Education & Technology

The Agendas!!

Back in the ye olden times of middle school and high school, I remember all the students getting these mysterious books that they called “agendas.” In these mythical agendas, we would “write” (as opposed to typing) down our homework assignments so that we didn’t forget them. Right when I hit college these agendas just disappeared out of the blue! My college did not supply anything to me besides a relatively cheap first-year education and a photo ID card that could hold money. Naturally, I was a little distraught sinceI had relied on my agenda for so long. My agenda would tell me all my homework, all my plans, all my appointments…there wasn’t one event that wasn’t in my agenda.

Of course, there are still students who rely on agendas throughout their college careers. They’ll go out to a store and buy one just because they don’t know what to do without one. When I graduated high school, I knew that I wanted to step away from paper as much as I could. So, I got a MacBook Pro, I got an iPhone, and I was ready to head off into the world of college! Throughout my first year of college, I remembered my homework in my head. I should say I usually remembered it. This method was far from foolproof and more than one assignment slipped past me.

This year, I set out to find a solution…

I could have just given in and bought an agenda. I could have just written it down with my notes from class. That wouldn’t have worked considering I take all my notes on my laptop and most of the time, I’ll close out my notes and never look at them until the next class or when I’m studying for a test, long after any assignments had come and gone.. I could have written it down on my Notes app on my iPhone, but I probably would forget it was there. My phone occupies the text/talk/Facebook role in my life – I never remember anything else I put in Notes. Why should this be any different?

The solution to my forgetfulness problem was found under the free app section of the Apple App Store.. It was a picture of a hand-drawn elephant on top of a green background.

The developers call it Evernote.

To put it simply, you can type things down on Evernote and you can access those things from any other device that has Evernote installed. That way, no matter what electronic device you’re using, you’ll never forget about your notes! Your notes are always in your face and always available. I’ve started using Evernote for everything. And I have it installed everywhere I work. I’ll type my homework into the application and then when I get home, I’ll open up my laptop and look at my notes. Ever since I started using this application, I haven’t had one missing homework assignment. I even find myself actually studying a little bit more. Everything I need is right there – why not look at it when I’m checking rubrics and due dates?

There’s more that Evernote can do!!

Evernote can save almost anything that you want to be saved. You can remember the things that are most important to you by taking a picture and recording yourself talking about it. You can save entire websites that you love so much. You can “keep all your itineraries, confirmations, scanned travel documents, maps, and plans…so you’ll have them when you need them.”

However, the most important aspect of this application is the ability to collaborate with your friends.

When it comes to using this application education-wise, collaboration is what Evernote is all about. Anything thing you write, draw, take a pictures of, or speak about, you can automatically share it with friends. From there, your friends can edit it and fix whatever they want! Collaboration has never been easier! Evernote reminds me of a more organized version of Google Docs which just happens to have more choices in terms of document types and allows editing in real time. The application of your choice really depends on personal preferences.

For myself, I obviously prefer Evernote.

If you’re using Google Docs with 4 or 5 people at the same time, there might come a point when you all decide that one sentence needs fixing. At this moment, you’ll all notice the sentence and go to edit. Because the editing is in real time with a little lag, the sentence might become something completely different than what you were expecting. Real-time editing definitely has its place, but for students, it’s important to take our time, review our notes, review our peers’ notes, make new notes, and otherwise just study. Frantically competing to literally get the last word in doesn’t sound much like studying to me.

There is a never-ending creation of applications it seems. The Android market is continuously growing, as it is catching up to the more than 500,000 apps that the Apple App store has. With every new app that is created, there is a potential for greatness. Now we have the Mac App Store, the Chrome App Marketplace, and the Amazon App store. Thankfully, Evernote is on all of them. I don’t know why I never discovered it before, but it certainly beats those agendas my old high school still hands out every year.

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