Over the past few months I’ve been using Evernote extensively as a way of organizing thoughts relating to my research. I like that it’s cloud based, so I don’t have to worry about syncing data as I move from computer to table to phone and back again. I like the simplicity of creating notes and organizing those into folders. I do wish for a more hierarchal folder structure other than one level deep. But I’m working around that, a bit, with the use of tags. Evernote has become the place where I keep my research. Also, it’s a great way to keep notes about potential blogging topics. Indeed, I’m writing this post in Evernote rather than composing it in the WordPress editor. (But it does strange things to the formatting when I paste into the WP editor. Hmm, have to look into that.)
I’ve not yet tried Web Clipping. I should and will give it a try for things like “When I want to collect something from my browser (like a database search that was particularly fruitful) I just click on the web clipper icon in my browser and it will be saved for me to look at later.” I do use Readibility to save long articles for reading later, and I really like that. But it doesn’t integrate into my research workflow.
The Evernote interface isn’t always intuitive. Example, I had to Google how to add a hyperlink. Simple now that I know but somehow I kept looking in the wrong place. Same with creating a stack of folders. Simple to create a stack but not obvious that I had to rename the top folder of the stack to get it working as I liked. And the clients vary depending upon platform. Unfortunately, at my office desk I’m stuck with a Windows client due to the university being in love with Microsoft. Sigh. But at home I always use the iOS clients, which I much prefer. Overall, though, I’m quite impressed with Evernote despite a few flaws in usability.
I do not use Evernote to store and PDFs. Instead, I use PDF Expert on the iPad. In another post I’ll talk about how I use PDF Expert, which is another tool that i really love.
Wondering how some others were utilizing Evernote for research I did a quick Google search and found the following useful tips: