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 Ryan Kessler


Student Ryan Kessler Transformed His Workflow, Raised His GPA and Left his Textbooks at Home

Written by Ryan Kessler

Ryan Kessler

Name: Ryan Kessler
Profession: Student
Location: Orange County, California


Ryan Kessler is a student from Southern California who will be starting college in the Fall. Evernote helped Ryan get organized his senior year of high school and raise his GPA from a 2.9 to a 4.4 (if you’re unfamiliar with these numbers, that’s really great!). Read on to find out how he did it.

I use Evernote, Everywhere:

  • Android (phone and Tablet)
  • Windows
  • Web Clipper (Chrome)

I love…

  • The Droidscan app for scanning all of my docs using my phone
  • Nozbe for giving calendar context to my Evernote notes
  • tarpipe for publishing content to my various social streams with one single action

I use Evernote for…

My senior year of high school, I took 5 high school courses, 4 college classes and worked part-time, so I needed to find a tool that would help me stay organized and focused on whatever task I needed to complete. Evernote completely changed my workflow.


Evernote for class to-do's

I'm enrolled in a bunch of classes and I have trouble staying on top of all of my to-do's for each class. Last spring, I decided to organize my to-do's with Post-it® Notes and Evernote. I assign each note color to one class, and set up corresponding Evernote notebook: Art History = green, Astronomy = blue, British Literature = yellow, and German = pink. Then, throughout the semester I'll write my to-do's down on each color note, take a photo of it with the Post-it® Note camera, and it is immediately placed into that specific notebook. Its really helped me stay on top of all the details--my to-do's are with me wherever I go.


Evernote for staying focused

A big part of being a high school student is being able to switch modes extremely quickly. Within a few hours, you have to go from physics to history. Evernote lets me do this seamlessly.

I have a Notebook Stack of notebooks for various activities, including school and work. When I’m at work, I open my Work Notebook Stack and know that I won’t have any distractions because I wouldn’t see all of my extra-curricular stuff mixed into work stuff.


Evernote for getting organized

My freshman and sophomore year, I was very disorganized. The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t managing my time well, it was that I couldn’t find the things I wanted when I needed them. I used to spend hours just sorting through my schoolwork to find one assignment. Once I started using Evernote, life became a lot more organized:

• I got into a routine of sorting everything into Evernote as soon as I got it so I could instantly access it when I needed it. I attribute my GPA boost largely to my new-found ability to find everything quickly, from any device I was working on.

• Once I get stuff in Evernote, I organize it. I have a tagging system to separate out tasks and projects.

• I scan paper documents using Droidscan, which is a fantastic app I found in the Evernote Trunk.

• I draft reports right in Evernote, where my research is close at hand.


Evernote for lightening my load and connecting all of my devices

I started using Evernote so much, I stopped thinking about it. I even started scanning textbook sections I needed that day in class so I’d have them on my phone. It got to the point where I would go to school with only my journal and my phone.

A lot of students bring their laptops to class because they think they need to carry around their files. With Evernote, I never had to lug around my laptop. Our school would rent out laptops from the library, so if I needed to print anything, I’d just stick it into Evernote in the morning, pop by the library at the end of the day, pull up Evernote on the Web and use the school printer. I never think of having a thumb drive anymore.

With Evernote, I can see everything I have to do, want to do, and already done. I never have to think ‘Oh, shoot, I left something in my locker!’ Maybe I forgot my phone in my locker, but because everything in Evernote syncs across every device I own (not to mention the Web), I know it’s still there and I could access it from my desktop at home, the school laptop in the library, or my tablet.


Evernote for group projects and class discussions

When you’re working with a group, you tend to get a lot of information passed back and forth via email. I started using Evernote to keep track of all of my group projects by giving group members my Evernote email. Everything related to the project would get sent to my Evernote account, where I could organize it accordingly and stay on top of the latest versions and conversations.

We’d often have class discussions via a thread on a forum that my school subscribes to. Threads would get long and tedious and require you to login to keep track of the conversation. I would just clip it to my Evernote account and pull it up whenever I needed it.


Evernote for crunch time

Creating a study guide before a big test was so easy with Evernote. I would compile all of my notes from a certain time period and put them into a separate notebook. From there, I could reference only the materials I needed to study.


Evernote for learning a foreign language

I love Evernote’s Audio Note function to help me remember stuff, but it’s also a killer way to help you learn a language. I use audio notes to record myself pronouncing words, then play back the recording to see if my pronunciation matched my teacher’s pronunciation. When you’re learning a language, you need some way of hearing yourself to perfect your accent.


Evernote for building my future

I’m starting college in the Fall and will be studying entrepreneurship and design. I attended the Evernote Trunk Conference and saw Kyle Koch’s presentation about using Evernote for industrial design and was blown away. Evernote is crazy powerful for design and I’m excited to see how it fits into my ongoing studies and professional career.

User Tip: Note Links for Creating a Study Guide in a Single Note

Note Links are an awesome way to associate two notes incredibly quickly. I use Note Links to create a study guide in a single note. I often snap a photo of the whiteboard in class and then take notes as well. With Note Links, I can link my notes to the whiteboard image, giving additional context.