fflav

higher ed Evernote in Academia - ebook contribution for college student guide to EN

29 posts in this topic

Dear Evernote enthusiasts,

I am a student in Neuroscience and Psychology and have been using Evernote since 2009. I love Evernote and its potential once you've developed a workflow and personal system. Sadly, many haven't achieved this...

My New Year's Resolution (for January) is vague but exciting - write a 80 to 100 page ebook for college students on how to use Evernote for their studies and research. The final result should be available on February 1st, leaving me 27 days to write and publish it. I have figured that students are not using Evernote to its full potential and what they need is a clear and simple guide. I wish I had such a guide when I started at my University. That's why I am creating this. Helping students get more out of their tools and focus on things that matter.

The ebook should consist of three parts.

Part 1: short introduction and basics of Evernote

Part 2: specific advice for college use

Part 3: use cases/examples from the community

Part 3 (and 2) is where you come into play! I'd love to hear from you how you regularly use Evernote in college. If you are a teacher/professor, tell me about the advice you give to students how to use this nifty little piece of software.

Also, if you wish that I cover a specific topic (e.g. citation) I can try to implement your thoughts and ideas (don't worry, I am going to talk about citation). Problems you are facing or things you are struggling with can equally be mentioned here. From having too many notebooks and tags to not knowing how to integrate citation with Evernote properly for example.

Let's open the discussion and forum brainstorming! I am very curious. And thanks for your contribution. Only with your help the ebook will be successful.

Btw, you can send me a PM anytime too.

Flavio

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Hi Flavio,

I'm Megan, the Student Ambassador. I would love to help you out with this in any way that I can. Feel free to get a hold of me!

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What a great idea. I look forward to seeing your book.

Regards

Chris

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Hi fflv,

I have using Evernote for about the same length of time and use it for everything from work to school to personal business. We have gone entirely paperless at home and, because I travel a lot for work and attend an online university, having all of my information electronically and accessible from any device is critical. I am also working on a degree in psychology and I use Zotero for citation management to help assure that my in-text citations and references are formatted correctly for APA style. I am having a difficult time devising an effective workflow integrating Zotero and Evernote to help me manage research and papers. I want to place more emphasis on streamlining this workflow early this year because although I am still completing coursework, I am also starting to work on the research prospectus and the literature review for my dissertation. If you or anyone reading this thread has suggestions, I would be happy to get your input. Also, for the purposes of your ebook I would be happy to collaborate on a section about citation management and research management in general. Specifically with regard to the literature for my disseration, I am really struggling with keeping a clear notes about which articles I have read, where they applicable for my dissertation or not, if so why, what database did I find the article in, cross-referencing citations between articles (i.e. I found article x because it was used as a source in article y, etc.). I currently am using an excel spreadsheet provided by the schools writing center and it was useful for about a dozen articles, but trying to combine information in the spreadsheet, with the annotated PDFs in Zotero, and notes in Evernote I am starting to feel that I am spending more time managing the process than focusing on my research and literature review.

Anyway, count me in if I can help in anyway. I think it would be valuable to address the struggle I mentioned above but maybe in a more generic way that could be used with any other bibliography management software such as RefWorks or Bibme. I would be glad to collaborate with someone on this section and specifically on defining an effective workflow. I know it would benefit me personally, so I assume others would benefit as well.

Kudos for taking on this initiative.

Amie

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Thanks for your comments so far! Feel free to share this topic with other students and friends - the more feedback I get, the better the ebook at the end.

@Amie there are ways to integrate Zotero, Mendeley or Endnote. Myself, I am a big fan of Papers2 - http://www.mekentosj.com/ for my own worfklow it's truly terrific! Works for Mac&Windows and mobile devices. During the next days I will come up with some more workflows for Zotero/Mendeley/Endnote but would love to gather different approaches from many users in order to offer a variety of effective workflows. A big thank you for willing to collaborate! I'll contact you shortly.

Flavio

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I'm not going to say I'm entirely paperless but I'm getting there. I've used Evernote on my iPad2 almost exclusively for my grad school studies. I'm confident that 90% of the reason I'm not totally paperless is simply the fact the iPad needs to be plugged in to charge! I'm considering taking over my husband's iPad as he seems to prefer his Nexus tablet.

I'm at a loss to tell you what I do that is "different" or helpful because I just do what I do to keep my work as paperless as possible. The one area I will not go paperless though is on text books. I tried doing an ebook once and it was only good for 1 semester, and I needed it for two.

Ask some more questions and I might be able to better figure out what I do that makes paperless in grad school possible.

Oh, I'm majoring in nursing in the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track.

Angela

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Hi Angela,

Welcome to the forum.

What was the problem with the eBook and why was it only good for 1 semester?

Best regards

Chris

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Hi Angela,

Thanks for your comment. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about your experience with Evernote and the iPad for grad school. Talk about workflow, how you managed to take notes on your iPad only (e.g. did you use a wireless keyboard?), how did you cram for exams? What about pdf annotations etc.? Did you face any particular problems?

Flavio

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I will not go paperless though is on text books. I tried doing an ebook once and it was only good for 1 semester, and I needed it for two.

Hi. Welcome to the forums. One alternative is to scan the textbook. I've had great success with this, as most of the books I use for my research are unavailable in ebook formats. As far as Evernote goes, I tend to use it a little differently than most folks by not putting PDFs into my account (http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/29245-how-to-optimize-your-evernote-experience/#entry173506).

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Okay, thanks for the questions, I have a much better clue as to how to share what I do.

First, about the only thing I cannot do on the iPad is to download the powerpoints from Angel. So, as far as class prep goes, I do that at home and then sync them to EN.

For school work, I use the logitech wifi keyboard with my iPad. During lectures, I open the powerpoints (saved in Evernote) in Foxit PDF which allows me to annotate either by type or by hand (I use a Jot Classic stylus for that). I then email the powerpoints (as a PDF) to EN. I also have a Livescribe pen that I use to take notes if it's just not feasible to take notes on the powerpoints because of the amount of information given. Livescribe documents will sync to EN and yes, as soon as my fin aid is here, I will be purchasing a Sky pen which will automatically sync to EN.

For review, I use iStudious which allows me to write notes and then use those notes to create flashcards. I also use iStudious to take textbook notes because of the ease of being able to export the information into the flashcards which can be run in a Leitner method for review. I've not spent the time to learn how to use EN Peek for review but I really rely on the Leitner method which I don't believe is supported in Peek.

I keep track of my paper references using PERRLA APA as this is the program I use on my computer when I'm writing my papers. I do lots of note taking for my papers in Pages but write the final paper on my laptop at home and, of course, save it to EN.

As far as the ebook was concerned, the license was only available for six months which would have required another license for the 2nd semester which, with the two licenses, would be more than purchasing the book, used, outright. I am one of those anal people who keep all my textbooks until I take a higher level course and unless I can purchase a ebook and "own" it forever like you could an e-novel, I won't do an ebook again.

I hope this was helpful. I'm willing to contribute any other information which might be useful.

Angela

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Hi Angela,

Never paid for an eBook for a specific length of time. Agree with you that owning the ebook makes so much more sense.

Regards

Chris

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Awesome! College students definitely have different needs than junior high students, but maybe my blog will help you get some ideas. In September, I posted a short ebook download titled 19 Practical Evernote Ideas for Students. It may help.

I'm really looking forward to reading your ebook to get some new ideas for my students.

Jordan Collier

http://evernoteforst...s.wordpress.com

Thank you Jordan. I'll have a look!

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Hi Flavio,

At the University of Rhode Island, some faculty members have been developing resources to support students using evernote to enhance their academic work. Our first crack at developing some college-specific tutorials for freshmen can be found at www.evernoteaturi.wikispaces.com

Eventually, we'd like to create more materials aimed at graduate students and faculty members.

We'll be following your progress and this discussion for ideas that will improve our efforts!

Jay Fogleman

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Hi Jay,

That's very useful, thanks for posting.

Regards

Chris

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Hi Flavio,

At the University of Rhode Island, some faculty members have been developing resources to support students using evernote to enhance their academic work. Our first crack at developing some college-specific tutorials for freshmen can be found at www.evernoteaturi.wikispaces.com

Eventually, we'd like to create more materials aimed at graduate students and faculty members.

We'll be following your progress and this discussion for ideas that will improve our efforts!

