Sunday, March 17, 2013

Near-Total Brain Replacement, Evernote. The Digital Principal, Part 3

In November, I gave a presentation (resources to be found here) to a packed room row at Vermont Fest,


(For the rest of the introduction and a summary of the first two parts of the presentation, please read part ONE and part TWO.)

So, here is part THREE of my three part summary.

Evernote has eaten my brain. That must be why they chose an elephant for a mascot - elephants love brains. Wait, no. Elephants never forget; that's why they chose the long-nosed pachyderm.

Anyway, Evernote has become my brain, not eaten my brain. I've written about Evernote twice before: "Evernote is Becoming My Brain" and "Evernote for Notes Everywhere." As you can see, this brain replacement has been a long time coming (and a longer time needed, I am told).

It all started back when I started teaching. It must have been the 3000 significant decisions a day or something because my memory starters to go. Then, I had children and became an administrator - kaboom - my memory was shot (at least I think that is when it all started).

Anyway, most of my readers will understand that there is far too much for most of to remember without help. Over the years, I have tried pads of paper, three-ring binders, spiral notebooks, composition books, Palm's notes, Mac stickie notes, and finally Evernote.

To make a long story short, I now use Evernote for nearly everything. I keep a notebook for each staff member, each class, many students, each major area of my job (curriculum, data, assessment, facilities, special education, PBIS, and technology just to name a few). All told, I have about 83 school-related notebooks. Within each notebook there are from one to 79 notes. I have a lot to keep track of.

The thing that I like best about Evernote is the fact that my notes are synchronized among every device I use. Evernote works on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, the web, Linux, and probably more. Evernote does not yet work on my toaster - if only Steve Jobs were still around.

One last feature of Evernote that is so useful: integration. Notability, I mentioned it in the last blog post, can send notes right to Evernote. Google Drive can as well. I really cool new tool for Evernote is the Powerbot extension for Chrome. Powerbot connects Evernote to gmail and gcal. I love the meeting minutes template that Powerbot creates in Evernote for each appointment in my calendar. I am still figuring out how to really use Powerbot, but I am very impressed so far.

So, with a device in my hands at all times, Evernote has become my brain. Thank goodness that I have finally have a brain that never forgets.