Evernote

Our memories are far from perfect. That’s why we need ways to remind us of tasks, to-dos, and nifty things floating around the web. For a while, I was going through post-its left and right. Then I went the digital route and started taking notes on my iPod and cell phone. Still, nothing beats handwritten notes. There’s something very satisfying about crossing things off a list or checking a checkbox. I ended up moving on to carrying a small pocket memo pad with a pen. However, when I want to have digital notes, I turn to Evernote. It’s so feature-rich that I won’t be able to explain it all, so I’ll just run off a few things that make Evernote worthwhile for me.

Syncing on multiple platforms is the biggest plus. It doesn’t matter what OS you’re using because you can always access your notes at Evernote.com. I have an iPod, a Windows laptop, and a Macbook Pro that I use Evernote with, which gives me complete control and flexibility for updating, appending, and searching for notes. Notes sync fast and without any fiddling around with configurations or options. It just works.

Organization is kicked up a notch with notebooks and stacks. Notes are easy to create and consolidating notes by topic usually takes the form of notebooks. For example, I digitize my business card collection with Evernote. Each card is a separate note, which I tag for easy searching. I take all those notes and put them in my business cards notebook, which I then stack within my repository stack – easy peasy organization. It doesn’t matter how many notes you have. You’ll still be able to find them.

My notebooks and stacks.

My notebooks and stacks.

The notes are extremely flexible. Notes can store all sorts of nifty information like text, pictures, charts, lists, audio, attachments, handwriting, and links without a hitch. You can also link notes to other notes you’ve created with an internal hyperlink. That way, related notes are all connected.

Tags are ever-present in both web-based apps and desktop software. Most of the time, in web services, they take the form of #hashtags, and tags are useful in Evernote because of their search capabilities. Not only is there a visual tag display to search from, but you can use advanced tag operators to refine your tags.

Tags window in Evernote.

Tags window in Evernote.

Evernote had mastered search and you should too. It’s easy to use the default search bar as a general search of all notes. This search is still fairly special: it can search all of your handwritten notes and even images for any kind of text. If you have a ton of notes and want to get very specific very quickly, take advantage of advanced search syntax.

Searching for text in images.

Searching for text in images.

Some advanced searching.

Some advanced searching.

Evernote is great for private information storage, but it is also great for sharing links with friends and family or making public notebooks. In this way, Evernote is highly connective. You can extend its functionality with apps that integrate with Evernote. Personally I use Pocket in conjunction with Evernote to save web articles for later. You can check out some apps here. IFTTT also has tons of triggers that revolve around Evernote.

Sending from Pocket to Evernote.

Sending from Pocket to Evernote.

  • Don’t forget to download the standalone apps for your OS. It’s extremely useful.
  • The Evernote web clipper browser extension is perfect, letting you clip PDFs, selections, and full pages from the browser with tags and notebook selection. Find it here.

    Web Clipper in action.

    Web Clipper in action.

  • Evernote has a ton of resources available, so take advantage of them.
  • I use Evernote to store business cards, recipes, stuff to watch or read, places to eat, places I want to visit, project notes, web snippets, pieces of code, warranties, serial numbers, grocery lists, and lists of DVDs and books.
  • It’s good for anything, so use it as such.

For more cool stuff, check out these links:

  1. The Evernote Knowledge base is a great resource. All of your questions will be answered.
  2. Don’t forget to browse the videos on Evernote’s Youtube Channel – tips and tricks galore.
  3. If you need some ideas for what to do with Evernote, check out this article.
  4. Check out connected apps in Evernote Trunk.

    Evernote Trunk

    Evernote Trunk