Over time, my phone and tablet became more important in my work and play. I realized how they lacked that neat folder structure. Accessing reference information was more of a chore. It was something that generally waited until I could return to my desktop computer.
And then came Evernote…
The “notebook” setup in Evernote provided the missing organizational structure. The ability to open notes was easy and lightening fast. Notice I said “notes” and not “documents.” Today’s digitally-connected world is less focused on printed documents. It’s all about finding and sharing the information we need at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes, the best way to describe something is to give people enough examples of how to use it that they jump in. When you start experimenting with something, you generally figure out how to make it work. So, let’s get started.
7 things you could keep in Evernote:
- Recipes. Each recipe is its own note. (Think of a note like an index card.) My wife and I were baking a cake for Easter and needed to buy the ingredients. No need to hunt the recipe. I tap Evernote on my phone and search for “cake.” The recipe, with all the needed ingredients, is the first hit. If you had lots of recipes in your “Recipes” notebook, further organize them with “tags.” Examples might include “Desserts,” “Chicken,” or “Salads.”
- Random pieces of information. When you shop for air filters, what size does your unit take? When you check into a hotel, what’s your rewards number? How about the tag number on your car? What size shirt does Uncle John wear? Create a notebook called “Personal Information.” List these bits of information in alphabetical order. In mine, one note is for “A-C,” another “D-F,” etc.
- Gift Ideas. As a whole, we are good at using our phones to snap pictures. The problem is the result is just a picture. There’s no explanation and probably it’s lumped together with other random pictures. In Evernote, tap the camera icon and snap the picture. Add text to explain what it is and what you need to do about it. You might include the price of the gift, where you found it, and the name of the potential recipient. Tap the menu to select the “Gift Ideas” notebook as the destination. When it comes time to buy, your information is in one place.
- Medical information. Don’t you love the waiting-room experience? The nurse hands you that clipboard where you re-create, out of your head, every medication and ailment. Create a note in Evernote and put all that information there. You’ll thank me for that tip on the next doctor visit.
- Pet information. My wife and I have owned Shelties for 27 years. Each dog has a notebook in Evernote. Inside the notebook, each significant vet visit is a note. A note tracks the weight of the dog at each visit. Another note provides all the adoption information about the dog: microchip number, age, and information about its history. Before we adopted Sally, the rescue owner took a video of Sally at play with another Sheltie. He posted it as an unlisted video on YouTube and sent us the link. We created a note in the “Sally” notebook and put the link. Later, we added a picture of her the day she came to live with us.
- Trip Information. Create a notebook for the upcoming trip. As airlines and hotel confirmations arrive in the email inbox, forward them to Evernote. See an interesting article online about a place you will be visiting? Use the Evernote Web Clipper to put the full text of the article and pictures into your notebook for the trip.
- Owner’s manuals. Search for and download digital copies of the manuals online. Now, create a new note and drag that digital copy into it. PDFs display nicely and every word in it is searchable.
Why not get started now?
The best way to learn Evernote is to jump in with both feet. The more you use it, the easier it becomes and the more you will find your own uses. In your browser, go here and create your account today.
In addition to being a happy Evernote user, I am also an Evernote Certified Consultant. That means I have the knowledge and skills to work with everything from individuals new to Evernote all the way up to businesses who wish to use Evernote to improve the way they handle information.