DAY NINE - EverNote Digital January

Welcome to Day Nine of Digital January. Hopefully you enjoyed seeing Sway yesterday, the more elegant alternative to PowerPoint. Today we're going to take a look at a powerful and flexible note-taking application called Evernote, which might revolutionise the way students work in lectures and seminars or the way staff handle meetings and organising their work.

If you've got a moment and you're enjoying Digital January - or even if you're not - why not give us some feedback on our Padlet (and see Day Three for an introduction to Padlet).

What does it do?

There are many note-taking tools in the digital environment, as well as the trusty analogue device - pencil and paper! Evernote is the one that stands out for many and has even been referred to as a their 'peripheral brain' as they use it to store so many things.

Evernote is available on smartphone, tablet, PC and Mac and can be accessed on the web and allows you to record, store and organise many different types of content. You can record an audio note, type up text notes, add word documents or PDFs, take a photo or create a to-do list, and you can also clip web content into a note.

Finding your notes is easy - you can organise them into different notebooks and tag them with keywords or subjects (what information geeks call metadata). Tagging them mean you can retrieve them with a powerful search function which also searches text within images. You can also share notes with them from within the app to allow you to collaborate with others.

Where Evernote really works well is in its ability to synchronise your across your different devices - make a note on your phone and you can access it and edit it on your tablet or your PC too.

When would you use it?

On a simple level, Evernote is a handy way to store notes on a project, information and documents when you’re travelling and has plenty of day-to-day applications from making lists to handily filing of photographs of written notes, recipes etc. Some people use it for much more areas of their work and social lives - those who use it use it all the time.

Evernote seems to have a lot of features and do many different things, and this is sometimes seen as a drawback - lots of 'digital' users prefer apps to do one thing really really well rather than try to do lots of things. However, if you're looking for one digital application to help you get properly organised, this is the one. There's an interesting article here - quite evangelical about Evernote's strengths, but making a clear statement on what it can help you with.

There's a really useful article here aimed at teachers, detailing how it might have application in classroom situations.

And also a video on the same topic below;

How do you access it?

You can use Evernote for free to create notes and sync across two devices. If you want to sync across all your devices (and many students and staff have more than two) there are Plus and Premium subscriptions levels providing additional features such offline access to your notes and the ability to forward emails to your notebooks. The Premium package also lets you search Office documents and search and annotate PDFs.

Evernote is available on the Apple Store and for Android, and the web version is available from

Where can you get help to use it?

There's a useful introductory video available here:

For more in-depth training for both Macintosh and Windows users go here.

What Digital Literacy skills will Evernote help you to develop?

The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework (yet!), but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.

Using a note-taking and administration tool like Evernote is an aspect of DIMENSION 4 - Manage & communicate information as outlined in the Framework.



Created with images by othree - "Evernote Taiwan User Meetup" • Brad Frost - "Devices" • zappowbang - "often imitated, never duplicated"

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