I’ve been toying with Evernote (tagline ‘Remember Everything') for 3 years as a place to store a few notes.
After reading Getting Things Done I’ve found that it’s a lot more useful than a simple note capturer – I’ve even spent hard cash upgrading from the free license to premium to enjoy the benefits of speedy searching through pictures and PDFs. Here are 5 ways it could change the way you work.
1. Take your ‘to review’ pile with you anywhere. Evernote’s ability to store PDFs, Word documents and web pages means that you can keep your review pile handy so that you can make use of those gaps in the day when you’re waiting for a meeting to start or find yourself with an idle few minutes.
2. Store checklists. Checklists are one of the those simple, under-rated gems that we tend to not consider. Examples of useful checklist include: things to buy, Saturday morning chores to do, things you need to remember about a new responsibility you’ve been given at work. Check out Getting Things Done for more examples.
3. Have every useful web page you may need to refer to at your finger-tips. I know this one seems a little counter-intuitive – why not just search the web again – right? I often find I stumble on a page of interest, maybe it’s a new mobile phone plan 2degrees has, or a vendor web-site. I don’t want to have to remember where I found it, and I don’t want to have to worry about the web page moving or disappearing. The added bonus of this, is that Evernote stores the web links as well, so you can click on the saved link.
4. Store every bit of paper based reference material on a searchable database, e.g. business card, paper brochures, etc. The accuracy of the word recognition on pictures is impressive. This idea has the potential to get rid of your filing system (or give you one if you don’t have one already!) Having your reference system in your phone is pretty nice.
5. Take pictures of things and attach notes to them on your phone. Whether it’s a whiteboard snapshot or a picture of the server cabling, being able to take a photo, attach a note to it and be able to seamlessly access this from anywhere is a huge time saver. I know it’s not that hard to take a picture and then email it, but the extra faff of doing this and then storing the email or photo somewhere means it often disappears in the depths of your phone or inbox (Evernote’s depths are much more searchable!)