What is Evernote?
Evernote is, at its core, a place to store notes. Storing notes is a far too simple way to describe the abilities of Evernote and how flexible it truly is. A better way to think about Evernote is as a place for you to put everything that you don't want to ever forget, a second brain that is not faulty like my own. When you look at Evernote with a quick glance you'll probably say "But I already do that thing that Evernote does, but I do it this way." I'm here to tell you that you could be doing it a lot better with Evernote.
Why is it so special?
If I had to boil Evernote down into one word that epitomizes its usefulness it would be searchable. Do you remember the last time you read something on the web that you wanted to come back to later but then couldn't find it again no matter how hard you googled? What about that list of things you were going to get done this month, writing it on that notepad felt like a good idea at the time but now you can't find that piece of paper. That test you are studying for with multiple topics, having a few summary sheets you could share with friends would be really nice. What about this new job and the firehose of information you are being expected to know and recall quickly. Travel itinerary, notes about a potential customer, a todo list for tomorrow, a picture of a business card, a pdf catalog of part numbers, notes from a class, hundreds of great blog posts, just a few of the things I have personally put into my Evernote. All of these things are now searchable, I don't have to hunt and peck around all the various places I could have put these things. I bet you already have a digital place you put blog posts you want to read, but what about the post you want to come back to a 3rd time 8 months from now? That's the core magic of Evernote, making images, PDFs, text, and scribbles all searchable.
Leveraging Evernote in your flow
There are a few simple ways to use Evernote that can really raise its level of usefulness.
- Use it on all your devices
- Install the browser plugins
- Save you Evernote email address as a contact in your phone
- Be consistent
- Use Notebooks and Tags
- Turn on location tracking
- Use other apps like Penultimate, Skitch, Hello, DropVox
- Take pictures of documents, business cards, and hand written text
- Share Notebooks with friends, colleagues, or family
Doing these things has greatly increased my efficiency and has saved my much time that could have been wasted hunting for information I had tucked away somewhere else.