Evernote is one of those productivity tools I have come to realize as the best tool I have found so far. The more I use it, the more I admire it. The more I learn about it, the more it amazes me.
I started using Evernote a couple of years and although I should have written about it earlier, it’s never too late. Besides, I am able to share way more powerful features of Evernote than I would have if I talked about it even a year ago.
If there is a tool I use more than my email and calendar, it’s definitely Evernote. I even use it to feed my favorite task management software , Wunderlist at times.
Evernote All About Getting Organized
Getting organized was one of those things I used to struggle with. Using those Post-It Notes, index cards and tucking meeting notes inside notebooks, I couldn’t find them later, and this had become very painful.
Remember the days when you need to refer to a note you took last year in a meeting for an important presentation and now you don’t know which notebook it is in?
Evernote has solved this problem by being a one-stop solution for most of my organizational needs with its awesome notebooks that make taking notes, shopping lists, task lists and collaborating so much easier.
It’s power comes from the fact that everything you store in Evernote becomes instantly searchable. Talk about having your own little search engine to find ANY information you need from your personal repository!
The Basic Structure Of Evernote
If you have been using Evernote for any period of time, you already know these probably. But I want to talk about it since this is how I organize my content in Evernote.
Establishing an organizational structure was very important to me when I began using Evernote as my productivity tool. By the way, you don’t need to have a structure. But, having one definitely helps tremendously.
Here are a few basic structural elements that I incorporated in Evernote and I use them all to maximize the benefits of Evernote in my life:
In the world of Evernote, treat these as pages of a notebook although there is no limitation on how long or short the pages can be. Every time I open my Evernote to take notes about one subject, I open a new note. Simple!
Notebooks are collections of individual notes. Now, it makes sense, doesn’t it? You can have a notebook for each subject area. You don’t have to do it this way. But, creating a notebook and arranging your notes by notebooks makes it very well organized.
If you know about blogging, you know tags. Tags are keywords you can apply to any individual note. It allows you to search your notes based on tags. Also, you can view all notes with a specific tag regardless of which notebook it is in.
These are the things that I didn’t pay any attention to in the beginning. But, once the number of notebooks increased, I figured out that “stacks” are a collections of notebooks.
For example, I have a stack called “Business” which contains all my business related notebooks such as meeting notes, blogging ideas, clients, projects etc.
How You Can Use Evernote Everyday
Not so much in the beginning. But, eventually I ended up signing up for a premium account as I realized it became a need.
Now, I keep my Evernote everywhere with me on my iPhone and iPad and use the desktop version when I am working on my machine (windows version).
Here are some of the most common things for which I use Evernote, and probably it will give you some ideas too:
1. Take Meeting Notes
This is the most common ways everybody uses Evernote and I wanted to make it the top item in my list as well. This is what got me started with Evernote. It is very powerful to even record a talk while an interesting speaker is talking from stage and I am also taking text notes at the same time in the same note.
2. Take Photo Of Items While Shopping To Check Later
This is my favorite activity. While I am looking at items such as a camera lens, a book or a new electronic item which I want to buy later or check on the internet before making a buying decision, I take a picture of it and send it to my Evernote.
Later, as I come home, I can check out reviews, prices at different stores and then make my decision.
3. Store Important Contact Information
Contact information of important people such my doctor , CPA and a few other people who I don’t talk with daily but I need their contact information once in a while, is there in my Evernote. This comes very handy when I am away from home and need to get in touch with them or send them some information.
4. Take Picture Of Documents
I keep a scanned copy of important documents such as receipts, discount coupons etc. that may come in handy later. Especially, discount coupons are very useful when you need them at a store later and now, you don’t need to bring a paper with you.
5. Maintain A Shopping List
I figured out that I could have a shared notebook with my wife and it made my shopping so much easier. Instead of coming home, getting a physical shopping list handed over to me to again go out to bring the stuff home, I use this shopping list.
Now, the things we need to buy, get added to the list (by either of us) and whoever is outside, can check the shopping list and if there are items to be purchased, gets it and removes the item from the list.
