Tag Archives: Books

My Experience with the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

Evernote MoleskineI tweeted a few weeks ago asking my followers what they thought about the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine. I didn’t hear from anyone on their thoughts about that notebook specifically, so I decided to make the purchase and decide for myself. If you buy one of these notebooks on the Moleskine website, they’re $29.95 for the bigger size. I bought one on Amazon for $19.77. By the way, I don’t do affiliate links, so if you click any of these links and buy something, I don’t get paid.

A lot of you who are reading this blog are probably thinking to yourselves, “that is a lot money for a notebook”. And you would probably be right – if a notebook was all you received . If you’ve ever bought a Moleskine before, you know that they are not cheap by any stretch. But you also know that they’re worth the extra cost. They hold up extremely well, retain a classic and professional look, and they’re trendy too. And trendy counts for something, right? The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine is exactly like a normal Moleskine, except for the following:

  • The cover is decorated with Evernote-branded artwork and the Moleskine-standard band is green (It’s detailed up close but looks black from far away)
  • The notebook comes with a unique validation code for 3 free months of Evernote Premium, which costs $4.95/month (more on why that matters below)
  • Stickers are included that are specially coded to match up with Tags on your Evernote account

Those extra features only cost you about $8 on Amazon, since a normal Moleskine notebook costs around $12.

EvernoteNow, when I’m working, I can write down notes in a meeting, snap a picture of the page with my iPhone (which has a feature that fits these notebook pages in the frame perfectly), and rename the note something that will be easier to search for later. In a matter of minutes, the written words that I wrote are searchable on my Evernote account, so next time I’m rifling through pages trying to remember where I wrote that one specific thing that I can’t seem to find, all I have to do is perform a simple keyword search and the note will turn up – on every single device that I sync my account with. That’s called OCR technology, which I’ve discussed before, and it really is the best feature of Evernote that most people don’t know exists. My written notes are now filed in subfolders on my Evernote account, so I can easily find things that I need most of the time without even having to perform a keyword search.

But why do I need an Evernote Premium account?

  • You may not. But I’m finding many reasons to use my account now that I have more space to upload information than I did when I was worried about reaching my monthly maximum. The other day, I cataloged some recipes that my Grandmother left behind in various church cookbooks. Now, they’re searchable and archived for years to come.
  • You can search within PDFs and iWork documents, which is a feature I have not used. I don’t have much to say about that, except that it sounds like something that could be very useful, especially if you’re studying for a test or project using large-volume PDFs.
  • You can also take notebooks offline. Again, not much to say about this beyond the fact that it’s a great feature.
  • You can read about more features here.

In short, I recommend the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine. A normal Moleskine would work just the same for some of the features I pointed out, but the stickers coded for tagging and the free months of Evernote premium make the cost difference completely worth it. I will point out that this Notebook is only for someone who is genuinely interested in getting their notes organized across devices. If that sounds like something that’ll put you to sleep, don’t waste your money. If you’ve been wishing you could be more organized but can’t quite give up written notes, this is a wonderful solution to your problem that I think will help you in your noble quest to be more productive and save time by being organized.

Related Insight from People Who Are Smarter Than Me:

Craig Jarrow, the Time Management Ninja offers:

Brett Kelly has a great book about Evernote too, which I intend to read soon. I read his free chapter though, and it definitely intensified my interest in the app.

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Five Books That Helped Me That Just May Help You Too

I love reading, and since graduating from college in 2010, I’ve had more opportunities to read books “for pleasure” than ever before. Ironically, I’ve spent a great deal of that time reading books that I was required to read during my 17 years in school. It’s funny how things work out that way. I could probably title another post “Books I’ve read Since Graduating that I Should Have Read the First Time Around”.

The following five books, however, are resources that I find helpful in navigating life as a twenty-something, young professional, millennial, and newlywed. My hope is that if you check any of them out, they will help you too. In fact, I’d recommend these books to anyone interested in improving their personal finances, use of time, and relationships – no matter how old or young you are.

