12 ways Evernote can simplify life and transform business.

Plus the one reason why I will “everlove", Evernote

Note:  I subscribe to the Premium plan on Evernote - and for only $50 annually, I now live “free” of paper tracking and stacking. To me, it’s a small price to pay for sanity, but sshhh, don’t tell “them", because I like the pricing, just fine.

Disclaimer: I never walked five miles in the snow to school, but when you’ve lived through "the time" when nothing was digital (n o t h i n g) - and everything was on paper and piled up like memorial columns, with shelves brimming of plastic binders and notebooks, you fully appreciate the digital revolution and the transformation it can have on life and business.

Its entirely possible that youve never encountered looming stacks of paper in your life, because you’ve achieved true organizational excellence. But for those reading this who still seek mastery in this mission, read on, because Evernote literally transformed my personal organization (or lack there-of, which is more accurate, admittedly).

Some will resist.

I fully realize that a few (very few) readers will resist this, because you still don’t trust putting anything personal, online. And I completely understand the resistance and the apprehension, so let me help you here and now. Stop reading, because you’re not going to like this. You’re free to go sort through some more papers on your desk or countertop. Because, I know they are there, and the stack monster is calling you. 

For those who are open (and willing) to take a few precautions with your online organization and storage (strong passwords and regular change) - let’s explore the ways that Evernote transformed my lack of organization - and made me into an organized ninja.

So, what about paper?

I must admit that Im intrigued and attracted to all the creative, pretty papers and organizational tree-sourced notebooks, journals, and calendars available. In fact, if you want to see the creative talent of one of my favorite paper "business" designers, check out the library of Elle & Company Design

But, as pretty as the paper is, the lure is not strong enough to take me from my completely efficient and organized digital workflow, using Evernote.

Not only do I completely run my business through this workspace, but I organize personal and family items (nothing top secret) through Evernote, as well. 

Lets review the 12 ways Evernote can transform (and simplify) your life:

  1. It’s familiar, in function.
    How? It’s a throw
    back to how we were taught to organize in school - yet this is 100 times more efficient.
    I was accustomed to (from the 1st grade and before smart devices) sorting our daily subjects, assignments, activities and responsibilities, in notebooks - with dividers for sections within the notebooks.

    Essentially, Evernote works the same way, on a digital scale. Create a notebook, enter various (individually titled) notes, and tag them by topic (think section dividers).  It’s brilliant. It does take a bit of thought for the set-up you’d like. But even if you’ve been using Evernote for awhile, you can still structure everything for simple access and retrieval. 
     
  2. The simplicity of my blogging workflow and website management is superior. Using the reminder and tag functions, I know exactly what blog posts are where in the calendar schedule, and in the writing process. (The blogging workflow and teamwork functionality is a whole amazing subject in itself - at a later date). 
     
  3. Flagging and tagging
    Everything can be flagged (for reminder), tagged and filed for quick, precision retrieval in multiple ways.
    Regardless of the type of document, i.e., list, image, pdf, spreadsheet, text, document, tags and reminders are rock stars. Tags can be created in a hierarchy. Think file drawers.

    For example: one drawer may be designated to file papers for personal health stuff (tagged as health) and within the file drawer are multiple file folders (notebooks) that contain various notes and documents. So you can easily view everything that is in the drawer by setting up a health tag that may contain dozens (or more) notebooks and hundreds of notes, images, voice files, documents, etc. Again, a bit of thought in the set-up creates simplicity for the long-haul.
    More info, here.  
     
  4. Converse and collaborate
    Sharing notes and notebooks is aasily done with co-workers, friends or family members on specific notes or notebooks. You have control over what type of access they have to notes, and whether to view only, or edit as well. 
    Using the chat feature, text messages re: specific Notes or Notebooks is targeted and specific. With regular chat apps, the message can get lost or forgotten, among all the other texts in the thread with individuals or groups. A reminder can be set to flag the note for response by a certain time, to check if received - for all who have access to the shared notebook or folder.
    More info, here.
     
  5. Voice to text or Audio recording
    Simplicity of voice notes or voice to text allows for productivity (at times when we are usually not). 
    For instance, when driving, exercising, walking or traveling, we just cant type or text. So voice-to-text comes in handy to transcribe a note, automatically as you speak.
    It can also be of huge benefit to record your voice as an actual audio files, or to record someone youre listening to in a lecture/meeting. When the power of emotion and the verbal word is important - or just a time-saver, this is a great feature.
    More info, here.
     
  6. Present any idea, anytime
    Use instant presentation feature. This function is a tremendous tool for ready to display your own notes in an magnified and elegant layout. No need to create slides, it creates them for you - and this comes in so handy on tablets and computers. I use it to review (or display) notes when speaking or doing videos. It creates an easy-to-read format, that is also easy on the eyes of your audience.
    More info, here.  
     
  7. Set it, and forget it - for years, y'all. 
    Reminders can be set for months or years in advance!
    You know that cable plan that must be renewed in three years or its going to cost 3 times as much?

    How about birthdays in individual notes containing previous gifts (+ receipts) and future gift ideas? Ive turned off all birthday notifications in my google and iCal calendar, because I was (stressfully) getting 13 reminders for each birthday. When I turn on the Evernote reminder - it shows me exactly what Ive noted about their birthday preferences. Great for co-workers or staff, friends, and families to share. 

    Agreements that expire? Store the Agreement pdf with a reminder to review in advance of contract expiration. Everything is right there.

    More info, here.  
     
  8. Email direct to Evernote. 
    Using the specific email address provided to account users, this is a much overlooked function that saves tons of distraction that robs our time.

    More info, here.
     
  9. Web Clipper
    Great feature for us “web-browsers". This get’s those interesting webpages and articles off your dissertation radar for a rainy day reading-fest. Keeping me on track takes a village, and this is great teamwork from Evernote to help keep those blinders on.
    More info, here. 
     
  10. One workspace. 
    It seems that there are dozens of options of great, and complex, project management tools. Evernote keeps everything in one workspace - yet completely separated for clarity and simplicity. The less apps I have to open, the smoother and more efficient my communication and collaboration with others.

     
  11. No more stacks. No More STACKS. 
    This is the biggest lifesaver for me. Because while Ive been prone to create clutter, I dont function well in the midst of it. 
    I take a picture (or scan) of every possible paper receipt, bill or document (using my phone), and email it to my Evernote email and tagged to a certain notebook.  
     
  12. No more misplaced papers floating around.
    Frustration goes poof! There are few time-wasters that cause as much frustration as misplacing a paper or note, and searching for hours, maybe days, to find what is probably lost, and forever gone. 
    Shopping lists, meeting notes, ideas - all are jotted down (or recorded) into Evernote, and all those daily notes that you have to keep on top of the stack? Easy-peasy. Just label as a favorite, and these are the first notes, tags or notebooks you see when you open the app on any device. I once used real paper notebooks and journals, and could never remember which notebook contained the notes I needed, at the time. (This may or may not have something to do with my age.)

And, the one reason I will "everlove" Evernote...

Seamless.
My favorite business-function word. 
Because I dont just live and work on my computer, but on 3 different devices. All notes are 100% available to me on any device, anywhere I have internet. And these days, thats pretty much 24/7/365. If needed, certain notes can be designated for offline access, as well, although Ive not (yet) had the need for this. 

Life is so much simpler, when it’s paperless - with Evernote. And you know we need to take care of our trees, right? ;)

Here’s to simplifying life and work, with a smart green elephant that never forgets! 

Until next time...