A Guest Post by Janet Patten of Your Local Eyes
If you are like me, with the amount of information that is flowing my way, I need a way to capture all the details and be able to find what I need later with ease. Evernote is one of the key tools out there that can help you be more productive and in control of the myriad of things you have to remember.
The beauty of Evernote is that it is a free tool that can described as a digital brain, allowing you to capture information on the fly and finally have a central, accessible place to store what is important to you. This storehouse, your digital brain, is searchable and can be accessed from any computer, a smartphone or tablet.
Evernote has truly revolutionized my life because, even though I hate to admit it, my own brain is not that reliable anymore and the search function is having a few issues. The more information I send to Evernote the better I seem to function, in both my business and personal life! I’ve only been using it for a few months, but already I feel more in control and on top of things.
This is how it works. You set up an account at evernote.com and download the program for free. You have the option to access it locally on your hard drive or online. If you have a number of computers and devices online would be your best option. You can sync your files and have everything accessible wherever you are.
The beauty of using Evernote is that you can set up notebooks (like folders) and notes, and organize them but also assign tags. You can search on keywords or phrases and you will be presented with one or more notes that contain that information that was previously stored. Everything you type in the notebook is automatically saved so there is no worry about losing your work.
Evernote provides an email address so you can send emails directly into your account. You can add tags in the subject line and the note will be filed in the place that you assign within Evernote.
There are also devices and other programs that allow you to add information, such as the Livescribe pen. Using the pen, you can take handwritten notes with optional audio and send it all to Evernote where the handwriting is searchable. ScanSnap is a scanning device that sends scans directly to Evernote. With the premium version ($5.00 per month) you can search within PDFs and store large files, but the free version is adequate for most needs.
There are several programs and apps that play nicely with Evernote. The company has recently bought Sktich, and there is a smorgasbord of options you can integrate depending on your needs. Some apps are for a mobile device and some are desktop-based. New apps and options are being developed and introduced regularly.
The way I have been using Evernote will be different from someone else, but I’ll give you a few ideas about what is possible and some of the things I have been up to:
Travel: store trip itineraries, flight and hotel information; details on local attractions; conference or meeting details; google maps
Recipes: save recipes that I’ve found on the Internet or that were scanned or emailed to me
Work: capture prospective client details and meeting info; project ideas and development information; digital expense receipts and mileage; business card scans (searchable), web clips; marketing plan; to do lists, information sent from my iphone; integration with WorkEtc (a project management program)
Writing: draft blog posts and articles, outlines, research, ideas
Car: save maintenance records, registrations, insurance
Health: file prescription details; articles from the internet; nutritional information; products of interest; food diary
Personal: web clips for researching furniture, clothing, glasses, major purchases; scans of receipts, registrations, magazine articles; interesting blog posts, photos of restaurants, wine or menu items that I like; referrals from friends or family; journal; shopping or task list
The bottom line is that Evernote can be used to organize and gather all of the information that you need to function in your personal and professional life in a much more efficient manner. I keep a daily to do list in Evernote that is constantly changing. There are fewer sticky notes all over the place or pieces of paper getting lost in my purse or briefcase.
I’ve begun to back up my brain and I feel great! There are already 643 notes and counting, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what I want to capture.
Get Evernote at www.evernote.com
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