6. Maintain A Swipe File For Blogging Ideas
As a blogger, I need to always stay ahead of my blogging schedule, right? So, I have a note in my blogging notebook only for storing blog ideas.
When a new title or a new idea comes to my mind, this is where it goes. Later, I can come back to this note and pick up an idea to start writing a blog post around.
7. Create Draft Of Blog Posts
Many times, when I am not with my laptop because I am travelling or I am waiting in my doctor’s office, instead of wasting my time flipping through the magazine, I pull my iPad , pick up a blogging idea from the swipe file and start writing my blog post draft.
Many times, I have completed my entire blog post while I am still in Evernote. The next job is to only get it formatted, edited for accuracy and publish!
8. Clip Web Pages To Read Later
Whenever I come across an article on the web I want to read later (or to keep referring to it multiple times), I use the Evernote Web Clipper for Firefox and Chrome.
I add those to my “Read Later” notebook and add a tag or two to it. That way I can get to these clips with a simple search when I get to read. I also remove them later as I am done with those posts.
9. Maintain A Jokes File
Just like blogging ideas, sometimes I come across a joke or a funny picture flowing through my Facebook news feed and I want to store it for a future amusement or to show it to someone. I send those to my “Jokes Notebook” right away.
10. Maintain A Task List For My Task Manager
Sometimes, I know I need to add a task or two to Wunderlist to enter a deadline and I am still not sure when it must be done. Has this ever happened to you?
Well, all such tasks go to my “Tasks Notebook” which I review periodically and put them into Wunderlist and then remove them from the Evernote when the time is appropriate.
Helpful Resources On Evernote
I know this isn’t a complete list of Evernote features, and as you get creative, you can learn way more uses for this amazing tool. In fact, if you already are using it in more ways than I have listed here, I would love to know how. Please share your experiences through your comments.
However, if you are somebody who is looking to get more information about it, here are a few awesome resources on Evernote. I hope you will find them useful:
- The Evernote User Forum – The Evernote user community is large and active. It is a great place to learn about features, engage with other users in the community and help others solve problems apart from finding help in resolving your problems.
- The Evernote Blog – This is the best place to hear about new updates and features if you are using Evernote seriously. This is Evernote’s official blog.
- Evernote Blogcast – For those who like to listen to podcasts, this is the place to be for news, tips, and tricks for Evernote users at every level.
Over To You, Share Your Thoughts
What is your experience with Evernote? If you use Evernote, how do you use it? What are some of features of Evernote that you enjoy the most?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you kindly!
I’ve not checked out Evernote (I simply use the ‘notes’ inbuilt app on my iPad). However, the functions you have enumerated here seem interesting. I would be however considering it in the very near future.
You will have fun with it Akaahan! This is something you will enjoy more if you depend more on tablets and smart phones which I do.
Let me know how it goes when you try 🙂
I use Evernote only for collecting PDF files from the scientific community on my favorite topics, such as love, emotional intelligence, spiritual intellligence.
I really like the grocery list idea, as it is very practical and it’s something we can incorporate into our lives today. As for scribbling notes, I use Notes on my iPad and iPhone, but they do not synchronize, so better to have everything in one place.
Thanks for the excellent write up! Have an awesome week!
Thank you for stopping by Bill. I knew you would be on it 🙂
Yes, to be honest, grocery list idea is the one that got me hooked onto it in the first place.
Then I started using it for other things and the more I use, the more useful it becomes!
Hi Kumar – I’m going to check out Evernote. Considering the things I blog about – frugal living – I was really interested in your use of number 2 and 5. Amazing how technology can simplify our everyday lives.
That is true Lenie. Technology is supposed to help us 🙂
And Evernote definitely does a fine job of that!
Oh yes…I’ve heard SO much about Evernote and all it’s goodness, especially from Carolyn’s blog as she written about it earlier, and I even went ahead and opened an account there, but somehow just got lost with how to go about it’s various functions. I kept it away to come back to later, which never happened…lol…so this is a great reminder 🙂
Honestly speaking, I didn’t know Evernote had so many functions and plus points! I tried Dropbox too, but didn’t catch up with it, again thanks to Carolyn, so is it something like that, if you use that too? I’ve heard a lot about that too. I guess I’m just so used to my usual notepad stuff of writing or penning my thoughts and simply bookmarking pages to refer to later – the good old way, but I do want to try this out, so bookmarking it to come over to during the weekend, and read through yet again.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
Just to clarify, I am also a big time user of Dropbox and it is not the same thing as Evernote 🙂
Dropbox is more about storing documents, files, website backups etc on the cloud. It is one of the best cloud storage systems.
