Wednesday, July 23, 2014

XP Malware Support Countdown Clock

Thanks to the folks at , we now have an end of Windows XP Malware Support Countdown Clock:

For more on 10ZiG, feel free to visit:
You might find Microsoft's official support article on the topic useful also: 

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

InSearchOf: College Docs, Mental Stability and Peace @evernote @arguhlin

About This Blog Entry: A quick thanks to university student, GIS expert (as far as I'm concerned), and this week's Around the Corner guest blogger, Aida Guhlin (@arguhlin), for sharing her insights into Evernote. Aida Guhlin publishes regularly at The Prospect and WannabeScientist.
Full Title: The Search for the College Document: Prevent the Mental Breakdown and Uncontrollable Sobbing

Freshmen Orientation. Just the beginning of the paper flood. Does anyone recall those three days to a week of college orientation, with truly, bags of papers thrust at you? They seemed important...but the sheer amount was often so overwhelming that they were tossed aside, often straight into a trash can. Who knew that there was a sheet in there that explained the clear instructions on how to join the Wi-Fi?

But "what do?" is usually the response college students give. As far as most scattergorized students go, we take pictures of everything. The photos sit on our phones for months, only to have the phone run out of space. Then, we're left to quickly delete any pictures that may seem unnecessary. Alas, many of us have found ourselves panic-stricken when we realize the paper copy isn't where we thought it was, and scrolling through our phones reveal the digital copy is long since deleted. Worse, we have a digital copy, but with our blase snapping, we've kept a blurry photo where the most important part is unreadable.

As far as casual, quick digital recordkeeping goes, most students with smartphones are in one (or more) of these inefficient boats:
  • the infamous random camera capturing
  • Google's disorganized auto-backup system
  • the really clever photo album transferred occasionally to the computer
Google's auto-backup system works for its one purpose: to back up your photos. Otherwise, it doesn't serve many other purposes well. Often, the backup system takes up to fifteen minutes to back up a photo and by this point, our faux-multitasking brains are onto the next three tasks and completely over the whole digital recordkeeping concept. It's hard to access via your phone, and the computer interface is a bit overwhelming. 

The other option, a photo album in your camera gallery, isn't much different from random camera capture, except for the fact that we all get to pretend we're being really organized because we have a whole album for documents. That album is also the first to go when space runs low on your phone. You may actually be cool and transfer it over to your computer, but then the file just sits there and isn't too accessible via your phone when it's on your computer. Meanwhile, as those photos sit on your phone, album or not album, all it takes is a stolen phone to lose all the information you thought you had.

So, once again, what do?


Evernote actually seems made for smart documentation. An app and widget to go on your phone allows you to customize your phone-Evernote experience. My personal favorite is the document camera, which allows me to snap pictures of documents and upload them as "notes" in a "notebook" of my selection instantly. I take the picture, I title it, put it in a notebook and move on. The paper can be discarded of and I can move on with my life until the information is needed. Any college student knows the value of that.

One awesome perk is that these documents become searchable, whether they were typed or handwritten. Want to keep the handwritten information of your advisor? Snap a photo, save it to "College Info" and find yourself able to search for your advisor's name later. The same goes for the pictures of your friend's notes from the class you were late to (or slept through). Go on. Try it. You won't be sorry, and you'll definitely be greener recycling all that paper - and thank yourself later when you easily find the information later.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Backing Up and Sharing Your Evernote Notebooks

As I shared in this article, 3 Steps to Walkthrough Checklists in Evernote, you can easily export notebooks from Evernote. In this case, “export" means save your entire notebook as a single file that you can save elsewhere or share with other people.
  • Export = Save a notebook as an “ENEX" file.
  • Import = Load an ENEX file into your Evernote.
To accomplish this, you will need to use either Evernote for Mac or Windows; unfortunately, Evernote Web does not yet provide this functionality.
This tutorial addresses Exporting and Importing of ENEX files and will explore the steps below.
To export a file, you will want to do the following…
1) Right-click on the selected Notebook and choose Export Notes from “EvernoteForms"
2) Rename the file to be exported to whatever you want, in this case, EvernoteForms:
Click SAVE to save the file. You will then see something like this:
You can now email or back up that ENEX file to a USB drive for transport. If it contains confidential information, make sure to encrypt the file by using 7zip format with AES-256 encryption.
To import an ENEX file, for example, one that you found on the Internet, follow these steps:
1) Save the ENEX File to your computer where you can find it (e.g. Desktop)
(This file is hosted at Dropbox: here’s a link to a folder where this ENEX file can be accessed).
Then, choose the ENEX file:
And click on OPEN. You will see the following:
Say “YES" to the question. This will import the notebook to the Evernote Web version and make it available everywhere you access Evernote.
This is what success looks like:
That’s all there is to exporting and importing ENEX files!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Three Steps to Walkthrough Checklists with @Evernote

Note: This blog entry composed 100% in Evernote and originally published  with at
“How can I quickly collect and organize my walkthroughs? I don’t want to carry another piece of paper," asked a campus administrator. “I want to go digital, just use my smartphone to collect data, not necessarily make a report about it. I use it for coaching conversations." If you are in the same boat as this campus administrator, then consider using Evernote’s Checklist feature.

