Organising your time – Evernote, Alarmed and Weekcal

Evernote logo. A grey elephant who's ear looks like a post it not.


Available on: IOS, Android, In-Browser, Desktop


  • Cloud storage ensures your to-dos and notes are stored for access whenever, wherever
  • Ability to forward important emails to note format
  • Add tags to notes, i.e. ‘work’, ‘uni’, ‘home’
  • Smart camera makes it easier to photograph handwritten notes, vouchers, business cards etc. and text recognition enables you to search through scanned images later
  • Reminders
  • Share meeting notes
  • Organise notes in tables on Evernote Desktop

Evernote is the organisational app that I’m most excited about. I recently discovered it and I love the layout, cloud storage and specifically the email function, as it means I don’t lose track of important work or uni emails, especially when they contain information which requires further action. I forward the email to my specific Evernote email account and set a reminder so I can get straight back to the appropriate tasks when necessary. The smart camera and tagging functions are also really handy as it’s so easy to find images that you took a while ago. For example, if you’re looking for an old tesco voucher type ‘tesco’ in the search bar and it comes up straight away!

Screen shot of a photo note in evernote. The photo is of a superdrug voucher.Jonathan Copeland has shared his four tips for using Evernote to become a more productive and effective student. These tips were taken from the Evernote blog.

Tip #1: Save all course-related information into Evernote, then organise into notebooks and notebook stacks

Screenshot of folders function underneath a Tweet. The tweet reads 'semester after semester Evernote helps me stay organised and focused on crushing it at university #forgettingsucks'“I store all of my handwritten notes, PowerPoint and PDF presentations, and graphic design files in Evernote. I organise everything from my information science courses into notebooks—first by class, then grouped as notebook stacks, by semester.”

Tip #2: Use audio recorded lectures to review for exams

Screen shot of tweet about audio recording function“I use Evernote to record the lectures on my phone. When it’s time to study for exams, I re-listens to the lecture as a way to review the key points to keep the concepts fresh in my mind. If a lecture has been recorded using lecture capture software I can save the recording of this into Evernote.”

Tip #3: Scan study notes into Evernote so you can review them later on your phone

Picture of handwritten notes

“When it comes time to review for tests, I prefer to create handwritten study notes, which I then scan into Evernote by uploading a picture of them. This ensures that I have everything backed up and always available on any device. Last semester, for example, I accidentally left mynotebook (with my handwritten formula review notes) at home, Evernote came to the rescue as I’d already uploaded these notes to my account, so I could access them from my tablet device instead.”

Tip #4: Create templates for recurring notes

Screenshot of notes template

“I designed a template for taking class notes that I reuses each class session. I added structure to these notes using tables. My template includes the following sections:

  • Resources: For useful links to online materials or attached files
  • Key points: For jotting down detailed lecture notes (feel free to resize the columns the way you’d like to)
  • Questions/Actions: For making a list of questions you’d like to research or ask the lecturer about later
  • Summary of notes: For highlights of a lecture, should be lecture, right? presented as an outline, or for attached PDFs of class slides”

TIP: No time to create your own class notes template? Use Jonathan’s! Save it to your Evernote account and reuse it as many times as you’d like.

Other apps to have a look at:

Alarmed iOS and Weekcal iOS are two other useful apps.

Alarmed does exactly what it says on the tin and gives reminders in the form of ‘alarms’ on your mobile device, you can’t sync other calendars to this. This might be useful if you want something simple to create to-do lists on, without all the other features of other apps mentioned.

screen shot of alarmed app weekly schedule

Weekcal offers an alternative to the standard iOS calendar, for people who ‘consider the standard iPhone, iPod or iPad calendar is limited in functionality & options’. Weekcal’s increased functionality includes clear and detailed weekly calendars, dark background themes (something i find most visually accessible- I always use black and charcoal backgrounds for my revision mindmaps to reduce glare) and even estimated travel times for events with locations.

The developers also offer an app called Week Calendar Planner (available on iPhone, iPod and Android) which offers the ability to organise group events by selecting possible dates and locations and inviting groups of participants. This is ideal for group work, meetings and even social events.

Thanks for reading,