With effective note taking, building a home for your class notes provides a place to organize them. Plus, it can also house all of your school work as well. One of the major points of taking notes is so you can refer back to them when needed. They are not a one-and-done action.

Options for Effective Note Taking

In the good ole days of yesteryear, note taking had limited options: paper. Whether they were housed in a spiral notebook, trapper keeper, or the bottom of a backpack, notes were taken by hand. In the digital age, there are many more options. I came to age in the advent of personal computers and the Internet. As a result, I have lived in this dueling world of staying old school (paper) or going new school (digital). I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but I am still very much a “paper lover.” So, I have gone back and forth in my education and teaching practice with trying to take notes in both worlds, but pushing myself to be more digital-based. However, no matter how much tech I have, I still love paper.

There is something about the feel of paper, the way I can physically hold it in my hand, be able to easily add notes, draw arrows and pictures by making them my own. Even though technology has become more user-friendly and easier to manipulate with touch-based screen laptops, phones, and tablets, it is just not the same for me. Despite this, I still want to be able to access and organize my notes digitally, so I don’t have to keep mounds of paper like some hoarder. Plus, I want to be able to take pictures of things, jot down notes on the go, and have all the access that the digital world brings me.

Building a Home For All Of Your School Work

How do I organize my paper- and digital-based worlds? I use Evernote.

I am going to be upfront with you; Evernote is not perfect. But again, as I have said before, there is no perfect way to take notes. It is personal. Over years of using Evernote, I have learned how to use it, so it works for me and my needs.

Why I love Evernote? It allows me to combine my paper- and digital-based notes, sketches, documents, and everything else in one digital portfolio that lives on the Internet, my laptop, my iPad, and my iPhone. Yes, I am a “Mac” person (don’t fault me on this), but Evernote works on Macs, PCs, iOS, and Android systems.

Here is a quick overview of Evernote:

Combining Paper and Digital Worlds

How do I combine my paper notes and items with my digital ones? Evernote allows you to scan, take pictures, and attach files inside the Evernote system. Then once they live in your system, you can edit and manipulate your paper-based notes by adding annotations, highlights, notes, and visuals to make your notes even better.

With upcoming blog posts, I will dive deeper into how I use Evernote along with the various ways you can take notes, so they are useful to you and engage you with what you are learning. Learning is about engagement and notes are part of that engagement, so that stuff in your notes becomes knowledge and understanding.

In the meantime, check out this quick video of how students can use Evernote:

After watching the video, download the free version of Evernote and start playing around with it to discover all of the great features. This is how I learned to use Evernote: trial and error.

Use this link to download the software: http://evernote.grsm.io/RyanBates.

Keep a lookout for the next installment in creating an effective note-taking system with Evernote. Better yet, connect with Histropolis T&L below to keep up-to-date with this blog series. 

About Histropolis Teaching & Learning | HTL was created out of a drive to develop purposeful, responsive, and transformative learning for all students through personalized student tutoring, teacher coaching, and curriculum development services.

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