Evernote for Homeschool Records: Which Version?

Last year, I made a series of videos showing how I use Evernote to record all our unschool learning experiences. These records are needed so we can be legally registered as homeschoolers. Occasionally someone stops by, after watching one of my videos, to ask a question. I thought I’d share the answers to some of these questions here on my blog.

So today’s question: Which version of Evernote should I use? The answer could depend on the features you require, the appearance which appeals to you, and how much you want to spend…

Price: Evernote offers 3 levels of pricing: Basic (free), Plus and Premium.

My children all have free Basic Evernote accounts. I chose to pay for a Premium one.

Advantages of paid versions:
The Plus and Premium versions have higher monthly upload allowances compared to the Basic version. Premium has unlimited uploads so I can add whatever I like, including full sized photos, to my notes without thinking about it.

The Plus and Premium versions are available both online and offline. The Basic version is only available online. I like knowing my notebooks are available regardless of whether I am connected to the Internet or not.

There are other advantages to having a paid account, but these are the most relevant ones.

Appearance: Once a decision about price has been made, we have another choice: Do we want to use the new beta version or the older version?

I’m using the older version. When I open Evernote for Windows desktop, it looks like this:

If I switch to the online version, it looks very similar:

If I want to, I can swap my older version for the newer beta version. If I click on ‘Help’ and then go to my account page, I end up here…

… where I can ‘get the beta’ version and change the look of my notebooks…


The beta version has lots of white space because once a notebook has been chosen, the other ones ‘disappear’.

Although I like the uncluttered look of the beta version, I prefer the older version for registration purposes. I like how our Authorised Person can see all our notebooks at one glance. It also seems easier to navigate, but that’s probably only because I’m more familiar with this version.

It is possible to swap back and forth between versions, so you could experiment and see what suits you best. Just go to ‘account settings’ to make the changes…


I haven’t shown you what the beta desktop version looks like because I haven’t downloaded it. I imagine it will look very much like the web version!

If you want to try Evernote, you could start with the free Basic version, do some experimenting, and if you like it, and want more upload allowance, you could then upgrade. That’s what I did.

When I first saw Evernote, I liked it very much. I got very excited about the possibilities. I wrote a few blog posts, and made a few videos… And for the first time ever, I began to enjoy keeping homeschool records. (Unbelievable but true!)

PS: If you haven’t seen my other Evernote posts, and want to know more, you could read A Perfect Method for Keeping Unschooling Records.


This photo of Gemma-Rose was taken by Sophie.

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  1. Reply

    I have no clue to Evernote whatsoever. But what a lovely photo of Gemma-Rose, she looks like a Celtic princess, or one of the Rohirrim.

    1. Reply


      Recently, Sophie and Gemma-Rose headed down to the park for a 'photo shoot'. Gemma-Rose is one of those rare people who feel very relaxed in front of the camera. And she is patient. She doesn't mind standing still for photo after photo while we experiment with our cameras' settings. Yes, the braids do have a Celtic princess feel about them. Sophie loves trying out new hair styles!

  2. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    This is something I keep coming back to…should I stick with the basic version of Evernote or upgrade?? We live in an unrestricted homeschool state and parents are not required to keep records but since my older dd is now "high school" age I've been recording her activities, projects, books read, performances, work, etc., in the event that we may be called to provide transcripts later on. This is something I tend struggle with though…I tend keep notes in several places and it makes it more difficult to cull everything together. If I upgrade, I can put everything in one place. And I love that I'd be able to use Evernote offline too.

    BTW – Gemma Rose does look like a princess! I love her braids!!

    1. Reply


      Yes, having everything in one place is much easier. Perhaps you could choose the Plus option to begin with, and see if that's enough upload allowance. You can always upgrade again if necessary. And if you decide not to renew your plan in a year's time, you won't lose what you have already uploaded into your notebooks. The allowance is only for new uploads and not storage.

      I know what you mean about having notes in several places. I have at least a dozen paper notebooks. I just grab whichever one is nearest when I want to scrawl down an idea. Later I can never find what I'm looking for. I keep meaning to transcribe all the notes into one notebook, and then keep using that one.

      The girls have lots of fun braiding hair. There's a great Youtube channel with lots of ideas. I think it's called Cute Girls' Hairstyles.

      Lovely to chat with you!

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