If you’re getting ready to go back to school or just starting college, now is the time to get organized. Our recent Facebook Live event for college students, hosted by Dorothy Spira, covered everything you need to know about getting your stuff together with Evernote.
Here are some of Dorothy’s top tips from the video. You’ll find all the resources she mentions and more here.
Some of the features Dorothy mentions are only available in Evernote Premium, but don’t fret. Eligible students can get Premium for 50% off »
Keep note-taking consistent
Different types of note-taking systems exist because people think differently. “Start by researching the different methods of note-taking that are out there, and pick something that appeals to you,” says Dorothy. The most important thing to remember is to keep your notes consistent, regardless of the method that you use. Format your notes the same way across all your classes, with the class name, date, and topic at the top of each one.
If you’re looking for a way to get started fast, using ready-made templates for your notes can help you become more productive right away, without spending a lot of time worrying about formatting. We’ve assembled some professionally designed note-taking templates that you can grab right here:
Get Evernote templates for students >>
Dorothy recommends collecting all your favorite templates together in one notebook. “Just open the template, copy it to the notebook you keep for each class, and it’s there and ready to go,” she says. “All you have to do is fill out the information.”
Tie up loose papers with scanning
Taking notes by hand? Got a lot of paper handouts to deal with? You can still use Evernote to save and search them. “Scanning is your best friend for handwritten notes,” Dorothy says. Here’s how it works:
- Open the Evernote app on your phone
- Choose the “+” icon
- Select the camera icon
- Evernote will auto-detect your paper and will scan it to any notebook you want.
Evernote can find text in those images, even handwriting, so you don’t have to flip through your notebook looking for a specific name or date when you study your notes later. “Searching handwriting, to me it’s like magic,” Dorothy says. “Just search and it will find the note, the location of the note, and it’ll highlight the location for you.”
Pro tip: Scanning with the camera in Evernote is a great way to capture things drawn on dry-erase boards too. Put it in Evernote before your professor erases it!
Clip from the web
Over the course of the school year, you’ll undoubtedly do two things: find source material on the web, and cite it in your annotated bibliographies. Evernote can help with that, too. Add the Evernote Web Clipper extension to your favorite browser and you can save useful articles or web pages directly to your class notebooks. “You can choose to clip a full article, or a simplified article which just gives you the meat without the surrounding ads and other stuff,” Dorothy said. “Or, you can use my favorite, which is clip selection, which lets you clip and save only the part of a website you want to keep.” The URL of the web page is saved, too. You’ll need that if you want to cite the article or go back for more.
Keep emails with your notes
Did you know that your Evernote account comes with its own email address? “That’s there just so you can forward things from your email account into Evernote so that they don’t get lost in your inbox.” Find your Evernote email in your account settings, and then save it as a contact. Now, when you get an email that you want to save (such as reminders about tuition payments and messages from your teachers) just forward it to the notebook of your choice. You can even set a reminder so Evernote will let you know when it’s time to deal with it.
Organize your own way
Some people prefer to organize their notes like a virtual file cabinet. “You might have one notebook per class, or perhaps you have a notebook stack, which you think of as a group of notebooks stuck together, on different topics in the same class,” Dorothy says. “But if that feels overwhelming, or if you just want to ‘brain dump’ information, tags are your best friend.”
Like hashtags in social media, tags in Evernote let you find related notes regardless of what notebooks they’re in. Dorothy suggests using two tags for a particular note: one for the class, and the other for the subject matter. “If even that feels like too much, just rely on search. As long as all your stuff is in one place, you’re fine. You can use any computer or device, and you’ll find what you need.”
Be sure to check out the full list of resources mentioned in this video (and save it to Evernote for future reference). To see videos like this one while they’re happening, follow us on Facebook!
Evernote Premium is available to eligible college students at 50% off the regular price. It’s an affordable way to track, keep, and find everything you’ll need for college and beyond. Sign up now »