Saturday, August 6, 2011

Keeping an Unschooling Portfolio with Evernote and EasyBib

After I sang the praises of Evernote as a tool for documenting the learning that goes on around here on a few home/unschool lists recently, I received quite a few emails asking how we use the application, and how to set it up as a portfolio for un/homeschooling.

Following are two tutorials I made that explain how to set up Evernote as a portfolio, and copy/paste information and how to use EasyBib as a dated reading/media log.

If you click on the subjects under "Bibliography" on the right-hand side of the blog, it will take you to my EasyBib notebooks and you'll be able to see what our log looks like.

Click here to see what one of our Evernote notebooks look like.

Wishing everyone fun and easy documenting!

Evernote as an Unschooling (homeschooling) Portfolio

EasyBib for generating a reading/media log
The one thing I failed to mention in the video tutorial I made, which I'll link to in a minute, is you can choose how to organize the entries. I suggest using the "add annotation" option at the bottom of the citation entry page to add the dates you used the source and any other pertinent notes, but I also suggest that when you print the document for your portfolio, you go to the "Sort Order" option (it is under the "Print as a Word Doc" button) and choose"Most Recent." That way, your list will be ordered by the date it was entered and not alphabetically. Of course, this will only work if you add entries as you go, instead of all at once at year's end.


  1. Thanks Brie,

    This is great. I'm starting to feel less anxiety.

  2. Less anxiety is GOOD! I'm glad it helped, April!

  3. thank you so much for sharing this!

  4. I would love to see the videos but youtube notify me that they are private :/
    how I see them?

  5. Wouldn't an interface between Evernote and Easybib be excellent? I see my students using Evernote as a tool to support research (highlighting and annotating texts from the web, etc) with option to auto-generate citations and build their reference list in Easybib. Do you have any solutions that may work here?

  6. It's been a while since I've done this so I'd have to search the caverns of my memory to share how, but you can set up Word to auto-create your citations & bibliography. You may even be able to integrate w/ EasyBib from within Word. I'm not sure on that part. Most of the time I exported my EasyBib to Word using the website feature.

    I used Evernote my last few semesters of college for taking notes in class & keeping track of all the various stages of my research papers that profs wanted turned in individually (outline, draft, final, bib, peer critique, etc.). I also would clip journal articles to it so I could gather info quickly & weed through it more in-depth later for what I needed. I didn't really delve into it any further than that.

  7. Thanks Melissa.

    As a middle school teacher, I'm looking for solutions to help scaffold the research process for my kids. I love Evernote as a website clipper and tool to make and organize notes. That is an important first step. I think/hope it will encourage kids to maintain link to the original source, while taking notes in their own words for use in their own work. And, I generally love Easybib to compile and eventually export bibliographies. To really improve the tool for education and research, Evernote should build in bibliographic reference behind each note. Until then, it works, but just manually.

    However with my students, I am currently using a formatted and structured Google doc to give the students some support to their research process and Easybib for the work cited references at the end. Especially with Grade 6 students, the tech learning curve has been steep, so I've had to make choices as to what is most critical for the class to succeed. Maybe next year I'll introduce the Evernote+G.Doc+Easybib trifecta as tools for effective/efficient research.

    Thanks for sharing your use case!

  8. Unable to view videos..Labeled as private. Any suggestions?