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cindyj

School Principal Organisation

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a smart way to set up my notebooks/tags to help me better track my school of about 100 students. I'm an avid user, but more as a note-taking tool and I want to stay on top of parent communication and student follow-ups (i.e., make it more of an administrative assistant).

 

Suggestions? Experience?

 

Thanks!

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Hi - it's possible to get seriously complicated with notebooks,  tags,  and reminders;  moving notes from one place/ status to another in the process of 'getting things done'.  I'm too lazy to prefer anything but the simplest of solutions - which also has the advantage that I can follow the system consistently,  explain it to others when I need to - and don't have a huge amount of work to catch up on if I happen to be unable to access the file for a period because of other commitments / travelling / computer glitches.  Plus I always think a 'busy' process means you're spending too much time on the process and not enough time doing the work.

 

So.  I'd suggest one notebook for staff,  another for students,  plus others for parents,  general admin and different term/ years/ classes.  Use note links to tie parents to students,  and students to classes.  You could share a notebook / notebooks with parents - so they can see the general admin notes forinstance.  It's also possible to share notebooks with students - so they can copy course material,  submit assignments,  etc.  

 

The school would need a Premium account to be able to assign editing rights to staff so they can help maintain content.  Everyone else who has access to this setup can work from a free account.  Free users can share one notebook back to the school account so work can be assessed (for example).

 

Evernote have a good educational discount,  so check whether you qualify - and have a look at Evernote Business which might be a better option (but a higher cost).  Evernote also have Education Ambassadors who might not be regular readers of this forum,  so maybe contact one of them more local to you.

 

Two caveats: 

  1. make sure you're legally OK with putting all this information into the Cloud - and even when you are,  make sure you explain the intent very clearly to everyone involved before things get too far along - much better to deal with any objections/ concerns before you're committed.
  2. probably most importantly - try this out first - with a helpful colleague and one or two carefully chosen students (or role playing colleagues),  so you can make sure it all works reasonably well.  Nothing more embarrassing than a 'big bang' launch doing a damp squib on the day....

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I might start simply and morph as the use case becomes clearer.

  1. Put everything in one notebook, easier to search as you begin.  If you want to have multiple notebooks, stack them.
  2. Add a tag per student, maybe lastname.firstname, ditto for parents.  Easier to find a family with a tag:lastname* search.
  3. Add a tag for staff, maybe s.lastname.firstname, will keep them out of the family searches.
  4. Add a limited number of tags for type of note, be it correspondence, classes, whatever it might be your are tracking.
  5. Tag the notes with person and type of note and you have a simple honing in device.  And you always have pure search.
  6. Use reminders on those notes that need them (one notebook helps here as well since all your reminders will appear in Snippet view).
  7. That and the caveats from gazumped above.  

After you've been at it a while you can graduate to a method as per gazumped's layout without much effort.  Just an opinion as to how to learn without a lot of work on the front side.  I may be lazier than gazumped.

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cindyj - You didn't give any indication as to how experienced you are with Evernote. I am going to assume that you are a relatively new user and, hence, suggest a very simple solution.

 

Put all your Notes that you don't want others to see in one Notebook. The title of each Note should have this format: LLLLLLLLLL, FFFFFFFFFF - XXXXXXXXXX.

 

LLLLLLLLLL is the last name of the student that the Note applies to.

FFFFFFFFF is the first name of the student that the Note applies to.

XXXXXXXXXX

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I hit the "Post" button too soon. Here is the rest of my suggestion.

 

XXXXXXXXXX is 1-5 words which provide a brief indication of what the Note is about.

 

(If it is better for you, reverse the positions of LLLLLLLLLL and FFFFFFFFFF.

 

When you create a new Note, be sure to make the "Creation Date" be the day of the event. If you create a Note on that day, Evernote will automatically fill it in for you. Otherwise, you can change it later. - - - The point of being particular about the "Creation Date" is that it will make it easy for your to create a list of Notes related to one student in the sequence in which they happened.

 

 

 

If there is information that you want to share with other people (students, parents, whomever), then you need to sit down and think about whether you will want a to share some Notebook with one student or a group of students, with one parent or group of parents, etc.

 

Each case will need to be its own Notebook.

 

For example, you may have 100 Notebooks, one for each student, plus one Notebook for all students.

 

Regardless, heed gazumped's caveat #2 - Whatever you do, try it out first to see how you like it.

 

I hope you feel my response is helpful.

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Thank you, everyone!

 

That was very helpful. I am an avid user for my personal needs but keep jumping around with different systems and trying to find what works best for me. I've trying switching from notebooks to more tags, but my brain is too linear. Need the notebook system and supplement with tags.

 

I like the idea of one notebook per student and will do that. Just looking for best practises so I can stop obessing about it!

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I like the idea of one notebook per student and will do that. Just looking for best practises so I can stop obessing about it!

 

Sometimes better practice is the place to stop.    :)    Helps with the obsessing.

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cindyj,  What do you mean by "track?"  What kind of tracking do you mean?  

 

I'm an asst. principal, and use Evernote every day along with the principal.  We use it several ways.

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