Unit 9: Evernote

We try not to play favourites here, but Evernote is fast becoming the most popular tool with several members of the PLN team. Evernote is an online note taking service that could well change the way you organise your life.

While there are a number of note taking services availble, Evernote is so popular because it is available for free across a range of platforms. You can access it on Mac or Windows computers, through any web browser and also on most smartphones and tablets. Notes made on any of these devices will be synchronised ‘in the cloud’ and will automatically be available on any other device you use. (Note: As with all cloud based storage services, you may need to consider what information you are comfortable storing. For example, we would not recommend storing any identifiable student information within free cloud based services.)

Have a look at this introductory video below.

To get started, visit the Evernote website, and create an account.  You can download the software to install on your computer, but you can also access Evernote from any computer with a web browser (like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari) by choosing Web sign in after you’ve created your account. You can also install versions of Evernote on a range of smartphones and tablets (such as Apple, Android, Windows mobile and Blackberry).

Here is a great step by step guide to getting started using Evernote

Below is a fantastic video which shows you how to get started with Evernote and add a range of new notes. Though it shows how to use the Mac program, you will find that Evernote has a very similar interface on all platforms you use. (10 minutes)

You can make simple text notes, record audio files, take photographs or save web links within notes. The typed contents of any note can be searched, and Evernote will also scan any handwriting that appears in pictures and allow you to search these as well. Adding your own tags to notes allows you to organise each note by subject, and you can also group notes in notebooks (folders) that you can create. You might have a personal notebook, that is organised into your interests. Likewise, you could have a professional notebook that is organised by subject. The key to making Evernote as powerful as possible is to make sure you tag each note with relevant subjects, so you can easily find what you are looking for later on. However, if you do forget to tag notes, Evernote still contains a powerful search function.

Evernote may be the perfect tool for students to organise their studies. For a comprehensive list of ways students might use Evernote, read this post at Richie Lambert’s blog. There is also an Evernote for Schools site which is worth a look. It contains videos about how schools are using Evernote in the classroom.

One great feature of Evernote is that every account comes with a unique email address. You can email notes and web pages to the address and they will be automatically added to your notes. This is great for mobile users. Most major web browsers also allow you to install an Evernote Web clipper, which will install a button in your web browser that will allow you to save any web page you visit to Evernote with a couple of clicks.  This video below shows you how to install and use the web clipper.


While Evernote may look overwhelming to begin with, it is one of the most powerful tools we’ve seen for organsing your life. Spend some time playing around with it, and make sure you email us at plnteach@gmail.com or leave a message in the comments below if you have any questions about using Evernote. We’ll be happy to record some video answers for you.

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11 Responses to Unit 9: Evernote

  1. Pingback: Getting the most out of Evernote | Bright ideas

  2. merryn says:

    Loving Evernote – fav tool so far!

  3. kmildenhall says:

    Ok. I’m in love with this tool. I’ve seen everyone using it but never got on board because I thought it would only work effectively if I had an ipad. Ah – learning by doing – nothing else like it. Thanks again VicPLN!

    • plnteam says:

      Hi Kate,
      That’s very true – I don’t have an iPad but use Evernote all the time. It’s perfect for those of us who move between different computers (eg work, uni, home).
      Glad you liked it,
      (for the PLN team)

  4. blacca says:

    I have been using (& loving) Evernote for about 6 months and have recently introduced it to some students & staff, including its use with Peek to create audio study notes for Italian. We currently have some issues with playing back audio in Peek & Evernote within the school, probably due to proxy settings, but IT are working on it. When resolved I’ll be promoting Evernote widly.

  5. msdonoghue says:

    Even though I signed up for Evernote in March 2011 I’ve never really gotten into it…but as I’ve become increasingly more mobile* I think this may be the tool I’ve been looking for!!

    * -Iphone, Ipad, laptop at school, PC in the classroom, Mac at home-good grief, no wonder my life is so unorganised!

  6. Sandra says:

    As I use Internet Explorer the Web Clipper is (supposedly) automatically part of Evernote. But watching another Youtube presentation it looks like that’s not the case. I’ve copied the URL and pasted into the notes page but that captures the whole page (which is fine). Doesn’t look like I can select a section of an article of an image from a page from what I understand. Is this the case for Internet Explorer users?

    • plnteam says:

      Hi Sandra. I’ve had a look at installing the web clipper in Internet Explorer and run into all sorts of problems. From what I’m finding even when it does install it the clipper still won’t work because Internet Explorer blocks the tool (that may be because of stronger security settings on my work computer). I know it is a real hassle because many staff computers are locked down to just Internet Explorer. If this is the case, I would encourage you to lobby your techs to allow other browsers, because the majority of tools seem to work so much better with Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari.
      Cam (the PLN team)

  7. marya says:

    Left a post on the PLN facebook page. I love Evernote. Thanks for introducing it in the PLN!

  8. Megan says:

    Will post on PLN facebook page. Love Evernote. Thanks PLN 🙂

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