Evernote, once a fair-weather friend is now my BFF. Perhaps it’s the effect getting older, owning a home, or having more life responsibility in general, that I find the paperless lifestyle to be sweetly appealing. In my previous going paperless post, I gave you a window into my cluttered life and strategies I used to dig myself out. At that time, I’m sad to say, Evernote was not yet a part of my inner circle. Oh, but now it IS! If you have never heard of it, or like me, have been avoiding taking the relationship to the next level, I’d like to inspire you to befriend this handy application.
What is Evernote?
Evernote is intended to act as your “external brain.” All of the important information, ideas, experiences and projects you need to access can be stored, mapped, searched, indexed, sorted and shared in Evernote.
I like to think of Evernote as the largest virtual three-ring binder ever. Information are stored in Notes, Notebooks and Stacks. A “note” is like a piece of paper in your binder, with index tabs represented by “notebooks” and the binder itself a collection of notebooks or a “stack”.
How do I use it?
I literally use Evernote EVERYWHERE. I have the desktop app on my Mac, I use the web version when at work and the iPad and iPhone versions when mobile.
I store a ton of information in Evernote including reading lists, draft blog posts, recipes, professional notes and projects such as resumes, leadership development projects and goals, business cards, health and wellness tips, sheet music, technology tips and tricks, product wish lists, research and the list is growing!!!
What are my favorite features?
I love Stacks! A stack as mentioned above, is a grouping of interrelated notebooks. As a youth ministry volunteer through the Bay Area Christian Church, I store separate notebooks for events, calendars, meeting notes, info on people I mentor, bible studies and more in my ministry stack.
I love automation! Currently, I have a filter set up in my Gmail account that forwards emails with attachments to my Evernote email address. Forwarded emails ultimately land in my default notebook…voila! Every so often, I sort my uploads into their respective notebooks and I never have to go through the hassle digging through my email.
I love Links! This is where Evernote surged ahead of Dropbox for me. Not only are all my notes and attachments stored in Evernote, but I can create links to ANY of my notes within a single note. This makes my life even easier. Right now, I am using this feature to index my bible studies, but I also use for food, natural cosmetics and green cleaning recipes. I have hundreds of bible studies I’ve collected and digitized; links make it easy for me to find the studies I want. Here is a screenshot of my bible study index (in progress). How handy is that?!
I love Sharing! I can easily invite friends to view my notebooks. No more digging into my tangled abiss of e-files to email an attachment to someone. I can say, “here, look at my notebook and read what you want!” Sweet!
I love Shortcuts! In the newest desktop version of Evernote for Mac, I can create shortcuts to notes I want handy. This is great for current projects, which for me are Christmas gift ideas, holiday recipes and plans.
Some other products and services that I LOVE from Evernote are Web Clipper, Clearly, Skitch, Penultimate, and Food (which I now use to capture all of my recipes).
I look forward to sharing more of the fun ways I use Evernote and would love to hear how you use it!