Sunday, July 27, 2014

Publishing Files with @Evernote and @Postachio

“What kind of files will Evernote and/or Postach.io blog service publish from my Evernote Notebook?” If you have ever had to find a file hosting provider for your podcasts, videos, etc., then you see the importance of this question. The question going around in my head is, How easy would it be to let Evernote handle my audio/video file hosting needs and would that show up in my Postach.io blog?

Let’s find out. In this article, we’ll explore the many file formats Evernote supports and what they look like when shared via Evernote and/or as a Postach.io blog.

Figuring Out the Look
Evernote Share:
If you are sharing content, you can do so from Evernote easily by clicking on the SHARE button in the top right-hand corner. On Evernote Web, it looks like this:

Clicking on that SHARE link will result in the following:

This results in a link you can see online and a web page generated by Evernote:

Postach.io Blog:
If you are using Postachi.io, you can add notes to an Evernote Notebook then see them appear as blog entries at a web address of your choosing (e.g. mguhlin.postach.io). The main, importance difference is that Postach.io provides you with themes, RSS feed for easy sharing into other apps and locations, and the ability to instantly share content to social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

Here is what a Postach.io blog looks like:

Evernote and Postach.io handle files attachments you add to your Evernote notes in different ways. Where Evernote may display the files as you might see them in EvernoteWeb or Evernote app on your computer or mobile device, Postach.io may not. While Postach.io may display an audio file as "playable," it may not show up that way on an Evernote share.

Exploring the Differences
Let's explore these differences.... 

File Format #1 - One-Take Audio
“How can I quickly record an audio interview with a parent, teacher or student, then share it with others online?” The answer to this question—if you’re using Evernote and Postach.io—is a lot easier than you think. After connecting your Postach.io blog to an Evernote Notebook, anything you put in a note in that notebook will be shared. You only have to “tag it” with a one word descriptor such as published.

Whether you are walking down the hallway, recording audio notes for walkthroughs, sharing what students are doing, sharing audio online has become quite popular. These are known as “one-take” audio recordings because they will be published without editing. You have to get them right in one-take (or delete each effort that fails and record again from the beginning). One-take audio recordings are my favorite because 1) Audio recordings are often temporary; 2) The goal is to capture and share them quickly so others can access them.

Since many of us are using a variety of different devices, will that audio present well in our notes turned blog entries?

Below are the results of test I’ve conducted:

Android Audio
The following audio was recorded from a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android phone using the awesome Evernote widget. Notice that Android audio is saved with an Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) file extension and cannot be played easily if posted in a Postach.io blog.

However if you view the shared Evernote note, you can play it without issue. Both Evernote and Postach.io have some growing to do in regards to handling audio recorded on an Android device.


iPad Audio
The following audio was recorded on an iPad 3rd Generation using the Evernote app:


Audio recorded on an iOS device is saved with the M4A file extension. It can be easily played on Postachio, but must be saved to your computer prior to playing when looking at the shared Evernote note. This is a bit of a pain since neither Android audio or iOS audio is saved in a format that presents well on the web in Postachio or Evernote. 

Recommendation: The best way to put audio into Evernote is to use a third party app, such as the no-cost Hi-Q Recorder for Android or Voice Record Pro for iOS. This will allow you to record Or, you can record an MP3 audio file on a Mac/Windows computer with Audacity (a no-cost program). Whatever your approach, all result in an MP3 audio file that can be attached to Evernote no matter whether you are on Android, iOS or Mac/Windows (including Evernote Web).

Here’s what that looks like:


File Format #2 - JPG, PNG Images
Inserting or capturing images with your camera on mobile devices works quite well. One of the benefits of Evernote is how easy it is to load images in.


File Format #3 - Sharing eBooks a la ePub and PDF Files
Working with a class of book creators? One of the challenges educators face is collecting ePub documents from iPads using Book Creator. One approach is to email a book to the teacher's Evernote account. This enables the teacher to open the ePub saved in her Evernote app, then use the iPad's OPEN IN... to get it into Book Creator or iBooks. Another neat feature is that you can easily share ePubs on a Postach.io blog, as you can see below, for download or opening online:

For example, here is a multimedia ePub that features video, audio and images, as well as text. If you open this as a regular ePub file on a non-iOS device, you will only see the images and text sans video/audio.

And, here is the PDF version. As you may know, Evernote actually scans PDFs and makes them searchable, and in the Mac/Windows version, will actually reflect the content embedded in the note. This is quite handy if you are using more than just Evernote Web and Postach.io to view the note.

File Format #4 - Sharing MP4 Video Files
And, if you're wondering about video, consider displaying MP4 videos (one of the most compatible formats on the web):

gregk_appsmash1.mp4
6.9 MB


Conclusion
As you might imagine, there are many files that you can drop into Evernote. Only a few are supported for viewing, or for sharing with Postach.io, a feature request I've submitted to them. However, if you are running the full version of Evernote on your Mac or Windows computer, you can easily use Evernote as a digital file cabinet. It might not be the best tool to share those files with others, but undoubtedly, we’ll be sure to see improvements! 

For now, the best approach is to use the client version of Evernote on Mac/Windows, then share the note as a web page using Evernote. This view provides the most compatibility. Here is what this article looks like via Evernote.



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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: http://www.10zig.eu/about-us/
You might find Microsoft's official support article on the topic useful also: http://blogs.technet.com/b/mmpc/archive/2014/01/15/microsoft-antimalware-support-for-windows-xp.aspx 



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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.

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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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.
ENEX FILE EXPORT
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.
ENEX FILE IMPORT
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).
2) Go to FILE: IMPORT NOTES
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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Three Steps to Walkthrough Checklists with @Evernote

Note: This blog entry composed 100% in Evernote and originally published  with Postach.io at http://mguhlin.postach.io
“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.

WALKTHROUGH CHECKLISTS 
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.
STOP! PREPARING TO USE DIGITAL ADMINISTRATOR CHECKLISTS  
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?

STEP 1 - CREATE WALKTHROUGH CHECKLIST(S)
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.



STEP 2 - ORGANIZE CHECKLIST(S)
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.

STEP 3 - SHARE CHECKLIST(S) 
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 Postach.io (public). You can also connect your Evernote Notebook to a Postach.io blog. Every time you share add a note to that Notebook in Evernote, it will automatically update the Postach.io 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:

Conclusion
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