There's been some interesting discussion on Twitter recently about whether trainers should provide handouts before training, after training or even at all. Some organisations that I train through do provide printed slide handouts and some don't. My preference is to not provide attendees with printed handouts of the slides because it just seems excessive from an environmental perspective, but I am happy to provide a PDF copy of the slides instead. The downside of PDF slides is that taking notes related to a particular slide is somewhat trickier than it needs to be. So, I want to try something for my upcoming Software Architecture for Developers training courses ... Evernote; a cross-platform notebook application.
In addition to the PDF copy of the slides, I'll also be providing an Evernote XML Format file (.enex) that you can import into your own copy of Evernote on your PC or Mac. This contains all of the slides that I'll be using along with the handouts that are required for the case study exercises. You can add your own notes to each slide and create new notes to store photos of the case study exercises, thoughts and useful links as we progress through the course.
Evernote is free to download and you'll need to register for a free account, which is all you need for a local (non-cloud based) notebook. Premium account holders will be able to import the notes into a cloud-based notebook and have it synced to all of their other Evernote devices*. If you're coming along to one of my training courses over the next few months, please do feel free to bring your laptop. I'll also be doing the same for my upcoming presentations for the rest of the year and will provide the .enex files in advance.
* you do get syncing with the free account, but the size of the notebook is slightly larger than the monthly usage allowance :-)
28th August 2011: since each Evernote note can have a "source URL", each note in the notebook will additionally have a link to the associated essay from our book for further reading after the course.
Simon is an independent software development consultant specialising in software architecture and the author of Software Architecture for Developers. Simon lives in Jersey and regularly speaks to audiences around the world. You can find Simon on Twitter at @simonbrown and Google+.