Science, Education, and Science Education

classroom applications
March 19th, 2012 by Luann

Buh-bye, Calendar

This post has little to do with science, or education.  It has everything to do with organizing my work, my students, and my life.

I’ve loved Evernote  for a while.  I recommend it to students, and colleagues, and pretty much everyone I see.  I’ve also loved Omnifocus on my Macbook Pro for a good long time. I check it on my phone more times than a 10th grader checks Facebook. The iPad version is finally out. It appears to be a huge improvement over the iPhone version that simply runs on the iPad. It ought to be; with a price tag of $39.95.  I don’t begrudge OmniGroup a profit.  It’s just that I’ve purchased the Mac desktop app (about $40 ed pricing, when it was available), and the iPhone app (19.95).  I’d like a break here…… I’ll honestly be a bit sad to say goodbye to Omnifocus.

Then, I read this blog post about a grad student using Evernote in a few unusual ways. (If you don’t already use Evernote, just trust me and do it.)  I’m not sure I could do without notebooks as the author does, and I still find that I want to title things rather than just using tags in the title.  I scrolled along the post until I came to the calendar section.  I’ve never been successful with either paper or electronic calendars. I always write too much stuff on the calendar.   I have to look at the calendar and to-do list separately, and my ADHD brain just does not compute.  I’ve made it work for just over a week now, and am very pleased.

The solution:

  1. Each day, open a new note.  Title it like this:  03-18-12 Log Sunday. (The creator of this system titles his daily notes “Journal”, but I”m already using that tag for something else, so I chose to use “Log.”)
  2. List all the things you want to accomplish that day.  I like the checkbox format, the article guy used – and replaced it with X when completed, but he is probably also using checkboxes now.
  3. As you complete each item, check it off.
  4. Something you didn’t finish?  Just copy and paste them to the next day’s note.
  5. When an engagement, appointment, meeting,etc appears, open a new note (title  for that date) and paste in the time, place, other info. It looks like this:

    Evernote To Do Notebook

    Evernote To Do Notebook

I’ll add more info about the event as I get it.

When a day is complete, I will rename it MMDDYY Archive Dayoftheweek and move it to the Log Archive notebook.

Advantages to this system:

  • all information for one event is in one place. Think: Linked notes, if needed.
  • Within the notebook, they can be sorted on my iPhone, iPad, or desktop app.
  • I didn’t have to learn and come to love a new app.
  • My calendars are nice and clean.  I can still open a calendar to get a big picture. I’m wondering if a day’s note could even be linked to Google Calendar.
  • Notes about the day can be added on the fly, so long as you have a device.  Notes written by hand can be typed in later, or added with a photo or app like CamScanner or Whiteboard Share.
  • Notes can be linked.
  • I have a premium account, so can share editable project and grocery lists with my husband.
  • It’s free, unless you use it as much as I do.
  • It’s available everywhere.  (I love you, Evernote!)

Disadvantages:

  • I already use Evernote for just about everything.  If you don’t, you need to learn the app.  The learning curve is pretty low.
  • Eventually, I will have to delete stuff, or archive things massively.

To be perfectly honest, I have only set up the system within the past week, so I’ll be learning for a while.  Please, please, add your input and tweaks.  I will, as well.

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