Monday, June 30, 2014

Evernote: A Teacher's New Best Friend

I heard of Evernote in college (one of my professors swore by it), but I never really explored it until recently, and let me tell you, it's the best thing ever.  It's a wonderful way not only to take notes online but also organize your notes and access them whenever you need.  On top of all that, Evernote is free.  You can update your account to premium if you want, but you're perfectly fine if you don't.

So, how does Evernote work?  You can just type up the information you need in the appropriate "note" and have all the notes compiled together in one big group, or you can take it a few steps further and really take advantage of everything Evernote has to offer.

Think of each note as a separate piece of paper you've taken notes on.  Like I said, you can just have all the notes tossed together without organizing them, but that's like having a whole bunch of papers piled on your desk without any organization system.  You can organize all your notes into notebooks.  Think of notebooks as taking a bunch of related papers and putting them into a folder.  Now, your desk is covered with a collection of folders.  You can go one step further and organize your notebooks into stacks.  Stacks are like binders.  You take all the related folders and put them in a binder together.  Now, that original stack of papers you had all over your desk are organized in their own binders.

Above is a picture of one of my stacks on Evernote.  I use it to keep track of the classes I'm taking and the assignments for it.  Each notebook represents one class I'm taking, and the number next to the name tells how many notes are in the notebook.  When you click on the notebook, you get something that looks like this:

In addition to typing text, you can also upload files to your notes.  It's great if you want to add a PDF or PowerPoint to a note so you have that ready as well.

Once you have your note on Evernote, you can share it, just like Google Drive (formerly Google Docs).  All you do is click the wonderful "Share" button and select "Link".  You can also share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, via email, etc.  I haven't used this feature as much (I mostly use Evernote for homework and notes on books I read), so I can't really comment on it.

So, you might be thinking to yourself, "Well, this sounds a lot like Google Drive".  Well, yes, it is a little similar.  Google Drive has its own merits, which I'll get into in another post.  For some reason, I prefer Evernote, I don't know why.  Does that mean I don't use Google Drive?  Absolutely not, I use it, just not as much, and for other purposes.  For some reason, I find Evernote easier to navigate.  Like Google Drive, you can log on to any computer (or smartphone, tablet, etc) and pull up your account.  Unlike Google Drive, there's not overarching data limit.  Evernote has a limit of 60 MB a month of uploads for free or 1 GB if you have a premium account.  As for storage, you don't have a limit.  Which means, you can upload 60 MB of data a month to your Evernote for free every single month and never will they tell you you're reaching your limit.  Google has a limit of 15 GB storage limit.

Overall, I do have to say I prefer Evernote to Google Drive.  That doesn't mean I'll stop using Google Drive.  Like I said, it does have its uses, which I'll talk about in a later post.

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