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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?