Walkthroughs enable administrators to become more familiar with how their teachers approach teaching, providing coaching opportunities that can also positively inform the formal appraisal process. You could put it this way--walkthroughs are about instruction, while appraisal visits are about teacher evaluation. The former is focused on scaffolding and supporting teacher growth, while the latter is about assessing effectiveness of that growth.

Imagine digitally collecting walkthrough forms and sharing them in an Evernote Notebook that both the Campus Administrator and teacher could access. The administrator and teacher would both have access to that notebook, placing copies of walkthroughs, conferences and meetings in that digital notebook. Some sample checklists are provided in this tutorial for your use.
Before going further, go get a free Evernote account. If you are on Mac or Windows, you may want to install the Evernote program on your computer. Or, consider an Evernote Premium account.
Looking for more ways to use Evernote? Check out my 28 Tips to Turbo-Charge Your Leadership article.
How To Get Started? 
You can get started with a free Evernote account, although if you’re going to be sharing a lot of notebooks with your teachers, an Evernote Premium ($45-$50 annually) will be worth the investment. Trust me, this is something you’ll be able to use for more than just work. Once you start creating checklists for writing workshops, math workshops, and a million other topics, you’ll soon start using checklists as well for grocery lists, To-Do lists, etc. ! Evernote allows you to create checklists, and you can choose to organize some of this information in tables. Here are three steps you can take to begin using Evernote-based checklists for walkthroughs in your K-12 setting. The steps are as follows:
  1. Create Walkthrough Checklist(s)
  2. Organize Checklist(s)
  3. Share Checklist(s)
Ready to get started?

There are 3 different ways (at least!) to making forms that I’ve noticed. But don’t let the limits of my curiosity stop you from finding more. At Purely Paperless, Kate shares some ideas about how she uses Evernote to easily create checklists to organize her classroom. She writes that she uses Evernote checklists to organize herself to track student work, as well as pacing guides, etc.

1) Make your own.
You can easily make your own walkthrough forms in Evernote. You can make a walkthrough form and then duplicate it for each teacher. For example, you could create a notebook in Evernote for each teacher to be observed, then copy the walkthrough form into each notebook as you need it. You can easily duplicate the form--by copy-n-paste--for each walkthrough. While it may take a few minutes prior to each walkthrough to copy-n-paste the checklist, the convenience of having it easily accessible on your mobile device (e.g. smartphone or tablet) will more than make up for it.

Quick How-To: Evernote on Mac
In Evernote client on Mac or Windows:You can make a checklist by going using the checkbox button in the toolbar: Quick How-To: Evernote Web In Evernote Web version, you can do exactly the same thing:

Sample Walkthrough Checklists
To get you started, I asked my colleagues what walkthrough checklists they use. Here are a few that I’ve saved in myEvernoteForms Notebook which you have access to:
  1. Walkthrough Checklists
    1. Independent Reading
    2. Writers’ Workshop
    3. Instructional Observations
    4. Teacher Checklist #1
    5. Teacher Checklist #2
    6. Principal 5-minute Walkthrough
    7. HEAT Classroom Walkthroughs
  2. Organizational Checklists
    1. Meetings
    2. Phone calls
How do I get a copy of these walkthrough form samples? 
If you are using Evernote on your Mac or Windows, you can save a copy of an ENEX file (Evernote Export) and then import it into Evernote. This gives you an exact copy of the entire Notebook!
Tutorial: Here’s a quick illustrated step-by-step of the process you can follow to save the ENEX file I’ve made for you and then import it into Evernote. Want to try some more? Stephen Millard (Thought Asylum) includes some ENEX files you can also import into Evernote online at his blog.
Be aware that once you EXPORT a Notebook, you can share the file (via email or cloud storage) with another administrator. They, in turn, can IMPORT the ENEX file you send them so that they have these items in their Evernote and can begin using them.
Note: Unfortunately, if you are just using the web version of Evernote, you will NOT be able to import the ENEX file. If you do import it with your Mac or Windows Evernote client, it will be accessible via the Web, though.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful. Again, remember, making checklists is fairly easy. Resources:
2) Use KustomNote to create custom notes. 
KustomNote--which also includes an iPad app--integrates with Evernote and offers a variety of pre-made templates you can take advantage of in several categories. Kate at Purely Paperless also shares about KustomNote, citing its benefits:
  • Easily standardize note-taking for classroom documentation
  • Greatly improves the aesthetics of your Evernote Notes
  • Easy formatting makes your documentation predictable
  • Quickly route your notes to the correct notebook

Below are some of the Education category templates available:


Once you have the KustomNote template you want, you are able to modify and save it to the appropriate Evernote Notebook. You can fill it out in Evernote, as you can see here. KustomNote prevents you from getting a "Share Link" web address, I noticed. Overall, I didn’t find KustomNote as user-friendly as making my own walkthrough forms. Of course, that’s my opinion. You should give it a try and see. Resources:
3) Use one of these iPad apps to create walkthrough checklists.
Finally, you can choose to use of these iPad apps to create forms. While I was not impressed with the usability of these apps (probably because I was using the free version), you may find that they meet your needs (are you sensing my strong bias towards making your own checklists?).
As you have seen above, there are various ways to get the job done. The truth is, every walkthrough form is going to be different. Find one that you like, adapt it, and then save it.

