Google Drive vs Evernote

For the last month I have  been trying to find the best ways to organise the immense amount of paperwork and notes that accumulate in a classroom.

I have been using both Evernote and Google Drive on a number of devices to see which one would suit me for taking notes and sharing files with my students. I have been following Bec Spinks’ series on using Evernote in the classroom and she is very convincing on why teachers should use it. After using both tools regularly, though, I have decided to use Google Drive this year, and here is why:

Homage to BabsiCreative Commons License Photo Credit: Abizern via Compfight

  • Using Drive I can access my notes on any device without having to install any programs (which is really important when installing things on Department of Education computers can be painful).
  • Drive allows me to access my documents offline, just like Evernote.
  • I can organise my notes in Drive however I like – I am not bound by ‘notebooks’ and ‘stacks’. If I want a document in a class folder within a subject folder, within a teaching folder, I can.
  • Drive is fully searchable, including images that you have not tagged.
  • I can include all the forms and files I use on my class Google Site in Drive, so it is all in one place.
  • The learning curve for Evernote is small, but the learning curve for Drive is practically non-existant.
  • I can very easily share documents with the my students, so I can keep any assignment notes in the same place, without them needing to download anything either.

Drive has made everything easier and more organised. Creating, finding, sharing and collaborating on notes is just simple using Drive.

How have you used Drive in your teaching?

Rebecca Davies

5 Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to get my head around all of the different ways to share and collaborate on documents to get a sense of where they could fit into my school’s current ICT structure. We currently use Moodle to store student and teacher files which is working fairly well for what we want to achieve. I do love the real time collaborative document editing in Google Docs, though. Are you familiar with Moodle and if so can you see any major advantages that Google Drive has over it?

    • I have never used Moodle, but have heard great things about it. As far as I know, the Google apps (including Drive) integrate with Moodle, so you can collaborate on a Google Doc in Moodle. Where Google Drive has an advantage is if you do not have an LMS or use your LMS for different purposes. I used Google Drive to collaborate with my team in a school where I used Schoology with my students. It would be brilliant to use the one LMS across an entire school, but have never worked in a school where this was achievable yet.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and rationale. I’m currently deliberating on the same choice for next year, and want to go all in while I have summer to get it done. I’m wondering if you can comment on any areas where Evernote exceeded Drive in your classroom experience?

    • My number one reason why I prefer Evernote is that I have never had it glitch when the school internet died – which can happen quite regularly! I also find it a lot easier to find my notes in Evernote. I thought being able to create lots of notebooks within notebooks would help me stay organised in Drive, but actually it had the opposite effect of making it more time consuming clicking through all of the folders. Using good tags in Evernote saves me a lot of time looking for that one piece of writing from a student I know I saved somewhere!

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