A memory like the elephant!

Review your selected Web 2.0 tool and discuss:

(1)   What is it? http://evernote.com/

The Evernote logo is an image of a gray elephant on a green background.

Evernote is a tool to organize information and have access to it via electronic devices.  It has the capability to store a variety of content, including images, handwriting, text, spreadsheets, etc. and then find it easily as needed.  Evernote’s getting started page purports that “its true power lies in its ability to synchronize your notes with the Evernote on the Web.  This allows you to create and find your memories on virtually any computer, web browser or mobile phone.” (How to use Evernote, chapter 6, How sync works).

Evernote was in private beta use in April of 2008.  According to Brett Kelly (2013) one of Evernote’s best features is that it can take a photo of a “wine label or a street sign and search for the text within the image?” (Evernote Essentials).  He goes on to describe it as a “notebook . . . designed to be with you for your entire life.  You won’t ever have to worry about it filling up or about accidentally misplacing it . . . a ubiquitous digital notebook which syncs to the web and across all of your devised that can capture, store, and index just about any type of data you can throw at it.” (2013, Evernote Essentials Introduction).

(2)   How might it be used for your leadership situation (education, healthcare, business, non-profit, etc.)?

Evernote can be used to document tasks, goals, professional growth and development notes, list questions to ask in meetings, and note creative thoughts (retrieved from http://socialworktech.com/evernote/using-evernote-for-clinical-social-work/).  For people who have the StrengthsQuest (Rath & Conchie, 2008) themes of Input and Learner, Evernote is a much needed tool.  These are two of my signature strengths and I find myself collecting information to use later.  However, my “filing system” leaves much to be desired, as it is difficult to locate what I am looking for when I want to use it.

(3)   What are downsides to using it? 

Kelly (2013) noted that remembering how you filed your information would be the most challenging aspect of the tool.  He recommended that “when you add something to Evernote that you absolutely expect to need at some point in the future, try to imagine the circumstance in which you’ll need it and which words you’re likely to use when trying to find it.” (2013, p. 154).


Kelly, B. (2013).  Evernote essentials.  Brett Kelly Media, Inc.:  Fullerton, CA.

Rath, T. & Conchie, B. (2008). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and

          why people follow. New York, NY: Gallup Press.

Social Work Tech.  (2013). Using Evernote for clinical social work.  Retrieved from


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5 Responses to A memory like the elephant!

  1. One of my colleagues swears by Evernote. He is routinely finding content with his iPad or iPhone and saving it for later retrieval on his desktop. He also has his students use Evernote to share notes…in effect crowdsourcing the writing of weekly lecture notes by his students.

    As with many of these tools, we start with personal use … but then discover compelling professional use in a social, participatory world.

  2. lybrarylyon says:

    I like the flexibility that Evernote offers, as it can be used with Moleskin and also with a special pen/writing instrument. Being able to scan words on labels and in handwriting is amazing to me!

  3. gbarnes05 says:

    Thank you for sharing your post. I think you did an excellent job in linking the StrengthQuest themes to identify how the application can help leaders to document task, goals, and creative thoughts. I never used Evernote, but I will definitely look into it after reading your blog. I think that it is great that the application allows you to share notes with colleagues to collaborate on projects. Additionally, I like that the program is compatible with multiple device operating systems such as Apple’s iOS, Android, and Windows.
    I do have one question regarding the product. I wanted to know how Evernote compares to Google Docs or Microsoft OneNote, since they seem to offer some of the same type of functionality to users. Do you find one product better than the other when used in leadership situations?


    • lybrarylyon says:

      Hi Gordon,
      I have not used Google Docs or OneNote. I wonder if Google Docs or Microsoft work with other operating systems. However, as I continue to look into Evernote, I see that it will even read handwriting via a Moleskin and specialized pen.

  4. rgzinkan says:

    Thanks, LibraryLyon, for providing insight on Evernote. I have the Evernote app on my iPhone and iPad (because it seems to be on everyone’s list of must-have apps), but I have never gotten into using it regularly. I have been reluctant to have yet another program to have to check. However, after reading this, I’d like to revisit it. Thanks again. -Rob

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