Recommendation: Make your own Evernote-based Walkthrough Checklist.

Now that you have created the checklist you are going to use with appropriate staff on your campus, you need a way to organize it. There are lots of ways to organize, but here are two that come to mind:

1) Teacher-centric: Consider making a notebook for each teacher. For example, a teacher-centric walkthrough form could look like this:
  • 2nd Grade Teachers [This is an Evernote Notebook Stack]
    • [The following are Notebooks in the 2nd Grade Teacher stack]
      • Cortence, Cathy
      • Jenkins, Judd
      • Rigor, Mort
      • Zanak, George
You would make a copy of the walkthrough checklist (copy-n-paste) and then place it in each teacher’s notebook. You duplicate the walkthrough checklist prior to each walkthrough. 2) Walkthrough-centric: If you want to keep all your walkthroughs together-maybe you have more than one type of walkthrough, or maybe they are organized by content area-then this is what that might look like:
  • LA/Reading Checklist [This is an Evernote Notebook Stack]
    • [The following are Notebooks in this stack]
      • Cortence, Cathy
      • Jenkins, Judd
      • Rigor, Mort
      • Zanak, George
The main benefit of creating Evernote Notebooks with teachers is that you can give them VIEW rights. This will require an Evernote Premium ($50) account, but enables you and the teacher to see what is in the shared notebook. No one else will be able to see what is in that notebook. Finally, a tip for tracking completion of your walkthrough checklists:
Use the following search terms to see what checklists in a notebook remain undone:
  • If you type todo:false in the Evernote search box, this means you are looking for unchecked items in all your notes in allEvernote notebooks (or you could just open a notebook and search in that one).
  • If you type todo:true in the Evernote search box, this means you are looking for checked items.
  • If you type todo:* in the Evernote search box, this will show you all items with a checkbox.
What a time-saver! Looking for more ways to use Evernote? Check out my 28 Tips to Turbo-Charge Your Leadership article.

If you ever want to share completed checklists with others, you can take advantage of the following approaches: Option #1: Share a Notebook with one or more persons (private). This is the approach I’ve taken with individuals who I want to have access to a particular notebook. This would result in a PRIVATE sharing of the Notebook and all its content.

As an administrator with an Evernote Premium account, I could share the notebook for Cathy Cortence-one of my fictional 2nd grade teachers-and send it to her email. I would be able to determine if she could only view content, or view and modify. . .and she would be the only person aside from me who would be able to see it.


Option #2: Share an individual Note or Notebook with anyone (public).
Instead of sharing a Notebook, I could create a PUBLIC link to the note (or notebook). This would enable anyone to view the contents of the notebook or the note. You certainly wouldn’t do this with a walkthrough checklist that had been filled out for someone.

You can easily share notes or notebooks via Evernote Web or Evernote Mac/Windows…notice all the sharing options available (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Email, or Link). If you choose link, you can paste that anywhere (e.g. web site, GoogleDoc, Weebly) to share with others.


Option #3: Connect your Notebook to (public). You can also connect your Evernote Notebook to a blog. Every time you share add a note to that Notebook in Evernote, it will automatically update the blog connected to it. How to accomplish this is addressed in another blog entry.

Option #4: Make a copy of a note or notebook as an ENEX file someone can import into their Mac or Windows copy of Evernote (public/private depends on how you share it with others).
Note: You can only create ENEX files on Mac or Windows version of Evernote, not the Evernote Web version.
To accomplish export a notebook, right-click on the Notebook and choose export: (this is the Mac version of Evernote)

Rename the file to reflect what you want and then save it:

Creating checklists of any kind in Evernote is fun and make capturing walkthrough data easier. If you’re looking for something that will create graphs of gathered data, then consider GoogleForms. If you just need something to collect data, a digital document to gather around and have coaching conversations, then Evernote Checklists provide the perfect tool for their ease of use.

Chances are, though, you will need to invest in an Evernote Premium account ($50) to get the full benefit of sharing notebooks with teachers who may only get a free Evernote account.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wired for Drama: Information Wrestling with @Evernote and @Postachio

“There is no way I’m publishing this fantasy!” argued my editor. 
“What do you mean fantasy? Every word is based on a real life situation, a true story. You go to the movies based on true stories, watch documentaries on Netflix, don’t you?” Gene spoke quietly. The vein in his forehead began to throb slowly. This guy wouldn’t know non-fiction if it slapped him. 
“You either rewrite this text as a boring, uninformative informational piece, or your writing won’t be welcome here!”
Ever had fun describing real life with fiction? While that dramatic dialogue echoes real life, it remains fiction. Even though I learned most of my American history from Dana Fuller Ross’ Wagons West series, I knew to critically check the facts. While informational texts can be boring tracts that make you long for paradise, they don’t have to be. Imagine information as an alligator to be “wrestled,” grappled with, avoiding drowning.

