Growing up as a girl of the digital age, I still drag pen of paper with me – everywhere. I am one of those advocates for a good old paper planner and a firm believer you can never have too many notebook, pens or sticky notes. However, as a copywriter, it’s easier to write everything directly onto the screen. This ultimately meant that things ended up all over the place. Files, folders, emails, scribbles in my notebooks, stickies on the wall – you name it. It was a stressful mess. So how do you organise your life in the digital world? I have one word for you: Evernote.
Evernote saved my (business) life more than once. After five minutes I was hooked and I have been happily using the program for the past six years. I always thought I would never pay for a digital subscription product, boy was I wrong. Once I got the paid version of Evernote (it has a cool free option too that is just as good!) and my subscription ran out, I got back on the payment plan within three days. The program is just too integrated into my process.
So what is this Evernote?
Evernote is a digital program containing a stack of Notebooks with, well, notes. It’s a file and folder system connected to the cloud that can be accessed through any digital device with an internet connection. It works wonders on your phone too. You can arrange and order your notes in several notebooks and even create stacks of notebooks. For those spending a lot of time on the computer (don’t we all?), its looks a lot like the files and folders in Windows Explorer.
The overall benefit for me is that I can access my notes anywhere, anytime. Especially since I traveling a lot between my place and my BF’s. Spending a lot of time on the train (a great time to work) and having all my articles and research with me is beyond convenient.
I also love to read and not just books. I love reading my favourite blogs and catch up when them when I’m on the train. The great thing? I can just save them to Evernote with a handy Google Chrome plugin and read them on the bus. And secretly Evernote has also turned into my own recipe box full of tried and tested favourites and ones I’m dying to try.
Sounds good? Here are five tips to make the most of Evernote and to start organising your digital life.
Notes, notebook and stacks
I love keeping my Evernote clean and organised (I’m a neat freak). I have stacks of notebooks grouped by topic or job. For instance I have one for my clients, but I also have a stack with recipes I want to try, one specifically for blogging, and another one with training plans. Basically my whole life is organised in notebooks and notes.
You can tag every note with an almost unlimited amount of tags. This is great for let’s say my recipe notebook. I have the notes tagged with ‘dinner’, ‘vegan’, ‘gluten free’, or my favourite: ‘chocolate’. If you’re looking for something specific, just click on the tag and every note tagged with that specific one will appear on your screen. It saves you from having to scroll through your entire notebook and it gives you just what you were looking for.
The power of .inbox
One of the first things I suggest you do when you start with Evernote is create an inbox. Create a new notebook and call it .inbox. Yes, with the dot in front. Notebooks and stacks are sorted alphabetically. Placing a dot in front ensures that it shows up at the top of your notebook list. I use my inbox to gather all notes coming into Evernote, like the pages I bookmark using the Web Clipper, or the notes that are uploaded through a folder where you drag and drop images in. From there I sort them into the right folders or deal with them. It’s almost a build in to-do-list.
Files and image search
With so much cool stuff on the internet, I save a lot of PDFs. But have you ever tried to find something in all those PDFs saved on your computer? It takes me forever until I found that one PDF I wanted to read. That’s why I started saving them directly into Evernote, and the cool thing? You can just search through all of them at once without having to open them (this goes for all files and images saved into Evernote). It cuts my search time almost in half! However, a word of warning, this doesn’t work so well on the mobile devices.
Evernote Web Clipper
This is another handy tool I use almost daily. With the Web Clipper I can save almost anything on the internet directly into Evernote and read it whenever I want. For someone who loves reading blogs and gets lost in all the bookmarks, this is the best thing ever. I even created a special .to read notebook where I save everything I want to read. So if I have some time to kill I always have a fresh stream of interesting articles waiting for me.
So do you love Evernote? Have you been using it for a while now or have you never heard of if before today? I hope this inspired you and will help you to organise your digital life. We’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!