Tips & Stories

10 Evernote Tips For School – Education Series

Posted by Shep McAllister on 15 Dec 2010

Posted by Shep McAllister on 15 Dec 2010

This is a guest post from Shep McAllister a contributor at Hack College and a student at Trinity University in San Antonio, majoring in Communication and Political Science. Hack College is a student powered website educating students of the world about effective, open source software, putting techno-political arguments in everyday language, and creating a cult of “Students 2.0.”

Name: Shep McAllister
Blog: Hack College
Twitter: @Shep979, @HackCollege

Those of you that are already Evernote users can speak to how flexible a tool it is and the variety of situations it can be put to use in. It’s no surprise then that although Evernote wasn’t necessarily designed specfically for students, it might as well have been. I’ve found it invaluable in school, at my internship, and for the website HackCollege. From what I can tell I’m not alone, a growing number of students seem to be joining the club. The modern college student has a lot more on his or her plate than just classes, and Evernote is the perfect application to save time and help you juggle your many responsibilities.

10 Great Ways Students Can Use Evernote to Study Smarter, Not Harder.

    1. Take notes in class – This one seems like it should be obvious, but I can’t believe how many students still type their notes in multiple programs to deal with the availability problem. Evernote keeps every class note in a single application, making it so much easier to scan through several days’ worth of notes the night before a test.

  1. Go paperless – If you’re anything like me, you probably have trouble keeping track of the handouts teachers like to pass out. You can use a scanner, or even your phone’s camera, to quickly digitize your syllabi, project descriptions, and graded papers so that you never have to worry about losing the original copies.
  2. Portable textbooks – When studying for a test, sometimes you only need your textbook for a few charts and graphs. Instead of lugging that 1000-page monster to the library, just scan or take photos of the pages you need into Evernote, and access them online in your favorite study spot.
  3. Handwritten notes – As great as typing your notes can be, there are still some classes where handwritten notes are all but required. Once you are finished, always take a quick snapshot of your notes and paste it into Evernote, allowing you to access them anywhere. Never again will you have a minor heart attack when you spill coffee on your notebook.
  4. Manage your different lives – Students are so many things these days: scholars, interns, friends, club presidents. You can set up different notebooks in Evernote to give these activities their own space, but everything will still be in a central hub. It’s like having filing cabinets that are with you everywhere.
  5. Never forget a number – You’re asked to remember a lot of random numbers as students, especially at the beginning of the school year. It helps to keep your student ID#, mailbox combination, and even friends’ room numbers in Evernote, at least until they’re safely burned into your memory.
  6. Window shopping – Students love to buy new things. Unfortunately, we usually don’t have very much money.  Next time you see a pair of jeans tempting you from outside your price range, take some pictures of the display rack and the tag and store them in Evernote.  You’ll have no trouble finding the items again once you coerced some money out of your parents.
  7. Make PDFs smarter – A lot of school libraries will now scan short readings for classes and distribute them online to students. This cuts down on textbook costs and prevents students from competing for the library’s one copy of the book, but these PDFs are often of low quality and won’t let you highlight or scan for keywords. If you want the files to be a little more searchable, just drop them in Evernote and let the text recognition go to work. (Searching within PDFs is a premium only feature, view all of the premium features here).
  8. Record important lectures – Professor speak a little too fast? Want to capture his hint-laden test review discussion in its entirety? You can record audio notes on your phone or iPad right in Evernote so you can rest assured that you won’t miss a thing.
  9. Organize your research – We have to juggle a lot of information sources when researching a paper. Evernote makes it easy to drop all those links, PDFs, charts, and book scans into a single, easily searchable notebook.  This beats the pants off frantically searching your hard drive and web history for sources when you have a due date looming.

Evernote Education Series

Join the discussion about Evernote for Schools on our forum. Learn from educators and share your own experiences, best practices and tips.


Evernote Premium

Upgrade for features to help you live and work smarter.

Go Premium
View more stories in 'Tips & Stories'

49 Comments RSS

  • Elizabeth Latshaw

    This is clipped to Evernote for sharing with *my* online students next term. Some of these points aren’t applicable to the online crowd, but enough are that I think they will see yet another reason why they should consider using Evernote.

  • Norm

    great tips! In regards to tip number nine, are you still planning to someday incorporate voice search? I recall a techcrunch article a year a go or so that mentioned that it is in the works. I have never used the voice feature but would definitely start if I could search audio.

    • Viwek Lekhak

      you can search audio using voice2note.
      Find more at

  • Colleen Young

    As a teacher I love Evernote.

    I have notebooks for each class I teach. Any ideas / notes / lesson resources are all there.

    My classes are all used to seeing me log on to Evernote – which has generated quite a lot of interest!

    • Dr. Mohammed Bahauddin

      Can I see one of your lectures recorded using Evernote? Thanks. I have three students in my class, they use student note takers. I like to put my lectures in Evernote ove cloud so that the can easily access them. I teach math. I use Evernote, all my notes are handwritten using Wacom tablet. They are not well written as
      there is no math editor in Evernote. I xeroxed some of notes and put on D2L.

      • Colleen Young

        I don’t use Evernote notes for lecture notes Dr Bahauddin. As a premium user I can upload any file type so I have any resources I want for my lessons, interactive whiteboard flipcharts for example are attached to a note. I use Evernote mostly for me rather than as a means of sharing with students – though having said that I recently shared a notebook with a year group at school to direct them to some resources.

    • Gordon Schultz

      Is there a way to use Evernote to put up documents for students to access and read online. I hate having to print everything out and handing them out in class only to have them lost.

  • Philosofy

    I’m in sales, and take a lot of handwritten notes. I have to put a plug in for SpeedText HD on the iPad. It has a feature to send handwritten notes to Evernote, and can tag those notes using icons assigned to often used tags. The handwritten notes (if your handwriting is ok) is then scanned in Evernote.

  • Manish Jain

    I appreciate this new series, but I think most users would like to see screenshots of how people organize their content. In fact, there are sites that have users share their desktop, why not have people share their Evernote screen. Granted their are privacy issues, but a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    • Stephen

      Agree…. I’m new to the program and already like everything about it but it would be nice to see how other people are using this program.

      Take a twist of some other peoples ideas and mix it with your ideas and it should be fantastic.

  • Phillip Barron

    Great set of ideas.

    The ability to tag everything, then find what you’re looking for either by searching or browsing, often helps you see connections between notes that you didn’t see before. I’ve written up a similar post (4 principles of using digital tools in humanities research | that is more specifically focused on humanities research, but touches on many of the themes you also touch on, including the first – use Evernote to take and keep your notes from class, from reading, from brainstorming. The more you use it, the more useful it becomes.

  • Matt

    Sorry, I forget you don’t know Chinese.
    Now, I have a question. I deleted my Evernote’s account in the past, because some personal problem, now I want come back. But I find I can’t register a account by the same email and name. And I also can’t recover my past account. So what should I do?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Please contact our support team:

  • Bojan

    Windows shopping and recording are awesome two tips to remember, basically you know it, but never remember to do it.

  • Mojo Yugen

    Off topic, but noticed the increase in usage allowance to 1024GB a month last night! Xmas present? Santa knew just what I wanted. Thanks!

  • shirley sorrentino

    Evernotes sounds fantastic…I’m an old “chick” with a new Droid and a busy life. How difficult will it be for me to learn to use Evernotes without the experience you younger folks have?

    • Elizabeth Latshaw

      Easy-peasy. My parents just started using it because their daughter could not stop raving about it. My mother is afraid to turn on a computer; she has an iPad. Dad is a retired programmer. He’s amazed that I found out about this and adopted it first :).

      All you have to do is think up tags that make sense to you and load a plug-in into your browser. It’s really that simple. Click the plug-in when you find something you want to save. Add your tags. Put it in the right notebook and away you go.