Note: Find out more about Postachio and Evernote for Education online

 Education Rethink, fellow blogger John Spencer points out that his beliefs about informational texts have evolved. Instead of “boring” documents that should be “avoided” because they were so hated by students, he sees them as “inherently engaging.” 

As a creative non-fiction weaver, I find informational texts that are poorly written to be boring, worthy of indifference, and deserving of complete revision. And, it is that last that makes creative non-fiction so much fun…oh, and having an audience to share it with.

Also known as narrative non-fiction, this type of writing has been characterized as “True stories well-told.” Lee Gutkind (Creative defines it in this way:

Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these.

The words “creative” and “nonfiction” describe the form. The word “creative” refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.

When I work with professional educators, there is a certain reluctance to craft a non-fiction narrative that reads like fiction. In fact, they see it as lying, being dishonest. For them, through decades of school system indoctrination, exciting fantasy-simulating non-fiction should be avoided. I liken the experience to the experience your nose has upon stumbling upon a malodorous gift your dog has left where you must walk.

“Will these ideas and information fit with each other? In doing this, can I reconfigure old information to suggest new ideas?” Every act of writing can be a playful experiment at blending disparate ideas and information. 

John Spencer suggests we take various steps to keep informational text engaging. I’d like to focus on a few of these and share my own reflections:

1) Personalize the process.
If you have to read informational texts that are boring, why not give the experience a 1-2 punch? Create a problem-based learning (PBL) situation where there is a problem to be solved. This provides an over-arching organization, a motivation that stimulates students to seek out

Punch #1 - Using the Evernote Clearly or EverClip on Android or iOS  clip only the content that’s relevant to solving the problem. [here’s an example of content highlighted and clipped using Clearly]. The purpose of clipping and sharing relevant content—a process many of us know as content curation—is a lifelong skill that must be nurtured. Every day, my children ask real life questions and they have to “look it up,” then synthesize a response that works for their situation. Life, for adults, is a continuous process of embracing unknown information, wrestling it like an alligator, and, if you don’t drown, making it relevant and useful in your life. Information has a purpose, and that’s to get us moving.

Punch #2 - Use a tool like to shine a light on the information wrestling process. As I wrestle information into usable form that can change my work, my life, I do it with the knowledge that others will see it. If using Evernote for Schools, Evernote Freemium or Evernote Premium, the point is that I make transparent this information process. A few benefits to that:
  • When you share your thinking transparently with others, you invite collaborative dialogue that will help you improve your work (whether to show how wrong you are, whether you are on track, or whether you are blazing a path, all of which are helpful).
  • You inspire others to learn, whether it’s to follow your own path or a new path they imagine in their minds.
  • New paths of the mind that others follow may inspire you, a benefit that is often missed by students so eager to escape the confines of an assignment into the next.
When you draw connections between the information others are sharing online via blogs and tweets, you build a bridge between your ideas and their’s, inviting them to dialogue.

2) Read more, work less.
Today, like countless yesterdays, many of us have a choice that we make every day—will we simply consume ideas for our own entertainment, or allow our entertainment to flow from our creativity as it finds expression in daily life’s problems and possibilities?

Many encounter problems with managing content available online. With Evernote  you are able to pick out what you want to keep, highlight it on the screen (e.g. Evernote WebClipper, Clearly add on) so you can focus on the essence without all the advertising and junk, then save that. This enables you to engage in acts of information selection then, later, make it searchable.

One of my own workflows involves clipping content that looks promising after a quick skim, then pore through it later, asking myself it can be useful in a particular situation. Or, if that’s obvious, find a way to save it.

3) Push Critical Thinking
“Point of view is worth 80 IQ points,” says Alan Kay. For writers, taking an oppositional perspective can be worth tomes of information. That’s why you may find certain journalists, authors, newscasters espousing a particular perspective. Critical thinking, then, involves what I like to characterize as the way of disinterest. It means taking yourself out of the equation, setting aside your emotional baggage, and instead, playing with ideas while putting information first.

Inviting students to be open, focused on exploring, curious, not committed to a particular outcome has benefits. Rather than being limited by the information being gathered, ask questions and challenge the status quo. Many of us want to find solutions that fit into convenient containers, but when we encounter a real problem, we have to play with ideas and information, putting them together in ways that don’t seem to work, but sometimes, surprisingly, do.

Critical thinking allows us to adopt a point of view that isn’t beholden to one perspective over another, but to step outside the situation, and in a disinterested way, play in a way that’s friendly. Asking students to play with the information they have gathered relevant to a problem, juxtapose it in the context of their Evernote Notebooks, then share that online enables them to see old and new patterns. And, in the new patterns, find ways to solve ideas.

