Managing Online Reading

To maximize online reading, I use several services to find great articles, to stay organized, to save articles for later reading, and to annotate while reading online. I’ll briefly explain the services I use below.

Zite– This is my new favorite! Zite allows users to create a personalized online magazine. After creating an account, users enter their interests and Zite combs the internet for blog posts and articles matching those interests. My Zite interests include blended learning, BYOD, classroom, classroom 2.0, Evernote, leadership, personal development, principal, teachers as technology trailblazers, and 12 other keywords. When I read an article, I can favorite it, share it, and I can also subscribe to other keywords.

Instapaper– Instapaper is how I save articles to read later. When I see a post on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else, I save it to Instapaper (using the toolbar extension). When I have time to read, I open Instapaper and have a list of posts I saved for later reading. I’ve used Instapaper for a while now and I love it!

Delicious– Delicious is new for me. It’s a lot like Instapaper but has some great social media functions built in. In addition to saving articles to read later, other users can subscribe to my Delicious channel and I can subscribe to other users. This is a great way to let others find the good stuff! Click here to check out my Delicious page.

IFTTT– If This, Then That is a pretty awesome service that finds resources for me and sends them my way based on a recipe I set up. For example, one of my recipes is “If I like a Twitter post, then send the post to my Delicious account.” So as I’m going through Twitter and come across something I really like, I’ll favorite it and the link is saved in Delicious. There are so many pre-made recipes on IFTTT that I just have gone through and picked the ones that might work for me. There are several that work with Evernote that are really helpful!

Clearly– I use the Evernote Clearly toolbar extension when I’m reading an article or blog post online because it clears out everything except for the text (no more ads, side links, flashing pop-ups, etc.) and it allows me to annotate directly on the article. Clearly links to my Evernote account, so when I highlight or make a note, the article and my annotations are automatically sent to my “Articles” notebook in Evernote. Click here to read more about how I use Evernote Clearly.

Lightly– This one is brand new for me, but I’ve already found it very beneficial when I’m reading on my iPhone or iPad. This app allows me to highlight key ideas while reading, and then the article is clipped (saved) directly to my “Articles” notebook in Evernote.

With so many articles and resources out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but these systems have really helped me manage my online reading. If you’re not already using a service similar to one of these, I suggest you give one of them a try.

If you are already using a service to manage your online reading, I’d love for you to post a suggestion below. I’m always looking for something new to try out.

Evernote Use #22- Save Emergency Contact Forms #50EduEvernote

Any of us who travel with students must be prepared for emergencies so we often travel with valuable information.

  • Coaches carry an emergency contact form for each of our athletes.
  • Teachers carry field trips permission slips with emergency contact information for each student.
  • Bus drivers carry emergency information for each passenger.

Unfortunately, the forms are not always organized, sometimes they’re misplaced or forgotten, and often when there is an emergency, they are hard to find.

This past football season, a player from the visiting team was knocked unconscious. An ambulance was needed and the player was carted off the field. The visiting coach had left all of his players’ emergency contact information forms in his office and had no way of getting them before the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

Of all the times to forget the forms, this was the worst timing.

Our coaches and teachers won’t experience this. When students turn in their emergency contact forms, we scan them and save them as a PDF (using the Fujitsu ScanSnap). The forms are saved in a shared Evernote notebook and can be accessed when needed by our faculty.

It’s easy to forget to bring contact forms, but when they’re saved in Evernote, they can be accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Use #21- Saving and Annotating PDFs (mobile devices) #50EduEvernote

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting 50 different ways school administrators and educators can use Evernote to be more organized and more effective. I’ll be using #50EduEvernote on Twitter to further this discussion and share ideas. If you’d like, click here to follow me on Twitter.

Evernote Use #21- Saving and Annotating PDFs (mobile devices)

When I’m using my iPad or iPhone and find a PDF online, opening it in Evernote allows me to save and/or annotate the document. For example, when I attended the TICAL Conference today, I saved the conference program and used Evernote to help me navigate and mark which sessions I wanted to attend. Here’s how I did it:

Open In


The PDF will be saved to an Evernote note and you can use Evernote’s annotation tools to markup the document. For the TICAL program, I marked the concurrent sessions I wanted to attend and was able to reference them quickly.

Mark up

If I wanted to read more about the session, I would tap on any of the annotations to jump to the location in the PDF.

Full Mark Up

This system will work great for annotating any online PDF using your iPad, but it especially works great for conferences. The next time you attend a conference, download the program and give this a shot. More than likely you’ll use Evernote to take notes during the sessions anyway, so why not use Evernote to navigate the schedule?