Why I love Evernote
When it comes to software I am pretty savvy but this doesn’t mean I don’t want something to be user-friendly. When I choose software I want it to be intuitive, simple, organic and easy to use. I don’t think that is too much to ask but it’s amazing just how many programs don’t hit the mark.
For those of you that haven’t used it or heard of it, Evernote is basically a filing system, It’s a filing system that is very easy to use, has intuitive methods of information entry and sophisticated methods of search and retrieval. Some people use it at work and some at home and in my case, I use it for just about everything.
I can have everything at my fingertips in one place. I can use tags, notes, notebooks and the search facility and I can find anything that I want in a couple of seconds, even when I have put it in the ‘wrong’ place. Actually, that is really one the amazing things about Evernote. Although you can have a notebook and note structure (and I do – a sample can be seen below) there isn’t really a need to do that apart from making it pleasing to the eye. You can throw items anywhere as long as they are labeled properly and they will be found quickly anyway.
I can email straight to Evernote. I have a personal Evernote email address and I can both forward and compose emails and have them drop straight into my Evernote ‘inbox’. I have no need to lose things or to keep them hanging around in my emails either.
There is a Web Clipper extension that means I can clip anything I want from the web and that also pops straight where I want it. I can clip exactly what I want, when I want, send it to exactly where I want and tag it for easy retrieval at the same time without even leaving my browser.
I can even record audio notes and text notes straight from my phone’s home screen and have those pop straight in too!
The most important aspect of Evernote is that I can access it on any device at all – even one that isn’t mine via a web browser. I never need to worry about leaving the information that I needed at home.
Great Uses for Evernote
As a genealogist, I am always researching numerous areas of interest and often have dozens of work in progress research on the go at the same time. My research may be for my personal tree or I may be working on other genealogical projects. Although I use fantastic Genealogy software to record my verified findings and sources, I prefer to use Evernote to keep track of my ongoing research. I letter the notebooks so that they are pleasing to my eye in this view and I can keep track of them easily but the actual notes within the notebooks are tagged for easy of access and retrieval. Evernote makes this very easy. The search facility is incredible too. When it comes to research of any type, Evernote is a powerful workhorse!
I am always learning. There is just so much to learn. I haven’t got the best short-term memory though so I like to keep everything written down and close to hand. If I find something I need to learn or remember, in it pops to Evernote.
I also use it to keep track of my spoken language learning.
I am always going to have paper filing. I’m just a self-confessed hoarder and the more I get rid of the more I seem to accumulate. I have, however, got the intention of at some point in the future being completely paperless. Any filing that I receive by email I send straight along to my Evernote email address and in it pops, straight to where it needs to be. This is great and I would be lost without the function! I have a fabulous mobile scanner which has allowed me to easily scan items straight into Evernote too. Bit by bit I am killing paper files and in time, I will get there (I hope).
I love to use Evernote for planning, especially planning trips. I can keep records of travel and accommodation arrangements, places to visit, people to see, language and currency information too. Pretty much anything that I may want to have at my fingertips before and during the trip, will be stored in Evernote. I’m currently planning a trip to Poland so my travel notebooks are filling up fast. I love the ability to save to Evernote straight from a webpage. It saves me time and it keeps me organised.
Saving Recipes and Planning Parties
Let’s not forget the food (as if I could). I use Evernote to save recipes straight from websites all the time. I use it to plan meals when I entertain. I use it to store recipes that I invent too. If I want to cook something and want an idea, I pop straight to my food files and start searching by the ingredients that I have. Saving articles straight from the web using the web clipper means that I have really attractive photos too.