Information wrestling doesn’t have to be a boring, hateful process done in isolation and irrelevance. Rather, through new technologies like Evernote and (and you’re not limited to just these), you can create narrative non-fiction that captivates and enchants us as individuals, connecting us through social media in ways that celebrate distinct points of view.

Monday, July 14, 2014

28 Tips to Turbo Charge Your Leadership with @Evernote

Are you a school administrator on the go who wants to increase transparency? Maybe, you have a desperate need to make sense of the world around you clamoring for attention? Or, you seek ways to streamline your work processes? 

Why not take advantage of, a way to create digital notebooks and notes that you can save pictures, audio, text, MS Office and PDF documents (and make them searchable!)?

A quick note: Evernote is free unless you want to tap into some special features, and those may well be worth it. After using Evernote for a few months, I promptly purchased the Premium annual license (about $50) because it was THAT useful since it offered--offline copies of notebooks, revision note history, etc. But you don't have to. Start with the Freemium version at no cost.

Let's Get Started!
Here are a few tips as to how and other related services can make a difference. Remember, what you put in Evernote isn't just available on one device or another; it is simultaneously available on all, enabling you to jump from laptop to tablet to mobile phone and back again quickly!

Tip #1 - Organize Your Email
"Hundreds of emails flow into my inbox," shared one principal. "I'm always on the go. How am I supposed to figure out what to do with each one?" Whether you use Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, you can take advantage of several approaches, including the following:

a) CloudMagic--which works on Android, iPhone and iPad--to quickly save emails to your Evernote Inbox. I like to sort mine into Notebooks, iDo and WorkDo, personal to do list and work-related to do. You can use CloudMagic's built-in support for Evernote to save content directly to a notebook.


b) Email content to yourself. Find your special Evernote Email (check your account settings), then add the name of the Notebook you want to file that email in to the Subject line. If you want to add a one-word descriptive tag, you can add a hashtag. Here's an example:

Subject: James Wilson Resume - @SecondGradeTeacherApplicants #interview

As you can see, the Evernote Notebook this email will be filed in is in bold letters, while the tag is italicized.


c) Use PowerBot for Gmail ($1.99 per month), which allows you to quickly drop your email into Evernote. Need to quickly document an email conversation about a staff who needs coaching or a students who needs mentoring? Powerbot will allow you to capture an entire email thread (all initial emails and responses) in one swoop. We'll revisit Powerbot for Gmail+Calendars ($2.99 a month) in another tip because of what it can do to automate meeting notes!

Tip #2 - Collect and Organize Critical Documents
"Every day," shares one administrator, "I have to manage a ton of documents, some of which are digital, others that are mostly paper. What tips do you have for me?" Whether it's business cards, invoices, permission slips, you can easily capture these documents with Evernote and place them in a secure, online space that is searchable. More importantly, each document becomes searchable. Going on a field trip? Scan all the student permission slips with parent/guardian contact information into Evernote. Need to share a notebook or a single note with others? It's easy to share the link, all from your mobile device or desktop computer.

To scan content, it's as easy as running the stack of papers through a copier-scanner then emailing that document to yourself or, if working with 10 pages or less (my limit, not Evernote's), snap pictures of each page using the Evernote app on your mobile device.

Or, if you'd rather not clutter your smartphone's Photo Gallery with work-related pictures, invest in the Evernote-friendly scanners--such as the mobile USB-powered DoxieGo ($162) or Fujitsu ScanSnap ($250), or the WiFi-friendly Fujitsu ScanSnap Evernote Edition ($495).

Tip #3 - Parent411: Manage Parent Contacts and Questions.
"Parents will email me, or catch me in the hall and ask me questions," said one assistant principal. "The thing is, many of them are asking the same question and I'm giving the same answer." Instead of answering the same question a thousand times, why not type up the question--and your response--and then save it in an Evernote Notebook entitled "Parent411" for information sharing. That way, next time someone asks you a question, you can provide a brief response, hand them a card, or SMS/text them a link to your blog--which takes your Evernote Notebook and makes them into a series of blog entries--that can be shared online.

You can also record audio and share that conversation--be sure to ask for permission from participants--via your blog (e.g. or

Tip #4 - Check That Off Your List!
"What I like to do every morning is make a checklist of what I need to do each day." She held up her phone and waved it in front of me with a smile. "If I run into new items, I just add them to my digital checklist and keep going!" A lot of us have "To-Do" lists but it's so easy to see them as a list of items that never gets worked through.

With Evernote, you can put all your To-Do items in a list, inserting checkboxes in front of each. As you finish them throughout the day, simply tap on the checkbox to place a checkmark. What a great visual way of working through your To-Do list or a long checklist.

For power users, consider the following search terms for long checkbox lists of To Do Items or project management:
  • If you type todo:false in the Evernote search box, this means you are looking for unchecked items in all your notes in all Evernote notebooks (or you could just open a notebook and search in that one).
  • If you type todo:true in the Evernote search box, this means you are looking for checked items.
  • If you type todo:* in the Evernote search box, this will show you all items with a checkbox.

