Evernote and Electronic Extemp

Evernote is a tremendously useful notetaking program. I love it and use it everyday. It’s totally free and helps me stay focused and productive in all my writing. And it just so happens that I found one of the most useful application for it in academic speech.

You still see traditional boxes, but there are a lot more computers in the room.

You still see traditional boxes, but there are a lot more computers in the Extemp Prep Room.

The speech event I use Evernote in is called Extemporaneous Speaking (extemp). The students study current events and haul boxes of filed articles for competition. At a tournament, students are given 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech. They thumb through the articles and figure it out in the 1/2 hour.

This year the league my club competes in started electronic extemp, meaning for the first year ever the rules allow computers to be used. Students aren’t allowed online (they’re still dependent on research), but they are allowed the opportunity to file and maintain their boxes digitally. How they do this is up to each individual club.

All other clubs are clunking around with Google Docs and Word. Ha! The comparitive advantage my club has with Evernote is absolutely awesome. My kids are extemp speech wizards with Evernote’s webclipping tool, search capabilities, filing system, etc. They’re a head above the rest in competition.

Our club uses a good amount of data, so we are paying for a paid account with Evernote’s cloud service. I use Evernote quite a bit on my own, but have never exceeded memory enough to pay for the service. It’s completely free. Check it out and have fun taking notes!

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  • That’s a great use Chris! We’ve been away from home for nearly 5 months so our boys weren’t able to participate this year but that’s great news for next year when we get back to it.

    I’ve been using Evernote for several months and love it. I grab website clips all the time for notes using a Chrome Extension. I also use it to store both personal and business receipts (in different notebooks) by taking a picture of the receipts with Camscanner on my phone and sending it directly from there to Evernote.

  • Kate Rickman

    So, can you access Evernote offline at tournaments? Is it a program you have to give kids a login to?
    I’m trying to figure out the best way to go electronic with extemp…Thanks!

    • In a way, yes. Evernote data is synced locally to your online storage. So you can work with the same files that are technically online, and they sync the next time online. It is pretty seamless.