Information abounds these days, and most people are feeling the brunt of not just paper overload but also digital overload. With the popularity of smart phones and apps, it has become even more confusing as to where and how to store, organize and find the information we want to keep.
If you’re like most people, you have heard of Evernote, but aren’t sure what to do with it. I think of it as a personal database system – customized exactly for my brain.
You probably have the app on your phone, but haven’t used it because you aren’t sure what to input. I have heard this from literally hundreds of people in the last year, and I was there, too, until I got sick of just looking at the app and decided to dig in.
I honestly can say that I can’t imagine my life without it and I would pay for it if I had to – and there are few things I can say that about.
Here are the Top 10 reasons I adore Evernote:
1. Access Everywhere – The best feature of Evernote. Download it to your desktop, laptop, tablet and phone, then you have access to any thing, anywhere, anytime.
2. Travel - Anytime I travel, I create a new notebook in Evernote with the title of the trip. Then I just add my airline tickets to that notebook along with any hotel/rental car info, any addresses or other travel info. When I arrive, I have all info at my fingertips.
3. Business - The ability to forward emails right to the Evernote notebook. When I send a client coaching notes, I Bcc myself. That adds the email to their notebook for the latest updates for our next session. I only touch it once, which is a good rule to follow.
4. Pictures - A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Evernote has a fantastic feature that allows you to take a photo of receipts, business document, a wine bottle, recipe, cool quote … and puts it in the notebook you want.
5. Once-in-a-while Information – Evernote is the perfect place for all those pesky sticky notes you have written tons of times and can never find when you need them. I have my “odds + ends” notebook where I keep my children’s and spouse’s clothing sizes, preferred food brands, air filter size, and other random bits I can never remember.
6. Going Paperless – While I have not used Evernote for this, I have coached a lot of people on how to eliminate mountains of paper by using Evernote to scan documents and keep them in one place. You can even set up your scanner to file straight to Evernote.
7. Receipts – Most of us small businesses owners have to keep copies of receipts. Evernote offers a streamlined solution to this ever growing challenge. Simply take a picture of the business expense receipt and save it to the year notebook created (maybe titled something like 2013 Business Expenses?). Voila! Less paper and less stress.
8. Lists & Collections – This is one of the most popular ways to use Evernote. I keep a notebook for this purpose and inside I have a note for books, movies, music to download, places to go, recipes to try and the like. You also can create shared notebooks, allowing you a repository for ideas, projects and anything else you want to share with a colleague or your partner.
9. Kids Artwork – I just started a notebook called Kids Artwork and love it. When my 5-year-old brings home a piece of art that I love (but don’t want to hold onto, which is usually the case), I take a picture and put it in his notebook. I can look at it at anytime, and I can continually grow his art collection (without the bulk).
10. Web Clipper – When I find a great URL or picture on the web, I use the web clipper feature, which is free, to choose only what I want and inject it into the corresponding notebook.
Think of Evernote as a way to bring together all the loose ends lurking in your brain or on your desk. This is a fast, efficient and easy way to streamline multiple areas of your life and free up bandwidth in your mind so you can focus, rather than try to remember what that song was that you heard this morning on the radio you wanted to download later.
Question: How can Evernote help you be more productive? You can leave a comment by clicking here.