Tip #5 - You are the Storyteller-in-Charge!
Want to better engage parents, community, students and teachers? Assign yourself the job of "Storyteller-in-charge" at your campus. This is your job, after all, and you can take advantage of Evernote app on your smartphone or tablet to capture pictures of great things teachers are doing, whether it's a lesson or coaching a child. You can also capture student work, ask them to share what they were thinking and record that reflection as an audio note.

That note gets embedded in your Evernote Note, and if you have connected to that Notebook, you can publish it. In minutes, you've added another multimedia element to your school's digital wall.

Tip #6 - Problems, Problems-Document!
"The ceiling is leaking," pointed out a colleague. I picked up my iPad, snapped a picture into Evernote, shared the Room # and campus, then Share the link with the maintenance superintendent via a text message. Saving the situation in Evernote allowed me to come back to it later, not have to mess with figuring out how to get it out of my iPad's Camera Roll, etc.

As a school administrator, I run into problems daily. In the old days, I'd write a long email. Now, I snap a picture of the problem then quickly "Share Link" from Evernote to the person who can get the job done. If necessary, I add some audio to the note so that way, the other person knows what I think needs to be done.

Tip #7 - Capture Online Greatness and Share It
Heard of content curation? As an administrator, you are probably drowning in content. Everyone is sending you stuff, in digital and paper format. When someone sends you something, take a moment to save it to an Evernote Notebook. In that way, you can easily find it or search for it in Evernote.

If you are collecting your own online gems, you can use Evernote's Web Clipper to capture web page content--text, pictures--and then save it to the appropriate Notebook in Evernote. Once there, you can choose to share the Notebook with others so they can see what great stuff you've gathered. You might also want to try Clearly, an add-on for Chrome that simplifies content, getting rid of extraneous junk (e.g. advertisements) and hones in on the content you really want to keep.

Evernote Premium ($50 per year) enables you to share Notebooks with others, and those with Evernote Freemium accounts can view and modify notes. This is great for an administrator who wants to gather content but also invite others to contribute or enhance.

Tip #8 - Save Your Best Speeches, Emails, Materials
I don't know about you but having to re-create content from scratch is a major pain. I'm more inspired when I look at what I've already done, then try to build on that. Create an Evernote Notebook for your favorite content so that you never have to re-invent the wheel again. Think of Evernote as that notebook where you save your best work before you put it in a book, a presentation, an article, or use it in a presentation. I wrote this entire article in Evernote and then pasted it into this blog post!

Tip #9 - Track Your Meetings
As an administrator, if you're like me, you have to attend an endless parade of meetings. As much as I love meetings, there's no way to keep track of them all. Many of the meetings, you're going to type notes--or write them out longhand--that won't make sense to others. I like to start up Evernote and tap on the microphone. This enables me to record the entire meeting, even as I take notes with a keyboard or pad-n-pen. If you are a pad-n-pen type, consider using Penultimate--which supports Evernote and is no-cost--to capture content (and, if you have the money, you might consider buying the Adonit Jot Script Stylus designed for Evernote).

In addition to saving my notes, audio recording of meetings, I also quickly snap pictures of meeting paper materials, including business cards (which are auto-scanned on iOS devices and put into text format for easier searching along with a copy of the business card - View this example), meeting agendas, and handouts.

You can also attach documents (e.g. Word files or PDF files less than 100 pages long or 25 megs). Everything is searchable, especially if you have an Evernote Premium account (e.g. scanned images inside of PDFs are searchable in Premium, but not Freemium version).

Tip #10 - Magically Create and Share Your Meeting Notes
"How did you read the notes from the meeting?" I asked a teammate. His response highlighted a feature in Powerbot for Gmail+Calendars ($2.99 a month) that I hadn't been aware of. 

Powerbot had magically looked at my Gmail Calendar (works with GoogleApps, too), then created a Notebook in Evernote and a Note for every meeting I attended. Even better, it had a template for the meeting already created so I wouldn't have to deal with a blank page to start typing on. 

Then, it added a link to my Evernote Note for the meeting to my Google Calendar invitation so that others could read my notes. What a time-saver!

Tip #11 - Scan Your Handwriting, Snap Your Whiteboard
Are you a fan of pad-n-pen? Think better with a dry erase marker in your hand and a wall-size canvas in front of you? Me, too!  If you are, or work with someone who is, then you may want to take advantage of Evernote's ability to engage in optical character recognition (OCR).

OCR, as it's commonly known, is a service that you usually had to pay high dollar for, but Evernote makes it easy for those of us who like to write notes out by hand to scan the text. Of course, OCR features work even better with typed text, so take a picture of a printed document. If you really want to go whole-hog with handwriting, consider the Evernote MoleSkin. Note that handwriting is not searchable inside PDF documents.