Number 1: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be RichImagine if Dave Ramsey had a prodigal son with similar ideas about money but a different delivery approach. Ramit Sethi sets out to renounce the “latte myth,” eliminating the notion that if you want to save money, you should quit going to Starbuck’s every day and put the money you would have spent on that Frappucino in a jar or something. We’ve all heard that before, right? Imagine the thousands of dollars you would save if you stopped drinking that one Frappucino every day for a year! The reality is, why would you do that if you like drinking Frappucinos? Financial peace is much bigger than that latte you’re enjoying and Ramit Sethi teaches you ways to get your personal finances in order and still do the things you like to do. By automating your budget, investing your money, even a little, and negotiating “like an Indian”, you can be well on your way to achieving your financial goals long before you thought you could. If you’ve just graduated and started bringing home a paycheck or if you need a personal finance check-up, I highly recommend reading this book and implementing Sethi’s suggestions.

Number 2: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleIf you only pick up one of the books on this list, make it the one that has sold more than 15 million copies since it was first released in 1937! Dale Carnegie beautifully illustrates the characteristics to strive for and the actions to take in order to win friends and influence people. I remember when I first started reading this book and didn’t realize it had been around for some time and was very well-known, I felt ridiculous reading something about winning friends and influencing people in public. I mean, shouldn’t I already be able to win friends and influence people by now? I quickly realized that this book has literally taught millions of people how to better leverage their personalities and character traits to influence those around them in a positive way. There is a reason that Dale Carnegie leadership courses live on even though he is no longer with us, and this book is where it all started. If you think self-help books are dumb but you secretly wish you had a better grasp on your relationships at work and in your community, give this book a try.

Number 3: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping PointLikely the most well-known book on this list among millennials and young professionals, Gladwell seeks to show how small things can end up making a big difference. In this relatively short book, you’ll read about interesting relationships between teenage smoking, crime rates and the AIDs epidemic, to name a few. Of particular note to twenty-somethings, Gladwell uses Paul Revere as an example of a “connector,” someone who seems to know everyone and who can get things done quickly. An easy test to see if you’re a connector is to randomly list some surnames from a phone book and name anyone that you know that shares the surnames listed. Connectors can name between 90 and 110 people when challenged with this task, indicating how easy it is for them to have friends and acquaintances compared with others who can only name 20 or 30. If discussions about connectors and causal relationships stimulate your interest, go for the Tipping Point.

Number 4: Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love & RespectThis book will only interest you if you’re a newlywed or nearlywed, but I put it on this list because I read a number of books about marriage in preparation for my own this past year and this was by far the best. Dr. Eggerichs attempts to make sense of something otherwise thought to be non-sensical: the difference between men and women. In his book, his premise is that a husband communicates with his wife in a different way than the wife communicates with her husband because the two perceive love in vastly different ways. Men crave respect in order to feel loved by their wives, while wives demand unconditional love to build a strong marriage. Failing to understand this simple truth makes for a “crazy cycle” as he defines it, where communication is poor because of a lack of understanding. If you think you’ve got women figured out and you’re a man, stop reading this blog and google “psychiatrist” and go see one. If you’re a woman and you know exactly what men are thinking at all times, do the same. Otherwise, read this book. I guarantee you and your spouse will thank me later.

Number 5: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness ProjectThis thoughtful book was introduced to me the summer after my senior year of college while I was still finishing up two classes in order to receive my diploma. Gretchen Rubin sets out to do things in her life that simply make her happier and encourages readers to do the same. Examples include cleaning closets she hasn’t touched in years and subscribing to magazines that cover topics she doesn’t know anything about. She has turned her idea into an enterprise, penning a blog/website by the same name and sharing her thoughts as a leader on LinkedIn. She also released a sequel called Happier at Home that I have not read but would like to read in the near future. I appreciate her practical ideas for changing things up in her life and I think this book challenges the reader to think about scripts they’re using to keep them from doing interesting things, starting new hobbies and getting happier.

Have you read any of these books? What did I miss? What books do you recommend for getting a twenty-something off of their parent’s couch, out of debt and networking like a champ?

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