Using to blog with Evernote

Whilst Evernote is an incredibly powerful organisational tool on its own, one of the most exciting aspects of the service is the way it connects with other tools. One such service is, a new platform that lets you blog from your Evernote account. 

Use the ‘published’ tag in Evernote to publish your work works by connecting with your Evernote and creating a blog from your notes. You define which Evernote notebook it can access and notes will only be published on your blog once you tagged them ‘published’. You can also set notes to appear as pages rather than posts by tagging them with the tag ‘page’. If you want to unpublish you can just remove the tag or drag it out of your notebook. blogs come with a number of different themes and there are also options to modify a theme if you know how to code. The theme editor options aren’t as easy to use as the visual theme editors in Global2, Edublogs or WordPress, so if you can’t code you only have the option of prebuilt themes at this stage. I’d expect that as the user base grows (the service is still in Beta at the moment) that more themes will be shared by users. comes with a few built in themes and the source code can be edited to create your own theme

One of the advantages of is that all of your blog content is stored in your Evernote account. We’ve seen the angst caused in recent times with the closure of online services like Posterous, so storing your data in a service like Evernote, which syncs back to your computer, reduces the risk of data loss. It also means you are investing less time and effort in a single platform- if doesn’t suit your needs you just close down your account and take your data with you. Hopefully this signals a move towards more data portability between online tools.

One other advantage of is the wide range of apps produced by Evernote. Evernote works well on almost any device, either through desktop software, web browser versions or mobile apps. All of the Evernote apps are free, so you don’t need to buy a specific app to get blogging on your mobile device. You could even use the Evernote email feature to create blog posts via email (which coincidentally was a much loved feature of Posterous).

The developers recommend you create your blog entries in the web browser version of Evernote, as many of the formatting options are the same as traditional blogging software. We built a sample blog and decided to test out some of the standard blogging tasks like formatting text, adding images and embedding media. This included trying to recreate some recent posts from Bright Ideas. Creating simple notes with bullet points, text formatting and images was all as easy as creating a new note in Evernote. also coped quite well with embedding media from popular sites like YouTube, Flickr and Twitter (see our test post here). There seemed to be very little lag time between a note being updated in Evernote and the changes being reflected on the site which is very promising. Comments can be enabled using the Disqus service and your blog avatar can be updated using Gravatar. blogs also include RSS feeds and tagged posts. lets you embed media from popular sites like YouTube, Flickr and Twitter. Click on the picture to see our sample post.

Nevertheless, we did find some elements of lacking in comparison to standard blogging platforms. There is less control over items like captions and alt text, and it obviously lacks some of the fabulous features of Edublogs and Global2 like student blog management. also ran into problems when we tried to attach files to a note; the text of the note appeared as a post but the attachments were not added. I also found that not being able to see a preview of my post until it was published was quite limiting, so if you are someone who likes to triple check your posts before they are published then this might be a difficult adjustment to make.

But what does represent is  an easy way to create simple blog posts very quickly. harnesses the power of Evernote to simplify the blogging process and also shows the value of developers building services that work well with other apps.

It’s not a replacement for a fully featured blogging platform like Edublogs (particularly if using it in the classroom) and the service is still in beta so you can expect bugs and downtime. Despite some limitations, could end up being a great way to introduce beginners to the concept of blogging or to create simple blogs with very little effort, particularly if you are already using Evernote.

Check out our Sample blog and see how the notes originally appeared in Evernote.

New to Evernote? Have a look at our guide to organising yourself


Strathmore SC library blog

Aneta Curcija and staff at Strathmore Secondary College library have recently set up their own library blog.

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Like many participants of the Vic PLN course, my colleague here at Strathmore Secondary College, Wendy Moyle and I, learned so much about Web 2.0 tools and how to effectively use them, not just to encourage reading but also to promote our wonderful library.  We wanted a platform whereby we could recommend books through genres and also give students the opportunity to share their reading experiences by interacting with one another and discuss books they loved, hated or were just plain disappointed in.  We also hope to interest Year 7 and 8 English teachers to engage their students through this blog and encourage a love of reading.Â

This blog is fairly new and we are keen to start some kind of initiative with English teachers early next year.  For now we are content with posting book recommendations and interesting links and videos and using fabulous Web 2.0 tools to show our current library displays.  The response has been very positive from teachers and we are yet to hear what students think of it via the comments box.  Hopefully as the blog is promoted more and more, we might get some responses from the kids.  Here’s hoping!

I would also like to acknowledge the library staff at Sacred Heart College in Geelong for their creative way of naming their book genres which has given me the inspiration to do something similar and show that books can be categorised in fun and humorous ways.

Well done on the creation of your excellent blog Aneta and Wendy and I hope that the students and staff at Strathmore become as passionate about the blog as you are.


Susan Mapleson, a Teacher Librarian at Christian College (Senior Campus) Geelong has developed a very funky blog for lovers of literature. The i.Read blog is cleverly titled and has been developing nicely throughout the year.

