Evernote: An Introduction

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I’m a bit of a neat freak, especially when it comes to computers. I like everything to be tidy and easy to find in it’s own little compartment. I’m also a bit of a minimalist, in that I like to have the fewest number of files possible while still being effective.

The problem this presented me with was that while I’d collect stories, write down thoughts and ideas, and save other stuff, I’d have a bunch of files that I probably wouldn’t open again because there were so many of them and there wasn’t a good way to catalog them. They were hard to manage back in the day (OSX file tagging hadn’t been invented yet).

Evernote

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This is where Evernote saved the day. Evernote is the perfect place to store those tidbits of ideas, your vacation plans, or other quick notes that you want to remember, but don’t need an entire word document dedicated to.

For Example

Some examples for your consideration. As I said earlier, I like to collect little tidbits of knowledge, witty quotes, and jokes. I’ve been doing this since my early teenage years. I’d see a good quote, copy it, and paste it into a really long word document that was only sorted by date (but you didn’t really know what date, just that they were in chronological order from when I started the document).

This all changed with Evernote. I created a seperate notebook just for my quotes. Each note is a different quote which is then tagged with the author and subject of the quote. This system works very well for me. I’m able to quickly pull up any quote I may need just by remembering either the author, keywords, or just the subject!

I also receive some pretty interesting ideas from time to time that, while they may never come to fruition, still offer some value. Evernote is especially good for these ideas because these ideas are usually fleeting and will swept away with more pressing matters. With the Evernote [iPhone app][app] you’re able to start writing an idea down with only two finger taps. Just open the app and then tap “Type a Quick Note”. I use this feature all the time as things come up throughout the day that I need to remember.

Evernote Plug-ins

Not only is Evernote an easy way to store all your notes, it also makes it easy to get your notes into storage from any platform, browser, or application. From browser extensions that allow you to crop certain parts of a webpage, to a menu bar app that lets you screen capture any window, Evernote has plugins for just about anything. This amplifies your productivity by letting you save what you want quickly so you can use it for your intended use.

TextExpander

One tool that I use in conjunction with Evernote a lot is TextExpander. TextExpander allows you to write large amounts of text or insert special characters quickly by typing small snippets which then expand into your text. I use this feature especially with notes for meetings as I often want my notes to include the same types of items for each meeting (action items, participants, topics discussed, etc.). By using TextExpander Iddddd’m able to insert all of that very quickly, thus giving me more time to pay attention to the meeting and write.

My Personal Workflow

I don’t use Evernote for all of my notes, but I do use it a lot. I really only use it for notes that I know will only need to be typed. For example, I use an app called Noteability for all of my school notes because it allows handwritten notes, but that’s for another day.

Your Second Brain

Living in the Information Age can be difficult. We receive so much information that sometimes it’s hard to process and retain it all. The other side of the coin of the Information Age though is that we don’t have too! Apps like Evernote make it easy to store and access the information you need extremely quickly. Evernote is free for the average user, with premium features available if you need them.

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