Over the past ten years of teaching, I’ve attempted several different methods for staying organized and keeping my lesson plans, assignments, notes, and resources all in one place:
- Multiple 3-ring binders
- 4″ 3-ring binders w/ plastic sheet protectors
- Microsoft Word folders within folders within folders within folders within folders
- 1 GB flash drive attached to my key ring (which I constantly misplaced)
- Emailing plans, assignments, and documents to myself
- File cabinet with (mostly-)alphabetized folders
- Excel Spreadsheets
- Saving lesson plans to the school district’s server
- Saving lesson plans to my personal computer
It seems no matter what method I attempted, I made it too confusing, didn’t stick with it, or couldn’t keep it organized as the year wore on. It seemed I could never find a specific document quickly.
I finally found the solution using the Note Links feature on Evernote desktop (PC). By saving my lesson plans in Evernote using note links,
- I stay ultra-organized,
- I am able to update our shared class notebook easily,
- I can access my lesson plans, assignments, and resources anywhere, and
- I can access any note instantly by clicking the note link rather than performing a search.
Using Note Links In 3 Easy Steps
1. Save your documents (assignments, notes, quizzes, tests, resources, workbooks, etc.) in different Evernote notes (i.e., “Preposition Notes” or “Adverb Notes”). To be even more organized, I created an “Assignments, Notes, & Tests” notebook for everything teaching-related.
2. Select a specific note and copy the note link. Click the “Note” tab at the top of the note and then click “Copy Note Link” to save the link to your clipboard.
3. Paste the link in a note for your lesson plans* (in the example below, mine is called “2012-2013 English 8 Lesson Plans”). Each week I add our class notes, assignments, and activities to Evernote and then paste the note link to my one note for lesson plans. Any time I need to access a certain assignment or document, I just click the link and it takes me directly to the specific note.
*If you haven’t created a lesson plans note, you’ll need to do that first.
Using Note Links is that simple! For me, it means no more searching computer files, remembering where something is saved, losing flash drives, emailing myself notes, flipping through bulky 4″ binders, or trying to keep a filing cabinet organized. With Evernote Note Links, my class notes, assignments, quizzes, tests, and resources are all just one click away.
You may not be a teacher, but using Note Links could certainly be beneficial in other fields. In what ways could you see yourself using Note Links to stay organized? Share your ideas below in the comments section.