Evernote Lesson Planning Workflow
by Joey Feith
It’s no big secret that I love Evernote. Evernote (and the Evernote family of apps) is probably my most used app on a day-to-day basis. Having all of my notes, ideas, sketches, and screenshots organized into an awesome cloud-based system is incredibly helpful.
For some time now, I have used Evernote as my go-to lesson planning tool. Being able to lesson plan on-the-go (I have a pretty long commute to work) and organize/search those plans based on tags and keywords is a huge help in keeping my planning organized.
One of the only things that bothered me about using Evernote to lesson plan was having to copy/paste my lesson plan template every time I wanted to create a new lesson. However, about two months ago, I discovered a pretty awesome app that provides a solution to my problem and have been happily using it ever since.
So here is how I keep my lesson planning (and reflections) organized using Evernote, iCloud Calendar, and KustomNote:
KustomNote allows you to create note taking templates that integrate with your Evernote account. Each template acts as a form that you can fill out and, once submitted, view as a beautiful Evernote note.
Once you have signed up for KustomNote (I use the free, ad-supported option… paying $1.99 a month allows you to create notes while offline) and created your template, you can then use that template on either your desktop or by using KustomNote’s mobile apps (available on both iOS and Android).
Designing a KustomNote template is as easy as drag-and-drop.
When designing your lesson plan template, you can even have KustomNote use some of your note’s data as tags within Evernote and even have your lesson plans saved directly to a specific Evernote notebook, which makes categorizing your notes a breeze (I have my notes automatically tag based on class and unit title).
Once you have your lesson plan template, you can get to lesson planning. To do this, simply sign into KustomNote on your desktop/mobile device and select your template. Once it is filled out, you can review your lesson and click submit to automatically send the plan to your Evernote Account.
KustomNote’s Mobile view.
The next time you launch Evernote, you will find you lesson plan, in a great looking format, in the notebook you had pre-selected. You can then modify the lesson plan current information (if ever you had to), or add new information.
How your KustomNote entries appear in Evernote.
Often I’ll use Penultimate (part of the Evernote family) to create diagrams for my lessons. The diagrams can then be saved and added to my lesson plans in Evernote.
Inserting a diagram from Penultimate or Skitch is as easy as attaching an image to your Evernote note.
The last tool I use to stay organized in my planning is my iCloud Calendar. I like being able to look at my calendar and see what’s coming up in my teaching (my mind tends to be a little scattered at times, so I love being able to use all of these tools as a second brain). That’s why I always enter my classes/clubs as events into my iCal. I do this once at the beginning of the year and modify it as the year goes on.
My iCloud Calendar calendar.
On each calendar event, I paste in the link to my Evernote lesson plan into the event’s “URL” field. This way, if I need to quickly review my lesson plan for a certain class, or share it with a substitute teacher, I can just click on the URL to launch Evernote.
Grabbing the link to your Evernote lesson plan is simple.
And then I simply paste it into the calendar event’s URL field.
I also use each event’s “Notes” field to jot down any quick notes I want myself to remember (this is my second brain after all). I keep my full reflections for the Evernote lesson plan itself, but a quick note for my future self has come in handy quite a few times in the past.
So that is how I create and organize my lesson plans using KustomNote, Evernote, and iCloud Calendar. Although there are a ton of other options available out there, because I love Evernote so much, this workflow has stuck with me.
How do you go about your lesson planning/mapping? Are you using similar digital tools or are you one of those hyper-organized pen and paper wizards? I would love to hear about how you go about you lesson planning, so please leave your ideas in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and happy teaching!
April 20, 2020
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