What is Evernote
Evernote is the premier information collecting and organizing application available today. As an Evernote Certified Consultant, I work with clients on organizing with Evernote and creating Evernote systems that save them time in their personal and work lives by capturing and organizing any information they have. When telling people about Evernote and what it can do for them, I remind them of the Evernote logo, an elephant’s head. Evernote is often referred to as your second brain. Artists us Evernote for its amazing flexibility, bloggers use Evernote to create unique and exciting content, and I use Evernote in just about every area of my life. One of the most exciting uses of Evernote is as a Client Relationship Management tool or CRM.
Evernote allows you to add virtually any kind of information to a note. Images, weblinks and bookmarks, voice notes, contacts and even has a tool to capture contact data from scanning a business card and automatically link it to your LinkedIn profile.
Here are three points to get going with Evernote.
1. – The Five Pillars of Evernote
Notebooks are the foundation of Evernote. Think of Notebooks as a file cabinet drawer. When I’m working with clients we often create a notebook structure based on either the roles in their life, such as Parent, Engineer, Spouse, etc. Or perhaps we might create a notebook structure based on interests; cooking, sports, hobbies for example. There are varied ideas of how to organize your Evernote system and I recommend fewer notebooks perhaps no more than 10. More on this strategy when I talk about Tags in a moment. More info about notebooks can be found on this excellent Evernote post here.
Tags are the lifeblood of Evernote. They allow an amazing level of granularity in organizing your notes. You can have up to 100 tags in each note allowing virtually endless categorization of your information. I really didn’t misspeak when I said Tags are the lifeblood. When I set up an Evernote system for a client, we thoughtfully discuss how they’ll use Evernote and spend time setting up the tag structure. I also create a guide on using tags and creating new content and notes. Check out this link for more on tags.
When you are using Evernote you’ll find yourself creating and storing a ton of information. The search capability of Evernote gives you the ability to find any content no matter how minute. You can search notes by notebook, tag, text string and even save the search if you’re going to use it often. Also, with the advanced search syntax, you can create and save complex searches that even will look for a different type of ancillary item that might reside in your notes. For example, you can search for all notes that contain an image file. More info on searches here.
You’ve created all this great content in Evernote and you want to let everyone see what you’ve created. Evernote has you covered. With the rich sharing capability, you can share entire notebooks or just notes, with many people or just a single individual. You can even create a web link that you can distribute to others that will open the note in a web browser.
Spaces is a new Evernote feature that was rolled out earlier this year. Evernote has a version called Evernote Business that is targeted to small to medium sized organizations and has the ability to implement single sign-on, and to automatically share content when a new user is created. Added to Evernote business is Spaces. With this utility, the organization can create a unique “space” that contains a combination of notebooks, notes, and tags that can be easily shared with any user or a specific group depending on how the space is set up. Spaces is an amazing tool for small organizations. Read more about it here.
2. – Ideas for Getting Started with Evernote
The best way to get up to speed fast with Evernote is choosing an area of your life that you’re passionate about and begin capturing and collecting information about that topic. Here are three ideas:
If you’re a gardener, you could begin collecting information and content about gardening. When you’re out and about and notice a unique or creative garden space, capture an image of it with your smartphone. Evernote has mobile applications for any mobile device. iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone. Setup a notebook titled Gardening Ideas and capture notes there. You could create a tag structure that would categorize the notes in a unique way. For example, you could tag an image note with the tags “Idea” “perennial”. Or if you have an actual plan for a landscape project, you could tag it “plans” “current”. When searching you could find all notes that are tagged “plans”, or all notes tagged “ideas”.
Getting an Advanced Degree
If you’re pursuing an advanced degree you can use Evernote for all of your class planning. A great new feature of Evernote is an enhanced application to manage templates. Templates are simply notes that you create that you’ll use many times. With the new feature, you can save a note as a template, and easily use it for any new note. You can create a template for each class plan, include scans of a particular class document, or scan notes pages. With Evernote’s amazing search capability, you can actually search text in handwritten notes scanned into Evernote. With Evernote Premium and Business you can also search text within a PDF.
Using Evernote in HR
If your a business owner or HR manager, you can implement Evernote for your organization and create an onboarding space. You could include the employee manual, notes that have images of the facility and safety maps, and even include benefits information. You could create spaces for different classes of team members to include any relevant information. When someone is on-boarded and included in your Evernote Business application, they’ll automatically be included in the appropriate space and immediately have access to all relevant information.
3. – Choosing the correct version of Evernote; Evernote comes in three versions; there’s a great tool that compares all three side by side here.
Basic – The basic version of Evernote is a good start for new users of Evernote. It gives you many of the main features of Evernote to create great content and organize your information. You can take notes with a stylus on your mobile device, highlight and annotate images, create to-do lists with checkboxes, and the basic version gives you the ability to create and edit Evernote’s tables feature.
Premium – Gives you all the features included with basic plus amazing tools to make your content and information even more dynamic. Scan business cards and link to Linkedin, automatically link to content across news and information sources based on what you’re creating, annotate PDF files and also use the impressive presentation feature. You can actually create a presentation with a note allowing you to forgo the stop of creating a powerpoint slide deck.
Business – The business version of Evernote includes all the features of Basic and Premium plus team collaborative tools like the admin tool to monitor all users, editing notes real time with other team members, and permissions-based access to content. Also included is the new Spaces utility mentioned earlier.
I love working with clients on getting organized with Evernote. No matter what information you’re working with, Evernote can help you capture and organize it all. Leave a comment on how you’ve used Evernote or about information you’d like to organize. If you’d like more information on how to learn and use Evernote, reach out to me via our contact us page.