Learning tools

Build an external brain with Evernote

Have you discovered Evernote yet? If so, have you made it part of your toolbox? If not, read on, as it will transform your Internet experience, and especially the way you use the Internet to improve your language learning.

FACT: the Internet has completely changed the way we learn. It has enabled us to take full responsibility for our learning, and to advance in our field whether or not we have a teacher to help us.

Web 2.0 has made knowledge accessible to everyone, not just to the experts.  However, the accessibility of knowledge can lead to the destruction of knowledge if we don’t find ways to manage information overload, and efficient methods for the retrieval of what we learn.

Evernote claims to help you « remember everything ». It is like a kind of external brain where you can store any piece of information that you would like to find again later. The great thing is that there are several ways of « capturing » this information:

• making notes using desktop, web or mobile phone versions of Evernote
• uploading snapshots from your camera phone or webcam
• adding clippings of anything you can copy on a webpage
• dragging and dropping content from your own computer
• emailing directly to your account
• scanning printed material
• recording audio notes

Great, but what’s to stop you just piling up information that you’ll never be able to find again?  I remember in the days before Internet stuffing printed material and notes that I wanted to keep into endless folders where they just gathered dust because I never had the time to search through them for what I wanted.

With Evernote you will never lose anything. You add tags to all your clippings, notes, audios, scans etc. for easy retrieval. Even if you forget to tag, you can just use the powerful search function. Evernote will even recognise text in an image (scan or photo) that you have uploaded – even if it’s handwritten! You needn’t worry about being away from your computer, as the desktop and Web versions of your Evernote account will automatically synchronise every time you log on.

How to use Evernote for language learning?

The possibilities are endless. It’s too much for one post, so click through for More ways to learn language with Evernote.

How do you use Evernote?