9 Unique and Useful Ways to Use Evernote

Evernote is one of my favorite apps. It’s simple, useful, and the take it has on “notebook” apps is pretty unrivalled by any other piece of software.

Recently it caught my attention that everyone who uses the app often does so for a complete different reason. I know I have my own very specific use cases, and today I’d like to offer them as suggestions for our fellow Evernote-loving readers. And so, without further ado, here are some of the most useful functions I’ve found for Evernote!

What is Evernote?

Evernote

Evernote

We’ve reviewed Evernote before, and today we are giving you some of our favorite tips for getting the most out of this very useful app.

If you don’t know it yet, Evernote is a “freemium” app that can help you store and organize notes, and keep them in sync with a multitude of devices. The app lets you tag and store your notes into “notebooks”, which we’ll cover fairly extensively in this article.

Recipes

Recipes

Recipes

With the healthy eating trends going on lately, I’m sure some of our readers have started cooking for themselves instead of eating out. I know I have, sometimes. And I have also found out that Evernote is an excellent companion for storing your favorite recipes.

You’ll always have them available on your phone, whether you are at the supermarket shopping for ingredients, or at the kitchen crafting your delicious meals. I keep a notebook under my Evernote called “Recipes” where I store my favorite ones and those I use the most.

Going Paperless

This is a big one, and it could really make a difference to the clutter in your life. I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve heard from many people that have successfully. “Going Paperless” basically means scanning every important document that you have (receipts, bills, confirmations, statements, etc.) in your Evernote account and arranging them in tags and notebooks so that they are always readily available for you to check.

Evernote has a very good text recognition feature, which makes any sort of writing in your pictures searchable, so storing your important files is very convenient as you can always look them up while you are on the go.

Keeping important documents in Evernote is a little risky for this, since Evernote doesn’t have any sort of password or encoding features (at least not yet). So, just be careful with the documents that you scan, and you should be fine.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration

Do you ever get great ideas while you are out of your house and away from your computer? It happens to me a lot, and that’s why I keep a notebook called “Inspiration”, where I write down anything that has to do with new ideas – or perhaps a quote that I liked. Anything that I find inspiring and that I’d like to keep for posteriority goes into this notebook.

Recording Anything You’d Like to Keep

Many people don’t know that Evernote – through both the mobile and desktop version – allows you to record sound. This is probably the feature that I use the most when I’m on the go, because if you are driving and you remember something that you want to write down, you can’t really type it down on your phone, so I just usually pull up the voice recorder and start talking to my device.

This is also great for recording classes, conferences, music that you’d like to look into, or even for hearing yourself talk when you have a big presentation coming up. What also makes this great is that you can file your recordings under notebooks and tag them so that they’re always organized.

Lists

Lists

Lists

As you’ve probably seen already, I like to keep track of things and have everything organized. Well, I also like to keep track of things like the books I’ve read, my favourite music of the past year, films I’ve watched, and similar things. So I also keep a “Lists” notebook on my Evernote, where I type in everything that could take the shape of a list.

Some of my note titles in this notebook are, among many, “Books I’ve read”, “Thing I want to do”, “Things I want to own”, “Bands I’ve seen live”, and so forth.

Grocery Lists

This is a pretty obvious, but useful one. Before heading out to do my grocery shopping, I type everything that I need down on my computer and organize all the items so that they are arranged into the ones that I find first when I enter the supermarket, and the last I find when I’m about to leave.

This not only saves an amazing amount of time, as you don’t need to run up and down when you forget something at the market, but it also saves you money (if you know what you are going in for, you don’t find yourself lingering around and picking up a bunch of things you don’t need). Once I’m done writing up my list I just sync the list and load it on my mobile device.

Book Important Points

Books

Books

Whenever I read a book about anything informative, I like to mark everything I find important and that could help me remember the book without having to read it again in the future.

Let’s say you are reading a book about management. While reading, you mark down important notes, quotes, data, and whatever it is you think is relevant to you. Then when you finish the book, open up a new note on Evernote and type down a summary of all those important parts you read.

This way, whenever you need to remember something that you learned in the book, you can just go back to your summary note, instead of having to read the book again. I keep a separate notebook called “Books” just for this. And it doesn’t need to be just about non-fiction books, I also keep track of my favorite quotes and ideas from fiction books.

Swapping Files Between Your Computer and Phone

This is also a feature that I use a lot on my iPod. Whenever I need information from a document that is on my computer, I just open up a new note on Evernote and paste it there, and then access it from my iPod.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve done this, with everything. Addresses, presentation notes, important numbers and data, and more. It’s very useful because iOS devices can’t really open .doc files, at least not without using any intricate third party apps.

Resolutions and Goals

Resolutions

Resolutions

I usually like to motivate myself by setting up yearly resolutions or temporary goals for myself. Keeping track of them before Evernote was very annoying, as I usually never even knew where the documents I typed up ended up by the end of the year.

But in Evernote it is pretty easy and convenient to keep up with them on a regular basis, as I just open up a new notebook to store all of them.

Even at the end of the year I get to use the “check” or “to-do” feature to see which resolutions I completed and which ones I conveniently forgot about.

While it isn’t that big yet, Evernote has a “notebook” sharing feature, which work much like Google Docs does. You could also take advantage of that to get creative around Evernote.