Another neat tip is to photograph a whiteboard you and your team have been writing/drawing on, then make that available online. Again, it's easy to share your Evernote Notebook or auto-share to a blog.
Tip #12 - Organize Your Kindle Book Content
Recently, I had the chance to read Dufour's and Marzano's Leaders of Learning on my iPad in the Amazon Kindle app. I was overjoyed at how easy it was to highlight and share content as a tweet. But did you know that you can--with some work--capture your highlights straight from the site and then save that to Evernote? That's great news because it makes it easy to keep all your book notes in one place.

The steps that I followed included a) Highlighting great content in the book; b) Going to and logging in to see my highlighted notes; c) Use the Evernote WebClipper to capture the content.

The formatting for this content is not too pretty, so you may want to clean it up before sharing it with others. However, it's all searchable, so you can easily pull up great content. And, of course, you can always re-organize it, as I did here.

Tip #13 - Add Quick Check Items to Shortcuts
On my phone, I have some quick links to Evernote Notes or Notebooks that I want frequent access to. For example, I have critical phone numbers for emergency response in a Note. Evernote enables me to put a link to that note as a shortcut.

Of course, if you have a lot of notes (and you will, trust me!), then you can create a master list of important notes, effectively building a clickable table of contents. If you're using the Evernote app on your Windows or Mac computer, you can select "Copy Note Link" to get a link to a particular note. Paste that link into your "table of contents note" then put that TOC note in your shortcuts. This enables me to quickly get to important content that I want to have quick access to at a moment's notice.

Tip #14 - Stack Your Notebooks
These days, everyone I know is learning something, whether it's a graduate class or curating content from a professional learning community (PLC) or network (PLN). Why not organize what you're learning into Notebooks?

For example, I put everything I am learning that's related to leadership in a notebook called Lead. That notebook is "stacked" under a heading of Share. In the Share "stack," I have many other notebooks that I keep for the purpose of sharing with others, including notebooks for Curriculum, Chief Technology Officers, Evernote Tutorials, Linux, and more.

Tip #15 - Collect and Curate Your Twitter Favorites
Are you a Twitter-holic? If you're like me, you are constantly scanning the hundreds (or thousands) of twitterati that you follow, frantically tapping on the star that "favorites" a tweet, sending a bit of karmic thanks to the twitterer. But you are also creating a trail of breadcrumbs, each a bit of nourishment for your learning that you can revisit later. The problem is, you have to use Twitter to review your Favorites.

Instead, consider using If This Then That ( to automatically save anything you "favorite" on Twitter to an Evernote Notebook. Here are a few of my favorite things from Twitter. Learning to use is quite easy and you'll be up and running in no time!

Once you start saving your Twitter favorites via to Evernote, you'll promptly want to turn around and share those with others. You can do that in two ways:

a) Turn on Sharing for your IFTTT Twitter notebook. This will make it easy for others to access your favorites as an Evernote collection.

b) Create a blog using your IFTTT Twitter notebook in Evernote as its source. That means that anything you favorite will be saved to Evernote, then automatically posted to (you'll need to modify your recipe to add the required "published" tag to each note).

The neat thing about is that you can set it up to re-share your blog posts BACK to your Twitter or Facebook account. This is a painless process once it is setup and can make it very easy to "retweet" while saving content for future investigation in Evernote.

Another Evernote and Twitter tip to keep in can send anything you tweet to Evernote by adding @myen to the it. Find out how.

Tip #16 - Track Travel Receipts
It's amazing how little I travel now as an administrator. That said, even though I spend a lot of time at work, there are times when I do travel. Managing receipts has always been a chore. These days, I don't bother with trying to keep all the paper copies. After checking with the Finance folks, I snap pictures of my receipts for food, pictures of my odometer, to help me keep track of everything that has to do with travel. What a relief to not have to manage little pieces of paper!

Tip #17 - Create a Slideshow of Pictures
Most presentations these days are help you tell a tale. As a traveler, I don't just use Evernote to keep track of travel receipts. I also keep track of food. If I find food I like and want to take a picture of so I can share it with others when I get home, I snap a picture of that and keep a "food notebook."

Imagine this concept with walking through a Conference Exhibit Hall and taking pictures of stuff you'd like more information on, or maybe you would like to share. You can categorize those pictures for the Finance Department, Maintenance Department, Technology Department, etc. Although I haven't tried it yet, Evernote makes it possible to turn any notebook into a slideshow.

Tip #18 - Record 30 second Audio Notes to Yourself
You're not the only one who thinks of great, world-changing ideas on the way to work when writing on a pad of paper would be inconvenient. But quickly recording yourself using Evernote microphone on your phone takes all of two seconds. On Android devices, you can convert voice recordings to text. For other devices, you can use Voice2Note to transcribe Evernote-recorded audio notes--English only--that are 30 seconds or less to searchable text (or, you can call a phone number in the U.S. and it will save to Evernote). 

Note that the 30 seconds or less plan is the "Basic" plan and free. You can pay $30 per year and get the Pro plan which offers more features.

