Occasionally, I can be pretty stubborn. Even though I had many people recommend Evernote to me as a great productivity tool, for months I kept refusing to check it out thinking it would be ‘just like other apps’. You know the ones, they eat up more time than they save…
But one cold day in February 2014 I decided to give it a try and I spent 7 hours playing around, watching different tutorials, reading guides and figuring it all out. A couple of months down the road I had many clients, friends and team members using Evernote as well. It has become one of my favourite tools and all my teams use it for collaboration.
Evernote quickly became a huge part of my life as I started to use it for business, family, personal stuff and more. But before I get into how to use it (maybe in some other post), let me get you excited for some of the features I absolutely LOVE.
I am big about keeping stuff organized (you should see my file folders ;-)), but having information on paper is never as convenient as having it in Evernote, which syncs all my devices. Yes, Evernote has a web application, Mac, Windows, even various mobile versions.
One of my favourite features is Evernote’s Search. It’s really outstanding and it was one of the first things that got me hooked. It’s super easy to find what I’m looking for, allowing me to save loads of time and energy that I would have otherwise wasted looking for the right paper or application. You can search for notebooks, notes, tags, even through the text in attachments and images. There’s nothing like Evernote’s Search out there! Even the least organized person should be able to find what he’s looking for in Evernote.
It is like using multiple apps in one. Evernote is practically only limited by your imagination. You can write text, record audio, video, take pictures, even add attachments. Guess what I’m using at conferences, meetings and trainings? You’re right! Everything is neatly organized in the same place, so it’s easy to find when I need it. Did I mention that you can also clip (save) articles or any web content to your Evernote?
Having an Evernote account has enabled me to get rid of many apps that were cluttering my iPhone and iPad, by having everything in one place. I’ve said good-bye to the sticky notes that I kept losing any ways. All my ideas, book notes, thoughts, images, and so much more fit into this ONE cool app! (A heavenly feature for all Initiative Quick Starts who come up with new ideas faster than they can they can put them down!).
This is probably the hardest benefit to explain, especially if you’re not big on systems. It took me a while to figure out how to use Evernote for all I do, but through trial and error, I managed to create a system I’m very happy about. I use Notebooks to divide the projects and I use tags to sort my notes. Notebooks are like folders on your computer where you can store files (called Notes in Evernote). You can put them together into Stacks to help you stay organized.
Tags are pretty similar, but you can put them into multiple tiers, which is super helpful. I ‘copied’ my tag system from Michael Hyatt, and revamped it for my personal use. I have 5 main tags to start with:
Here’s how I use them…
- current training
- .what (see image)
- current year
- upcoming year
- past events
- .contacts – scanned business cards (my rolodex) – shhhh! it’s even connected to people’s LinkedIn profiles 😉
- .former team – people I used to work with in the past
- ^name – I have a separate tag for each person I work with
- .miscellaneous ‘shared’ are tags from other people’s notes that don’t fit in my system)
Each of these tags can go as deep as needed, let me give you an example…
- .swipe file
- header graphics
- .swipe file
4. Work Chat
Another one of my favourite features is the Work Chat. To be honest, I have no idea whether this is a new feature or if it’s been around for some time. I just found it yesterday! I tried it with my team and I absolutely LOVE it! How cool is it that as we work on projects, we can also communicate inside the app, instead of emailing each other? I’m pretty sure that I’ll be using my email slightly less in the upcoming months.
It wasn’t long before I decided to upgrade my free Evernote account to Premium and I never regretted that decision. Premium gives me a peace of mind with all its security features (password, text notifications), unlimited uploads (great for images, video and audio) and local notebooks. Local notebooks allows me to access my notebooks even when I’m not connected to Internet. This is great for travelling, when you need to have your itinerary on hand, but don’t want to print it. You can get a free month of Premium, check it out here.
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