Thursday, April 17, 2014

Evernote...YOU NEED IT

If you aren't using Evernote to organize your life, you need to be.  It's a program that, to quote their website, "makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web."  But, it is so much more than that.

We are definitely becoming a paperless society, no matter how hard we try not to be.  I was just asking Jon this morning if he thought checks would be obsolete in our lifetime.  I still use checks to pay our bills (I know I know...step into 2014 Kaitlyn).  I use them because I have control issues and I do not like things being drafted out of our account.  There is something comforting to me about writing checks for bills.  Ok, now that I have gotten off-track, let me get back one.  I have had Evernote on my iPad for quite some time, but every time I tried to play around with it, I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to be useful to me.  I had my iPad at work this week and decided to see if it could help me organize things at work.  So, instead of being the stubborn know it all that I usually am, I decided to research it a little and, I guess you could say, "read the instructions."  You can download it on your iPhone and iPad (probably non-apple devices too, but I wouldn't know because I am an apple snob.)  You can also download it on your computer.  Your account syncs everywhere so anything that is on your computer is on your phone is on your tablet etc.  So here is what it does....

Click to watch video

I'm lame and getting old and could not embed the video.  My apologies.

The video is a nice little overview, but when you actually get around to doing things on it, you truly realize all the things that it can do.  Here is a little screenshot of my "notebooks."  I'm sure there are plenty to come, but I just started using it two days ago.

As you can see it is kind of like a little virtual file cabinet to keep you organized.   For each "note" you write you can tag different words to it.  As you can see I tagged "Chicken" and "Grilled" so when I search those words, this recipe will pop up.

Everything in Evernote is searchable so, say you write a note about what kind of light bulbs you have in your living room, and a light bulb burns out.  You are at the store, but don't know what you need.  Search the word "light" and that "note" will pop up.  You can attach a picture of the box.  You can add a voice recording to it.  You can attach the receipt for it if you would like.  Now, I realize that maybe was not the best example because you probably don't have an extreme need to keep what kind of light bulbs you have in the living room on file, but my point is you can keep EVERYTHING on Evernote. 

I have a notebook called coupons.  When I get store coupons in the mail they never expire for like 2 months and I have trouble throwing them away, but they always end up in a junk drawer.  I get to the store and go, "didn't I have a coupon for this store" and realize I don't have it in my purse etc.  I can now just take a picture of the coupon and toss it.  It's stored on Evernote in my phone.  I can search for it.  The cashier can scan it.  I can also set it to where the coupon is deleted from Evernote on the day it expires. 

There is a checklist function as well.  If you have a meal plan notebook you can highlight the recipes you are using for the week and there is a grocery list function that will take all ingredients and make a checklist for you.  Are you kidding me?  BAM...organized life.  Also, if it is something you need to remember, like bring checks to work, you can add a date and a time and Evernote will remind you on your phone.  My phone reminded me last night at 8pm and I stuck the checks that I have forgotten to bring since Monday in my purse.

Also, say you have 100 notes in your "Work" notebook.  You can highlight them.  Right click.  And make a table of contents note.  You then have all the titles of your notes and can click to get to each one.

Evernote is extremely helpful at work.  No more sticky note frame for my computer.  They have a sticky note option.  When you take a picture of a sticky note it actually stays looking like a sticky note which is sort of neat.  You can also set reminders on any note for a day and time and the reminder will pop up.  Oh yea, and the sticky notes are now searchable!

There is also a "business card" option to store all your business cards.  Please do not call Larry.  I do not know him and he does not know me.  This is an old business card that was hanging around, but I wanted to show the functionality of the business card feature.  It even enters all of the information for you....

There are apps that you can download that go along with it.  Penultimate is one that is pretty cool.  It allows you to write down notes.  You can scribble ideas without typing and they all get saved. 

There is a "clip to Evernote" function you can use on your web browser.  It puts a small button at the top of your browser.  When you click the button, it simplifies the article you're reading or the recipe you're looking at and you can then send it to Evernote.  I have a "recipe notebook" that is going to be super helpful when cooking, etc.

One other neat thing is that your Evernote has an email address attached to it.  I can forward emails to that email address and they are saved automatically. 

When you highlight more than one note you can also email them to yourself, merge them, make an attachement, create a table of contents, move them around...Oh the possibilities!!

Did I mention EVERYTHING IS SEARCHABLE.  I don't have to scour my desk searching for the sticky note I wrote about a bank account number three months ago.  It's saved on Evernote. 

Evernote is truly a way to become nearly paperless and I am LOVING it!

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