Do you remember passing a note to someone in school? A piece of paper intricately folded or perhaps just crumbled into a ball. It carried an important piece of information and needed to arrive securely and undetected into the hands of your intended recipient. It may have taken you many minutes of careful thought to create, and now you had to entrust it to fate to reach its destination. Remember the feeling as your friend unfolded the note and poured over your carefully crafted words. “Hi.” Now it was their turn and you had to wait in great anticipation for the reply.
I bet you still use notes today. But if you’re like me, it’s probably for remembering things. Lots and lots of things! Information and requests comes flying at me all day long. That doesn’t even include the ideas that pop up in my head all day long. I’d like to think I had a pretty decent system of handling all this before Evernote, but that tool has helped immensely to keep all of that stored and organized.
In the previous post, we took at look at why Evernote is a such valuable tool in today’s information age.
The note is where it begins.
Think of a note as smallest building block in the Evernote system. Notes can contain any type and amount of information. They may be the smallest building blocks but they pack a punch when it comes to usefulness.
Here are eight basic ways you can use the Evernote:
- A tidbit of information:
This could be something you always need but never seem to be able to recall when you need it. It could be a your kids’ birthdays, your husband’s clothing sizes, or the type of ink cartridge your printer uses. Once it is in Evernote, all you need to remember is to look in Evernote!
- A reminder:
Evernote allows you to set up reminders. The nice thing about an Evernote reminder is it has a note with information attached! Create a note with pictures and a link, click the reminder icon and tell Evernote when you want to be reminded to place the order for flowers for Mother’s Day.
- A checklist:
This works great for any itemized list that you would like to check off as you go such as a grocery list. Add a checkbox next to each line in the list. On your smartphone, you just check or uncheck by pressing the box.
- A table:
Perhaps this is for men only, but there must be some ladies out there that love spreadsheets too! Although this is not anywhere near robust as Excel, Evernote does allow you to create a basic table of information so it is neatly organized in columns and rows.
- A voice or video recording:
Using your device’s microphone or video camera, you can create a note that captures multimedia content. Perhaps you want catch baby’s first steps on camera. Once in your note, you can tag it with your child’s name and date (more on tags in the future).
- An attachment:
You can store one or more attachment within a note. Perhaps you are writing a research paper. You can store your outline and draft in Word as well as a PDF of reference material.
- A contact:
This is especially useful for business cards. Instead of worrying about where to keep the business card, just snap a picture and Evernote does a good job of deciphering the information and putting it into the right format. Another tip here is to add a comment about how you met them or perhaps if you had a good or bad experience using their service.
- A clip from a website:
You can clip all or part of a webpage. I use this frequently when doing research. If I come across something interesting or if I want to save to read for later, I will just the browser plugin to save a copy of the page in Evernote.
These are only the beginning of what you will find possible.
How to add your first note
Did you create your Evernote account yet? Go do that before continuing!
For now let’s practice a couple of these as you become familiar with Evernote’s interface. The demonstration is from the website. The other interfaces will be slightly different, but close enough that you can figure it out easily.
- Click New Note or the + symbol
- Give your note a title – choose something meaningful so you can remember the note later
- Type in the body of the note
- Go to the right hand site and hover over the menu to expand
- Choose any of the options – bullet list, ordered list, to do list, or table
- Attach a file by either dragging it into the body of the note or by clicking the attachment icon on the right and choosing the file from your computer
- Add a reminder to your note by selecting the reminder icon at the top right of your screen and selecting a date and time to be notified
In the demo, I highlight creating a note, adding a checklist, a table, and an attachment.
You now have your first note!
Question: How many loose papers are sitting on your desk or in your drawers that you are gong to turn into an Evernote? You can leave a comment by clicking here.