Evernote is a web-based service that allows you to bookmark your favorite resources and organize those resources into a notebook about a particular topic.   What makes Evernote unique is that you can also import documents, scans, and photos; you can even download the mobile phone app and import photos, text notes, or voice memos.  Like other social bookmarking services, you can add tags and organize your “notes” to your heart’s desire.

While Evernote is not new and many people have found clever and innovative uses for it, I have been half-heartedly fumbling with it for a few months.  I finally decided a week ago to commit more time to playing with it and exploring it so I could decide if this would be a tool not only to add to my personal information management arsenal, but also to decide how I might pilot it with students via library instruction.

My first major project I started this evening is using Evernote for organizing and sharing my Spring-Summer 2010 collection development wish list.  Although I will probably not know until late May or early June what next year’s budget will be (if there is any money from the state), I thought it would be fun and useful to use Evernote to start collecting “clippings” on items I’d like to purchase over the summer.  While I primarily order print materials through Titlewave, those lists are available for public sharing at this time; in addition, I thought it would be cool to use a tool like Evernote not only to share the library “wish” list for print books, but for other purchases as well, such as more Flip video cameras.  By choosing to make my list public, I can share the list via a link or grab the RSS feed and embed that feed in my library blog or Libguides page! [see screenshots below]

Another advantage to Evernote is that I could use my mobile phone app to capture requests on the fly.  For example, I can snap photos of the latest and best-selling titles in the teen section at places like Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or Target and import those book photos into my collection wish list notebook.  It would also be fun to scan in hand-written student requests or even record voice memos from teachers and students for items they might like the library to purchase over the summer.  I hope to hit a bookstore this weekend; if I do, I will make a video and post it here on the blog so you can see me Evernoting away as I add materials I’d like for next year to my list using my Evernote iPhone app.

Of course, what would be super-cool is if there could be a way to import the Evernote notebook into my Titlewave account.  At this time, I don’t think this cloud computing fantasy can come true, but I can always suggest it as an enhancement to both vendors!

I have created a brief 6 minute screencast on how I can use my Google Chrome Evernote extension (this extension is available for other browsers, too) to “clip” webpages and to share my lists publicly.

If you are interested in learning more about Evernote, I recommend their video tutorials page–here you will find helpful and easy to follow tutorials on how to use Evernote.  I’m looking forward to exploring and playing more with Evernote!

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