      The latest versions have even simplified this process by giving you a list of your notebooks to choose from when you’re saving.

      • Jay

        I too am just now learning about Evernote. What do you mean by “…load a plug-in into your browser. … Click the plug-in when you find something you want to save.” What is a plug-in?

        • Andrew Sinkov

          This refers to the Evernote Web Clipper browser plug-ins and extensions. You can find them here:

    • Helen Beseda

      I’m 54 and you’d swear I was getting a commission from Evernote the way I preach it to everyone who will listen. Read everything about it you can here on the website, and go for it. The more you use it, the more ways you find to use it. Have fun!

  • PrintOutlet

    Evernote is one of the most popular note taking apps for an iPad. Thank you for the great program.

  • Jenni

    I’m in graduate school and I like the idea of scanning handouts to include in the body of the note. Will these be stored on my hard drive (I use Evernote on my Mac)? Won’t that add bulk to my hard drive (I’m a graphic designer and use my laptop for work so it is already stuffed full!) or are these files all kept online?

  • Andrew

    Good tips for students.

    My fave Evernote feature is searchable text within images.

  • Jackie

    I used Evernote to take notes for all of my classes for the entire semester. It really was helpful in terms of organizing notes for classes, finding those names and terms out of all of my notes, and even at times keeping together slides for Nutritional Science and Ancient Egyptian history.

    Just posting to say, it definitely works! =)
    (Plus it was easy to share notes with people who missed a lecture or two.)

  • sam

    Evernote an excellent tool bundled with amazing features.. Keep it up.
    I am definitely suggesting to all my peers.

  • Drezha

    As a recent convert to Evernote from Onenote for helping with my PhD, thanks for the extra tips on the bits I hadn’t considered.

    Portable textbooks is something I like and I’ve been trying to go paperless anyhow – I’m just put off by the time it takes my scanner to do anything!

  • Dave

    I use Evernote in multiple ways in my university teaching. I am always thinking of ideas I want to incorporate into a lecture from things I read. I type a quick note on my phone or computer and dump it into Evernote with a “class ideas” tag. I keep rosters of my classes in Evernote and finally have the ability to remember who took my classes a few years ago. I put rough notes for lectures into notes and then save or delete them as required.

    You really can’t make a mistake in Evernote. You can randomly enter data with no overall structure and then organize it later, or not, as you see fit. Tags help as your notebook gets bigger, or you can have multiple notebooks.

    In short, Evernote is great and it resides on all my devices.

  • Pooria


  • Ali

    Big fan of Evernote, I was wondering how great it could be if there was an option to make a copy of or duplicate a note in the desktop application. In fact, there are some cases in which we might need to use a predefined template and as far as I know, such feature is not available yet.

    You rock after all 🙂

  • triplemac

    I definitely agree with all of the tips…I am using most of them already.

  • Beatrix

    I really love Evernote. Unfortunately, it don’t have an app for Symbian.

  • Niels

    I use evernote for Highschool. I make most of my notes and tests in Evernote.

  • Kenneth

    Along with my Droid X, I use Evernote for all of my college classes. I don’t use paper anymore. When I am given any handout, I scan it and it’s saved forever. Evernote came in handy when I had open book final exam for my English Lit. class. While everyone brought in all their papers,notes and text, I just opened Evernote on my Droid, and all my info was in the palm in my hand. What makes Evernote so much better than paper notebooks is that your notes are searchable so one can cut the through clutter to easily access what you need.

  • vita reid

    I absolutely love Evernote. Aside from being an advid bridge player, I have been asked to organize my sister’s bridal shower. What a joy it is to do all my note taking in evernote. I have purchased so fewer pens, and my paper purchases and consumption have dwindled to a notebook ever six months or so. Before long, my entire life will be paperless. Aside from Evernote having increased my productivity seven-fold, I love it that all my notes from every single facet of my life is stored in one place. No more slips of paper all over the place. So incredibly cool!

