Evernote presents a dilemma for me: I love it but it’s not HIPAA friendly. This is how I use the app for things concerning clients and can be helpful for people that practice as therapists, psychologist, and related fields of social work!
I use my über-swanky Evernote-branded Moleskine to write my notes in individual and group clinical supervision. In spite of my iPad being banned from those meetings, I keep busy by jotting down things in my notebook during my meetings. I tend to document information that I may need to reference later, facilitates my growth, or requires follow-up.
I’m not one for gimmicks, especially those that don’t work. However, the Evernote Moleskine works great with the mobile apps to scan my pages I not Evernote.
Here is a before/after photo in a room that was dimly lit; the left side is a regular photo taken on my iPhone’s camera and the right side is “scanned” with the note page scanner in Evernote.
Evernote will run optical character recognition (OCR) through my document to look for text! This comes in handy if you want to search for your text later! (Make sure your writing is clear).
Documenting Appropriately For Evernote
Whenever I write anything client-related, I am intentionally vague in these notes. Vague behavior can include:
- Using pseudonyms: If I need to identify a client, I will try to use gender-neutral pronouns or descriptions. Without disparaging my client, sometimes I will refer to him or her as “Dramatica”, “Boundary Deficient”, or try to be witty by using song title that reminds meow the client. I never, ever use their name or initials.
- Limited: I am limited and to-the-point that if the contents of my notebook were to be found outside of my office, my client could not be identified.
- Business only: i.e. Questions that my supervisor wants me to figure out for the case.
Guidance, Tasks, and Self-Reflection
The most profound use of my handwritten notes are to document the rich guidance I receive, in-service lessons of note, tasks that I need to complete, and any self-reflection that may be beneficial to my personal or professional growth.
Not Everything Gets Documented
This blog post was not an infomercial for Moleskine, but it happens to work with a product I really love. That said, I will use my notebook to reflect on the things I have documented – Things that I think are important or relevant. With so much information being thrown at you, it’s a fine art to sift through the mundane and really know what’s important.
I would say, “pay attention to your feelings, and write down what you think you need to document”. Take that advice and just know that you will get to a point where you will probably that start managing your time better, i.e. writing down only those things that are worthy of your time to write down.
Not Everything Gets Scanned
When I talk about scanning in this post, I refer to the Evernote app on my mobile devices to take a picture of my notebook page(s).
Sometimes I scan everything – don’t judge me for being a digital hoarder! I’ll then put a line through the page in my notebook in pencil to indicate that I’m done with the page.
Sometimes I don’t scan everything, still putting that line through the page with pencil (to erase it later if I need to). This is my way of telling myself that I’ve reviewed the page and that I have processed it – I either scanned it or I didn’t.
Process: In Review
- Scan the page into Evernote; the app has a smart camera that scans my page to the app.
- Cross out the note in my Moleskine (with Pencil); after the note has updated to Evernote and I’ve filed it.
- Search for the note when I need it.
- Text Recognition will bring back my note in search.
So that’s how I use Evernote to document client activity: short, brief, non-specific, and focused on my personal/professional growth and development!
- I do not work for Evernote, but I am a Fanboy-for-Life
- By clicking on the various links I’ve posted for you to sign up for Evernote, I get something referral points, which I can redeem in these ways.
Evernote is a tool helps me tremendously to learn, reflect, and become a better me. How will you use it?