Evernote, on the other hand, is a productivity tool where you can store documents too but it is more about storing information such as the ones I shared here in this post.
You start appreciating Dropbox when you have to start sharing big documents with others.
You start appreciating Evernote when you attend a lot of meetings or travel a lot where you couldn’t carry your laptop with you all the time and still want to be able to access those little notes 🙂
Hope it helps?
So, I guess you should know both of them, but I think I’d get started with Evernote and learn more of it before I move to Dropbox.
Thanks once again 🙂
Hi Harleena, I’m happy to help you get started with both Evernote and Dropbox. There really are so many great ways to use both, I think you would find them to be very useful!
What a coincidence..
I just upgraded my Evernote account yesterday as I was so mesmerized with the features.
The day I started using Evernote (around 1 year back) things started coming in shape as I had everything written in my iPhone and I knew what I am going to do next.
Have you started using Hello Evernote?
If not then go and grab it because this is going to become next must have application for everyone.
Not yet Andrew! I will check it out right now! Thank you for the heads up 🙂
And thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience with Evernote!
I know that Evernote is very popular but I haven’t used it yet. You make it sound very appealing. Thank you for the information.
You are very welcome Beth! Glad I was able to make it just a bit more appealing to you 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
This seems interesting as U have described it very nicely, want to learn more.
Only have tried Evernote ever so slight;y! Seems I can’t break my habit of scribbling things down! But you’ve given me some tips and tools to explore further…I juts hope I don’t forget cursive altogether! LOL
I know what you mean! Well, you can scribble and convert that into Evernote using tools like MyScript 🙂
With that, there is no excuse for not going hi-tech you see 🙂
Evernote is on my iMac and on my iPad but I have yet to break my paper habit of to do lists. I do capture blog post ideas on my iPhone notes app so maybe, I need to make a decision to get going with Evernote.
Thanks for this comprehensive review of how you use it.
Over from LI group BHB
You are very welcome Particia! Thanks for sharing how you use your task list. Have a great day!
I hate it when I feel so far behind the 8 ball. I have not used Evernote; never even heard of it. Judging by all the positive comments and the enthusiasm in which you write about it maybe it’s time to broaden my horizons. Thanks, Tim
Well Tim, you have now heard of it and now you know a lot that you can do with it 🙂
If you get stuck somewhere , do let me know. I will be glad to help.
Hi Kumar. Evernote sounds like a very useful tool. I particularly like the idea of the tags function and have not seen that elsewhere
Yes, tags are very useful although Evernote indexes on every word you write anyway. So, you don’t want to overdo tags.
You can pretty much search anything in Evernote just by any word and if it exists anywhere in any notebook, it will show you.
You know, I’ve heard so much about this, but haven’t given it a try. I think you might have convinced me! It sounds like an organizational freak’s (like myself!) dream! Thanks for sharing!
I love Evernote Kumar!
I’ve been using it for a long time, but didn’t realize some of the points you have mentioned. I like the grocery list the best of all. I’m always forgetting things.
I also like to take pictures of things I like to purchase, then look them up when I get home.
One thing I need to pay attention to is Stacks. I didn’t realize it was there until you pointed this out. What a great way to organize things!
This is a great explanation of how one needs to have Evernote in their life not only for organization, but for time management also. Like you mentioned, you have written things down like an idea for a blog or a whole post while in the waiting room. I love to do that too because time is precious and when we have to be somewhere waiting, why not put that time into good use.
Aha! So here again our paths cross 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story with Evernote!
I am amazed by the comments from so many people to know that there are so many people who either do not know about it or they haven’t used it.
I am glad I did this post and many people got introduced to Evernote through me today!
