In this six-part series, we delve deeper into detail with a master app that is the ideal marriage of simplicity and genius—Evernote. Just as a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so does a project of a thousand stages, a novel of a thousand words, or plans for an event of a thousand guests begin with a single note! Evernote is like a MAGNET that gathers ideas, and those collected ideas have the power to develop into ANYTHING.
The beauty of Evernote is that it provides a unique opportunity to (FINALLY!) keep track of all aspects of your life—both your personal and professional lives—in a SINGLE program. Project schedules, emails, documents, business contacts, social engagements, reminders, anecdotes, ideas, journals, lists, vacation info . . . Evernote’s structure adapts perfectly to anyone’s needs.
What separates Evernote from most, if not all, other organizational tools or systems is that you don’t need any planning in order to have all of your information at your fingertips—WITHOUT searching or indexing. Most people find themselves with multiple organizing and filing systems—a program for email, files for documents, a system for business contacts, a binder for paperwork, a folder for reminders—all of them take planning, follow-ups and follow through to make sense of your data. How many of us have spent HOURS sorting and labeling and filing, only to run out of energy and start “piling” instead of filing? Evernote effortlessly handles all the data in our rapidly evolving lives.
Starting with the basics, individual notes are collected into notebooks, naturally. Notebooks can be dedicated to ANY topic under the sun.
How to begin converting to Evernote:
Look around your desk. Do you currently keep physical, hardcopy notes using sticky notes, notepads, or even scraps of paper? Begin with these. Take the relevant information off of these and put them into your first notes. (Recycle the paper notes, and notice how good you feel about watching them go.)
You have the option to add a Notebook category to your first notes. Feel free to start simple; make yourself a “Personal” notebook and a “Work” notebook. Again, Evernote is one of the few programs that will easily adapt as your needs change—there’s ALWAYS time later to fine-tune the labeling of your information. Even with a system categorized as basically as “work” and “personal,” you’ll notice that you feel more organized.
Next—if you have piles of incoming papers or memos, start with the pile nearest to you. Oftentimes, we’re holding onto a physical sheet of paper because of a tiny amount of relevant information that we might need later, and when we DO need that information it’s nowhere to be found. Rest assured that after a few keystrokes, your desk is cleaner and necessary information is available instantly when you need it.
Let go of outdated filing systems and begin to see Evernote as your own personal secretary. Start sending your data its way and watch as organizational magic develops!
Stay tuned for next week’s post: Evernote Illuminated—Part Two: Tagging and Syncing!