If you’re reading this post at your computer, look around. Do you see a memo pad? Likely, there’s one beside the phone (provided you still have a landline). We learned generations ago that phone calls generate information on which we need to take notes. The memo pad provided the answer. Input is easy. Then, we tear off that top sheet and do something with that information. Then, we throw the sheet away.

What’s the digital parallel for that memo pad? Where’s the place that has the following characteristics?:

  • It’s out of the way
  • It’s instantly accessible
  • Input is easy
  • It goes away until you need it
  • It’s easy to transfer that information somewhere else
  • It’s easy to erase the information and reuse the tool

Introducing the Evernote Quick Note

For the Quick Note, you’ll need to have Evernote for Windows or Evernote for Mac installed on your computer. You’ll also need to have Evernote running. You don’t have to actually be in Evernote. It can be minimized and you can be working in some other software.

Use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Ctrl + Alt + H (on Windows)
  • Ctrl + Command + H (on the Mac)

Did you see what happened?

The Evernote Quick Note appeared. There’s your “digital memo pad.” Key in a quick phone number just as you would jot it on a physical memo pad. Only, with this digital version, if you got that phone number from a website, you can paste it in the Evernote Quick Note instead of writing it. Likewise, if you need to enter that phone number in your contacts or some other digital place, it’s a copy/paste instead of hand keying the information.

Now click somewhere else on your screen. What happened? The Quick Note disappeared. No saving needed. No having to close the window. Use the same keyboard shortcut and it comes back…along with the notes you entered before.

You can even reboot the computer. Open the Quick Note and your information is still there. One caveat…the information is computer specific. If you enter information in the Quick Note on one computer and then open the Evernote Quick Note on another computer, you won’t see the information there.

Organize the Information

Just like the physical memo pad, you quickly trap the information and earn the right to forget about it. Return to whatever you were working on.

Throughout the day, you’ll likely have trapped more information there. At some point, it’s time to do something with that information. Like any other digital information, copy and paste is an option. Copy and paste the information into a task in your digital task list. Paste it into an existing Evernote note. Paste a sentence into a Word document.

Maybe everything in the Quick Note relates to the same topic and you want to save it all. Or maybe the Quick Note is starting to get a great deal of information in it and you want a fresh slate. You’ll see a button that lets you convert it to its own note within Evernote. With one click, you’ve created a new note, populated it with all the information from the Quick Note, and cleared all information from the Evernote Quick Note.

At any time, you can also clear the information by hitting the trashcan icon. It appears as soon as you’ve entered any text.

So, if you were looking for the digital equivalent of the “memo pad by the phone,” you’ve found it. For me, it was one more step in an effort to get organized digitally.

Give Evernote Quick Note a try while the capabilities are fresh on your mind. I would love to hear about the difference it makes for you.

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