Because I like to keep up with the leading edge of technology, I recently started experimenting with Evernote, an online organizational tool that was launched in 2008. If, like me, you’ve been slow to jump on the bandwagon (or have never heard of Evernote), read on to find out why you should give it a shot.
First things first - what the heck is Evernote?
It’s like an online filing system for all of your post-it notes. But better.
Evernote let’s you record text, photos, URLs and other data as a “note”. It helps you organize those notes into various notebooks and tag it with your own keywords so that you can find those notes later. You can add and access notes from your smartphone or any computer with web access. (Read they’re official explanation here.)
That was my first reaction. I already use Remember the Milk to keep track of tasks, what did I need Evernote for?
Evernote is perfect for unloading and organizing the constant flow of ideas running through my head. For example, I write for multiple websites and I often get a random idea for an article when I’m going through my everyday life. Before Evernote, I’d either drop what I was doing to run to my computer and start a draft, write it down on the nearest piece of paper and promptly lose it, or hope to remember the brilliant idea later - and then forget it. Now, I pull up the Evernote app on my iPhone, write myself a note, and save it to the appropriate notebook. When it’s time for me to write an article, I pull open my Evernote notebooks and choose from all of my saved ideas (about half of which are as good as I thought they were when I recorded them).
I also use Evernote to save the inspirations for my ideas, like a URL that I’ll want to credit later. I might take a photo of a place I want to describe or forward Evernote an email from a PR source. Again, when I’m ready to pull it all together I have every thing I need easily accessible.
But what if you’re not a professional writer juggling multiple projects? Could Evernote still be a useful tool for you?
Other uses for Evernote might include:
- keeping running grocery lists (my friend Ashley swears by it!)
- capturing and organizing business card info at networking events
- trip planning - record ideas, logistics and photos when you’re actually traveling
- organizing business receipts (especially if you’re lucky enough to have a receipt scanner, which I covet.)
Using Evernote could potentially eliminate all paper from your life! Which could save the rainforests! And make your desk look nicer!
Evernote offers free and paid accounts. Premium users pay $5 per month for larger upload limits, the ability to add more file types, and a collaboration feature. I am utilizing a free account and have been happy thus far - except for the occasional gripe about slow loading on their web site and Chrome extension.
Have you tested out Evernote yet? If so, how do you use it?