What is Evernote? What are some practical uses for Evernote? This question is often a difficult one for the person who is unfamiliar with the platform. In fact, when it was first described to me, I dismissed it as something I didn’t need. My well-designed systems of folders inside folders on my computer served me well.
Over time, my phone and tablet became more important in my work and play. I realized how they lacked that neat folder structure. Accessing reference information was more of a chore. It was something that generally waited until I could return to my desktop computer.
And then came Evernote…
The “notebook” setup in Evernote provided the missing organizational structure. The ability to open notes was easy and quicker than opening documents. Notice I said “notes” and not “documents.” Today’s digitally-connected world is less focused on printed documents. It’s all about finding and sharing the information we need at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes, the best way to describe a new concept is to give people examples of how to use it and they jump in. When you start experimenting, you generally figure out how to make it work. So, let’s get started with 7 uses for Evernote.
7 things you could keep in Evernote:
- Recipes. Each recipe is its own note. (Think of a note like an index card.) My wife and I were baking a cake and needed to buy the ingredients. No need to hunt the recipe. I tap Evernote on my phone and search for “cake.” The recipe, with all the needed ingredients, is the first hit. If you had lots of recipes in your “Recipes” notebook, further organize them with “tags.” Examples might include “Desserts,” “Chicken,” or “Salads.” For the cook, this may become the most favorite of all uses for Evernote!
- Random pieces of information. When you shop for air filters, what size does your unit use? When you check into a hotel, what’s your rewards number? How about the tag number on your car? What size shirt does Uncle John wear? Create a notebook called “Personal Information.” List these bits of information in alphabetical order. In mine, one note is for “A-C,” another “D-F,” etc.
- Gift ideas. As a whole, we are good at using our phones to snap pictures. But there’s a problem. The result is just a picture. There’s no explanation. Also, it’s lumped together with other random pictures in your camera roll. In Evernote, tap the camera icon and snap the picture. Add text to explain what it is and what you need to do about it. You might include the price of the gift, where you found it, and the name of the potential recipient. Tap the menu to select the “Gift Ideas” notebook as the destination. When it comes time to buy, your information is in one place.
- Medical information. Don’t you love the waiting-room experience? The nurse hands you that clipboard where you re-create, out of your head, every medication and ailment. Create a note in Evernote and put all that information in that note. You’ll thank me for that tip on the next doctor visit.
- Pet information. My wife and I have owned Shelties for almost our entire marriage. Each dog has a notebook in Evernote. Inside the notebook, one note provides all the adoption information about the dog: microchip number, age, and information about the dog’s history. As an example, with one adoption, the rescue owner took a video of the dog at play with her friend. He posted it as an unlisted video on YouTube and sent us the link. We created a notebook for the soon-to-be-adopted pet and included a link to the video in her notebook. Later, we added a picture of her the day she came to live with us. Another note tracks the weight of the dog at each visit to the vet. Each significant vet visit triggers creation of a new note for that visit.
- Trip information. Create a notebook for the upcoming trip. As airline and hotel confirmations arrive in the email inbox, forward them to Evernote. See an interesting article online about a place you’ll be visiting? Use the Evernote Web Clipper to put the full text of the article and pictures into your notebook for the trip.
- Owner’s manuals. Search for and download digital copies of the manuals online. Now, create a new note and drag that digital copy into it. PDFs display nicely, and every word in it is searchable.
Why not get started now?
The best way to learn Evernote is to jump in with both feet. You’ve just seen 7 uses for Evernote. The more you use it, the easier it becomes and the more you will find your own uses. In your browser, go here and create your account today.
If you enjoyed this post, check out the next one: 7 More Great Uses for Evernote.
Don’t leave without becoming an email list subscriber. I start you off with two free gifts. One gets your desk clean. The other puts everything you have to do in one place. Each week, you’ll hear from me with nuts & bolts tools and strategies to make life easier and more productive. You’re one click away from making it happen.