Evernote as a curation tool for researchers

Don’t you just hate it when you can’t find that document you need on your computer or remember the website you visited and would like to revisit? Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an easy to use and convenient repository to organise all your thoughts, website links, pdfs of journal articles, and notes from meetings in one place? Better yet wouldn’t it be great if you could search this information repository, and group items under particular projects or focus areas, kind of like an electronic filing cabinet? Personally, I find a lot of good resources that I like to keep and because I have some many I need to be able to find them easily. It seems I am not alone as many people that I talk to also want to be able to

Personally, I find a lot of good resources that I like to keep, particularly for developing new training and sharing with my members, but because I have some many resources they can get lost if I don’t store them in the right way. It seems I am not alone, many people that I talk to also want to be able to capture resources and find them when they need them.

In this blog post, I want to share my secret to capturing, storing and finding all those key resources when I need them.

Let me introduce you to Evernote, a place to capture everything that matters to you and to access it when and where you need it. I have been using this incredibly powerful online tool for the last five years and see it as being useful to researchers, research teams, and research centres.

What might you want to store?

You probably have folders on your computer with electronic journal article files, meeting minutes, and other document types as outlined below:

  • Notes
  • Meetings
  • Calendar
  • Agenda
  • Images
  • Ideas
  • Photos
  • Documents
  • Lists
  • Research
  • Emails
  • Projects
  • Web Clippings

Now maybe you are already very organised and meticulous with your filing and documents, and if you are well done, but Evernote has other features that I believe will take your filing system to another level.

Advantages of Evernote:

Evernote can be used on any device, phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You can access your files from anywhere at any time, no more files on your hard drive stuck in the office.

During meetings both on and off site, you can type, write or record audio notes and store them in the relevant project workbook along with the agenda and other supporting project materials. If you need to make notes and remember specifics, you can annotate photos and PDF documents, add photos directly to the file (think whiteboard notes in a meeting), and scan receipts or business cards. Even better, you can use the in-app camera on your device to capture your handwritten notes, receipts and other documents, even notes written on a napkin and its auto capture technology will make it look great in Evernote.

I like to handwrite notes during meetings rather than being on a computer or device, and one of my favorite features of Evernote is being able to not only scan in the note but being able to search the handwritten text within the note, meaning that I never have to transcribe anything because a simple search will find a word in that hand-written note, genius!

Evernote also has browser extensions that enable you to clip information or save entire web pages to your workbooks, no more trying to find that website or blog article that you saw somewhere on the worldwide web, you can save and tag it directly against the relevant project. Same goes for emails, you can send project emails straight to Evernote to keep a record of them in the same workbook as all the other information, believe me, this makes them much easier to find, given the prolific nature of emails these days.

As you can see there are many benefits to using a platform like Evernote to manage all your project documents in one place, and much of this is available on the free version. On top of this, as a premium user, you can work with your team to share documents and files in one place, making this ideal for collaborations.

Are you using Evernote? Do you think this could be of benefit to you? Go and access the free version now and see if this is valuable to you. As an official Evernote Certified Consultant, I’m here to provide hands-on guidance to help you work more effectively and productively.

If you are already using it, tell me how it’s working out for you or suggest how it might work best for newbies.