Monday, February 18, 2013

Evernote as an outlining tool

Well, having rather thoroughly disparaged Evernote in an earlier post, I am now finding myself recommending it to my thesis students, but for reasons that I had never considered before.  One of my initial hopes for the iPad was to be able to use it as a complete paper-writing tool for students in my thesis class.  I was not able to use it as handily as hoped initially but am now finding it a good brainstorming and outlining tool for paper writing and have been showing students how to use it as such.  It really appeals to my desire to visualize my ideas and to be able to play around with them in real space.  Evernote has a “corkboard” feature that you can imagine as a bunch of photos, images, etc.  It allows you to type ideas onto different “index cards,” stick them on the corkboard and rearrange by moving them around with the cursor.  Then with one click of a button, all those separate index cards can be seen in list/outline form.  This makes it easy to move ideas around without all the cutting and pasting that happens when one formats an outline in a Word document and to visualize their associations in a highly fluid manner.

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