Curious again

by Christina on February 10, 2013

I’m now on a 3-month stretch of outpatient block with more manageable hours and fewer night shifts. After sleep and exercise I now feel my curiosity coming back, something that can quickly evaporate when my most basic needs are not tended to.

One of my co-residents inspired my rediscovery of Evernote as a note-taking tool.  

Ok first! Why didn’t I use this in medical school?! What a lost opportunity! I could have had have all those notes and lectures accessible for the rest of my career. Now they are lost to me.  Any med students out there please think about this!

At least I have it now. It has revolutionized my learning and organization system. Some of the benefits:

  • All my notes in ONE consolidated place. I cannot emphasize the value of this enough.
  • My notes can be accessed, edited, and referenced from my laptop, ipad, AND iphone. They all sync with each other immediately and automatically — a note on my computer automatically syncs to make a note on my iphone.
  • I can pull up my notes at any time (including in the middle of a patient visit) and access my library of information.
  • I can insert pdf’s, powerpoints, word documents, or pictures into the notes. Any time I read an article or come across a treatment algorithm I want to quickly have access to, I immediately put it into a note.
  • It’s free. You can pay more for more space and offline access which I will likely do one day.
  • It can be used for ANYTHING. Medical notes are the obvious one for me, but I can also use it for recipes, lists of books to read, movies to watch, trips to go on, quotes, yoga notes, etc. 

I started bringing this portable keyboard with me to lectures and it has turned my ipad into a functional note-taking machine. 

How do you keep your constant deluge of information organized and accessible? 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

elise February 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

kyle used that program all throughout B school. actually he used penultimate but they were recently bought by evernote so it just turned his app into that. all his notes are still the same. he loved it. sorry you didnt hear about it way back when…


Christina February 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

that’s great! I had heard about it but just never adopted it into my daily habits, I didn’t realize how helpful it would be to me now…

hope you are doing well!!! thinking of you at 40+ wks and so looking forward to your baby posts! 🙂


Anar Mikailov February 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm


I started to use this in the first 1/4 of my intern year…. and it is awesome!

I have Evernote fully synced in the cloud and across iPhone, iPad Mini, iMac (home)

I would highly recommend adding the app across all devices. I find myself if I quickly want to look up a note the iPhone is usually the best. If I want to create a note in the Hospital, the iPad Mini is the best. Then at home, I use the iMac to frequently create notes. You do need the premium version but it is very much worth it!

In the hospital I use the iPad mini to take brief take home points during the various learning rounds/sessions. Additionally, I find myself writing notes/pearls from attendings/residents on paper and when I get home, use my iMac to create a note

Also – I subscribed to “Paucis Verbis” Evernotes – she is an ED Doc with over 2 years worth of evidence based short/sweet notes, highly recommend

I do like your keyboard connection there!



Christina February 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Hey Anar!

Great to hear from you and so glad you started using this intern year.

I can actually sync across all devices without the premium version – it’s great. I do the same thing — ipad notes in the hospital, then some consolidating notes from the day on my mac at home.

So glad you found Michelle Lim’s PV cards — they are great!

Do you find any other apps as helpful as Evernote in the hospital?



sj February 16, 2013 at 4:00 am


I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, but I felt the need to ask you a question about Evernote.

I read another blogpost by a 1st year medical student who swore by Evernote. I downloaded the app on my MacBook Pro and iPhone, and tried it for taking lecture notes and making outlines (I’m a post-bacc student).

Since I would primarily be using Evernote for taking lecture notes, I was comparing it to Google Drive, which is what I’ve been using for a while.

I didn’t understand what the difference was between Evernote and Google Drive, do you have any input? I found Evernote to be more difficult to use than Google Drive, so I gave up. I also didn’t like that Evernote has a limit to your free storage space, which (I think) was a lot lower than Google Drive’s.

I really really wanted to like Evernote, but I just couldn’t get used to it. Do you have any advice?

Thanks! Love your blog! 🙂


Christina February 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Hi Sonja!

It’s nice to hear from you! I also use google drive but have found Evernote much more useful for keeping things like medical notes.

Google drive I mainly use for word documents and I find it hard to access from my iphone and ipad. In Evernote, I can access it from anywhere (iphone/ipad/laptop, etc) and easily input pictures/pdfs/word documents/links. It’s also very easily searchable which is super important with all the information we acquire and need to keep organized.

As you come across more and more information in multiple forms (images, pdfs, videos) I think you’ll find Evernote helpful because it offers much more than a word document. I’d recommend trying it out for a bit longer and seeing if you can develop a system that works for you!

Good luck!


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