Using Evernote to conduct a Needs Analysis

Needs Analysis

In an earlier post, I wrote about the power of Needs Analysis in Learning Design.

Here is a tip which enhances productivity and effectiveness while conducting Needs Analysis.

Needs analysis is key to effective learning design and development. Needs are understood by administering questionnaires, taking interviews, observations, or conducting focus group discussions.

One would interact face-to-face with the target audience and stakeholders; have formal and informal chats, do on-site observations or there would be interactions via Skype / Google hangout.

The most important aspect in the process is to capture information, which later can be analyzed, reported in the form of findings and then used to design a learning solution which is relevant and meaningful.

Using Evernote for Needs Analysis

Evernote is a useful tool. It is great at capturing the information, keeping it in one place, and syncing it across devices. It can capture audio and text at the same time. It can attach all kinds of files - word files, PDFs, excel sheets, presentations and videos.

Having used it extensively, thought I would share what works while conducting a Needs Analysis

1. To capture the literature review - All reading references - articles that are relevant, internet references, presentations, snapshots, my own thoughts, notes while conducting the needs are available in one place. These can be searched and referenced easily.

2. To make audio notes - Interviews can be conducted in offices or on site, even outdoors. Planning the questions and listing them in a note is useful as it gives cues while taking the interviews. Recording the interview using the audio recording feature of Evernote on a mobile while jotting down main points and then syncing it across devices, ensures you have every bit of the conversation captured. If it is an outdoor interview (like interviewing your target audience while they are on field) the audio recordings can be used to make notes. Listening to all the audio clips to analyze the needs, getting linkages to important points through various conversations that you have had with all stakeholders, including your target audience is of great value. You can edit the audio clips and present them as part of your needs analysis presentation. Clients appreciate this effort a lot.

3. To capture photographs - Using the camera feature, photographs can be captured directly in the notes. They can be used later in presentations and reports. The most important aspect is that by saving it in Evernote; retrieving them for reference becomes easier and faster. If they were saved on the mobile or transferred to a laptop searching for them in folders later becomes tedious.

4. To attach video clips that were taken during onsite visits.

5. To save all findings, questionnaire inputs, notes made while doing the analysis in one place

6. To create an outline of the Needs Analysis presentation that is to be made to the client teams.

There are many more ways in which Evernote can be used to enhance productivity and effectiveness.

If you would like to explore Evernote for conducting Needs Analysis click on the link -