App of the Week – Evernote

evernoteAgain, welcome to a new academic year USMA cadets, faculty, and staff! With the new year brings new technology–in the form of 4,000+ cadet iPads! Since USMA Library staff members are always looking for the best resources to recommend to our users, we are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.  

Evernote has been on many “best of the best” app lists over the past few years, so chances are that even if you’ve never used it, you’ve at least heard of it. Here’s a little more information to help you determine whether the Evernote app is a useful addition to your academic toolkit.

What is it? Evernote is essentially a digital workspace. You have the ability to compose or upload notes (whether by typing them directly into Evernote or importing them from another digital location, taking a photo, “clipping” text or links from the web, or recording audio), access those notes on any device (from laptop to iPad to iPhone or Android phone to random computer while traveling), and easily share notes with group members without leaving Evernote. To utilize the Evernote iPad app, you must sign up for a free Evernote account.EvernoteWeb

Most useful features (free app only):

  • Instant syncing: type something into the iPad app and access it on your Evernote phone or laptop immediately.
  • Organization: you can create “notebooks” for each class, project, or activity you’re involved in, and file all notes you create under a specific notebook. You can also easily create checklists/to-do lists, assign due dates and pop reminders, and tag/label each note for instant retrieval.
  • Search: Evernote has a powerful search function – type in a word or two related to the note you’re looking for, and it will pull up several options instantly.
  • Snap pictures to store in your notes, including useful documents that you always want access to: examples include taking scanning handwritten notes or handouts that actually become searchable; an instructor’s notes written on the whiteboard in class; handouts/homework, etc.
  • Group work made easy – you can create shared notebooks that your group members can add to.
  • Downsides: Web clipper, which is an excellent feature, is not available to use in the iPad app – but you can use it through a web browser on your desktop/laptop, and anything you clip will still appear in your app. There is a premium version of Evernote with more features and monthly space that you can pay for (60 MB a month free, 1 GB per month with premium), but unless you’re a prolific user, upgrading is probably not necessary.
  • Bottom line: Evernote has the potential to make organizing your life a lot easier. If you try it out, let us know what you think!

As always, here are some other helpful reviews:

Evernote (for iPad) Review

The Best Apps for Taking Notes

10 Tricks to Make Yourself an Evernote Master

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian