Evernote is, by far, my favorite productivity/organizational tool EVER.
If you’ve never heard of it... let me try to explain.
Evernote is an online service that allows you to store information across multiple electronic devices. You create “notebooks” for all your great ideas and projects, cool things you see on the internet, to-do lists... anything! Within each notebook, you add “notes”. These notes are individual ideas within your big notebook. Notes can be something that you’ve typed up within Evernote, or can be pictures, websites, articles from websites, hand-written notes that you scan and upload, even voice recordings!
Let’s use an analogy. Imagine that Evernote is like a really, really big binder. The notebooks are the divider tabs within the binder. Behind each divider tab are the notes- those 3-hole-punched pieces of paper where you’ve jotted down miscellaneous information. Now imagine that whole binder is electronic and you can access it at anytime, anywhere. Cool, huh?!
Does all this binder talk make anyone else nostalgic for high school?
Ok, enough with the example. Let me tell you how I use Evernote!
Organize Your Life!
One of my most used notebooks is “Recipes”. Whenever I see a good recipe online, I “clip” (their word for save) the article into my Recipes notebook so that I can access it later. I am able to write a title for the recipe, add tags (like dessert, cookies, breakfast, oatmeal, chocolate... etc), write a little note for myself saying something like “reviews said to add extra chocolate chips!”, and I can even include the URL of the website where I found the recipe.
Stop Losing Things!
Evernote also makes it super easy to search for something. You can search throughout your entire Evernote account or just through certain notebooks. If I’m looking for one of my mom’s Christmas cookie recipes, I can just open my Recipes notebook and search for “cookie”!
(can you tell I really want a cookie right now??)
So Many Apps!
Evernote offers many ways to access your notebooks. There is a computer program, web interface, phone/tablet app, and a browser extension... and I use all of them!
I downloaded the computer program to my laptop. I can access any of my notes at anytime, even if I’m not connected to the internet. (Although you do need to open the program every once in awhile so that it can sync up with your other devices).
I use the web interface when I’m on a different computer but want to access something from one of my notebooks. It functions almost exactly like the computer program... just through a website :)
I downloaded the iPhone app and it’s been a savior when I’m out grocery shopping. If I’ve forgotten to write down the ingredients I need for a particular dish, chances are that I’ve clipped the recipe into my notebook and I can easily pull it up from my phone.
This might be my favorite and most used feature of Evernote. I use the extension to easily clip content from a website and save it straight into one of my notebooks.
Downloading the extension adds an Evernote button (a cute little elephant!) into your browser toolbar. When you’re perusing your favorite websites and you find something cool that you want to read later, you click that little button in your browser. A small popup will appear where you can name the note, choose the correct notebook to store it in, and add any tags or text. Since you’re clipping from the web, Evernote automatically saves the URL of the webpage, so it’s easy to come back again if needed!
I like having the button in my browser because it makes it super easy to save things. No need to highlight the text and put it into a Word document and then save to your desktop, no need to create a bookmark and save it in your browser, no need to email the URL to yourself. You just click the little button and BOOM! the whole article is saved for future use.
Basically, Evernote is the bomb dot com. It makes sure that no matter where you are and what electronic device you’re on, you can keep track of your ideas, favorite articles, notes... and everything else! With this crazy technology-filled world, keeping your electronic life synced up is vital. Do yourself a favor and start using Evernote. You’ll thank me later!
I’m planning a series on my favorite Productivity tips next week. I’ll be giving you some more ways that I use Evernote to keep me focused and organized during the day. Get excited!