Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Evernote

Evernote Wordphoto

This is a guest post by Sara Caputo, MA, a productivity coach, consultant, and trainer based in Santa Barbara, California. She is the founder and principal of Radiant Organizing, a professional organizing and consulting company.

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.

Enter Evernote!

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.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Matthias

    It is a great tool. But there is one reason which refrains me from really using: Vendor lock in. I will put year of curative work at risk if the vendor goes out of business.

    • What type of vendor are you referring to? I am not sure I fully understand your concern.

      • Sara Caputo

        Not sure either what you are referring to Matthias?

      • TinyKitchenStories

        I think he means if Evernote goes bust, he’ll lose his work. Jon answered this concern already, above.

      • Nothing if forever but that should not stop you from using a create service. Just back up your stuff on a regular basis and hope for the best. Who knows if 5 years from now there will be a Google and Facebook…

    • If you use the app on your computer you will always have a local copy which you can backup. The only possible problem would be if you only use the web app and Evernote goes out of business at some point.

    • Eric Lorenz

      This is true…even if worst case Evernote went poof, you could still export all your notes out of EN if you needed to.

  • I didn’t know about the email forwarding feature or the scan straight to Evernote option. I may not use the email feature, but will definitely start using the scanner feature.

    • Sara Caputo

      Caleb – the email forwarding feature is the BOMB! If you use windows, the gadget appears in the top of your toolbar… try it out. Scanning directly is also very cool.

  • Evernote is certainly awesome! One feature that I love about them is that they keep innovating and introducing new features all the time. I am not a big fan of the iOS app as it seems a little bulky but on the computer or on the web Evernote is amazing in keeping me productive and organized.

    • Sara Caputo

      totally agree Kosio….. the app isn’t that great but the desktop is awesome!

    • True. I do think they made a step in the right direction with the iOS7 update.

      Eager to see how they continue to improve it on mobile.

      • I just think they are trying too hard to do too many things. A phone app should be simple and easy to use. When you have 20 different options on a small screen it becomes a task just to enter your notes.

      • I agree. For me, Evernote’s UI has always been its biggest weakness.

        For example, on the iPad, the notes area only takes up a small portion of the screen.

  • TinyKitchenStories

    I love Evernote, for many of these reasons! And Sara is awesome–sometimes I feel just being near her makes me a more organized person. I’m glad she shared her wisdom here.

    • Sara Caputo

      you are adorable Tiny Kitchen Stories. 🙂

  • Kyle

    I love evernote. It has all my business related stuff in it which is obviously great. It’s also great for personal stuff. When I find a recipe online I send it there then when I’m stuck wondering what to have for dinner I’ve got lists of ideas rather than having to google if I’m not feeling inspired.

    • Sara Caputo

      totally agree Kyle — recipes is one of my most accessed notebooks. I always tell people that EVERYONE can use EN for personal at minimum!

  • Gary B

    I own & operate 7 restaurants and use EN daily. I keep records of all invoices for all vendors, monthly utilities, maintenance, labor…you name it! I have gone 95% Digital and access across my Mac, Ipad and Iphone. I organize by Notebooks for each restaurant. The search capability is great and can find something amongst the thousands of documents I have organized. Needless to say…I am a BIG FAN!

    • Same here. Feels great when you find something from three years ago in a matter of seconds. 🙂

      • Sara Caputo

        Love hearing this Gary…. awesome!

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  • jamiedefined

    Hi Craig, I’m a big fan of EN for many things, but note taking surprisingly isn’t one of them. I don’t know of a simple way to append text to a note to add to a “list note”. Instead I end up with multiple notes with one or two items related to a list, which I then have to merge together and then format so it doesn’t look terrible. I’ve tried some Alfred scripts, as well as Drafts workflows for iOS, but it’s just so much unnecessary work when there are other apps like Simplenote that work perfect and support tags for quick access to lists.
    How do you manage your “list notes”?

  • JamesR404

    If Google Desktop could search evernote I would keep notes there. But for now I use simple windows folders. Afraid of lock in I guess.

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