I’ve been using Evernote, on and off, for over three years now. And while it seems like a terribly clever thing, it just wasn’t that useful in my life. I take lots of notes, and I write a lot of things, but I have a number of different systems for sorting and filing those and it just didn’t make sense to add another one.
After all, which bit of my system would Evernote fit into or replace?
Turns out the answer was ALL OF IT.
I’ve been reading a few things about Evernote over the past few days, and I thought I’d try and make the most of what is actually a very simple and powerful tool.
The best thing is that Evernote will pretty much take whatever you throw at it – from voice memos to photos, PDFs to single lines of text. I’ve even been forwarding certain project-related information emails there, so that I can find them later. I trust Evernote’s search far more than I do Mail app’s.
You can tag, file and sort everything later, and it’s all incredibly searchable (and therefore findable). For someone who does a lot of writing, being able to locate all of the information you’ve ever bookmarked or saved on a particular subject (and likewise being able to clip it from your browser) is utterly invaluable.
I’ve created Notebooks for all of my different projects and have started organising on that basis. It’s a great way to have all of my research, all of my important documents – all of the papers I need for everything all in one cross-platform, OCR-scanning tool.
My ambition for the next month or so is to slowly go through all of the papers that I keep for one reason or another and scan as many of them as seems reasonable into Evernote and then throw them away. Some documents, of course, need to be kept for various reasons – but not nearly as many as I have in the house or at work.
So – the trick is not to dabble in Evernote – but to use it for EVERYTHING.
This Lifehacker article is worth a read if you’re inclined to give it a go.