How My 8 Year Old Daughter Uses Evernote

I’ve already outlined how I use Evernote to track my beer cellar (and I will probably write further on that use case somewhere down the line as the cellar grows), but I’m not the only one using Evernote in my house. My daughter also uses it regularly…and it’s all by design.

My daughter is now old enough to have her own account on the family Mac, with moderate Parental Controls set up for security. But the one thing I did beyond setting that up was to install Evernote’s Web Clipper extension for Safari. It’s the only extension she has running, and she knows full well when she is supposed to use “the elephant logo” when she’s browsing.

I created a shared notebook in Evernote that is for my daughter to use, and that’s where she puts the following stuff:

  • Wish List Items: She has learned how to use tags and she’ll type in “mygift” for something she wants, “momgift” for something she wants to get for my wife, and so on. She doesn’t do this for my gifts; she simply tells my wife so that I don’t catch wind of any would-be surprises that i’d otherwise detect in Evernote.
  • Research: When she is looking up stuff for school, she can use this shared notebook as a bookmarking tool of sorts. Now she doesn’t have her own Evernote account yet, so in order for her to dive into that research we have to work on it together in Evernote. This strategy allows her to gather things without me and work independently while doing so, and then work with either my wife or myself when she’s ready to work with the research she’s compiled. Both parents and child are working together on schoolwork as a result — and savings time in the process.
  • Recipes: If she finds a recipe she likes, she saves it and tags it “recipev” so that when I do a full search for that tag, her recipes pop up along with the ones I’ve gathered. This lets her be somewhat involved in the meal planning for the home (although she knows not everything she clips will make it to our dinner table).

I got her to use Evernote by simply showing her how the Wish List would allow me to really see what she wanted for gifts no matter where I was. She liked that idea, and so did I. I’m slowly introducing her to more and more features that Evernote offers, and by speaking her language to do so I’m finding she’s embracing it far more than even I expected.

I have to give props to Brett Kelly once again. I came up with the idea of introducing Evernote to my family (specifically my daughter) after reading a lot of his use cases in Evernote Essentials. It’s really helped me take my Evernote game to new heights.

The great thing about getting her familiar with Evernote now is that she’ll be able to jump right into it for serious notetaking as she gets older. She won’t have to fuss with bookmarks down the line when she gets her own computer (because she’ll have her own Evernote account that will allow me to really share that notebook with her), and she’ll also get to a point where she’ll stack notebooks and start compiling a real Evernote portfolio of her own. She has an iPod Touch as well, so at some point I’ll install that for her (again, when we finally give here an account of her own) so she can really experience the power of Evernote when a mobile device enters the equation.

Evernote really can be for everyone when used accordingly. How you define “Accordingly” depends on comfort and need. It just so happens that both of those can be found for people you never would expect — especially if you’re willing to look in unexpected places.