Each year I aim to stay more organized with my lesson planning. I have tried lesson planning books, binders, Microsoft Word templates, and plain old notebooks. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. The most frustrating part is I have never been able to keep handouts or assessments attached with my unit plans. I am always digging through folders and cabinets, or searching through my folders on my computer. A friend of mine recommended Evernote. He used it to help him stay organized by sending emails to various folders (tags) in Evernote (email instructions). This helped him keep important information without clogging up his inbox. This discussion led to how Evernote could be used as a lesson planning tool.
So what is Evernote? Evernote is an online notebook that has many great features. The notebook allows you to tag each note so you can assign it a tag like - Reading unit 1. This will allow you to later search for this note and all other notes that are tagged for this unit. Evernote allows you to upload documents and attach them to notes. In lesson planning this would be useful to upload tests, handouts, and other documents to the unit plan and have everything in one place. You can also update these documents so they are ready to be used for the following year using these instructions. Another handy feature allows you to clip webpages, or portions of webpages and attach them to your unit/lesson plan. Now you can keep all those handy online resources organized as well. Evernote lets you capture pictures, audio, and scan in documents to attach to your notes as well. Since Evernote is web based you can access it on your cell phone and home or work computer. These features will allow you to keep all of your content grouped with units or lesson plans and access it from anywhere.
I did some searching online and found a few examples of how some educators organize their Evernote lesson planning notebooks.
The Nerdy Teacher-He has an amazing blog with many great resources including how he is using Evernote for lesson planning.
Another great post is by David Andrade. He shares about Evernote and a few other resources he uses to stay organized and paperless.
The third resource explains how Evernote can be used beyond planning, but actually before, during, and after lessons. Michael Cruz-Evernote in the Classroom