The Evernote Social Club

We all know that Evernote is an awesome tool for capturing and organizing all the little bits and pieces of information that’s part of our research. And, we know that it does a marvelous job organizing all the day-to-day minutiae in our lives. Now it’s time to take advantage of Evernote’s social side to work with others.

A sample shared notebook used to manage a society newsletter.

Evernote offers several options for sharing notes and notebooks with others. You can share individual notes via Twitter, Facebook or email. Notebooks can be shared with select individuals or publicly to the entire world.

Why would you want to do this? Here are several examples to get you started.

  • In the example above, I’m the editor of the newsletter for my fictional Moultrie Creek Online Historical Society. An Evernote folder has been set up for the newsletter and shared with my newsletter staff. As you see here, the folder contains the newsletter schedule, guides for content and formatting requirements, notes regarding possible articles and assignments for each author, deadlines and even the submitted articles themselves. Everything about that newsletter is organized and easily accessible to all concerned – right here in Evernote. Each author is given access to the folder and can add/update notes at any time. Since notes can be added via email, including your Evernote address on email messages related to the newsletter insures you have an archive of those conversations if you need them.
  • Project teams can use a shared notebook to collect ideas, assign tasks and track the status of those tasks. Post meeting minutes, contact information and other reference material team members will need to stay current on the project. Draft documents can be posted in the notebook for review and comments. Reference material and links to useful sites can be added and organized here too.
  • Societies can take advantage of Evernote’s non-profit group discount (see below) to purchase premium accounts for each officer/committee position which can be used to collaborate on society business. Create accounts for positions within your organization – not individuals. Then assign the position account to the individual currently serving in that position. When new officers are inducted, the Evernote accounts will be transferred to them and each will have access to all the historical information collected in that position’s account in addition to using it for current business.
  • Create a shared notebook to plan and organize an event. Even if all you’re doing is organizing who’s bringing what for Christmas dinner and listing the results of the Secret Santa drawing, a shared folder can be a whole lot easier to manage than continuous round-robin email messages.
  • Planning a family trip? When family’s traveling from different locations, it’s great to have all the itineraries available in one central location. The shared notebook is also a great place to collect ideas for sites to see, restaurants to visit and possible activities. Include links to the places/activities so everyone can take a look and comment on them.
  • Pool your resources with others attending a conference and post notes and handouts from the sessions each attends. Use your smartphone to “scan” and forward handouts to your Evernote shared folder. That way you aren’t dragging around a bunch of handouts and your group can cover all the sessions in each time period. Then, once you’re all back home, you can review your collective notes at your leisure.

One important thing to note here is that only premium Evernote users can assign modify rights to shared folders. Free users can only assign view rights to their shared folders.The people you share your notebook with can all be free users, it’s just the person owning the folder being shared who needs a premium account.  Premium accounts cost $5/month or $45/year, however there are significant discounts for non-profit groups. Your group will need to purchase three or more accounts, but you will receive a 50% discount.

Sharing a notebook is easy.

Right-click on the notebook to share and choose the Share Notebook option.

You’ll be asked how you want to share this notebook. Your options are to make it public – available to anyone who has the public link to this folder – or only to selected individuals.

Choose the access level for this notebook.

If you choose to create a public link, you will see the following screen next.

The public link will give anyone access to your folder.

You can post the public link or use the Invite button to let Evernote send it to selected individuals. Click Done when finished.

If you prefer to limit access to your notebook, here is the screen you will see when you select the Invite Individuals button from the Share this Notebook screen.

For limited access, enter addresses and assign access levels. Add a message then click Invite and Evernote will email your message and connection details.

From here you will enter the email addresses to the individuals you want to give access and choose the access level they will have. Those options are: View Notes, View Notes and Activity, Modify Notes and Modify Notes and Invite Others. If some of your selected members don’t have Evernote accounts, you can check the box to allow access without login. I would be cautious about doing this when you are giving people modify rights to your notebook.

Add a message describing what this notebook is and why they are invited to use it, then click the Invite button. Evernote will forward your message along with connection details to everyone you listed in this screen.

Modify settings panel showing link to email members.

You can change the shared settings for your notebook at any time. Just click the Modify Settings button in the sidebar to display the modify panel. You can modify the permissions for your existing members and invite new ones. You can also use this panel to email or send a reminder to all the people sharing this notebook. This could be very useful for reminding authors that deadlines are approaching or that project tasks are due.

Evernote’s shared notebooks give you the ability to collaborate with others easily and efficiently. It’s yet another reason why Evernote is a must-have tool for just about everyone.