Like many people, when I find what works for me, I stick with it. However; it has come to my attention as of late, that my old way of taking and keeping notes — read here lots of different notebooks with a lots of hand written information — is not working as well as I would like. As of late, I have been finding myself scrambling through a note-book looking for a set of notes from a meeting or conversation, only to realize I’m either looking in the wrong notebook, or have left the notebook I need at home.
I value the freedom handwriting notes and also, I value efficiency. So, in an effort to bring together freedom to make lots of notes about anything anywhere, with the desire to have everything right where I want it did some investigating and have found a potential solution to my problem: Evernote — an internet based note taking, storing, and organizing program. There are a number of useful features Evernote provides, as well as a premium upgrade. Here, I describe a few of the features — part of the free service — that I find useful.
PC Program — Web Interface:
I’m not a techie person, so I’m sure there’s a more appropriate term that describes how you can use Evernote on the web, as well as download the program to your PC or laptop. What is particularly useful about this feature — as you can imagine — is the ability to work on any PC with the online interface or work offline, and have the ability to sync your notes from either place. This may be my bias only, but I’m not interested in applications or programs that don’t have this feature.
Screen Capture Feature:
Although I have a “Clipping Tool” on my laptop, I don’t always remember to use it. Also, I don’t necessarily keep my screen capture images organized so, I’m not always able to find an older screen capture right away. With the Evernote screen capture feature, the images are saved right to my Evernote clipboard waiting for me to organize in whatever folder I had intended them to go. This is particularly useful when working on specific projects that would benefit from more images.
Email Screen Captures:
I have received more emails that are screen captures in the past 6 months than I care to count. I am particularly enchanted by this feature because the screen capture appears in the “text” of my email; unlike the screen capture tool on my laptop which typically attaches the image. Although it’s a small change, we know how attachments don’t always get opened by the receiver and this feature means if the email is opened, the screen capture is viewed. Now if Evernote could only convince people to always open their emails:)
I’m — what you might to call — a “soft tech enthusiast.” I enjoy upgrading to the latest tech toys, using new social media networks, and being well versed on what’s trending in the world of tech. This also means, I don’t program anything, other than the grading scale, C+(+) means very little to me, API is something that messes up my tweets, and Drupal makes me think of how your face might actually freeze in that ugly position if you keep doing it. So, I like to have access to tutorials, directions and instructions, that are easy and understandable. I consider myself above average in my tech usage, so if I can’t understand it, I imagine it’s not a “soft tech” tool.
To-Do Check Box List: A big reason I have used notebook after notebook for this long, is I like to make lists. They help me organize my day and schedule at a glance. I like that the To-Do Check Box List feature allows you to easily create lists, while also seeing what it is that you’ve accomplished from the list rather than simply deleting that line item.
Some other features that make Evernote appealing include:
- Sharing: You can link your notebooks with others using Evernote.
- In Note Links: You can easily create links to webpages within the text of your notes.
- Website Reference: You can also add web addresses to include with a particular note.
- Tags: Like “tabs” in a notebook help you keep notes organized by topical area across different notebooks.
- Email Notes: The interface to email a single note, multiple notes or the contents of an entire notebook.