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Susan explains how the blog came about:

I completed the SLAV PLN program earlier in the year and while this is not the blog I started during the PLN program is it the more meaningful and relevant blog I started along with Deb Canaway (the other Teacher Librarian here at the senior campus) during the year and includes many of the tools I learnt doing the program.

We started our blog for the students and teachers at Christian College Senior school and while we have not been overwhelmed with responses, certainly we have had many people access our blog.

It was aimed mainly at our Year 10 English classes who come to the Library usually at the beginning and end of the  term to borrow books. It was another way to interact with the students, promote the Library and recommend books to students as we only review books we have in the Library. Year 10 students had to write a book review as part of their English curriculum and also submit a brief version onto the blog. The positive of this task was that the students got a real buzz out of seeing their reviews online and for many it was the first time they had read and or contributed to a blog.

In the future we would like to have our staff also contribute to the blog and find more ways to encourage students to leave comments.

Congratulations Sue and Deb for creating a vibrant and attractive blog. Now that the blog has a good body of work, it will be easier to promote it in the new year.

Library dragon!

St Michael’s Grammar School teacher librarian Sally Bray developed a very good fiction blog and has kindly agreed to share her blogging journey with readers of Bright Ideas.

I originally began this blog as part of a Professional Development course looking at e-learning tools and web 2.0 in education. After some playing and making inane posts that even I wasn’t interested in, and some leaving it alone to fester in the back of my mind, I decided to use the blog to track and share my reading of Children’s and Young adult fiction (with the occasional adult book thrown in, just to prove I could still read adult stuff)!

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Over my years as a Teacher Librarian, I found my focus moving more and more to research and inquiry skills and ICT, with my reading of Children’s Literature falling by the wayside. I originally became a TL because of my love of literature, and I wanted to recapture some of that love, passion and sheer enjoyment of reading. Hence the blog.

I have spent numerous hours trawling through other people’s blogs, not leaving comments but voraciously taking their recommendations, thoughts and ideas and following up on them. Now I am giving some of that back! Many of the books I have read I have found through other Blogs and Twitter (it all depends on who you follow)!

I have always been a fantasy buff and dragon fiend, so now I have turned to similar areas of Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Paranormal and urban fantasy and romance seem to hold sway on my blog – with lots of vampire and werewolf action! Even my adult reading has taken on a decidedly fanged appearance… it has all come in very useful now. I have even used my blog as an example when showing students how to (or how not to) write blog posts and when leading discussion about different books  and forms of literature.

I don’t post as often as I should, but I do post the majority of my reading, often in batches! Please visit and enjoy! Oh – and leave a comment or two – I sometimes feel I am blogging in a void (except for my cluster map which shows a healthy amount of activity – Thank Goodness)!

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Thanks for sharing your fantastic work Sally. Your blog is bright and visually attractive and is joining my list of must-read blogs!

2010 K12 online conference

This fantastic free online conference officially kicks off on October 18th (US time). With over 40 sessions on “innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used can be used to improve learning” there’s sure to be at least several sessions to interest every educator.

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The conference provides a wiki for session details, scheduling information and time zone details, a blog for announcements and a ning for registration and continuing the conversation. You can also follow the conversations via Twitter and Facebook.

In 2009 all sessions were available via iTunes for free downloading as well, so that if you have a mobile device, you can access these terrific sessions anywhere, anytime. This is sure to be repeated once the conference concludes.

This is a professional learning opportunity not to be missed.

MLC Lit Club Blog

Kew’s Methodist Ladies’ College have kindly shared information on their Literature Club.


No link as the blog is on the school intranet

Robin Anderson, Literature Club Coordinator and Jane Viner, Director of MLC Libraries explain:

MLC Lit Club is a group of Year 7 – 12 students who meet weekly to share a love and appreciation of literature. As a teacher librarian part of my role is to coordinate these weekly sessions, organise activities and encourage student participation and membership. Before establishing a blog for the MLC Literature Club in 2009, I worked with a learning technology liaison teacher for two sessions. I needed to understand the concept of blogging and how to set up and maintain a blog as part of the mymlc website. Previously the Lit Club members had access to a discussion forum which is part of Educate, an online curriculum delivery software program.

No link as the blog is on the school intranet

No link as the blog is on the school intranet

Lit Club students from Years 7 to 12 have posting rights on the blog and student posts have not so far needed to be edited. Bloggers review/discuss particular authors (Agatha Christie), titles (“Twilight”), favourite picture books (“The Very Hungry Caterpillar), conduct polls… We also record, with appropriate photos, special events for example author visits, book selection activities, excursions and joint meetings with other schools. Students are encouraged to continue discussions online about a topic of interest arising at the weekly meeting. Teacher librarians also form part of the Lit Club blog audience and there is a link from the Library homepage to our blog.

