Evernote: My Second Brain

I love productivity apps and software to help me get things done. Whether that be at home or at the office, I’ll try just about any new utility that claims to help one be more productive. But I have never found one with as much flexibility and that works like this. Welcome to my second brain: Evernote. It’s with me pretty much all the time. Whether I am sitting at my computer, doodling on my iPad, or running errands around town. It’s that app that is on my computers, in the cloud, and on all my devices. 
So what do I use Evernote for? Here are a few of the top things I use it for:

  • Random thoughts and ideas. I keep my ideas, blog posts, writing prompts, and just about anything that comes to mind in an Evernote notebook.
  • Meeting Notes. I sit through a lot of meetings. Way too many! Although I use Google Docs more when real-time collaborating, I use Evernote for my personal notes. It’s just like my paper notebook, only electronic. And great to be able to tag and organize all these meeting notes in an intuitive way.
  • To Do lists and Checklists. Being able to easily create lists is a bonus for me. And an added perk is being able to set reminders and due dates!
  • Weekend Planner. There is always something to do around the house. Evernote keeps my projects at home organized and at the ready.
  • Travel Planner. Whether I am going to a conference across the country or a NETA meeting in Omaha, Evernote helps me keep my confirmation numbers, directions, reservations, interesting sessions, and anything else I need at the ready. And I always know where to find it!
  • Bookmarks. With the help of the Evernote Web Clipper, this is my bookmark manager. It works in my workflow. I store bookmarks as ideas for certain projects I’m working on so keeping them organized with tags or in a project folder works well for me.
  • Paperless Office. At home and at work, every piece of paper I have (bills, letters, drawings, paper notes, etc.) goes through my ScanSnap scanner and into Evernote. When I am away from my scanner, I take photos of documents, business cards, Post-its, and whatever ever else I may need. These are then searchable documents that I can go back to where ever I am in the world. 
  • Collaboration/Communications. I not only share certain notes with folks but also use a shared folder with my son. Either of us can add, remove or edit notes but its a great way for me to share his chore list or projects that he is working on.
  • Reading List. I like to think of this as the electronic version of the basket of reading material next to my Lazyboy at home. It’s that place I can store PDFs or websites I want to go back to and read more about. 
  • Email Important messages. If I need to deal with an email message, I forward it to my To Do folder in Evernote. Evernote really becomes not a part of my workflow, but THE workflow.
Tips to make Evernote more useful:
  • Use it on all your devices: computer, web, tablet, phone. Evernote automatically syncs with all of them.
  • Install the browser plugins: Evernote Web Clipper, Clearly.
  • Save your Evernote email address as a contact in your phone.
  • Be consistent – use it regularly and make it your workflow.
  • Use Notebooks and Tags to help your organize your notes and ideas.
  • Turn on location tracking – more useful than you think!
  • Use other apps like Penultimate and Skitch that integrate with Evernote.
  • Take pictures of documents, business cards, Post-it’s, and hand written notes.
  • Share notes and notebooks with friends, colleagues, and family. 
Evernote can be so much more than just your electronic notebook. Planning a conference? A trip? Collecting ideas?What will you make Evernote do for you?

Building Capacity

In working with Tech Integration Specialists today were talking about how powerful self-discovery is in getting teachers to work with new technologies. I have worked through this process with several schools using the Learning Cycle (borrowed from the Microsoft Building 21st Century Schools curriculum) and have successfully introduced many new projects and technologies to educators throughout the state.

The process includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Challenge
  • Initial Thoughts
  • Resources
  • Revised Thinking
  • Group Work
  • Closing

Here is an example of the outline I used with Broken Bow teachers: Building 21st Century Schools

New URL Shortner

I am trying out a new URL shortner from YOURLS.org. It was easy to set up and configure. I like the idea of using it for workshop material, mobile phone links I use a lot, and more.

For example, I am working on a presentation for Animation-ish tomorrow and so created the link http://JasonE.me/animation. Or how about some mobile phone addresses: http://JasonE.me/m for my mail and http://JasonE.me/w for Kearney weather. It also has a handy little WordPress plug-in that allows you to publish a short URL to posts to Twitter.

I can’t wait to find new and fun ways to use this new tool.

KAYPN – Social Networking Presentation

Social Networking/Social Media
Presentation by; Jason Everett, Systems Engineer, ESU #10
Thursday, April 15th
12 p.m. — 1 p.m.
at the American Red Cross–Conference Room

“Professionals face many challenges. One of which is finding opportunities to network with other professionals and share ideas, frustrations, websites, or just have an ear to bend. With the advancement of internet communication tools, we now have ways to build professional social networks online. This presentation will introduce you to several social networking tools that can help you build a network of professionals to help you with new ideas, research, tech support, training opportunities or just moral support.”– Jason Everett

KAYPN Social Networking Presentation

Series: Technology to Support Multiple Intelligences

This is a series of articles on how and which technologies you might use to support the eight individual intelligences as defined in Dr. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Here is a sequential outline of the articles:

jason-mi•  Introduction
Word Smart (linguistic intelligence)
Number Smart (logical-mathematical intelligence)
Picture Smart (spatial intelligence)
Body Smart (kinesthetic intelligence)
Music Smart (musical intelligence)
People Smart (interpersonal intelligence)
Self Smart (intrapersonal intelligence)
Nature Smart (naturalistic intelligence)

Your comments, thoughts and ideas are encouraged! Thank you – Jason

Social Neworking for Adult Educators


As I explore the topic of using social networking for adult educators, I see many advantages to both the educator and the student.

For the adult educator, this is a wonderful opportunity to find others in your field who are also passionate about this topic (adult education) and maybe even the subject you are teaching. It is a professional development opportunity every time you connect with your social network. Colleagues are sharing resources, participating in discussions and debates, and sharing details as they struggle and succeed in their everyday journey. It’s a place to ask questions and make connections on a global scale. You have access to people and resources that are global, instant and diverse. It can become a rich community of sharing and support.

Additionally, an adult educator who provides social networking opportunities for their students opens the door for an endless learning experiences limited only by the student’s own sense of adventure and creativity. No matter the topic, the abundance of social resources will become an ever flowing river of resources to your students. They will have access to people following the same interests, experts in the field, and social filters only those working with the topic on a daily basis will have. I believe you will also find this is an environment some students will thrive in as they have an opportunity to express themselves in a different, typically non-threatening, medium.

Some important resources to investigate and try with your colleagues and/or students.

As we work more and more in this online collaborative space, what tools do you find most useful and what do you feel are the key advantages of social networking to adult educators? Please comment!

October 2009 – Adult Education Conference PresentationSocial_Networking PDF – 6.6 Meg