Saturday, June 1, 2013

Death to Lesson Plan Books! Evernote: Great for Lesson Planning

Hello All-

It's like the Epic of Gilgamesh out there.  It's been raining in Central Illinois for what seems like weeks.

That just means it's time to blog once more.  Today I'm going to tell you about the best $30 you can spend.  Evernote, a web-based, note-taking and organizing system, is great for lesson planning.

The service itself is free, but there is limits to file space.  I upgraded for $30/year and have more than enough space, with a quota that refreshed every month or so.  Evernote is great because you can set up notebooks, tag them with special tags to search later, upload documents, and quickly share a note or file with other people.

Additionally, Evernote has apps for the i-phone and droid phones, works on a Mac, and also has a desktop interface so that you do not have to access the website.  A companion app, Skitch, allows you to snap a picture or create a sketch and then quickly upload it to your notes as well.  You can do the same thing from the cell phone app too.

On the far left are all my notebooks, which I use for grad school and for lesson plans.  Next is the recent notes that I have taken or edited.  Then to the right is the current open note, one for a book I am reading.  All of this information can be tagged, as you see on the far left.  Want to find the week you taught the Constitution?  Tag it, and then search it.  To the top right, you can edit a note, share it, delete it, or print it.  Imagine that crazy day where you wake up feeling horrible, your kid is sick, your car won't start, or there's a traffic jam.  Quickly call a colleague or your trustworthy secretary, forward them the note via email, and they can click print.  Then it looks like this:

Each paperclip icon represents an attached file.  If you can save it or scan it, you can attach it.  File limits are pretty high.  You may not be able to load up a feature-length fill to Evernote, but every document, powerpoint, picture, and even most sound files will fit.

The app is nice too.  The interface is easy to use:

This is how I keep all my lesson plans organized, because if I had this much paper in binders I'd go crazy and probably lose it.  Like I said... best $30 ever spent.

Well that's it for now, hopefully my next blog post will come from dry land.  I feel like I'm in a terrible Kevin Costner movie.

Here's to sunshine-

Mr. J.

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