Tips & Stories

Evernote for Research: How a Physician Uses Evernote

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 02 Jul 2012

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 02 Jul 2012

  • Name: Christopher Ennen
  • Profession: Maternal-Fetal Medicine Physician
  • Location: Virginia, USA


Christopher Ennen is a maternal-fetal medicine physician, a sub-specialty of OBGYN. His role involves taking care of mothers and expectant mothers with everything from illness to pregnancy complications. Evernote is his research tool, as well as a collection and sharing system for publicly-available medical information.

I use Evernote, Everywhere:

  • iPad
  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • Web

I use Evernote for…

I spend my days either interpreting and reporting on obstetric ultrasounds or counseling patients on their high risk pregnancies. Evernote is an invaluable tool for me whether I’m running between appointments, or attending a medical conference. Here are some of the ways I think Evernote is helpful for a medical professional like myself.

  1. I use Evernote to keep my notes and “boilerplate” text available since I work on multiple computers. I also use my iPad at work to review reference data.
  2. I use Evernote to collect all information for a medical conference to which I’m traveling, such as flight information, hotel confirmation email, conference brochure, photo of my parking place at the airport, etc.
  3. I save presentations I want to share with colleagues in my Evernote account, and share them with colleagues, right from my Evernote account.
  4. Doctors often keep ‘cheat sheets’ of commonly-referenced information that is found both online and in textbooks. Instead of creating a running Word document, I keep my cheat sheet in Evernote, where it’s accessible from any device, no matter where I am.
  5. If I come across a chart for a specific way to manage a pregnancy complication, I clip it into Evernote, so I don’t need to actually memorize it.
  6. I can review notes, charts and graphs all in one place — in my Evernote account.
  7. Since I made it a habit to start collecting resources in my Evernote account, I now look things up there, instead of going online or to a textbook.
  8. I also do a little bit of medical research. Evernote is a good way to brainstorm. It’s a springboard for my ideas.

The Paperless Medical Professional

I’m trying to go paperless, and Evernote is helping me to achieve this goal. At home, I have a Doxie Scanner, and at work, I use the network scanner to forward paper documents to my Evernote account. I also have the Scanner Pro app for my iPhone, which has a handy send to Evernote feature.

I store a lot of important documents in my Evernote account, that I often need to reference. Physicians have to do continuing education, and when we complete a course, we receive certificates that often get sent to us electronically. I forward them all to my Evernote notebook and scan physical certificates. I have a notebook in my Evernote account where I keep copies of all of my Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificates, as well as a notebook with copies of my diplomas for credentialing purposes. When I fill in for doctors at other hospitals, I need to have all of my documents — including my medical license, residency, and diplomas — within easy reach. Keeping them all in my Evernote account means I can breeze through procedures.

Beyond Medicine

Evernote is like having a bag that you could carry with you all the time, that has everything you need in it. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s easy to get to. I use Evernote in a variety of different ways outside of my work:

  • I like to cook, so I use the Web Clipper to clip recipes.
  • I’m a runner, so I keep up with running magazines. When I see interesting articles, I either scan them or clip them (if they’re online) to my Evernote account.
  • At conferences, when I park at the airport, I take a picture of my parking spot, so I can easily find my car later.
  • I have a Shared Notebook filled with Evernote tips. Whenever people want to learn more about how they could be using Evernote, I send them the link.

How are you using Evernote for your professional research? Share in the comments below!


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16 Comments RSS

  • Sarah B.

    I would love to have a doctor so organized and paperless! Even as a college student, this is giving me ideas for using Evernote even more than I am now and I imagine my future as a teacher will be very Evernote friendly, too!

  • paulo

    It is a great tool. As a med student I use it to keep track of lectures, books I need to read, pages where i can read papers etc. It’s great to know it will be useful in the future.

  • Robert Oschler

    Another great use case! Similar to the experience of Dr. Tom Lewis with Evernote:

  • Frank

    Dr. Ennen,

    I think that’s a great idea to share with people the many ways to use Evernote. Would you mind sharing the link to your public notebook with the Evernote tips and tricks?

  • dmax

    I’m a doc, too, and use Evernote as my “Reference” pile for Getting Things Done, and store a lot of my administrative records there – sending a note to one of my docs and carbon-copying it to my Evernote email address – poof! Instantly stored away in case I need it later.

    One concern is the security of the data stored. I worry that I’ll inadvertently add information about a patient, in violation of HIPPA regulations. Can someone speak to the safety of the information on the servers?

    • Stefanie Fazzio

      Evernote is a great place to work on professional development and keep track of any useful documents. We don’t recommend storing confidential patient information in Evernote.

    • C. Scot Giles

      The Evernote Company disclaimer notwithstanding; i believe that if you have a premium account Evernote encrypts your data and sends it over an encrypted connection. They also limit access to their servers. I’ve seen opinions that this meets HIPAA requirements. While Evernote is not HIPAA Certified, the law does not require that you keep Protected Health Information in a HIPAA Certified system, just in a system that meets privacy requirements. HIPAA Certification is very expensive and non-medical IT companies will not normally find it worthwhile to seek it. However, that doesn’t mean your data is not secure.

  • Eric Lorenz

    Dr. Ennen,
    Would it be possible to get a link to your ‘Evernote Tips’ shared notebook? I am always looking for more ways to use Evernote. I use it to keep track of both my professional and personal life also…I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface…

    Next step is a Premium account…


  • Cesar Nahoum

    Dear colleague, can you capture webpages of searches in Pubmed? Whenever I try to do this I get the Evernote Web Clipper notice: “… there is no support for this type of page.” Can you help me? Congratulations for your article. Best regards.Cesar Nahoum

  • Rob Burke

    As a physician I also use evernote. The “cheat sheet” function is essential. I email or clip research/journal articles and tag them with “articlesINBOX”. After they are read the tag is changed to “articlesCOMPLETED” so I have an instant access to articles I want to read anytime/anywhere.

  • legalgirl1313

    This info is great. I too am trying to go some what paperless, but being in law I must protect clients confidentuality. I would advise others to do the same.

  • Richard H. Keller M.D.

    Tags and critical to effective searches. What suggests do you have on effect ways to tag various items? I’m a physician who uses Evernote to story medical articles and other documents including personal records as Dr. Ennen effectively suggests. Thank you.

  • Phil

    I’ve rediscovered “EverNote” with the help of these comments. Thank you kindly. .

  • Diane Hamill

    I am just starting with Evernote. I am an optometrist. What a wonderful idea about licenses, diplomas, and re-credentialing. Also clipping articles to read in Evernote is great idea. In the past I have resorted to ripping out the pages and carrying them with me. I also like the “cheat sheet”. Would it be possible to get a list of Dr. Ennen’s other uses or ideas for Evernote?

  • bibliotecaria

    I’m interested in how quickly and easily you are able to use the Doxie scanner. It looks easy, but can be deceptive. What are your methods with using that?

  • Daryl Yourist

    Before I start a paid version of Evernote, is it possible to create a report, listing the files which have been uploaded?