10 Fabulous Tips to Help You Organize Your Shit With Evernote
Evernote is a digital shelf for all of those used up notebooks containing all of your brilliance, your dreams, your best ideas (and maybe some of your worst). It is a place to keep all of the information you need easily and quickly accessible. It is a program that can be anywhere you are; your favorite diner, at home, at your office, or on your phone in the middle of the wilderness. It is an invaluable business tool that will keep you running like a well-oiled machine. The best part? It's free. Every business needs a few good tricks for keeping everything running smoothly. As a creative entrepreneur, I have found no tool more useful than Evernote. Almost immediately after implementing the use of this program into our daily workflow, I, and the rest of the LIMH team, saw dramatic improvements in productivity, organization and the planning of future projects.
I have compiled some tips to help you use Evernote to increase the efficiency of your own business. Again, it is free, and the sign-up process is extremely simple. Thanks to their web-based platform, software to download to your computer, and app, it can literally go anywhere you go.
1. Map out your system
Evernote is a metaphor; you write notes to be organized into notebooks, which are then further organized into stacks of notebooks. I learned (the hard way) that organizing your thoughts and creating a system for your notebooks is best done before you start creating a bunch of willy-nilly notes. This means sketching it out- categorizing your information and ordering it in such a way that makes it easy to navigate.
Extra tip: Give your notebooks and notes names that mean something (i.e.- Blog Ideas) so you always know what kind of information is in them. No "Randomness" or "Stuff" notebooks, ok?
2. Create a task list
One of the most useful features of Evernote is the ability to make a task list with check-boxes that can be marked when tasks are finished. This keeps you accountable for all your daily tasks and helps you visualize how close you are to done with a project. I use a master to-do list for the majority of tasks, and smaller to-do lists for projects I want to keep separate.
Extra tip: you can type "todo:false" into your search bar at any time to bring up notes that have incomplete tasks in them. Handy!
3. Digitize that stack of business cards!
Evernote's mobile app has a document camera that allows you to take a snapshot of any document, and store it as a text-searchable note. This means you can snap a picture of all of your contacts' business cards, then search for a contact by information listed on the card.
Extra tip: You can do the same thing with invoices, receipts, and legal documents, too, which makes book-keeping a breeze!
Once you get in the flow of it, try these out:
4. Add search tags
Search tags are keywords you attach to individual notes to make navigation and search much simpler. By including relevant tags on notes, you are ensuring that you will be able to quickly locate any note, any time, through the use of the search bar.
5. Use the web clipper
Evernote features a tool called a web clipper, which includes an icon for your browser that allows you to quickly save a webpage, article, screenshot or bookmark of any website you visit. This means writing down that amazing thing you found- and how to find it again- just got, like, 526% easier.
6. Add reminders
Add reminders to notes to set a deadline, or remind yourself to check in on the status of a project by a certain date. You can also set reminders that have no end date, and they will show up in your sidebar as unresolved reminders that will remain in view until cleared.
Extra hint: You can also plug Evernote into the calendar app, Sunrise.
7. Share your notebooks
This function allows you to collaborate with others on a notebook, share a notebook of ideas or information with a client, or allow others to gather and share ideas with you. This is a great way to streamline communication and keep everyone on the same page.
8. Email yourself!
Evernote provides each subscriber with a unique email address. This make it super simple to document ideas and information you receive in your email inbox. Just forward the email to your Evernote address and it will be added to your notes.
9. Merge notes
This is a function I just recently discovered and absolutely fell in love with. I am a bit of a stickler for efficiency, so the ability to merge notes makes me really happy. This tool allows you to merge related notes, minimizing the number of notes in each notebook and grouping all relevant information together into one spot.
10. Create a Table of Contents
Create a table of contents as the top note that will serve as a handy reference to what is included in each notebook. This means you won't have to keep scrolling and scrolling, just locate the note you need in the table of contents and click the link, and you will be taken to your note straightaway.
There are many websites that can offer more advanced tips for using Evernote to organize your business. I recommend checking out 10 tricks to make yourself an Evernote master and 20 tips every Evernote user must know.
Do you currently use Evernote for organization? Let's start a discussion in the comments...feel free to share tips and tricks you know, or ask questions!