No link as the blog is on the school intranet

No link as the blog is on the school intranet

It certainly sounds like the students are enjoying their involvement with the Lit Club blog. Being able to share and discuss thoughts and views and write to an audience is a real attraction for students, while honing writing and communication skills. An excellent resource!

Feature blog – Glenys Lowden’s tech blog

Regular readers of Bright Ideas will recognise Lowther Hall AGS‘s Glenys Lowden as an avid developer of Web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching. This time Glenys shares her new tech blog, the cleverly named Lowd en clear.


Glenys explains why the blog was born:

I decided to also set up my own blog for practising new tech and including other things that might be relevant. I am trying to consolidate all the things I have been learning from so many sources. I thought that if I practised in this space using different tools then this would help my learning. I am currently Head of Library and have been a teacher since 1977. Phew that is a long time. I only moved into the Library field in recent years and prior to that had been Head of Welfare and Head of Humanities at a number of different schools. I am not quite sure yet how I will set out the blog but I will start with this format and see how I go.

I have an introductory activity that I used with Year 7 orientation in the first week of term on there. It is very short but I didn’t have much time with the class. The IWB section of the activity is not there but I have tried to briefly explain what I did. They really enjoyed using the mobile phone as the source to photograph and record their answers.

Glenys has started her blog in a brilliant way by sharing her year 7 orientation lessons. The RevolverMaps widget is a nice addition. Looking forward to seeing the blog develop and evolve. Well done again Glenys.

Fancy Goods

Fancy Goods is the blog of the Australian Bookseller and Publisher magazine.


The website explains:

Fancy Goods is about all things book-related. You’ll find book reviews, information about what titles are selling or being mentioned in the press, news from the world of books, and our thoughts on books, bookselling, publishing, reading, writing … and anything else that takes our fancy.

It also provides links to the Bookseller and Publisher Online Newsletter, which is free and published 49 times per year.

These are invaluable resources for anyone interested in books and reading.

Librarian Idol

Princes Hill Secondary College librarian (and entertainer) Andrew Finegan writes an engaging personal blog that aims to inform readers about the truth behind the librarianship profession. Andrew explains:

I first started blogging back in mid 2007, about six months into my first professional position as a librarian, working in Darwin. It was partially as a way of reflecting on library issues and interacting with the global library community. However, something that always frustrated me was that there are a lot of misconceptions about the nature of librarianship outside the industry. A lot of friends and acquaintances didn’t necessarily feel the same enthusiasm for the profession as I did, which was understandable. What I wanted to do was write a blog which highlighted how interesting and innovative the industry was, in a way that was accessible to non-librarians.


I felt that, as a library professional, there are certain areas that we must constantly pursue in the way that we interact with others, and these are what I aim to cover in my blog:

– The nature of my work as a librarian. I’ve worked in various roles in academic, state, public and now school libraries. They are vastly different industries, which further demonstrates both the versatility of librarians, but also the diversity of the industry, and why librarian stereotypes couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be further than the truth.

– Information literacy and emerging technologies. As professionals, we need to be on the forefront here. We should be predicting emerging technologies, and how they will affect our information society. We should also be working to make mainstream technology as accessible to everybody in our community.

– Political issues that affect our values as information professionals. We need to have an opinion on issues such as copyright, censorship, curriculum and access to technology. We need to express them. It is our obligation to our profession. This is something that librarians should not be quiet about.

– Sharing our passion for information and reading. Whether it be the newest technology, or the newest book, we need to share that passion with our community, and have conversations with them about what we love about the information culture that is very much a part of our lives. That way, we’re starting a conversation that hopefully our library users will go on to have with their friends, and so on. It makes a difference.

Of course, being the informal context of a blog, my posts can sometimes be more irregular than others. However, if it’s something that I feel strongly about, then I’ll generally post about it. If it’s something that I feel I should be letting other people know about, then I’ll post about it. Sure, there’s an element of professional narcissism involved – it’s a blog, after all. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Through my blog, I’ve made many important connections. Some have been influential bloggers overseas. Others have been Australian professionals who have provided varying levels of mentorship in my early years. Curiously, there are many bloggers in other library sectors, but few from school librarians, especially in Australia. Or perhaps I just haven’t stumbled upon your blog yet. But blogging has provided an opportunity to feel a connectedness with the rest of the industry, which is especially important with libraries, where it’s easy to feel professionally isolated.

And looking back over the last three years of blogging, I can definitely see a progression in my views. Some of my attitudes in the past have been misguided, whilst at the same time I sometimes need to be reminded of times when I was particularly inspired to use libraries to make a difference in society. But most of all, I’ve learnt to be eloquent about what it is I do, and why I do it. I’m confident with my “elevator pitch” about libraries, and I’m certain that part of that is because I write about it all the time.

It is great to see the way Andrew uses his blog to reflect, not only on our profession, but also on his own posts and views. Readers can see for themselves Andrew’s growth as a blogger. Thanks for sharing your blog, Andrew.