    By the way … I’m 52 years of age. I am so glad I’ve thoroughly embraced the digital age.

    Thank you, Evernote.

  • Bernie Bannin

    As a student I use Evernote in conjunction with the online library catalog and journal database search software. I research at home and collect references I need (you can typically save a list) then email them straight to Evernote. Then when I go to the library I simply pull out the note and find the books I need. No scratching down call numbers on little pieces of paper with broken library pencils!

  • gurl u dont know

    these are really good tips i’m surely gonna use them!!!!!

  • Sunil Sharma

    Got Evernote few days ago. Liked it so much so that went for Premium today. It’s really fun to have all the notes offline too (on HTC EVO 4G). There is no direct method to transfer notes from Palm Desktop to Evernote. I liked Evernote so much that didn’t mind copying all of my Memos from Palm Desktop into it manually, approx 300+.

    I wish if it had a image encryption or a individual note protection by using password or PIN. This could help me storing all my confidential/personal records as images thus saving a great time.

    Still very happy with Evernote and going thru learning curve.


    • Andrew Sinkov

      Sunil, we do have text encryption. You can select an area of text in Evernote for Mac or Windows, right click and choose to encrypt it. You can then decrypt it from your mobile device.

      • Sunil Sharma

        Thanks Andrew for the reply. I understand that Evernote has text encryption that works great on Desktop as well as on my EVO 4G. I was just wondering if we had that for images too. And if that is too much, then we should have individual note level or notebook level password/pin protection.

        For example: I have a Credit Card and I have to enter everything (Bank, Card type, card Number, expiration, ccv etc…) for that card into a note. I then select text and encrypt it. And then it becomes safe.

        What I actually was looking into is to take a picture of the card, front and back, into a note and either encrypt it or protect it w/ password or pin. This way I have to enter minimum info because most of the things are in the image already.

        Or if that is also too much, can we have at least an application level password so that whenever it is launched/opened either on windows or on phone, it should ask a password/pin. I think this should be easily doable than encrypting image or providing password/pin to individual notes or note books.


  • Jeffery Hill

    I would love to use Evernote as a digital/virtual white board for comments/suggestions/and brainstorming in my work group. If I am a premium user and share a notebook, do the people I share the notebook with have to be premium users to edit notes?

  • Babs

    Gets BETTER & BETTER! Notebooks and Stacks make EVERYTHING in my life sensible! Set up a notebook for each family member & pet. Photos, personal notes, important things you want to remember about that person just go there. Recently repainted a room…had scanned in the exact paint barcode and nos…Piece of cake to get perfect color again. Wish-make a note available to more than one notebook,wish there was a monthly WEBINAR for actuall teaching of how to use Evernote from beginning to advanced and you could revisit them as needed(fee or Premium use). Evernotedly,Babs:)

  • Robert

    Thanks for the tips. ive been using it for everything and now im using evernote for music composition! its great and easy 🙂

  • anooz

    Thanks for the great tips.

  • Sharon Bolar

    I want to use my slides from powerpoint to make up practice test questions on notebook peek? Don’t have any clue how to use this app?

  • steved

    This is all great, but you can do everything on your list in a few applications besides Evernote. Like Google Docs and MS OneNote/Office online. Both have advantages and disadvantages to evernote. Would be good to see the specific advantages that evernote bring to the table in these pieces.

  • Shlomo

    Can someone please give me ideas on how to use Evernote for my graduate accounting classes. The difference between accounting and other classes is that you are not taking regular notes. Usually we are working on Powerpoint slides or on a mathematical problem that requires me to write all over the place. Any suggestions?

    • Heather

      This sounds like a great use for Skitch!

  • david

    Hi, great article! Just wondering if there is any way to highlight in evernote…..i guess you could add an audio note, or perhaps add a note thru skitch….any other ideas?

  • Bryan Shelton

    I think that’s the point with using Evernote for all your education needs. There are tons of apps that you can do these things with. The benefit is that all I need is Evernote.