Tip #20 - Save Your Searches
Looking for a quick way to search everything you've saved into your Evernote Notebook? Then, take a moment to save your favorite searches and add that to your shortcuts. It's a time-saver, to quickly be able to pull up everything about "Leadership" that you may have clipped that didn't end up in the same notebook.

Tip #21 - EverClip Content on the Go
Are you an iPad or Android user? Then this tip is for you, especially if you curate content from web browsers. EverClip 2 is an iPad app that makes it easy to grab content from any app on your iPad then drop it into Evernote. You can also find EverClip on Android. Of course, if you are on a computer, install Evernote Clearly. It allows for highlighting of content. You can highlight what you want then remove the unhighlighted sections in your Evernote Note that it automatically creates.

Feature Request: Make it so ONLY the highlights are sent to Evernote!

Tip #22 - Set Reminders For Yourself
As a school administrator, you probably will want to keep track of events. Evernote allows you to set reminders by tapping on the alarm clock, then choosing a date. Evernote will remind you of the upcoming event in various ways. Once you're done, you can remove the reminder by "checking it off."

Tip #23 - Annotate Images with Skitch and Evernote
Combine the power of image capture in Evernote with image annotation using Skitch, a free companion app for Evernote. You can easily add arrows, text to any image you've saved to Evernote provided the Skitch app is loaded on your mobile device.

Tip #24 - Protect Confidential Notes
If you are using the Mac or Windows version of Evernote on your computer, then you have the ability to encrypt the text content of your notes. This can be handy when dealing with confidential information that may find its way into your Evernote Notebooks. If you are on a mobile device, you can also add a passcode to prevent just anyone from accessing your Evernote Notebooks and notes. This can be a life-saver if your phone falls into the wrong hands.

If you are an encryption whiz, then you might give this approach a try, using the no-cost Mailvelope add-on for Chrome browser.

Of course, if you are going to keep confidential data in Evernote, definitely encrypt any attachments using a third party tool, such as for Windows and/or Linux, or Keka for Mac. These compression+encryption solutions employ AES-256 encryption protocols. Avoid putting anything confidential in the cloud unless it is encrypted first.

Finally, you can also take advantage of 2-factor authentication so that you know your Evernote content is always protected (or someone has to have your mobile phone and know your password) to pretend to be you. This can be a bit cumbersome but if you take advantage of GoogleAuthenticator (Android), this is not as bad as you might imagine.

Tip #25 - Capture What You See
Want to quickly capture what you're looking at on the screen? Use Evernote screen capture aspect of Web Clipper. While you already know that Evernote can help you capture what text you see, you may not know it can also allow you to clip pictures or snap a picture of your screen (a.k.a. screenshot). There are different key combinations to capture the screen if you are working on a Mac or Windows computer. You can also manipulate images in your Evernote Desktop (Mac/Windows), rotating them after clicking on them.

Tip #26 - Tracking Vendor Contacts
"When could we meet with you to share our product? We promise we won't take more than 30 minutes." Any campus or district administrator knows that vendors are going to come calling. One of the challenges I face is limiting those vendor contacts, while keeping track of whom I've spoken to on the phone, received emails from, etc. Before, I would sort them into company folders in my email. Problem with that approach is that I'd have to remember who I was talking to, their company, etc. 

Now, I can organize by project and match vendors to the job. All of this information--including business cards--allows me to dig up the names of people matched up to projects.

Tip #27 - Organizing Your Memos and Emails
Do you send out lots of emails or memos? If you are still composing those in MS Word or GoogleDocs, then you need to reconsider that approach. While it’s fun to organize documents in G-Docs, or saving it as a DOCx file on your computer, you may be better off placing your memos or email drafts in Evernote. Not only are they searchable, spell-checked, but it’s more visual. How many documents have you lost because you couldn’t remember where you filed a document in a hierarchy of folders or you lost an Internet connection (in fact, I spent some time one day this week without internet access, organizing my notes in Evernote)? 

Tip #28 - Search and Rescue Your Ideas
"But, there's so much stuff in Evernote Notebooks! How do I find it all?" If you end up with tons of data--and you will no matter what you do unless you practice what librarians call "weeding," (which means getting rid of old stuff)--here are some suggestions for better searching.

Although I haven’t mentioned it much in this list of tips, you can also add one-word descriptors (a.k.a. tags) to each note in Evernote. This gives you another level of search ability. It also eliminates trying to keep track of a million Word documents on your computer.

Some tag search tips:

  • Use any: in front of your keyword searches (e.g. any: budget funding) to pull up any of the words in the search (budget OR funding). Otherwise, Evernote only searches for those two words in combination (budget AND funding).
  • Use notebook: to specify the notebook you want to search in.
  • If you use tags, you can subtract the tag from your search by typing -tag:funding budget (this search is the equivalent of searching on budget NOT funding).
You can also save your searches, which can be convenient once you start down this road of more complex searches.

And, if you think Evernote is great at keeping YOU on track and being organized, then imagine what it might do for your students. Find out more about Evernote for Schools.

If you haven't tried Evernote, then you will certainly want to do so. It's a time-saver extraordinaire!

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure