Saturday 14 March 2015

Evernote for conferences

Advance preparation for conferences

A simple method to avoid carrying excess paperwork when attending a conference and trying to keep track of sessions, is to centralise any conference administration, notes and papers into Evernote. To this end I download the conference program, save it to Evernote then mark and annotate the sessions I want to attend.

To keep my memories and notes of the event all in one place, I set up some basic templates that I can use again and again. There are templates for individual sessions and for days of the conference as well as a general overall note to help me focus on information I may wish to collect and remember.  Each template is tagged with a tag individual to the conference to be attended.

The general and the individual day templates are in the form of lists and remind me to add photos, contacts and a variety of other materials at the end of each day. This way I can keep track of the who, what, where and when  - particularly with photos or tips and tricks garnered along the way.

The individual session template has the room, location and time, title of session along with the speaker's abstract. I then type my notes from that session directly into Evernote on my ipad while listening to and watching the speaker and their presentation. My handwriting is poor and I find keeping notes on a tablet quick and easy. Any handout given can be scanned to the notebook, I then incorporate it into my session notes so that the material is kept together.

The notebook also contains a guide to using maps to determine travel times to various venues.
An Index is provided for the notebook and individual note links can be added to this as the templates are duplicated and renamed for the days and individual sessions. Using this method one can leave a conference with notes organised and centralised for later review.

My shared notebook for AFFHO Congress 2015  to be held in Canberra at the end of this month, can be viewed and/or saved to your Evernote.
Notes are all tagged AFFHO as are my travel, accomodation and transport details all saved into my version of the notebook. AFFHO is also the tag to use if you are tweeting during Congress.
This notebook can be adapted for any conference that you may attend. I hope you find it useful. What else would you add to a Conference Notebook?

This post first appeared on


  1. What a great idea! I don't have a tablet or smartphone, but I may use some sections of your template on my laptop for making temporary notes at the end of the day (if I'm not too busy having fun).

  2. Fantastic Carmel, thanks! I used Evernote similarly at RootsTech and found it great..I use the premium version so I can access it offline, especially when traveling overseas, and I sync the notebook which relates to that travel/conference rather than all the notebooks.

    1. Thanks, I didn't think to mention offline, but yes I too use premium for that reason.

  3. Brilliant and generous, thanks.- My use of Evernote at Rootstech was restricted to notetaking. Now, thanks to your generosity, I have set up over 40 notes in My Evernote Congress 2015 notebook and am ready to record away.

    I think I now need a lesson on how you use the Day template - I can see it may be useful for blog post notes.

    1. On our last trip I used a day template as a sort of journal. The embedded prompts just helped me focus on things I may otherwise have forgotten, and it certainly helped me sort photos once home. Just thought it may be useful in a conference context for notes about social gatherings, exhibitors, products anything one might encounter that is not a "session" Could all go in General but I just find individual days a more suitable 'container' for me.

  4. Great post. I'm not going to Congress that weekend, but to a conference on WW1. And I'm going to use your tips to set everything up in Evernote before I get there so I'm ready to go.


Thanks for visiting, I welcome your comments.

Enjoyed this post? Want to see more?