New technology available to producers for recording ideas, information
Riverton – UW Instructional Technology Educational Specialist Stan Skrabut spoke about Evernote, a “high tech red book,” during the Fremont County Farm and Ranch Days in Riverton on Feb.9.
“I know as producers you’re everywhere. Maybe you’re in a field, or a barn. You could be milking cows, or downtown buying things. You could be looking at a fence or an irrigation ditch and have a thought on how to fix or improve it. You have these great ideas and thoughts, then off you go to another thing, and eventually wonder what it was you thought of earlier,” said Skrabut.
He suggested Evernote as a way to capture and organize these thoughts and ideas when they occur.
“Evernote is a piece of software that you can put on a smart phone, computer, iPad, etc. You can use it on many different devices. Number one in what I try to find when looking for a tool is that it’s easy. This isn’t tied to just a computer, or phone, and that’s good because I’m not always at a computer, and I want to be able to use it wherever I’m at. Another important part is it’s free, and free is good,” noted Skrabut.
He suggested starting with the evernote.com website, where producers can download and install the program onto any devices they may have.
Once downloaded, the software can be used to collect ideas via typed or voice recorded notes, pictures, articles and links to websites, to name a few options.
“At a basic level you can click on new note, and type or copy and paste the information you want to record. Say you’re driving, well there is a little button I push, and it automatically starts recording my voice. Then I can save that, and when I’m home I can listen to my babbling,” explained Skrabut.
“In the case of using my phone, I can take a picture and email to Evernote. If I find a webpage, I can highlight text and with the click of a button send it to Evernote. I can forward emails necessary for specific projects to Evernote, and I can take pictures of receipts and send them to Evernote,” said Skrabut of some the ways the program can be used.
Information sent to Evernote can be sorted into folders by topic, date or any other personal preference. Searches by word or phrase can be done across all folders, bringing up anything pertaining to a specific subject, and making it simple to find everything that was previously stored relevant to that subject.
“Farmers and ranchers have their red books with all this information on cattle, fields, etc. in them. It’s a great book, but really hard to search through. This electronically allows you to record and search information, and Evernote will even search through pictures you’ve taken or copied and pasted into it,” explained Skrabut.
“This is a way to extend your red book, and include some of those things you don’t capture well with it. Pictures are an example – they just don’t fit and pretty soon your book is too thick.
“But, in addition to things that won’t fit into your red book, you can also put all the information you do record in it on Evernote. These include things like immunization records or other health issues. You can create a folder, or series of folders, based on tag numbers. Then as you keep notes, you will be able to search, chronologically, what you’ve noted about that animal because Evernote will time stamp each entry,” said Skrabut.
“The idea is to use this tool instead of writing something down and strategically placing it in a place where you will never find it again. Basically this is about collecting anything. There are different ways of going about it, but in the end it’s all put in one place where you can search and revisit it later. It is a tool that is very useful for me, and hopefully you can find a relevant use for it on your operation,” concluded Skrabut.