Whether you’re writing a paper or studying for a test, odds are you spend more time gathering the pieces than actually working. Getting all of your notes together, hunting for quotes, and tracking down bibliographical information takes at least as long, if not longer, as writing the paper itself.
In a group situation, sharing research and collaborating on the production of one document is even more difficult without the proper tools.
Enter Evernote. For students, it’s an invaluable way to organize research and streamline the collaboration process. Here are some examples of how Evernote simplifies the student research process.
Organizing in Evernote
The first step in any research project is, well, the research. This means gathering all of the preliminary information you’ll need to start the writing process. If you’re gathering information using word processing documents, or on paper, things quickly get messy. With Evernote, all quotes, statistics and reference material pages are in one place, easily accessible and searchable by keywords, notebooks and tags. This is especially helpful when information could be coming from all sorts of places – the Web, handwritten notes, typed notes, and even photographs.
Here’s an example of a way to organize your research:
Make a notebook for every project (for example: “Civil War Thesis”). Then add tags like “sources,” “quotes,” “data” and “important events,” so you can quickly sort through your research at any time. The simplicity of search in a centralized system is one of the biggest benefits of Evernote for research purposes.
Scrolling through Web pages over and over to find the one paragraph or quote you want to reference is always excruciatingly time-consuming. With Evernote, just clip the relevant part of a Web page with the Web Clipper, which is available for any browser you might be using. To clip, select the part of the page you need, and Evernote creates a new note with the title and URL of the page, along with the selected content.
Later, you can easily search through Evernote for this information, because you’ve already weeded out the part you’ll actually need. Clip long articles and PDFs, quotes and even Wikipedia pages and have them all be in one place. You can search by specific keywords and if needed, easily get back to the original sources by clicking on the embedded source file link.
Collaboration in Evernote
Have you ever sent the same document back and forth, never knowing which version is actually the right one? With Evernote, you can share notebooks with other Evernote users, and if a file or note changes or gets updated, it automatically updates for everyone who has access to the notebook. If you’re a Premium user, you also get note history, giving you a running history of every note in your account that you can easily revert to.
Whether you’re sharing a PowerPoint or a Word document, or a few lines of text, having a shared notebook keeps everyone updated with other people’s progress, and ensures that no one spends time working off of old files.
Search in Evernote
Evernote’s search functionality might be among the most useful feature for students. If you’re looking for a quote, or need a particular statistic, being able to search by intuitive keywords saves a staggering amount of time.
If you’re a Google Chrome user, Evernote’s Web Extension makes search even more powerful: when you search Google, you can also search Evernote at the same time (it’s called Simultaneous Search). When doing a Google for something you might be pleasantly surprised to find out you already have a note about it in Evernote. With this search enabled you can be sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Access Information Anywhere, No Thumb Drive Necessary
As a student, you’re all over the place: in class on your mobile device, at the gym, in your dorm room, at the library, etc. With Evernote, files, notes and documents are available to you everywhere – on your phone, your desktop, and anywhere you have an internet connection. That means that if you’re working in a computer lab, all your research is there. If you lost your thumb drive before your presentation, you can pull up your PowerPoint from a friend’s laptop.
Having everywhere access to your Evernote account also means you can make great use of the in-between time we all tend to have. Whether you’re waiting for the bus, or for class to start, you can make quick edits to anything you’re working on.
Evernote puts everything in one place, and makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, no matter where you are. If you’re doing research, alone or in a group, Evernote saves time and helps keep you organized.
Have any additional tips for how to make Evernote a research powerhouse? Share it in the comments.
Evernote Education Series
- Evernote at School: The Montclair Kimberley Academy’s 1:1 Program, plus Q&A Webinar
- How Evernote helped me through college
- 10 Evernote Tips for School
- How my students started using Evernote
- 10 Tips For Teachers Using Evernote
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