I have a bad habit of downloading a new app, using it once or twice, and then never giving enough thought to how the app could help me improve my productivity or simplify my life. When I first got an iPhone in 2010, Evernote was one of the first apps I installed. I had heard that I needed to have it because it was new, innovative and cool. I also had heard I could install it on my Macbook, so I did that too. I used it once or twice, mostly as a way to bookmark sites and also as a way to take some notes. It is really good for bookmarking sites and taking notes, but there is much more to this app than that. Over the past several weeks, I have started hearing more and more about people who use (or wish they used) Evernote to its fullest capabilities. The best example of someone who gets Evernote is Brett Kelly, author of “Evernote Essentials”. This eBook gives you the basics of Evernote for a small price and Kelly will even e-mail you a free sample. He also offers a 100% money-back guarantee. If that doesn’t stimulate your interest or your pocketbook is empty, check out Craig Jarrow’s advice on 10 ways to save time using Evernote. The things I’m about to tell you about are likely already covered in both of the posts I’ve already mentioned, but I’m showing them to a new audience.
Before you read the rest of this message, download Evernote, create an account and make some notebooks based on the types of articles, sites and ideas that you’ll want to hang on to. A few of my favorites include: Recipes, New Projects, Read Later, BeTwentySomething.com, For My Wife, For Work.
Once you’ve downloaded the App and are getting familiar with it, here are three things you may not have known about Evernote that can help you simplify your life and improve your productivity:
- Did you know that Evernote has “OCR” capabilities?
- The Google Chrome Evernote Webclipper is awesome. The webclipper is a small elephant icon that sits just to the right of my navigation bar on Google Chrome. It looks like a bookmark, and it is a bookmark, except it is a special bookmark that we refer to as a bookmarklet. A bookmarklet is a bookmark that has a function. The Google Chrome Evernote Webclipper’s function is to help you save time and increase productivity by allowing you a unique opportunity to save things you see on the web that you may need later. But, hey, isn’t that what bookmarking is for? Yes. You can bookmark pages and that will work well, too. However, does bookmarking a site allow you to easily organize your thoughts into specific folders (Evernote calls them notebooks)? Does bookmarking a site allow you to search by keyword later? Does bookmarking a site sync with every single one of your devices? No, it probably doesn’t. The Google Chrome Evernote Webclipper will really take your Evernote-usage and the effectiveness of this tool to the next level because it’s so easy to use.
- I can e-mail notes to my Evernote notebooks and tag them – even when I don’t have access to an Evernote-enabled device. Many big companies are fearful of services like Evernote, because they do not necessarily want sensitive documents to be sitting in some “cloud” somewhere, accessible by every device that may “sync” with your work computer. While I don’t like the limitations this has on my ability to use new tech tools, I completely understand the thought process and “I get it”. So, at work, when I cannot access Evernote, I just e-mail notes to myself that I want to read later. If I’m using LinkedIn for a work project and see an article I’d like to read (or write about) later, I can e-mail it to my custom Evernote account e-mail address, add @ followed by the notebook I want it filed in (i.e. @MyRecipes), and the note will be there when I need to get ahold of it. To see this e-mail address for yourself, open up Evernote, click the elephant on the top left hand side of the screen, click your name on the top, then, under General Settings, click “Evernote email address”. This will list your email address and even give you the capability to add the address to your contacts.
How are you using Evernote to simplify your life and increase productivity? Is this a cool app for 20-somethings to use? Have you moved beyond just bookmarking webpages to genuinely using this app and its vast array of features? Let me know!