There are two types of people…those who hate lists, and those who love lists. Whichever you are, there is a better way. Just about every week I convert someone to a raving fan of Evernote. Have you tried it yet? Evernote just might break your sticky-note addiction.
There are a few things you need to know about Evernote:
- It’s free at the basic level, which is still super useful.
- It can be accessed via your computer, mac, iPhone or iPad, or android device. Basically, if you can get to the internet, you can get to your Evernote notes (and even when you can’t, in some cases).
- It allows you to create notes, which you can think of as “sticky notes in the sky”, but better. You can add pictures from your camera, web-clippings, or even voice memos to your notes.
- You can search all of your notes. No longer do you have to be tied to the very structured file-and-sub-file structure, where you have to remember where you put things. Just make your note, already.
My favorite thing about Evernote is that it works. I’ve been using it for a little over five years. It’s almost always available, and they rarely make kooky changes that make me crazy. It just works.
If you are really trying to get organized, I challenge you to download Evernote to 2 of your gadgets: your main computer AND whatever smart device you use on a regular basis. Then start typing notes. Here are some that many people start with:
- Grocery list
- Errands to run
- Gifts to buy
- Decor ideas (You can scan in magazine pages, take a picture of something pretty in the stores, or take pictures of your own rooms for reference when in the stores.)
- To-do list
- School or team roster (If you already have a printed copy, just snap a picture on your phone from inside Evernote.)
When you meet another Evernote user, it’s common to ask how they use it. It’s kind of like a Vulcan greeting, but more useful. That’s the beauty of Evernote. Just today I was shopping in Target with one of my friends who also uses Evernote. I was deleting off my Evernote shopping list as I dropped each item in my cart, and she leaned over to see how I was using the list.
Just a note, this is a not a bank-level security app. I do not recommend putting financial account numbers, social security numbers, or other truly sensitive information in the app, unless it is encrypted or hidden in some way. In other words, don’t put a note together that you call Passwords and clearly list all your super important junk, deal?
I’ve seen your piles of Post-It notes, people. The struggle is real! But don’t you agree that a certain note is always at home when you need it at the office (or vice-versa), and you can’t find the one bit of chicken-scratch information that you need from all those little notes until sometimes months or years later? If you are thinking right now, “No problem, I just save everything in email,” you are totally missing the beauty of Evernote, which allows you to forward an actual email to your Evernote account…and then ADD important info like maps, web addresses, photos, even voice memos to that same email/note!!!
If you are thinking, “What’s the big deal? I just use my Notes app on my phone,” there’s more to it. In Evernote you get formatting options like being able to bold and underline stuff, you are able to markup and annotate photos, and create a note/notebook structure to group notes, which can be especially helpful for larger projects. You can even set an alarm on each note, which many of my clients say helps them stay up on their tasks. But more importantly, your notes are stored in the cloud, so you aren’t going to lose your whole life if your phone is lost or damaged.
If you love Google, you’ll adore that Evernote added integration with Google within the last year. I’m not crazy about this, but hey, if that’s your thang…
I happily pay $34.99 a year for the PLUS version of Evernote, mostly so I can have notes available offline, which means that I can get to them even without access to the internet. This is super useful when flying. Open notes, make changes, updates happen when I’m back on the ground. It’s how I wrote much of my new book, SORT and Succeed!
It’s also a powerful business tool, especially for small businesses. Evernote Business has an edge because users can participate in shared notebooks across the organization, allowing everyone to create a huge shared resource. But when employees leave the company, their notes stay with the company. Brilliant! If this is what you’ve been looking for, call me. As an Evernote Certified Consultant, I’m able to help you plan and implement this for your business.
The most important thing to know is, like any app, it only works if you start using it. If you look over at your desk or your kitchen counter and see a pile of sticky notes and scraps of paper right now, trying Evernote for a solid week could change your life (and your piles of paper clutter)! For the next week, every time you find yourself reaching for a sticky note, reach for Evernote instead, and let me know how it goes.