Posted in Tips & Tricks

I’m In Love With Evernote

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About a year or so ago I read about a new site called Evernote. As usual, I went, created an login, downloaded and installed the software, used it for a day or so and then promptly forgot about it.

With all the literature classes I was taking and the constant Internet research I was doing, I needed some place to organize all the great stuff I was finding. I’m sorry but bookmarks just don’t cut it, particularly when you start trying to save pages of text that may change next week or become defunct within the year.

Enter Evernote. I remembered the little elephant-head icon in my browser bar and decided to check out what this software/website/mobile app can do. Basically EVERYTHING.

There are multiple components of Evernote:

* The application that resides on your computer and integrates with your browser.

* The website that also stores and syncs your data to the cloud.

* The mobile apps available for nearly every phone that allow you to capture things on the go.

When I say “capture things,” I mean pretty much anything you can think of:

* Type a text note for a to-do list, a wish-list of books or movies you’d like to read/see, a favorite quote.

* Clip a web page, including the photos, layout, links and everything on the page.

* Snap a photo of a hand-written note, a great building, a wonderful friend – anything you want to remember or preserve.

* Grab a screenshot of whatever you’re working on, whether it’s a Microsoft Word document, a Photoshop project or an error message you want to log.

Put your thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and things to remember all in one place. Use Evernote for work, for play, and for everything that’s noteworthy:

* Snap a photo of a business card with your phone, and have an easy way to store and access contacts.

* Capture plane tickets and confirmation numbers, hotel invoices, and receipts for your expense reports.

* Get inspired. Keep a file of anything cool you want to buy for yourself or as a gift, whether it’s online or out in the real world.

* Keep notes from your meetings all in one place. Take a picture of a whiteboard and you’ll be able to find it later.

* Plan your next trip. Clip web pages, maps, and itineraries. Capture sights, sounds, tastes, and anything else.

* Research web sites and clip pages directly from your browser.

* Keep a record of your favorite wines by snapping a photo of the label when you find one you like.

* Remember the things you were supposed to remember. Create to-do lists, jot down random thoughts, leave a voice memo, and more.

* Create notes right from Twitter and save tweets that you like by following @myEN on Twitter.

Everything you “capture” is organized automatically for you, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks. For example, I have notebooks for recipes (lots of stuff in this one), documents, receipts (just take a quick pic with your phone or digital camera, even the webcam on your computer), research for the novel I’m writing, teaching tips and articles, and much more.

The great thing is that ALL of it, including the photographs of text, is indexed and searchable. So if I snap a picture of a business card, Evernote uses optical character recognition (OCR) to “read” the text on the card. Then when I need to find something I just go to Evernote’s universal search box and start typing. It finds anything I have stored FAST.

If I’m not at home I can access Evernote’s website and login to my own space and there are ALL of the things that I’ve stored on my computer, indexed and searchable. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, I also have the free iPhone app (there’s one for Android, Blackberry and WebOs, too) and I have access to ALL of my things on my phone as well.

Evernote is FREE for up to 40 MB of uploads per month (more than most people will use) and gives you access to all of your files and folders online as well. For mobile use you are limited to only the things you have stored on your phone unless you upgrade to the premium package for $5 a month or $45 a year. I did because I want to be able to access everything all the time but the wife doesn’t care about that and only uses the basic plan.

Anyway, if you’re always struggling for ways to remember and store physical AND digital information, give EVERNOTE a try and stop printing out everything you see and want to keep.

Have a frugal day!

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Thinker, reader, investigator, teacher, father.