Conclusion

Evernote is truly a great app. It isn’t the only one in this genre, but it surely is the best one, as it’s free, easy to use and has plenty of features – as well as compatibility with an impressive list of devices. Today I’ve outlined some of my favorite uses for the app, but why don’t you tell us some of yours?

Everyone has different needs and I’m sure my take on the app may differ greatly from those of our readers. What do you use Evernote for?


  • http://www.azharc.com Azhar

    Well written. Evernote seems a bit hardcore though, for now I stick with Simplenote, and keep recipes on my Kindle.

  • Mardi

    There are better ways of doing some of these. Specifically, I use MacGourmet on my iMac and it has an iPhone app it can sync with so my recipes are always available but MacGourmet has other features such as shopping list creation. And for lists I use SplashShopper on my iMac and iPhone not just for shopping lists but all sorts of other lists. I use Evernote too but I think it is pretty basic when it comes to some things that are advocated for it. I enjoyed the article though – since I have Evernote on my iMac at home, PC at work, my iPhone and iPad I’m always interested in ways to get more out of it.

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  • chris

    Ok for free, but even free apps are moving ahead, and are not so basic.

    Could combine notes with GTD or notifications/calendars, if there was a way to add check buttons to multiple lines of a list, instead of one at a time. It would be nice if you could set up a repeating set of procedures. Once checked nothing else happens – no change in ranking, or greying out. Most note apps seem to do more.
    File management apps can also edit files and sync.

    It’s good to add images, but there is a storage limit with the free version.

    GUI is plain. How about some icons for notebooks, or a choice of background? Harsh white is not for anyone with high contrast sensitivity, or wants some customisation for different notebooks.

    Still looking for good combo app.

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  • Jose

    I have LEAP and, honestly, I hardly use it in spite of being a great application. If you have YEP or LEAP, you don’t need both
    Regards

  • Jose

    My apologies. I confused the post !!!!

  • NaThanoJ

    Sounds like a great app….. Wil DownnLoad it. Think I wil use it for mobiel acces, recoring of meetings/events/covesations and important thoughts, will use its for managing long term to-do lists and probably notes on specific projects, but the sevurity breach is a liability which demnd re-think…..Hope to synchrfonize it with other app and may-be even find a way of integrating it s content and info w. other apps.

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    Evernoite seems to be awesome blog, Its awesome apps

  • mb

    Doesn’t seem like you know a lot about Evernote:
    “Keeping important documents in Evernote is a little risky for this, since Evernote doesn’t have any sort of password or encoding features (at least not yet).”
    You need a username and password to log in to the application (though we all probably have this autofilled and “remember me” checked) AND you can encrypt any individual note with an additional password (believe it is AES 256 encryption, but have not verified this).
    How much more secure can it be?!??!

    • http://about.me/jorgerdz Jorge Rodriguez

      You are absolutely right on the encryption, did not know this. Thanks for the correction! It’s just for text, though. No Notes or Notebooks.

    • Tim

      I see no option for encryption anywhere in Evernote. Where is it?

  • Michael Hill

    I use Evernote to store all my software licenses…that way I can get to them on any machine, and for many programs can cut and paste the license number from the browser interface, or more likely it’s the first app I install. If I buy an app online I’ll copy and paste the receipt and/or license or confirmation email. Indispensable!

  • Tony

    Great article and some interesting ideas…

    I’m an amateur photographer and use Evernote to plan my photo trips. Potential locations, maps, sunrise/sunset times, location images, travel details, hotels, special events in the area I’m visiting; everything to make the trip run smoothly. I can access the data from my iPhone in the field or my laptop back at my hotel. The bonus is the ability to update on the fly making notes about the images I take and so on.

    The app is also used to track competitions I want to enter – themes, rules, terms and conditions, closing dates, results dates and so forth.

    Evernote’s great for travel, too. I usually enter up all the details I need for holidays and other trips. Once on my iPhone everything I need is to hand in an instant; no hunting through reams of paper.

    It’s perfect for me.

    Thanks for a great blog

  • http://goo.gl/AUb8b Dominique Dejonghe

    Nice description of what is possible with Evernote. Most interesting for Evernote power use is the Evernote Essentials eBook. Have a look here: http://goo.gl/AUb8b (affiliate link)

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  • rosana345

    Somebody has tested http://clicktoapp.com with Evernote??

  • http://modernisten.co.vu/ Robin Lundgren

    Have been trying Evernote for the last two days and I have gone from feeling “curious” about it, to liking it, and now I’m at the point of almost hating it (yes, strong words).
    Why would I hate it you might ask? Evernote is sooooo close to perfection, yet the Evernote crew does not seem to register the huge demand of a good way to get things out of Evernote. The most common complaint by far that I’ve read is about the lack of exporting options. It should just be as simple as draaaging it out, just like you might have draaaged it in, but no! You can export it as HTML and blahblah blah..

    There is no nice way to put this, I think it’s plain dumb to lock all the information like Evernote does. Evernote crew, please if you are reading this, don’t be offended, you probably have your reasoning behind the lack of proper export, just listen to the user for a bit and you will conquer the world.

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  • joseito

    i would recommend http://clicktoapp.com

  • clarita

    Is it clicktoapp an option? http://clicktoapp.com

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