for students:
- One class at a time
Say goodbye to a notebook for every class, or one giant notebook with a bunch of tabs. You can set up a notebook in Evernote with a click. Give it a name, like biology or English, and everything having to do with that class goes in there. Student notes. Quiz schedules. Even papers you’ve written and other assignments. And if your school is on board, you can share these documents with teachers via email or a shareable link. With Evernote, the days of losing important class material are over. Imagine that. Less stress and chaos, no missed deadlines.
- You can’t forget anything
With a busy schedule made even busier with endless distractions, it’s no wonder things slip through the cracks every once in a while. Or every other day. Evernote is there to help you remember. When you enter a note, you have the option of setting a reminder that sticks to that note and keeps you on schedule. From the pull-down menu in a note, you simply set the date and you’ll receive an in-app reminder as well as an email reminder. It’s like having a real live assistant.
- Everything everywhere
If you’re going to a history class and decide you’ve got time for the chemistry lab right after, no problem. You have what you need. As long as you have your laptop or tablet, everything for every class is at your fingertips. And if you don’t have your device with you and there’s a computer available, you’re still good. Evernote is cloud based so all of your notes in your app are also available on a browser.
- Research made easy
One of the most important features in Evernote is Web Clipper. In short, it lets you save anything you find on the web. You simply install the free browser extension and that’s it.
To use it, look for the little Evernote elephant icon up in the address bar. When you land on a page you’d like to save, click the icon and save the whole page, part of the page, text only, or image only. However you’d like to reference that page in the future, Evernote Web Clipper makes that possible.
Imagine you’ve been browsing for something for hours and you finally find it. You could bookmark it. But way better, save the contents into Evernote. You can store it where you can find it, and even if the live page changes or moves, what you have clipped will remain. Research heaven.
- What matters most
Having a plan helps you set your priorities—you decide what needs to be done and by when. Some things are urgent, some can wait. Knowing which is which is half the battle.
We like to think of it this way: Evernote helps you focus on what matters most, and one way to do that is with tags. For example, let’s say you have a math test on Thursday and you have a study guide for preparation. Enter the study guide into your math notebook and add the tag #tests to it. Then, when you need to find it again, simply search your tags for ‘#tests’ and it’ll pop right up.
You can create tags for any keywords that make sense to you (such as the subject, course code, or day of the week). Then, when you make or review a note, simply add the appropriate tag to it.
Evernote is any student’s best friend
If you struggle with staying organized, or just want to get the most out of your day, it’s time to go back to school—with Evernote. It clears your mind of all the stuff you’re supposed to remember so you have time to learn.