For my specific project, Evernote was incredibly useful this semester. The majority of my archival collection is made up of images and documents that I found on the internet. Looking through so many websites, it was difficult to keep track of where I found my source material. Evernote’s tagging tool, however, made this exceptionally easier. I tagged any website where I got an object for the archive with the term “Archival Source”. Now, I can separate these sites from others that I used solely for exhibition research. I did something similar to websites that gave contact information for the rights holder, so that I could keep all that information together.
The tagging tool was also useful for highlighting common themes, people, and locations throughout my research. My focus changed over the course of the semester, so not everything I added to Evernote ended up being useful. That was fine though, because these notes could be filed away and did not impede access to the resources I ended up needing.
Evernote worked well for this class because everything was on one platform. My research was online, all the assignments were online. It made for a lot of time spent looking at a screen, but it was easy to navigate between programs. Plus, I liked the added security of having all of my research online. Computers can break, but by placing everything online I knew my work would be protected. This would be even more useful for people who don’t have a single computer that they work on, because they would be able to access all of their research from anywhere.
I wanted to give Evernote a true shot, so in September I also started a notebook for my thesis research. This was a much less successful experience. I’m a very tactile researcher—I like taking notes by hand and marking passages in books. The act of writing forces me to summarize and analyze my thoughts, helping me get more out of my reading. Typing doesn’t have this added layer, and having to transition between the computer screen and my book greatly slowed down the process. I’ll definitely keep Evernote in my arsenal, but only for select projects will it become a major tool.