After I started using Evernote, it took me quite a few months to realize the full potential of one of its features: the email address.
Let’s first have a quick introduction about Evernote.
Evernote is a note taking app, but with so many powerful features that people tend to use it for everything, including to-do list and task manager. Personally, I only use it as my reference manager for my own notes and for online stuff. Indeed, the Web clipper allows downloading any webpage, either as a bookmark or the full webpage or just a selection, you choose. I use it as a read-it-later app and love that it allows highlighting and to add notes to the downloaded article. There are also features which allow scanning notes and Evernote recognizes your hand-writing allowing you to search the text of your own notes (I know it’s a bit creepy), you can even scan people business cards, you can also add photos and audio files. For more details on all this, see the further reading list at the end 👇
OK, so now, what about the email? First question is actually: how do we use our normal personal and professional email inboxes every day?
Many people use their email inboxes as to-do lists, without even being aware of it. Don’t you? I mean like how often did you remember that you had to do something because you saw again that email from 3 days ago in your inbox? OK, me too. That’s fine, the only thing is that anyone can send us emails. Meaning we’re basically allowing anyone to add items directly in our to-do lists all the time!! No surprise dealing with emails became so frustrating. If we never empty our inbox, then it just turns into a huge mix of to-do items, references, emails for which we’re waiting for a reply, someday/maybe ideas, FYI stuff, and junk/spam… Here a nice blog post on the subject, otherwise I recommend reading the Getting Things Done (GTD) book from David Allen.
Well, I’m not saying that Evernote can resolve all this, but at least we can use it to clean out our professional email inboxes from references and someday/maybe materials.
Concretely: first we can use Evernote email to simply email ourselves an idea, like when we’re at home and get that sudden inspiration, or when someone suggests a paper to check out or in any situation like this. We can also transfer someone else email with reference materials towards our Evernote.
Then, here is my revelation: you can subscribe to websites newsletters with it!! (I know, you got spoiled from the title ^^)
For example, instead of receiving Pubmed alerts in the middle of your crazy rushed day together with all your professional emails, get the alert in Evernote and process this inbox at your own pace :) Now what about ResearchGate, Scopus, Nature, Science, or someone’s blog like mine? It’s all the same! These are all reference materials, read-it-later materials, non-urgent stuff which can wait a few days for you to read when it’s an appropriate time for you :)
Now’s the hard question, is this free? Well, you can first try out the free version of Evernote which is limited in quantity of data. However, it won’t have all features… Indeed, for the email you’ll need to get the premium version. Prices depend on countries, for Europe it’s about 7€ per month or 60€ per year but make sure to check out whether they’re having sales. Thankfully, here the good news: students can get 50% discount!
On Evernote website it says: “*Offer available for new or Basic Evernote users who can verify eligibility with a valid .edu or .ac email address on the following page (university-issued emails from Canada, Germany, and Switzerland may also qualify)”
I first used the free version for a couple of months to try it out, and actually I must admit that at the beginning I found it very frustrated, and I still do from time to time. Indeed, it took me a little while to find how to organize notes, notebooks and stacks in a way which suits me and to choose tags. Evernote is far from being perfect but does a perfect software even exists?
Thanks for reading and if you have other tips about using Evernote in academia, please let us know in the comments below :)👇
Disclosure: nop this is not a sponsored article and there is no affiliated marketing links, this is just me sharing tricks and having no ideas of how to market things online anyway ^^’
- Two articles on nextscientist.com where Julio Peironcely details for example how to use it to help in scientific papers writing: