Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Librarian Tool: Evernote

'Tis the season to think about getting organized and being productive! A couple of years ago, we started using Evernote in my department and it's become a tool that we use quite a bit. (Note: Evernote did not pay me anything to write this. I genuinely find this a useful tool, so I want to share how we use it!)

Evernote has replaced our storytime plan binders, which took up a huge amount of space in our office and were never used because they were cumbersome. Evernote helps us connect and share book lists with each other and plan for our booktalk videos. We have a shared drive at our library, but over many, many years it's become cluttered with SO many folders and files that it's very difficult to use. It's also hard to remember where you saved something on the shared drive (especially with so MANY folders...).

Evernote is searchable! It has tags! It's easy to use and inexpensive. We purchased Evernote Plus so we could sync it across our computers in our department and it currently costs $34.99/year.

How do we use Evernote?

We put our storytime plans in there. This is a big one. Now, we have a searchable database of all our recent storytime plans. When yet another preschool calls asking for a fall-themed program, we don't have to start from scratch.

We put rhymes, songs, and felt scripts in there so that when we're searching we bring up those items, too. This helps us share with each other the great storytime stretchers that we have found. We keep lists of our puppets in there, too.

We keep notes about our department in there - our weeding cycle (we can cross off sections as we complete them), what displays are coming up, lists of the apps on our iPads so we can print it off for patrons.

We keep book lists in there. When we visit schools for booktalks, we keep lists of the books we shared by school. When a kid comes to our desk and remembers that someone told him about a good book but he doesn't remember what that book was, we can easily look it up.

We keep our lists of the titles shared at Reading Wildly each month so that we can easily access genre book lists to help with reader's advisory. If we need a quick and dirty genre list for a patron, we can print one off. They're easy to update as we all read throughout the year.

Have you ever tried Evernote? What do you use to keep things organized and share information in your department?