Andrew Articles, Productivity, Tech

Productivity: Evernote

Evernote is a cloud based notebook app. I find it to be a great tool to organize myself and increase productivity. Since Evernote is in the cloud it synchronizes across all of your devices where the app is installed such as your computer, phone, tablet, etc.

There are other note taking apps out there like Google Keep which I use for temporary notes. My Google Keep notes are like post-it notes. They are short and easy to access and likely to be thrown away after a short period of time. However, Evernote is the notebook app that I use to save long term notes.

Evernote allows you to save notebooks and to keep individual notes within each notebook. For example, I could have a “Clients” notebook and within that notebook have several notes for each client. Alternatively I can create a notebook for a specific client “John Smith” and keep several individual notes for that client in his notebook. Some of the notes in the John Smith notebook could be “Meeting 3.30.2017,” “Contact Information,” “Next Action Steps.”

Evernote allows you to take text notes as well as photo notes, audio notes, and handwritten notes that you can write with a stylus or with your finger. It also allows you to save attachments to notes. For example, you could attach a pdf document to your John Smith Meeting 3.30.2017 text note if that pdf document is important for your meeting.

Two-step sign in verification is available for increased security, which I recommend using. Evernote also has sharing and collaboration capability so that you can invite other people to view and edit your notes and vice versa.

Here are some ways that I use Evernote.

Saving Articles with Evernote

If I read a good article, sometimes I want to keep it. Evernote has a web clipper extension that works with Google Chrome. Once you install the Evernote Chrome extension you can simply click one button and choose whether to save the full article, with all links and comments, or a “simplified article.” I usually save articles as “simplified” which provides a clean copy of the text from the article without all of the other stuff.

Making Checklists with Evernote

Another great way to use Evernote is to keep checklists. Below are portions of two of my checklists. I have a note for weekend business travel, one for open houses, etc.

Evernote Weekend Travel Checklist

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.36.55 PM

Evernote Open House Checklist

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.40.13 PM

Using Evernote to Save Other Information

I have a Wine & Beer list in Evernote. If I try a new beer while I am out and I want to save it, I take a photo of the label and put it into my Beer & Wine notebook. Then I can look for the beer the next time I am at the grocery store or the next time I go out.

I save important receipts in Evernote. For example if I buy a computer or TV or other expensive item I retain a physical copy of the receipt in case I need to return it or use the warranty, but I also take a photo of the receipt in case I misplace the physical copy.

You could just keep these photos in your phone’s gallery, but then you’d be taking up lots of storage space in your phone and would not be able to organize the photos as easily as you can in Evernote.

Conclusion

Evernote is a powerful tool that you can use at home or at work to make your life easier. There is a free version and also a premium version. Give it a try!

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