How are you going with my Evernote Workshop series? Have you created your notebooks? Maybe you haven’t done this yet because you’re not really convinced digital record keeping is the way to go. You might be wondering if it’s safe to have important records ‘up in the cloud’? Do paper documents sound more secure?
Today, I want to share how, using Evernote, you can have both digital and paper records. After reading this post, and watching the associated video, you might look at Evernote as a viable option for keeping homeschool, family and personal journals. I’m hoping you’ll want to follow along with my workshop posts!
So how are we going to get from digital notes to paper documents? Before I begin, I should say I’m using Evernote for Windows. If you’re using Evernote for Mac, you could check out this article.
We’re going to…
- download a virtual printer
- prepare our notes for printing
- ‘print’ and save our notes as a PDF
- print the PDF file onto paper
Download a Virtual Printer
So what is a virtual printer? I had to google that question! Here’s an answer that I found on the TopTenReviews website:
A virtual printer is not really a printer at all; it is a piece of software installed on your computer. Its user interface is similar to a printer driver, but the virtual printer is not connected to an actual printer. You may use the virtual printer for several tasks, none of which use a single sheet of paper.
Are the notes ready for printing? Do you want to make any changes to them?
Remove Excess Content
Check notes for any non-essential content such as comments from Youtube videos and ‘related posts’ sections from online articles.
Check Font Size and Style
Do you want the same font for the whole notebook? What size font is the best for printing?
Check Image Size
If the images in our notes are too big, they won’t print on a single piece of paper. If necessary, reduce the size of large images by clicking on them and then dragging a corner towards the centre of the image. How small should the images be? I googled this question but couldn’t find a numerical answer. You might need to experiment to find the ideal size!
Create a Table of Contents Note
Would you like a table of contents for your notebook? A list or index of all your notes?
- Select all the notes in the notebook by highlighting them in the note list
- Select the ‘create table of contents note’ option that appears on the right side of the screen
The notes will be listed in the table of contents by their titles. Mine have schooly titles because they were created for homeschool registration purposes. I could have chosen more imaginative names. This is something we could think about if we’re creating family journals rather than homeschool record notebooks.
You could change the title of the table of contents note. You can see, in the image below, that I’ve added the words Week 1, Term 1, 2017.
Do you want to print your notes, each on a separate page? Or would you like your notes to follow one on from the other without page breaks? Merging notes might save paper, but there’s also the risk you’ll end up with a note title at the end of one page and its content on the next one.
There is a size limit for each Evernote note. The free basic account limit is much smaller than the Premium account limit. If the combined size of your notes is larger than your limit, you won’t be able to merge the notes.
Warning: If you want to experiment with merging notes, copy the notes into a new notebook before you merge them. Don’t use your proper notebooks. You don’t want to end up in a mess like me. I merged some notes and then was unable to separate them again!
How do we merge notes?
- Select all notes in the notebook
- Click on the ‘merge’ option that appears on the right side of the screen
- select all the notes in the notebook
- right-click on the notes
- select ‘Print Notes’ option
- select printer (Snagit or Foxit PDF Reader or similar) from the menu that appears on-screen
- check printer preferences: How many pages do you want to print per sheet?
- select ‘Print’
Snagit or Foxit will compile the notes into a document.
When the Foxit document is ready, a window will open, allowing you to save it to your computer as a PDF.
The Snagit document will open in the Snagit editor. Save it as a PDF.
Take a look at your PDF document. Each note has a heading which includes its…
- creation date
- URL if relevant
If you don’t like the way your notebook looks, delete the file, return to Evernote, edit the notes and try again!
Print the Notebook on Paper
Once the notebook has been saved as a PDF, and you are happy with how it looks, it can be printed on paper.
You might like to think about how often you save and print your Evernote notebooks. If you don’t do it very often, you may end up with a huge document. This doesn’t matter if you only want to save your notebooks as PDFs on your computer or external hard drive. But if you intend to print them, you will need a lot of paper! It wouldn’t take much effort or time to save notebooks every week or so.
So what do you think? Do you like the idea of having two options, keeping digital records and, at the same time, having paper ones too?
I’ve made an accompanying screencast tutorial video in case you like to watch rather than read.
I’d love to hear how you’re using Evernote so please feel welcome to stop by. And if you have any questions, I could try to answer them!