Evernote – the Academics’ little big helper

Everyone needs a side-kick, a buddy to help them get on in academic life because It’s nice to know someone has your back every now and again and Evernote was my side-kick when I was doing my PhD as well as during my post-doc, not to mention in my personal life too, oh, and so that means… OK, you get what I mean.

(I help academics in their everyday life by writing blogs about useful apps, tools, and online stuff. I know personally how academics have precious little time to research every app recommended to them so I make all my blogs ‘bitesize’ and to the point – Evernote saves my sanity all the time cuz my notes are always to hand, and it’s free.)


The Ever-ywhere and Anyhow

Evernote is a, fundamentally, a note-keeping app. I say ‘keeping’, because you don’t have to make notes with it, you can collect ones you already have.

Evernote available online through your search engine, downloaded to your desktop and mobile devices.

Some ways to make notes in Evernote:

  • text by typing – as per any note-taking app, how conventional!
  • scribbling – if you have a deft hand, digital pen or wiggly finger, go for it!
  • scrawl pictures and doodles – like the previous point, go for your life, as long as you understand it, right?
  • audio – record what you like (if in company, maybe ask permission first).
  • photos – take a photo (of posters, slides) rather than type.
  • clip internet pages – Evernote made a fabulous ‘widget’, a button to add to your internet browser that will give you options to clip webpages as a whole; text; as pdf (if there is one) – in one click.
  • save pdfs – keep the pdfs you may not want with other pdfs in Evernote instead, e.g., policy documents, online contracts, conference itinerary per se.

Is your mind reeling yet because I’ve only recalled these examples off the top of my head?

“Yeah, but I make notes in other ways!”

Yeah but. No but. Me too! I make notes in my beautiful Moleskine (cheaper version Moleskine) notebook. I love it. Even so, please keep reading…

Occasionally, maybe more than that, I have one page of notes in my pseudo-Moleskine that I need to to access from anywhere at any time, so I take a snapshot of that precious page with my phone/tablet using the Evernote app. thus making a digital note of it. I make a note of my note… getting meta now.

The Evernote app sync across all systems and devices, automatically.

The Ever Clever

Syncing across all devices is precisely why Evernote is so brilliant to use. Versatility with notes and other apps (so many other apps) is what makes it a great adaptable note-keeper. What makes it a clever note-keeper is the search, it can search not only your typed notes but your written AND photographed notes too. Oh yeah. I can’t contain my love for Evernote as I write this, it’s so good searching through notes (and by the way, I do not work for Evernote, I’m just a fan).

Numerous blogs about using Evernote for productivity and organisation are out there but I’ve never read them (until I was researching for this blog) because I’m still so happy just using the tools I’ve found on my own – it’s that intuitive to use.

It’s not just me

I’m not the only one who is evangelical about Evernote. A quick internet search will show you how lots of academics (and non academics) use this app because there isn’t one correct way to use it – another great thing about Evernote.

I encourage anyone who is breathing out carbon dioxide and has a job with meetings and notes and emails to try Evernote.

I’ve only touched on what this little app can do (I know it’s not little) so here’s a list of other stuff, with links, to pique your interest:

Click this link to start using Evernote


This piece is part of the tools section of the Online Academic blog. See other tools I recommend.


About Dr Jojo Scoble

Freelance Science Communicator. Microbiology PhD Oxon. Fiction Writer. Social Media dilettante. Ideas Factory.
This entry was posted in academia, apps, Planning, tools and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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