The purpose of this blog is to make you aware of Evernote and some of the ways you can use it to boost your productivity. In future blogs, I’ll cover more details on how to use the application, including some tips, tricks and resources.
What is Evernote?
Evernote is one of the software applications I use the most on a daily basis and for good reason. It has essentially become my filing cabinet in the cloud, a place where I store all the important and sometimes trivial things that I don’t want to forget. Maybe that’s one of the main reasons I use it so much as my memory is not what it once was.
For those of you who have not used Evernote let me take a moment to describe what it is. It’s a software application that allows you to store notes that can contain almost any type of data; including text, images, photos, PDF’s, Word documents, pretty much anything you want to store there. There are two things I love about Evernote. Getting information into it is very easy and finding that information after you put it in Evernote is a breeze.
Because it runs on almost any device, e.g. Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android you can access your notes from just about everywhere as long as you have a device with you of course, and if you don’t, you can even access it using their web app from any computer with access to the internet.
Evernote stores your information in the cloud but there is also a Windows and Mac version that stores it on your computer. You can also access Evernote from your iPad, iPhone and Android device. Evernote is free but if you pay for the Premium version you will be able to access all your notes locally on your mobile devices without needing an Internet connection. I find this essential and well worth the $5.00 per month charge as I travel a lot and there are times when I cannot get an Internet connection.
I have to admit that when I first started using Evernote I did not get it right away, I failed to see what an amazing software product it really is. However, now that I’ve used it for some time I find it to be one of the most useful productivity tools in my arsenal of software.
Evernote is much more than a great note taking application. You can put it to all kinds of uses. Here are some of the ways I use it every day to boost my productivity.
Clipping Web Pages
Whenever I come across a web page that I want to save and read later rather than saving a bookmark I use the free web clipper that can be downloaded from www.evernote.com to clip that page to Evernote. Now I can read these clips at my leisure and save the ones that I’d like to reference in the future.
We use Evernote in our company to have more productive meetings by sharing a notebook with all the attendees who will post agenda items to Evernote before the meeting. During the meeting we use it to record meeting notes and action items. We now have a record of actionable items and who is responsible for completing them. When they are completed they are checked off as done so at the next meeting we can review what’s been done and what’s still outstanding.
Uploading Audio Notes
Attending meetings with customers is part of my job when we discuss software solutions with them we often get into very detailed discussions. So nothing is missed, I recently invested in a LiveScribe pen (www.livescribe.com), which I can use to not only take notes but also to record the audio during the meeting. This can all be conveniently uploaded to Evernote and shared with the team.
Saving the contents of an email to Evernote is easy to do using an add-in or keyboard shortcut. I don’t do this to archive emails, my email program does a good job of that, but it’s useful in situations where I want to save the contents so they can be accessed at a later date. For example, if I’m going on a trip I’ll save my complete itinerary for flights and accommodation in Evernote. I can now access this information from my laptop, iPad or iPhone while traveling.
Other uses include; storing agenda notes linked to people or organizations, lists of books I’d like to read, software to check out, keyboard shortcuts, information on upcoming conferences, resumes received from job applicants. The list could go on longer but I think you get the idea, you can store pretty much anything and what’s more important find it easily when you need it.
If you are a current Evernote user or if you start using it as a result of reading this blog, then please drop me a note in the comments below or fill out a Contact Us Form on our website. I’d love to hear from you.