Evernote 201: A Deeper Dive Into Your New Best Friend

by on January 18, 2016

I’ve written before of my love of the note-taking app Evernote. Today, I want to show some of the slightly deeper highlights to using this app in a seminary or ministry context.

Note-Taking (Together?)

This may seem obvious, but the best thing to use this app for is taking notes. It’s a great digital version of taking the notes we all used to do with handwriting.

When I first started using the app in college, I’d run the built-in audio recorder to record the lecture as I would type along with it. And so, I’d end up having one note with the lecture audio up top and the notes below.

Also, more recent updates to Evernote have introduced “Shared” Notes and Notebooks. With these, you can collaborate with your classmates on Notes or whole Notebooks dedicated to courses you share. This crowd-sourcing of notes can be incredibly helpful, especially in a ministry context, where community is so necessary.

Clipping

One of my favorite features is the ability to “clip” things off of the web when you come across them. I have a whole folder dedicated to Sermon Illustrations. Whenever I’m surfing the web or on my phone, if I run across something that will make a good illustration, I will screen capture it or “clip” that particular part of the web page for later.

Connecting

For the techies out there, Evernote has an API, which means that it can talk to other programs, services, and apps. You can integrate it into a huge number of other services you probably use. You can check out their App Center here.

My favorite feature here, though, is its integration with the service IFTT. With IFTT, you connect all of your services and devices and you make “recipes”, following an “If this, then that” formula. For example, “If I meet someone new and add them to my phone contacts, add the date, time, and location I met them to an Evernote note”. How useful is that for pastors!

There are tons of these sorts of recipes for Evernote, which you can use to augment your learning, preaching, teaching, and pastoring.

Searching

Lastly, everything in Evernote is powerfully searchable. For most of seminary’s existence, can you imagine how much seminary learning has been lost within the first 1 to 5 years after graduation? Probably a lot, and and not just Greek and Hebrew.

If you’ve graduated from seminary, how many lectures would you love to be able to recall while preparing your sermons or other educational moments in your church?

With Evernote, you can. Do everything from take a picture of the whiteboard after a lecture to record the audio to scan in handouts with your phone or simply type your notes out. Everything becomes searchable. You can add tags to your notes like “Old Testament”, “Ephesians”, “Transcendent Moments”, “Authors to Read”, etc., and never forget them.

Simply search for it on your phone, computer, tablet, web browser, or smartwatch, and you’ll have it right there.

So why are you waiting? Just download it already and check it out for yourself (it’s free!).

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About

Frequenting the coffee shops of Philadelphia while employed in social work and finishing up a Masters of Divinity from the Newbigin House of Studies at Western Theological Seminary. He serves Liberti Church as a deacon and seminary intern. Paul blogs at the long way home and tweets as @PaulBurkhart_.