And yes, blogging is one of the major reasons why I went premium. I wanted to be able to access my notes offline so I could continue to write posts or blogging ideas in my Evernote even when there is no Internet connection.
Have a great week!
I use to use Evernote but back then I mainly used it for saving headline swapfiles. I wasn’t on my mobile device although several people would tell me they would make their grocery list and have it available on their phones. I just don’t use it like all of the things you have suggested here. I have a couple other programs I’ve found that I prefer using but I will admit that Evernote is a very handy program.
Thank you for going down this list for us. I see that there is a lot more covered now then I remember but it’s also improved since I started using way back when.
I have not only suggested, this is how I manage things in my life 🙂
To me, it is a one stop solution to every organizational problem. It helps me even while I am not having an internet connection because I have all my notes always synchronized on all my devices for offline use.
I am beginning to believe it is the next important thing after email and calendar 🙂 for me.
I’m using Evernote, but so far, only to collect important URLs or links of articles that I want to read later.
I have to say that I’ve never taken the time to figure all the bells and whistles out of this software, so thank you for writing such a complete review here, which makes me want to extend my use of Evernote.
Thanks for another instructive topic 🙂
Yeah! I know a lot of us are there but do not use it to its potential. Sometimes, we don’t know how we can use and other times we already have some other ways to get these same things done.
In my case, it so happened that I got hooked onto Evernote early on and I kept using it for everything and I am now happy that I did. One stop solution to every organizational problem 🙂
I’m glad that you came up with this post. I’ve installed evernote on my smart phone about 2 months ago. I haven’t put in a lot of time to see what features it has, but I have been using it frequently. I use it mainly to take notes in meetings and also to jot down some ideas I have for a blog post, title, and even first sentence.
I know that it had more uses, and that’s what I like about this post. You listed a lot more benefits and capabilities that it offers. So I’m definitely going to do a little more exploring and see all that I can do with evernote!
Thanks for sharing Kumar!
Isn’t it amazing how awesome it is to take notes while in meetings and how it makes our notes easily accessible when we need to refer to it?
You will have a lot of fun with it as you start using Evernote for more things!
Welcome to the world of Evernote!
Hi Kumar, Great list of ideas for using Evernote! I hadn’t ever heard about the Joke one, but it’s a great idea. Yes, I keep blog ideas in Evernote too. Meeting notes are very handy too and now smartwatches are syncing with Evernote so you can get your notes right on your watch.
When my daughter and I were touring universities, I made notes for each one we visited, complete with photos, so we could keep each one straight. It came in very handy when she had an impromptu interview with an admissions officer at a university one day. We had about 5 minutes to prep her and the Evernote note on that university gave her all the information she needed to ace the interview!
Hello Mr. Kumar
You have explained Evernote with clarity for anyone to get a hang of it.
Currently I used the paid version for the same reason you stated; you can use it without Internet connection. I do lots of traveling on aircrafts and it comes in handy.
But, you are using it to the Max, so I now will structure my notes.
I will download Hello Evernote later on tonight.
Thank you for the detailed instructions.
I use Evernote for many of the same things you do. Although you have given me a few more ideas 🙂 I have been using it for at least a couple of years and still have the free version. I was hoping you were going to tell us why you changed to the premium version. May I ask what the advantages are?
I need to organize my stacks and a few things a little differently.
I also use it to photograph recipes. I also do shopping lists and quite a bit of personal lists.
Business wise I have affiliate links sorted and I also have my signature for my blog in html .
I love it and would say it is one of my favorite tools.
Thanks for the information and for giving me some more ideas Kumar.
First of all sorry about having missed the opportunity to respond to your question about the paid version. Also, thank you for reminding me about it 🙂
The most important benefit of paid version (and that is why I went premium) is the ability to be able to access your notes offline.
When you are on premium, your notes are synchronized and available on all your devices whether or not you are connected to the internet.
There is definitely more space available with the premium version. But, that is obvious and not the selling point.
Thank you for sharing how you use Evernote and adding value to this post.
Though I heard about evernote earlier, you have described its features in a very detailed manner in this post. I had no idea that with Evernote I can do so many things in a single place. Many-a-times it happens that I lose some important lists, to-do things, blogging ideas etc. Thanks for this post! I will soon start using it!
