Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Using mobile devices for library research, part 3

We're more than halfway through the fall semester, and you may be starting to get final research paper assignments in some of your classes. In this series of blog posts, I've been sharing ideas for how to get research done using a mobile device.

In my first post, I talked about how you can increase your productivity by using a mobile device to browse the catalog, search a database, or take notes in an app. In my second post, I showed how searching for articles in Ebsco databases or listening to music in the Naxos Music Library can be just as effective on a mobile device as on a desktop or laptop. This time, I want to focus on one of my favorite productivity apps, Evernote.

Introduced in 2005, Evernote helps you remember information by storing and managing digital notes. Notes can contain text, images, audio, documents from another program, or information clipped from a web page. Evernote lets you tag notes, organize them in folders, and find them using keyword searches.

The service has approximately 100 million personal and business users as of October 2014. Its secure revenue streams include over $250 million in venture funding and over $1 million a month in sales of accessories such as backpacks, pens and physical notebooks. This allows the company to offer a "freemium" price model (with free and paid tiers of access) without selling your personal information to advertisers. Most users find that the free tier (60 MB of uploads each month) meets their needs. The $5/month premium version removes the space limit, adds handwriting recognition and the ability to save notes offline on a mobile device.Notes are synchronized regularly between your device and Evernote's US-based servers, which utilize the latest security protocols.

Evernote is suited to situations where your thinking grows and changes over time, making it effective as a tool to log your research over the course of a project. You can create one note for your project and edit the note to add information each time you work on the project, or you can create an entire folder for a project and add a new note each time you get an idea. Evernote can adapt to your learning style: add images and textual notes if you're a visual learner, or record audio notes if you are an aural learner and want to talk into your phone.

For example, when I used Evernote to help me write an article recently, I compiled all my ideas about the research project in one Evernote, and took photos of the whiteboard in my office as I brainstormed what I wanted to say.

You can also easily save documents received as a web download or email attachment to Evernote using your mobile device's "open in" functionality.

Many faculty and students are adapting Evernote's functionality to their teaching and learning workflows. See the blog of City University of Hong Kong professor Allan Johnson for more ideas about how you could put Evernote to work for you.


Evernote. "Privacy Policy." Retrieved October 23, 2014.  https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php

Johnson, Allan. "Tag Archives: Evernote." The Art of Academic Practice. Retrieved October 28, 2014. http://thisisallan.com/tag/evernote/

Mangalindan, J.P. "Digital Note-Taking App Evernote Thinks Bigger." Fortune, October 3, 2014.

Mossberg, Walter S. "EverNote Organizes Your Endless Stuff Onto an Endless Tape." Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2005: B1.

Tener, Rich. "Evernote Strengthens Privacy Position With New Security Capabilities." Evernote TechBlog, October 23, 2014. http://blog.evernote.com/tech/2014/06/24/evernote-new-security-capabilities/

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