How to Use Evernote to Streamline your Music Teaching Business and Become Hyper-Productive…
It seems like everyone is using Evernote, but what’s the big deal? Why are there so many blog posts and podcasts about a simple note-taking app?
I’ve been a long time Evernote user, but only recently have I really explored its true potential as a violin teaching resource. It has revolutionized the way I work, and has made me so much more organized. I love it. Fo’ Reals.
Evernote is now my number one favorite app. It keeps me organized and helps me keep parents in the loop. I use it for every lesson to take notes, and to keep track of all of my business expenses and documents.
I use Evernote for about a zillion things now, but here are my favorite ways to use Evernote to teach violin.
1. I take notes on students’ lessons in Evernote. I’ve always struggled to keep track of my students assignments and pieces. (My memory is not what it once was.) Eventually, I decided I needed to keep my own notes on the lessons I teach, so I don’t embarrass myself when I say, “Let’s start the new piece!” and they reply, “We did last week.” You can share these notes with parents if you want.
2. I also use Evernote to keep track of resources and information. One amazing perk of using Evernote is the Evernote upload email address. Whenever I get an email I want to save from a student or colleague, I simply forward it to my Evernote Upload email address. That way any text in the email or in any attachments is searchable within Evernote.
3. Another handy feature of Evernote is the browser plugin. Whenever I find a resource on the web I want to come back to later, I simply “clip” it with the Evernote plugin, and save it to one of my notebooks. I tag it “Read Later” so I can quickly find it when I have down time.
4. I haven’t done this yet, but I hate paper clutter so it is only a matter of time until I do. There are scanners that can scan documents directly to Evernote. I know. It makes me want to cry with joy, too. Maybe for my birthday?
5. I love to-do lists, so that is one of my favorite ways to use Evernote. Here is a screen shot of my studio to do list.
6. I love that you can share notebooks with other people. When I went on maternity leave in March, I simply shared my studio log with my sister (who was teaching my students for me) and she had all of my notes and information on every student. I even left her some instructions for how I wanted her to proceed in the next couple months. When I came back, I had all of HER notes on my students so I easily picked up where she left off. Pretty sweet, right?
7. Did I mention you can search for text in pictures? I know. So cool. Any image I upload into Evernote, I can search for the text from that image. It is so helpful. I take pictures of my older students’ lesson assignment sheets. They are teens and their parents don’t take notes anymore, so I write very basic notes on what I would like them to practice. Rather than taking notes again for myself, I just snap a picture of their assignment sheet and voila! It’s in Evernote, and I can search for any of the text in it if I need to.
8. I also use Evernote to store my business expense receipts. I tag them: tax deductible, reimbursable, etc. When tax time comes around, they are all right there, categorized, and easy to find.
9. I don’t know about you but I feel like I send the same emails all the time. Thank you for your interest in my studio emails. Where is my money emails. Why aren’t you practicing emails. No, I will not teach you a make up lesson so you can go to a birthday party emails. You know the drill. It can eat up a ton of my personal time to craft a pleasant, and professional response to all of these requests, so I have created templates. I store these in Evernote because I can find them easily, and I always have Evernote handy on my phone, tablet, or laptop.
10. If you use a Kindle or the Kindle app to read books about music or violin, you can load your highlights right into Evernote! Then you have inspiring quotes handy whenever you need a little boost. Here are instructions on how to transfer your Kindle highlights to Evernote!
11. Another way to use Evernote is to track your students progress. I like to record them with the voice memo function in the app periodically, and then play the old recordings for them later. This way they can hear the amazing progress they have made.
Wow. There you go, eleven ways to use Evernote to organize your music teaching business. And those aren’t even the best ones! The best ones are that it is free and you can always have Evernote close by on whatever device you use. (If you are a pen and paper person, good for you, but I can’t keep track of notebooks so this works for me and many others.)
Ok, if you are not all fired up to use Evernote to organize your studio, you must be crazy. Just kidding, find what works for you and use that! But I strongly urge you to give Evernote a try. The developers are constantly improving the design, and it is easy to use and customize to your needs.