Hi Kumar Gauraw
I had heard about Evernote. Some call it a note-taking service, or an organization tool, or an archiving platform, but none of those terms are enough to convey just how much you can do with it.Indeed, Evernote is, quite simply, an online spot to store anything and everything you might find of interest later. The more you add, the more useful it becomes. You can add to or access info on Evernote from the Web, full desktop programs for Windows and Macintosh, or via mobile devices with iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone.
Simply Technology at its best.
Thanks for sharing.
I’ve heard of evernote but I haven’t used it yet. I should give it a shot.
Hi Kumar Gauraw,
Really a nice article!!!
This is a very helpful and useful for us.
This is the best way to managing our things as well as data. Besides this we can also keep our memorable moments and many more.
Thanks for sharing
Well I never used Evernote but read lot of review regarding it. I guess there is also an application for mobiles too. Just installed it with you recommended and will let you know about my experience.
I have Evernote but am embarrassed to say I’ve never used it. With all you’ve shown me I’m now wondering why I haven’t. I need to do some experimenting of my own to find out how It could be of use to me. Thank you for the push. 🙂
I heard about its cool benefits several time before but after reading your review I am seriously thinking to avail it. Being a struggling blogger the biggest challenge always before me is time management which means doing huge work in less time without compromising on quality. I several time miss my several important tasks because I don’t have any proper organization setup and do every work by manually noting it down on my sticky-notes but fail to follow it perfectly. That is why I always have missing feeling and daily the main part of my plan is to cover the things which I missed yesterday. This I think slowly eats down your entire hard work and you remain hanged in between where no road leads to success. Thanks Kumar for writing such wonderful review that really focuses benefits without ignoring its features.
Once again you came up with an amazing article indeed!!!
Very informative article. It will very helpful for every blogger to organize their data and things. Besides blogger it will also helpful for every peoples to managing their data and other things.
Thanks for sharing.
I have evernote available for a long time with me both on Imac and Iphone but I have not used it for long as I did not find any trust worthy writeups. However; post your writeups I am going to give Evernote and Wunderlist a try.
Thank you for sharing. It is even my firts time to hear about the Evernote!
I will try to look at it and how it works. Too many things to learn.Keep sharing:)
Great tool indeed
I have used it for lists and notes a little, but not integrated it with my phone yet
Something I need to work on I think
I need to get more organised so this is one great tool to do that
thanks for sharing your ideas and tips
I’ve never heard of Evernote but it sounds so efficient. I will look into it further and appreciate that you have paved the way for a shorter learning curve with your detailed articles and words of praise for the product and its uses.
Again a new thing for me , I have not heard about Evernote before. I will check this on my IPad but can you tell me if it is available on Samsung phone as I do not have apple phone , as normally I do not carry my IPad with me.
Thank you for informative post.
Evernote is available on every smartphone. You should be able to get it on your Samsung too.
I’ve never known how to use Evernote effectively! Thanks very much for this explanation of the way that you use it, it was a terrific help to me.
Wow! I am glad it was helpful to you. I am also amazed to see how many people have said that they never heard of Evernote or they never thought they could use it effectively even if they know.
I am glad I shared my experience. At least some more people are able to leverage the power of technology through Evernote a little bit more 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for sharing Evernote with us. i never used it but after reading this post, it really seems interesting and helpful. I am also thinking to use it.
Is very difficult for me for remembering every task and things i have to do during the day or week. But since i have Evernote on every of my devices this isn’t a problem not more.
Evernote is a must have tool that for sure will help you accomplish more in less time by having everything set up.
Love Evernote, if you are a fan of ‘Getting Things Done’ methodology, chech out ‘The Secret Weapon’ on how to set up evernote and use it like GTD. Ya you can really nerd out on it, but i have been using this system for 3 years and love it.
This is a great piece of writing. Especially for someone starting to write research papers, the article will be of great guidance to them. I will share and recommend it to my followers in twitter.
Your post is very informative.I never tried Evernote but after reading this ,I am also thinking to use it. Evernote will really helpful to one who is staring to write research papers.