Imagine my delight at opening Evernote and seeing something that looked very new. At the top, it greeted me by name, “Good morning Dr. Buck!” and displayed the current time.

The background displayed a cup of coffee, one I could change if I wanted to do so.

More importantly, what it gave me was a dashboard, a dashboard of the information I use most and information I have used most recently. This new dashboard is called “Evernote Home.” I can click on a note on that dashboard and it open. No searching or scrolling needed. Your most recent and most commonly-used information is

If you don’t have it yet, don’t worry. It’s coming. It’s coming to Evernote Web, Evernote for Windows, Evernote for Mac, and to your mobile devices.

If you don’t want to wait, go to

Evernote home

What’s the big deal about Evernote?

We live in an “information age.” But your information is only as good as your ability to put your hands on it when you need it. Evernote excels at being able to save information from any device. I especially like the ability to hit the mic button on my phone and dictate into Evernote, watching my words turn into text. On my desktop computer, I pull up the same note and edit it with 10 fingers. This article began as a note in Evernote on my phone before being fine-tuned in Word on my computer.

Evernote is even better at retrieving information. Suppose you saw a recipe on the side of a soup can in the grocery store. Snap a picture of it in Evernote. Later, search for a term and Evernote will even find the text in that picture. The old mantra in the office was, “a misfiled piece of paper is a lost piece of paper.” With Evernote, nothing entered is ever lost.

So, what’s in Evernote Home?

The “personalized start page” was popular in years gone by. The idea was you when you open your browser, you’re presented with a dashboard of tools. You could customize the tools as well as the background. It was like sitting in the cockpit of a plane. I’ve used iGoogle, igHome, and most recently, Netvibes.

Evernote Home is much like the personalized start page, only the information is centered around what’s in your Evernote and what you use the most.

3 widgets everyone gets

How often do you find the information you need right now is the same information you also used very recently? Evernote leverages that idea. One widget shows me the notes I used most recently. Another displays the most recently captured web clips, images, documents, audio, and email.

You know how valuable a memo pad by the phone can be, right? But if the information you need to grab is digital, wouldn’t it be quicker to copy and paste into a digital version of that trusty tool? Evernote puts a memo pad widget on Evernote Home for exactly that reason. If the quickly-captured information turns out to be something you want to save, clicking the three dots in the corner of the widget converts it to an Evernote note and saves it.

4 more for Premium users

Everybody gets the three widgets just mentioned. Because I am a Premium (paid) Evernote user, my Evernote Home has four more. They piggyback on that idea that our work today tends to focus around information we used recently. One widget displays the notebooks used most recently, another the most frequently-used tags used, and another my “shortcuts.” Those shortcuts are links to the handful of notes I want to have front-and-center at all times. Everything on those three widgets is a click away. No scrolling or searching is required.

The final widget is a single “pinned” note. The executive who takes that one page of reference information and slips it under the glass on her desk will understand the value of the “pinned” note. For me, it’s a list of common bookmarks.

Evernote Home

Customize to make it your own

Don’t like the background? If you have a Premium account, click the “Customize” button in the upper right and change it. You can even upload your ow. The dimensions need to be 2,000 X 1,280 pixels and a size of less than 5 MB.

Want to rearrange the 7 widets? Click “Customize” and drag them around. You can get rid of a widget you don’t want by clicking the three dots in the corner of any widget.

Oh, and if later you need to get back to Evernote Home, there is a link that takes you there. Look just under the “New Note” button in the left-hand pane.

So what’s in your “pinned note”?

Glad you asked. Here is a reprentative sample:

I hope you find Evernote Home to be a treat each time you open the software. If you’re brand new, you can get started today and do it for free. For a shortened link, you can use:

Most people are overwhelmed by the amount of paper and digital information in their lives. If you would like to get a weekly email designed to help you, join today. As a free gift, I’ll show you the secret to getting your desk clear once and for all. A few days later, you’ll receive my guide for setting up a digital task list using “Remember the Milk.”