Basics of Evernote

A yellow pad and a pen (or better yet, a pencil) have been a part of my entire career. I unnamed-5didn’t feel I could focus clearly without a pen in my hand – you never know when you might need to capture a note. Fast forward to 2012 when I launched my own business. The yellow pads started multiplying on my desk and soon I couldn’t find the notes I had taken – there were just too many. I  knew I had to make a change.

I tried Evernote, a note management application, in the past, but I didn’t find it very self explanatory and couldn’t figure out how to use it.I abandoned it. It’s a classic case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  When it comes to using a new tool, I struggle with the time it takes to learn it. I question whether or not this will be time well spent.

I happened to watch a Webinar hosted by my friend Eric Cook, called Webinar Wednesdays. This particular episode featured Evernote guru, Scott Bradley, and the basics of getting organized.

I highly recommend watching his YouTube videos – lots of different use cases explained. After watching Evernote Scott’s video, I started to see how I could use this to increase my own productivity. I needed to see how it could help me.

Here are some of Evernote’s features to launch your productivity:

Tagging: You can tag each note to dump them into categories like INSPIRATION or PROSPECTS for example. So, if you have some categories in mind on how you want to organize your notes, you can tag them with a category. Then you can search on a category to find related notes. OR, you can tag them with keywords. Use keywords which may pop into your head when you are trying to find the note. You can use multiple tags as well.

Search: Each note is searchable. For example, if you have a phone call with John Doe you can search on his name and all the notes which contain his name come up. This is helpful for when I have a follow-up call with someone. I type in the person’s name in the search box and all those notes appear with the most recent on top. I can quickly read what was discussed last to refresh my memory of the project or collaboration status.

Sharing notes or notebooks: You can take a note, then click on the SHARE button and send it to someone via email, social or copy and paste the link into a different application.

Email into Evernote: If you receive an email you don’t want to lose, simply send it to your Evernote email and it will appear in your NOTES Inbox.

Webclipper: See something on the web you want to clip and keep for later? Evernote has a clipper which is installed on your browser, so you can clip and go. Often we find little gems on the internet, but don’t have time to deal with them on the spot. The clipper enables you to clip and go, saving it for later when you have time to do something with it.

Audio Clips: Take verbal audio notes within your note and listen to them later. Record music or other audio clip.

Business Cards: Got a pile of business cards you wish were digital? Problem solved. Evernote has a camera function which takes a photo of the card and then turns the copy into editable text (that makes it searchable – it’s like magic). Dealing with business cards after an event or trade show is a major time killer. Evernote helped me streamline that process by simply taking a photo with the app. No more having to manually enter them into your contact management system.

Sync: By far the best thing about Evernote is that it syncs with all your devices so whether you are in the office, at home or traveling, your notes are accessible from anywhere. Imagine you lost your laptop or phone. You can access your notes from any device – so no more worries about backing up data on your computer. They are all stored in the cloud.

As my son headed off to college this past fall, I introduced him to Evernote for all his class notes. At first he gave me an eye-roll, but after a couple weeks at school, he told me that Evernote is invaluable for keeping his notes/studies organized. In fact all his friends have now started using it as well. Please leave a comment and let me know your experience with Evernote. How do you stay organized?

About Denise Bahs

Denise is inspired by the study of human behavior, specifically as it relates to the differences between the generations. Gen X and Gen Y do things differently. Social media has had an impact on the banking and payments industry and the generational differences play a major role in where things are headed. These are the trends that get Denise out of bed in the morning. Denise has worked in the banking and payments industry for nearly 20 years with an emphasis on marketing. When social media first came on the scene, she found it intriguing which led to her starting a blog and networking in the start-ups realm. Denise is a professional coach and public speaker and in her spare time enjoys many forms of exercise.