An amazing tool online that helps you organize business and life is Evernote.
Evernote is more than a scrapbook.
It’s a flexible tool that can help you with networking, writing, marketing, finances, research and voice memos.
People hate dealing with business cards after attending a networking event.
There’s always so many to enter into your addressbook or stick into your rolodex that you often just shove them into a desk drawer.
Using Evernote you have a more elegant solution.
In Evernote create a folder called “Networking” and photograph each and every business card using the “iSight Note” button in the top toolbar.
Figure 1. Evernote for Mac toolbar.
Evernote will eventually scan and recognize text on the card so you can cut and paste later.
If you want amazing text recognition and instant data entry into your addressbook try apps for newer iPhones mentioned in “18 Useful Business Apps for 2011“.
Under the photo of the business card I create an information block using TextExpander for new contacts by just typing ‘newcontact’.
That auto pastes a block of text that I can fill out including details of when I met the person.
At the end of this post you’ll see a modified copy of this template (see Appendix A).
For a lot of Evernote fans, writing drafts and doing brainstorming is a popular use.
There are times however if I’m on someone else’s computer or an iPad that I start drafts on Evernote.
A handy part about Evernote is that you can email a finished blog article from within the app to your blog if “post by email” is set up on WordPress.
You don’t have to do anything else and it’s automatically published (including pictures).
This works well if you take photos directly with Evernote and then write a blog post under that.
Evernote can also handle audio files though getting that blogged is something I haven’t explored.
Are you running a marketing campaign for your business?
Is it starting to become a disorganized mess?
Well you can start a new notebook for the campaign or tag all notes about it with its own keyword (i.e. #mymarketingcampaign).
Doing personal branding?
No problem – just cut and paste your biography, keywords, sales pitches, html code and more into and out of notes of their own.
You can keep a copy of old and new versions of sales pitches, copywriting or html code so you can fall back on it if something goes wrong or you need to do some fine tweaking.
Just remember to tag this with the date of the version.
I used to keep it all in an Omnioutliner 3 document except it was less convenient than using Evernote.
Some people have a terrible time holding onto their business receipts, which makes accounting a challenge.
Thanks to the power of the iSight Note ability of Evernote I can photograph all of these receipts (or invoices), tag them and store them in a “Financial” notebook.
You can create a notebook for personal finances or just use one folder and tag them “personal”, “work”, “my business”, etc.
When it comes time to find them you just search for the specific tag in the notebook.
Evernote is at least a scrapbook that’s perfect for research of any sort – whether it’s market or scientific research.
I now use Evernote to record all research in one central database.
In addition, Evernote has advantages over those two previous options.
- Cloud Integration: You can access your research and notes from any computer anywhere in the world if you want because your information is copied onto the Evernote server. (Your password can be stored encrypted on your iPhone through 1Password for example.)
- Effective Tagging: Evernote lets you tag any note with a keyword and then search for it by clicking that tag category.
- Fast Loading with Thousands of Notes: Evernote loads fast even with pictures while Omnioutliner or Devonthink Pro documents loaded slower.
- Better Formatting: Evernote does a better job of keeping the original formatting and layout of the page when you clip or copy compared to programs like Omnioutliner or Devonthink.
Once you turn on the secret Evernote email address (i.e. Get Email) you can email articles, audio, video or links right into Evernote from any smartphone.
Just remember to add that secret Evernote email address as a new contact in your address book.
6. Voice Memos
Evernote on the computer or on an iPhone can record voice memos for you.
For me the problem was that the iPhone 3G was very slow and I rarely bothered with voice notes because I had to type action items out again or Evernote was too unstable for the phone.
The key is to look for ways to get it transcribed.
A service like Dial2Do can turn your recorded voice memos on Evernote into readable text as long as it’s under two minutes.
Evernote itself never seemed capable of recording anything longer than two minutes either (I believe that’s its actual limit).
7. Communication Records
Whether dealing with friends, clients, colleagues or acquaintances I send important emails to Evernote as an additional back up just in case.
It’s always good to have a paper trail of who said what to short circuit arguments before they start.
You just forward or bcc (blind carbon copy) the email message to your secret Evernote email address if it’s set up.
There are likely far more uses for Evernote than the seven mentioned here.
These are just the ones that I commonly use Evernote for.
With third party developers creating applications that link to Evernote there are more options than ever before to use it as an online virtual office with scanners and all.
Try out Evernote here and find out how it can help your workflow.
PS. I use Evernote Premium, which gives me 1024 MB of space every 30 days or so and I have never run out.
Appendix A: New Contact Template
tags: [this section allows me to search for key words leading to the contact]
PMOC (preferred method of contact): [if you know what they prefer for communication channels - ask if possible]
VCP status: [do they know who you are? visible, credible or profitable contact?]
AB status: ["A" means they're important to you as a partner or client; "B" means they aren't immediately important to your goals though it's nice to know them]
Evernote: [do I have a copy of this Addressbook contact in Evernote?]
visual: [what does this person look like to help remember them? This is redundant if you can get a picture of them]
1st link: [When did I first meet them?]
2nd link: [When did I meet them for the 2nd time]
3rd link: [... You get the idea.]
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