Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BINDERS! ... but maybe too many?

So, I love binders. When I started in my career at the beginning of last year, there were papers and lessons and worksheets ALL OVER THE PLACE. Plus with having two buildings, I had some stuff at one school and other stuff at the other school. I made it my mission to, by the end of the year, have a binder at each building labeled for each topic (Bullying, Harmony, Excellence, etc.). Whenever I get something new, I make two copies, put one at each building, and I am set.
This bottom shelf has my binders for lessons, character education, etc.
I also have others binders that were maybe a better idea when I first started... I have several binders at each building with tabs for different committee meetings, faculty meetings, Elementary counselor meetings, all-district counselor meetings, etc. And now what I have is a stack of papers at each building because I don't feel like finding the right tab and filing all these things. 

So, in my attempt to become more paper-less, I have found this:

Now, maybe you've heard of Evernote, maybe not. I had but had never looked into what it is. In a nutshell, Evernote is a note-taking program. 
Did I just lose you? Hang in there, seriously this can help you! Here's how...

- Go to Evernote 
- Create a FREE Account (now, you can make a Premium account, but come on, we work in Public Education- who has $$ for that? Go get it free!)
- After that and after you log in, you will find this screen
I just started using it, so yours will look a lot like mine!
Now, if you're anything like me, you will have a LOT of different "hats" you wear... Luckily, Evernote can let you make as many "Notebooks" as you need to file your notes in.
These are just a few of the meetings/ committees I attend
So you have all these Notebooks, now what.
Well, on that main screen, it said "+ New Note"
Click it...

Then you just start typing. I am making the "title" as the date. I don't need to put what the meeting is since I can select what Notebook it goes in. 

So you've taken some notes, GREAT! But then tomorrow, the meeting "recorder" emails or hard-copies the actual minutes from the meeting to you. Now you have to print those off and file them. Or make a special folder in your email which is already bogged down enough...

With Evernote, all you have to do is Attach that file to the note and delete it from your email/ computer. Evernote stores it!

The good thing is also that the note automatically saves so you don't really have to worry about losing it. 

I was lucky enough before Christmas Break to get to order an iPad Air and guess what... THERE'S AN APP! So you don't have to lug your laptop into a meeting. It's just as easy from the app.

So maybe this will work for you and maybe it won't. Maybe you have a better way of keeping notes. One of my New Year SMART Goals (coming in a later post) is to do a better job of keeping track of meeting notes/ data. Either way, do what works for you but please don't be afraid to try something new!

I'd love to hear how YOU do minutes/ meeting notes.



  1. Juggling multiple buildings is crazy. I have a binder for Child Study & 504's. I keep a notebook at each of my buildings to record meetings, but those notes are just for me.

    I have tons of binders with ideas, but I have found that when I like something I will make a copy of it and create a folder for my filing cabinet. I have my file cabinets tabbed with topics. Each time I use an idea that folder is brought to the front of the hanging folder. If I notice that activities aren't seeing any action in the past 6-12 months, I toss it.

    I'm looking for a good way to take notes using my Ipad. Let me know if you come up with something!

    Best Wishes,

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Yea all my notes are just for me- most of my ideas I find I keep electronically (Dropbox, Pinterest, etc). All my binders on character education have all the worksheets, pictures, and ideas that go along with that topic.
      As far as keeping notes on the iPad, I'm using Evernote to take meeting notes (like in this post) and I use Google Docs for my student notes. Both work GREAT on the iPad!

  2. I absolutely LOVE this idea and your blog!!! Thank you for the technology idea!! I am ALWAYS looking for a fun, "techie" way to improve/enhance what I am doing! :)