Tips & Stories

Evernote World: How to Learn a Foreign Language with Evernote

Posted by Federica Ercole on 11 Jun 2012

Posted by Federica Ercole on 11 Jun 2012

Name: Federica Ercole
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Location: Cuneo, Italy
Twitter: @yuffie89 and @hanamiblog


Federica works as a freelance graphic designer, currently focusing on graphics used in applications. She lives in Italy. After becoming interested in Japanese culture, she began teaching herself Japanese and blogging about her experience of learning a new language. She has since started to learn Korean as well. Federica uses Evernote to keep track of everything she learns, and also saves inspirational graphics she finds when surfing the web.

I use Evernote, Everywhere

  • Mac
  • iPod Touch

Evernote as a Language Tool

Evernote lets you save everything you want to remember, so it’s the perfect tool for learning a language. It has been my central place for saving new words and phrases, for noting lessons I want to focus on, and drafting my blog posts about my language study.

I use Evernote to:

  • Study my vocabulary and create a custom dictionary for myself. If a note contains vocabulary I want to focus on, I mark words I want to remember in red, and add an additional tag to the note called “vocabulary.” This way, I can build my own content to study. I update my tags so I can always keep track of what I need to study. For example, I tag articles I want to practice reading with “to read,” and when I am done, I remove the old tag and add a new one: “have read.” This way, I know what I am finished with. I also have a notebook with a running list of words I want to memorize. I tag notes in this notebook with “memorize” and “vocabulary.” By adding the definitions, I am essentially creating a custom dictionary.
  • Create a grammar book inside of Evernote. I have a collection of language-related PDFs that I use to create my own grammar book inside of my Evernote account. I just drag the PDF files from my computer into Evernote, where I am able to search for words inside of all of my images and PDFs. It is very easy to organize all my PDFs with Evernote.
  • Learn a language by saving and reading relevant content from the Web. I use the Web Clipper to save informative web pages I come across. All I have to do is select the text I need, then send it to Evernote with a single click. I have a notebook with a tag “to read” where I send my Web Clips.

Evernote for Work

The great thing about Evernote is that, in addition to helping me pursue my hobbies, it is also central to my work as a graphic designer. I collect many ideas and web design examples that inspire me, and save them all to my Evernote account. I also archive tutorials and lessons about making graphics. I used to save everything in a folder on my computer, but I moved all of my files to Evernote because search and tags make it very easy to look up what I need. I’ve also freed myself of using bookmarks; using the Evernote Web Clipper ensures that nothing I see ever gets lost.

My Favorite Evernote Products

I use Skitch to take screenshots, make annotations, and add the annotated images directly to Evernote. For example, if I am reading a comic book and don’t understand some words, I take a screenshot, and use Skitch to highlight the words I want to study. I then add the tags “screen clip” and “vocabulary” to the note so that it’s easy for me to find later.

In addition to Evernote and Skitch, I also use Evernote Clearly, and the Evernote Web Clipper. I read Web pages in Japanese, and Evernote Clearly helps me concentrate on the material by eliminating distractions. And the Web Clipper is absolutely essential, making it incredibly easy to save Web pages to my Evernote account.

Without Evernote, I would not have been as organized and thus as effective in studying Japanese, or been able to share my experience on my blog in such detail.


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10 Comments RSS

  • thameera

    I use Evernote extensively for learning Spanish. All the study notes, grammar exercises, vocabulary go there. Web Clipper is quite handy when clipping lessons, and quick tips from the web. I go through the study notes on the way to/from work using Evernote for Android. Just can’t imagine how I’d have done these things if not for Evernote.

  • Mary Kayev Jenrich

    Are any of these fantastic extensions for EverNote available for smartphones (Galaxy S2,.in my case). If not now,.will they be available soon?
    Many thanks,

  • Anna

    Of course there are some. Check Google Play.

  • Ranjith

    kool!! here is a post abt How I use Evernote to Work, Draw and Blog and how Over the years Evernote has become my Knowledge Base.


  • amyzhou

    wow!so cool

  • YP Kim

    Thanks for Your comments!
    It is helpful to learn how to use the tag ^^;
    I hope that you can talk with me in Korean.

  • Bärbel Rücker | Tanzbar

    Thank you for your interesting blog post!

    I just started to learn Turkish (after English, French, Danish, Spanish & Italian) and I was wondering how I could use Evernote to make learning the next language easier for me.
    But it looks like, that I should get myself an android / smartphone, to get the best benefit out of it.

    Best regards,
    Bärbel Rücker | Tanzbar
    Argentine Tango | Tango Teacher & Tango DJ

  • Masoud

    first of all I want to thank evernote team to help me collecting a lot of information at one place !

    I expect to see some features soon. It used to learn english and study materials at the university. most notes I take are related to pdf’s but I cant point them to a specific page or paragraph. also there’s no tools to highlight sentences on ebooks or even on a note.

    there are also some bugs in editor. when I copy simple multi-line definition of a word from LINGOES dictionary software and past into a note, the note will be ruined.

    I’m looking forward to get amazing news !


  • Robert

    Thanks, Federica!

    I also study Japanese — and now am faced with a bit of a dilemma: besides my MacBook Air, should I *also* invest in the new iPad — with all those awesome language learning (Mac-oriented) Apps that are made for it?

    I’m afraid I didn’t realized that the Apps for the iOS are different than those of the Iphone / Ipad —

    Since I’m going to be studying in Japan for a year, starting this month, I really want to do this right!

    Any suggestions?


  • Bert Desmond

    I would like to know how to type accented French characters in Evernote
    Thank you