Our guest blogger this week is Dr. Mike Maher from the Department of French-Francophone-Italian Studies.  In this post, Dr. Maher shares his experiences using Evernote, a tool he was introduced to at the Faculty Technology Institute which he attended in 2014.

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Evernote is software that touts itself as, “the workplace for your life’s work.” It is a multi-functional platform to write, discuss, collect, and present. It synchronizes across all of your devices. Evernote is aesthetically pleasing with its minimalist format and grey tones splashed with lime green. I use Evernote primarily on my PC.

Evernote simply provides the user a means to collect really anything found on the internet. Any website or on-line article, blog post, even electronic boarding passes can immediately be saved to a folder. Each folder is termed a Notebook, and each saved document is a Note.

Once you download the Web Clipper, you’re in business. You head to the Evernote website and it leads you through the entire installation process. The Web Clipper icon appears in your browser next to the search bar as a small modern elephant; you simply click the icon any time you’d like to save what you’re looking at. Downloading the Web Clipper on your iPad is bit more involved, but still possible. The way you save the Note is up to you: an entire article, simplified article, full page, bookmark, or a screen shot.

I have found Evernote to be especially useful in the initial phases of gathering research sources. Research has shifted away from dusting off manuscripts in the library to an almost exclusively digital medium. Evernote helps to organize a general collection of sources to be examined closer in subsequent phases of research. I especially like the ability to annotate your Web Clippings. I highlight and make notes on screenshots from bibliographies found in google books and texts from archive.org.

As for writing, Evernote would be a place to keep to-do-lists and other informal notes. Evernote facilitates formal writing by providing the writer a space to organize their research and ideas. As for discussion, the Work Chat feature seems easy enough. Evernote readily shares your Notebooks via email, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and also provides a URL link to your Notes. I have not explored the presentation software within Evernote: it requires the Premium upgrade. If the rest of the software’s functionality and usability is any indication, the presentation software is sure to be smooth and straight forward.