Do you find yourself jotting down notes for research paper ideas, but then can’t find them later? Have you ever found a useful website or scholarly article, but then forgot to email it to yourself or copy down the URL? If so, then you may want to try Evernote!
Evernote is a free software application designed to help you capture information in any form using a variety of electronic devices. There are versions of Evernote for Windows, Mac, the Web, iPhone, Windows Mobile, and other mobile devices. The best part? You can use Evernote on both your laptop and your mobile phone and all the data is automatically synchronized! Your “notes” are organized based on tags you add to each item. You can also group these notes into “notebooks”. Evernote has excellent indexing which allows you to search your notes based on tags and other attributes such as file type or note contents.
To get started, create a free online account, download the Evernote software to your laptop, and then add the “Clip to Evernote” button to your Web browser. As you surf the Web and find articles, websites, blogs, videos, and more, you can click the button to add them to your notes. You can also install Evernote on your mobile phone to add photos directly to your notes. Take pictures of handwritten notes, labels, or printed text and the optical character recognition in Evernote will recognize the handwriting or printed text allowing you to search the content of these items later. If you don’t want to download the software to your laptop or mobile phone, you can use the web interface to add items to Evernote.
For more information on how to use Evernote, take a look at their Getting Started guide or watch the brief video clip below. For a list of other tools to keep your academic life organized, see our Cool Tools guide.