As an artist, or creative-type, I'm really good at creating things. I'm really good at coming up with ideas, and I'm great at dreaming! If you're like me though, you might find yourself often wishing that you had a better way to make those ideas, and dreams - turn into reality. I find that without a good system to keep myself organized, things quickly get out of balance. And when that happens, ideas becoming overwhelming - and creativity becomes a burden.
That's one of the reasons I love Evernote. Evernote is, at it's simplist, a way to "remember everything," (at least according to their website). For me, Evernote is a way to organize and share - in a way that helps me make my ideas happen. It works so well because it does three things really well: Syncs everywhere (on my computer, iPad and iPhone), it's highly searchable (even text within images), and it has great sharing features. Here are 5 ways I use it almost every day:
1. I use Evernote in every meeting. I have a Notebook called: "Meetings," and I create a new entry for every meeting I attend. This is where I make notes on what is discussed, I can create action items, and put down ideas for review later. Even though I still love to take notes by writing them down - I can then take those notes, and scan them right into Evernote so that everything is in one place.
2. I use Evernote to manage and archive Receipts. I'll admit, I got this idea from my friend Kevin Swan , and I love it. Every time I have a receipt, I simply use Evernote to take a photo of the receipt, and then throw it away. Evernote let's me tag receipts, so I know exactly what it was for. Evernote also scans the text in the receipt using OCR, making it completely searchable. This means that even if I later forget what the $11.42 charge was for, I can simply search that amount, and it will pull up the receipt. This lets me stop worrying about receipts and collecting piles of them that I then have to enter in. Instead, I Evernote them, and move on.
3. I use Evernote to manage my blog posts. Every blog post I've written in the last 18 months has been done in Evernote. I often write 3 or 4 posts at a time, and organize them in Evernote for publishing later. This lets me keep my thoughts organized by topic - in a Notebook called "Blog Posts." Because I also manage multiple online blogs, I can use Evernote to keep everything categorized. It really helps me because I can easily go back and find material I've written - especially when I get a request to have a post published somewhere else.
4. I use Evernote to "Collect Ideas." This just means that when I come across something I like - whether it's an article online, or a photo, or anything really - it goes into a Notebook called "Ideas." I clip web articles (using the Chrome Evernote Plugin), to save and reference for later. I photograph interesting things I come across, using the camera function right in Evernote. I can save audio recordings - and dictate ideas or to-do's, and it saves them all for me. This really creates a big "bucket" that I can fill with ideas - and draw from them later.
5. I use Evernote to share with others. Because Evernote is where I keep everything - it makes it easy to share. I can share a "Note," either by email, facebook or twitter, or I can set up more robust sharing of Notebooks with people I collaberate with often. This might be an editor on a blog I write for, or a teammate I work closely with. Evernote lets me share relevant Notebooks with the people that I need to get information to - and it's really quite seamless. My shared notebook just syncs with their Evernote Account and any changes I make are automatically updated to them. This makes sharing really easy - and makes collaborating really efficient.
Are you using Evernote? If so, how do you use it in your business?
Jason is an author, speaker, and creative director, who writes about faith, creativity and raising a family in a chaotic world.