Jay Fogleman

Hi Jay, thanks for the post. I have however already seen your website while doing basic research for this upcoming book. I'll stay in touch.

Flavio

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I really like the effort you're making. I know many college students who use and like evernote, but are unsure of how to use it to it's full potential.

Anyways, as I posted here, I am a sophomore, and I've been trying to go paperless in college, *trying* being the key word. I figured that topic was not the proper place to talk about my organizational system which I have worked quite a bit on to tweak. It's a semi-GTD system, with action tags and very few contexts, as well as a great deal of note-linking. I feel that my system works really well for college students, and I want to share it here in case it helps someone else out on their path.

So, I had at one point tried a system like GrumpyMonkey's, with one notebook and tags and dates, but I found myself getting lazy, making date typos, and having a huge list of saved searches that effectively acted like tags. Plus, I couldn't get a todo system into it... and I like the thought of using just evernote for everything as opposed to multiple apps.

After some experimenting, this was created:

evernotesysem.jpg

First off, anything that enters my evernote from external sources (via email, ifttt, new created notes etc.) goes into !Inbox or !Reading List notebooks. For people who are familiar with GTD, these two notebooks are like collection bins. At the end of each day, I move/tag every note appropriately.

The GTD notebook holds all of my tasks and projects, together. And these are separated into lists by tags. My basic process of creating tasks is much easier to explain with a chart than with words:

evernotesystem2.jpg

That's my basic process towards making a task and getting stuff into evernote, the GTD side of it.

Now for class notes:

I always take notes in class, and if it's a class where I can take notes on the computer, then I make a New Note in evernote, and it goes into !inbox to later be processed - ie. Moved into the Current Semester notebook and tagged with the course name.

If it's a note that I take by writining, then I *try* to scan it into evernote, in my attempt to go paperless. My school has cannon scanners, and they can scan documents as images (I prefer the image to a PDF, the evernote OCR is easier for that). And then I process the note as managed above.

For handouts given out in class, of which there are very few becuase my school uses an online course management system, I scan those in as well. I also download handouts and things from the course management system to the inbox, then process.

I have yet to do a research paper, I'm a Genetics major and so far I've been focused on labs, so I have not encorporated papers into my system, but I can imagine making a tag for "paper sources" and then a tag for the paper name, or a link back to a project todo note.

Non-academic:

Now, when it comes to organizing other, non academic notes, such as articles I read that I liked, workout tracking, my food diary, etc, I place it into the inbox, then the appropriate notebook and tag it properly. I use try to use tags liberally, but efficiently.

The Key to my System: Daily Journal:

In my Journal notebook i create a note every day, a copy of a "template" note in the pinned ref notebook:

Title: Day MM/DD/YYYY

Content:

Schedule:

Mandatory tasks for the day

Tasks:

MIT:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

To Do:

Plan for Today:

[screenshot]

Workout of the Day:

Meals:

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Dinner:

Thoughts

This note is the center of my system. Every night before bed, I edit the note of that day, add in thoughts, links to other notes that are relevant, cross out tasks, make sure they go into my Done Today note, etc. It's a summary of my day, which feels good to make, it gives me both a historical outline of my life, making sure I stay on track with my goals and acting as an organized historical timeline of my life. It also forces me to go through my inbox and look at what I did today as well as process all of those notes.

Then, I make the note for the next day, During this time, I go through my GTD notebook and tags, making sure my 1.next list includes everything that needs to get done next (ie asap).

That's my system in a nutshell, I hope I explained it well, if you have any questions, ask away :) I hope this helps someone on their path to making their perfect system that works for them.

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Hi lerka, thanks so much for this fantastic write up. I think the daily journal seems like a very good idea to provide a lot structure and routine. In case I'll have some more questions, I'll shoot you a message.

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For those who are interested, I've written a short how-to-use Evernote for research (brainstorming/citation) blog entry the other night. It integrates two other applications.

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Hi fflav,

Read it once and will again when I am more awake tomorrow.

Very good so far!

Like the look of Papers. It just might be a better way of storing all of my PDF data sheets and manuals.

Best regards

Chris

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Hi fflav,

I filled out your questionnaire and left you a message on it.

This is a great project.

Andy

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