You’ve heard that Evernote is a great college companion for note-taking, studying, and organizing your class and extracurricular life. You know that you probably should find some way to be better organized, but how, exactly, can Evernote help? You might know a thing or two about how to use Evernote, but with these tips, you can become a power user today.
1. Start using Evernote before you ever get to class
There is a growing movement in some colleges in which professors are banning the use of electronics in class. That means no laptops, no phones, and no tablets. They say (and we admit, there is merit to the argument) that the temptation to quickly switch to Facebook, or check email, or even shop online is too great for even the professors to resist. Fortunately, a lack of in-class technology won’t stop Evernote. You can still take your notes the old-fashioned way, and then move and organize them in Evernote for later study.
Write your notes on paper, and then, after class, use your phone to take pictures of each page. Evernote automatically turns each photo into a document, and its character-reading capabilities let you search your note content later. Put those notes into the notebooks for each class.
2. Record lectures
If your professor allows it, use Evernote’s audio recording abilities to capture lectures while you jot down your notes. Here, Evernote Premium does double duty as both a note-taking app and a sound recorder. When you review for your exam, listen to the lecture again along with your written notes as a guide. The audio and typed files stay together in Evernote, so you won’t spend extra time searching for loose documents.
Pro tip: Attach reminders to audio, images, or notes. Evernote will remind you when it’s time to study.
3. Import, draw and write on PDFs
Sometimes, you’ll get PDFs through your student portal or email, and it’s up to you to make sure they’re filed away with your class materials. Evernote won’t let you lose those, either, and better still, you can mark them up electronically, without switching apps. Email yourself the PDF. (With Evernote Premium, you get a personalized email address within Evernote that allows you to send files to Evernote via email. You can even specify which notebook to save it in.) Open the PDF in Evernote, and you can highlight, annotate, underline, or add stickers to remind you of the most important points. And PDF documents are searchable by keyword, too.
Pro tip: Use your phone’s camera to scan paper documents you get in class. On your computer, drag and drop PDFs and Microsoft Office documents into Evernote to keep them alongside related class notes.
4. Remind yourself to help meet deadlines and avoid last-minute panics
In the Broadway musical “Avenue Q,” the puppet characters fondly remember college as they sing “Sitting in the computer lab, 4 a.m. before the final paper is due, cursing the world ’cause I didn’t start sooner, and seeing the rest of the class there, too!” This trope doesn’t have to happen to you. Yes, it’s easy to underestimate how much time projects will take. With Evernote’s gentle email and text reminders and to-do checkbox lists, you can minimize your all-nighters and midterm and finals stress.
Pro tip: As collaborative work environments become more prevalent in the business world, universities and colleges are teaching students to work in groups. If you’re part of a work group, use Evernote to share checklists and notes with each other so that everyone can see the group’s progress, get reminders, and become accountable to each other.
5. Bring Evernote with you for extracurricular activities, a.k.a. your life.
As valuable as Evernote is as a study partner, helper, and reminder, it’s just as helpful by your side outside of the classroom. Keep work schedules, photos, event flyers, and memories you want to keep in separate notebooks. Scan and keep receipts, grade sheets, directions, bills, even entire web pages in Evernote, too. Set reminders for your personal goals and things to do, like fitness tracking and calling your parents.
Pro tip: Take some time to familiarize yourself with everything Evernote can do, and use it to its full potential! Check out these resources to see Evernote in action.
- Videos: Getting Started with Evernote
- Evernote Getting Started Guide
- How to capture ideas with your phone
- How to annotate images and PDFs in Evernote
- How to record audio into Evernote
- How to add hand-drawn sketches to Evernote on iOS devices
And really, call your parents.