If you aren’t using Evernote, you really must give it a try. I signed up for an account in 2010 but used it maybe once or twice until just recently. In the last couple of weeks it has revolutionized my productivity (and is mostly responsible for me finally getting this website together). The purpose of this application is to help you organize and document anything in your life that needs organization or documentation. Wow, that’s broad. Specifically it allows you to create and keep track of notes. OK, you say, big deal, I can do that with any number of different apps or opt to be old school and write things down in a Moleskine.
Hang on, I swear, there’s so much more! Let’s say you’re in the car and cant write/type. Evernote can record spoken notes with built-in text to speech technology, on any of your devices. Not sold yet? You can also attach files of any kind to your notes, take picture notes in the app, or even use a Google Chrome extension called Evernote Web Clipper to clip parts of websites and turn them into notes. Did I mention that all of these notes are searchable and that you can add custom tags to find things even easier? Also, when you take a picture of something with text printed on it, Evernote actually recognizes the text and all the words in the picture become searchable. You can also geo-tag notes and view a map of where they were created.
Evernote is cloud-based which means that all of your notes are stored on a server and accessible everywhere. You can also save items offline for when you don’t have an internet connection (but your edits won’t update on the server until you reconnect). You can share notes with other people through Email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and by publishing directly to the web with two clicks. The note editor itself is basically the same as a Word Processor such as Microsoft Word and allows you a large degree of control over formatting. You can easily write papers or compose other projects in Evernote with the added advantage of being able to access the project from anywhere and being able to add content whenever an idea strikes you. One feature I find myself using all the time are the check boxes that you can add to your note with a single click. The types of people I see benefiting the most from using Evernote are students (I WISH I had this when I was in College), scientists/professors, engineers, and entrepreneurs. This will really improve your productivity because there’s no social media aspect to distract you. Just using it has significantly stimulated my creativity and allowed me to compartmentalize and keep track of concurrent ideas.
Here is a brief list of ideas and suggestions for how Evernote might be of use to you:
- Artists: Snap picture notes of inspirational material or experiences for later use.
- Engineers: Add your CAD drawings to notes and send to colleagues for feedback or collaboration.
- Entrepreneurs: Organize your ventures into different notebooks and keep to-do lists. Take picture notes of business cards or people for networking. Take pictures of all your receipts and tag them according to business name for when tax time rolls around. Show the capabilities of Evernote to potential business partners to impress them with your knowledge of technology.
- Geologists: Take a picture of the outcrop or your paper notebook and add speech to text notes. Have the outcrop location recorded and mapped automatically. Make a new note at each outcrop and tag them all with the same project or trip name for easy organization.
- Musicians: Record with the sound recorder and write down lyric ideas on the same note.
- Students: Write all your papers in Evernote and keep them offline as well. Send someone the paper for quick feedback with a few clicks. Record a professor giving a lecture and have it turned automatically into text (not sure what the limitations on this would be I’ll have to test it). Take picture notes of entire pages in books for use in a paper or research. Take picture notes in a museum, add a recording of the curator’s lecture for extra credit
- Travelers: Geo-tag your notes so you can relive your trip when you get home.