Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I use Evernote

Someone asked me today how I personally use Evernote (http://www.evernote.com/). A reply of Facebook didn't give me enough room to adequately reply, hence this blog post.

I have lots of information coming at me in various forms, e-mail, paper, voice mail, pictures of whiteboards, screenshots, etc. In the past I have had haphazard ways of organizing this info, I had some notes in Outlook, some PDFs in this folder here and there, and e-mails sorted in Outlook folder tree hell.

The other challenge is all the different types of computers and mobile devices I interact with on a daily basis made my former method of data organization difficult. I have my desktop, any number of servers, clients PCs, my iPhone. If a PDF was stored on my server at work, in Outlook, or wherever it could be fairly cumbersome if not impossible to get to the data I needed.

My solution to these two problems for the last year has been Evernote. Evernote is a cloud based information storage service. I can painlessly store bits of websites, e-mails, pictures, and document files of all types and store them in a central location that is accessible from a desktop client (OS X and Windows), from the Web, and my iPhone. Not only can I access Evernote from all the places I need to I can also get information into Evernote in many effortless ways. Evernote has a bookmarklet that allows me to add webpages or portions of a webpage to Evernote with a single click in the browser. I can forward any e-mail I receive to a private Evernote address and the e-mail and all attachments will be caputred to my Evernote account. From my iPhone and Evernote.app I can capture text, audio, and pictures and send them to my Evernote account right from my phone.

Additionally, for a few dollars a month you can get a Pro account which adds more features. Chief among those is the ability to search not only your notes for text but also to search any attachements to those notes (.doc, .pdf, .jpg, gif) files for text. Translation, I can find my information fast even if I just know a portion of what I am looking for.

That in short is how I utilize Evernote. I use it more and more each day. Give it a whirl and see if can make your digital life a bit more organized.

-b

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