I love productivity apps and software to help me get things done. Whether that be at home or at the office, I’ll try just about any new utility that claims to help one be more productive. But I have never found one with as much flexibility and that works like this. Welcome to my second brain: Evernote. It’s with me pretty much all the time. Whether I am sitting at my computer, doodling on my iPad, or running errands around town. It’s that app that is on my computers, in the cloud, and on all my devices.
So what do I use Evernote for? Here are a few of the top things I use it for:
- Random thoughts and ideas. I keep my ideas, blog posts, writing prompts, and just about anything that comes to mind in an Evernote notebook.
- Meeting Notes. I sit through a lot of meetings. Way too many! Although I use Google Docs more when real-time collaborating, I use Evernote for my personal notes. It’s just like my paper notebook, only electronic. And great to be able to tag and organize all these meeting notes in an intuitive way.
- To Do lists and Checklists. Being able to easily create lists is a bonus for me. And an added perk is being able to set reminders and due dates!
- Weekend Planner. There is always something to do around the house. Evernote keeps my projects at home organized and at the ready.
- Travel Planner. Whether I am going to a conference across the country or a NETA meeting in Omaha, Evernote helps me keep my confirmation numbers, directions, reservations, interesting sessions, and anything else I need at the ready. And I always know where to find it!
- Bookmarks. With the help of the Evernote Web Clipper, this is my bookmark manager. It works in my workflow. I store bookmarks as ideas for certain projects I’m working on so keeping them organized with tags or in a project folder works well for me.
- Paperless Office. At home and at work, every piece of paper I have (bills, letters, drawings, paper notes, etc.) goes through my ScanSnap scanner and into Evernote. When I am away from my scanner, I take photos of documents, business cards, Post-its, and whatever ever else I may need. These are then searchable documents that I can go back to where ever I am in the world.
- Collaboration/Communications. I not only share certain notes with folks but also use a shared folder with my son. Either of us can add, remove or edit notes but its a great way for me to share his chore list or projects that he is working on.
- Reading List. I like to think of this as the electronic version of the basket of reading material next to my Lazyboy at home. It’s that place I can store PDFs or websites I want to go back to and read more about.
- Email Important messages. If I need to deal with an email message, I forward it to my To Do folder in Evernote. Evernote really becomes not a part of my workflow, but THE workflow.
Tips to make Evernote more useful:
- Use it on all your devices: computer, web, tablet, phone. Evernote automatically syncs with all of them.
- Install the browser plugins: Evernote Web Clipper, Clearly.
- Save your Evernote email address as a contact in your phone.
- Be consistent – use it regularly and make it your workflow.
- Use Notebooks and Tags to help your organize your notes and ideas.
- Turn on location tracking – more useful than you think!
- Use other apps like Penultimate and Skitch that integrate with Evernote.
- Take pictures of documents, business cards, Post-it’s, and hand written notes.
- Share notes and notebooks with friends, colleagues, and family.
Evernote can be so much more than just your electronic notebook. Planning a conference? A trip? Collecting ideas?What will you make Evernote do for you?