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!


16 thoughts on “Creating and Sharing Collection Development Lists with Evernote

  1. I’m encouraged that someone else looks at the tools out there to use, but then has to devote time to actually see what it can for for you and the students you work with. I keep a folder on my tab bar called Things To Try, so as I encounter web 2.0 tool sites that might be good I bookmark them in this folder so I can come back to them.

    I do have one question for you. You referred to LibGuides page and I can’t quite tell if that is just the name of your page or a tool like Pageflake. Also, what’s your goal for this page?


    1. Gwen,

      I agree with Buffy. The things to try is a wonderful idea. I keep forgetting about all the suggestions I want to try.

      I think I will make a notebook in my EverNote account. Of course, then I have to remember to look at it. -grin-



  2. I am glad you were able to put EverNote to use. I know you have been playing with it for a while.

    As you know, I also use it for collection development, although I don’t have my notes set up to share. I wish you could come to the Children’s Literature Conference this month and we could compare ideas.

    I have over 1000 notes in my account. I use it for everything. I tend to rely on its search feature more than organizing the notes into notebooks, but I do love the tags as well.

    I will not be getting a smart phone until this summer, but I will definitely use your idea of taking pictures of books in the stores. Right now, I just make lists and scan them in. I would love to have one of the scanners that scans directly to EverNote.

    Great post as usual. I love the practical applications you share with everyone.


    1. Elaine:

      Thank you for the encouragement! I wish I could come to the conference this year, too—maybe somehow we can meet up one day this spring?

      When you get your smart phone, there is a free barcode reader you can download (I don’t know if it is just for iPhone–probably available for many smartphones) that might work for that!

      We should meet at a bookstore and just have an Evernote playday!

      Thank you so much for sharing how you are using Evernote and your experiences with it—VERY inspiring!



  3. Great ideas– I’ve been using Evernote to snap bookcover pictures, but I haven’t played with the notebook feature much. I, too, would love it if it could somehow sync with Titlewave. There’s also an iPhone app where you can scan the ISBN. That would fit in nicely too. Have you played with that app?


    1. Hi Sherri!

      I have just started playing with the barcode scanner app in recent weeks, but I have not tried it with Evernote yet.

      My friend Raya http://twitter.com/LibraryRaya shared this pearl of wisdom with me today:

      “If your Evernote text includes ISBN #s, you can dump all the text into a batch import in Titlewave. No need to clean txt.” There batch import feature is on the left side of the computer screen (a text link) once you log into Titlewave, so I think we can now make these tools talk to each other. MANY thanks to Raya for sharing that with me today!

      Are you using the barcode scanner app much, and if so, how?

      Thanks for your feedback and comments!


  4. Good article about Evernote. The strongest reason that I use this note-taking “swiss army knife” is because of the synchronization across numerous computers and platforms. I seldom use a flash drive just to transfer files from one computer to the other now.


  5. So many apps, so little time! Do most of you using things like Evernote find out about them just from web browsing and sharing ideas on blogs like this, or is there any sort of central clearinghouse that offers info and training/webinars on the most useful apps/programs? Thanks!


    1. Karen:

      I usually learn through word of mouth, reading the web, and/or trial and error! I also like the webinars on The Future of Education and Classroom 2.0. If you need links, let me know, and I can email them or post for you!

      Thank you for reading my blog!


  6. Great post. Sorry if this is a dumb question. With Evernote, can you save groups of notes that are within a notebook without sharing the notebook… and not by sharing them one by one?

    Can you, for example, share by URL a tagged collection or a collection from a search?

    Thank you!


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