How I Use Penultimate

A few weeks ago, I read a blog post about using Penultimate at school. For me, Penultimate was an under-used app on my iPad, but after reading the post, I decided to give Penultimate another chance.

After two or three weeks of using Penultimate, the app was updated and Penultimate is now one of my favorite apps. Perhaps I’ll be able to convince you to try it out!

How I Use Penultimate

As I write new ideas, concepts, and illustrations in Penultimate, the note is saved in two places–

1. My Penultimate notebook

2. Evernote

Penultimate and Evernote sync instantly which allows me to save my notes, organize my notes, and search my handwritten notes.


Also, I can share a page, selected pages, or entire notebooks– all as PDFs. (Click here to see how the “Penultimate” version of this blog post will look as a PDF).

Penultimate allows me to…


I use Penultimate for

  • daily to-do lists (click here for some great ideas)
  • meetings
  • ideas journal
  • PD notes
  • individual student tutoring*

*To help with individual student tutoring, I create an individual notebook for each student and have the student do his work using Penultimate (usually on my iPad if needed). When we finish each tutoring session, I email that day’s work to the student’s parents. Not only do the parents get to see their child’s actual work, but a searchable copy of it is saved for our next session.

Penultimate is really amazing! The more I’ve started using it, the more ways I’ve found to make it work for me. I would definitely encourage everyone to try it out!

As you come across great ideas and uses, it would be great if you posted them below.


P.S. If you’d like to hear the conversation I had with Jeff Herb about Evernote in Education, listen to this week’s Instructional Tech Podcast.

Instructional Tech Talk Podcast

Today I had the awesome privilege of being interviewed by Jeff Herb for his Instructional Tech Talk podcast. We had a great time discussing all the different ways Evernote could be used at school– both by teachers and by students. If you’d like to listen to my conversation with Jeff, be sure to subscribe to his podcast and look for it in an upcoming episode.

Echo Photo

In the meantime, check out Jeff’s interview with Sam Patterson (Episode #3) as they discuss using Livescribe pens in the classroom. I have been researching Livescribe for the past couple of weeks, and after listening to Jeff and Sam discuss so many great ideas, I ordered a Livescribe Echo pen today. I can’t wait to start using it!


If you currently use a Livescribe pen in your classroom, I’d love for you to comment below and share your ideas, experiences, and tips to help me get started. 




Save Projects on Evernote to Eliminate Excuses

My students recently finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and now they have the opportunity to express how the book influenced them by creating something awesome. I posted these guidelines in our class notebook and gave students time to consider what route they may want to take. Several

students are considering creating an original children’s version of the novel.

Despite my limited artistic skill, I thought I would give it a try in order to help them navigate through the project. Using my new appdiction  (Paper by 53), I created the first few illustrations of my book.




To move my illustrations from Paper to my computer, I save them to my camera roll and then add them to a note in Evernote so the image is available on my computer.

From there, I am able to copy and paste my images to another program, add text, and save as a PDF. I keep a working copy of the document on Evernote so I can access it from home, from school, and from my iPad. Each time I update the file, I open it through my Evernote, and when I finish working, it saves directly to Evernote.

Saving everything in Evernote has really helped me keep everything organized and available. Rather than feeling stuck when my project is saved on another computer or my flashdrive is missing, I can find everything I need in Evernote and work any time the urge hits me– no excuses.

For your next project, consider saving all of your drafts in Evernote– you’ll be glad you did.

By the way, I completed a few pages of my children’s book example. Let me know what you think!