Tim Challies has recently posted an article outlining his extensive use of Evernote. I thought I would follow suit and explain how I personally make use of the app every day and, if nothing else, try to convince my wife Andi that she needs to be taking a closer look at the usefulness of this extraordinary time-saving application.
The power of Evernote is its ability to be used across multiple devices making it available wherever you go. When you add a note on your phone’s app, it automatically syncs with your PC, your tablet, etc. Evernote is built off the idea of writing or capturing “notes” that are placed in various notebooks you create. Even the ways of capturing notes is amazing – you can simply type in a note, capture a screenshot off your computer using the Web Clipper function, email notes to yourself using your own Evernote email address that comes with the app, take photos, video, and more. The uses are unlimited, but here is how I organize my own Evernote account.
I currently have 10 notebooks on my Evernote app, 4 of which are “stacks.” A stack is a way to store several notebooks under one main heading. So, for example, I have a stack named “Sermons” and under that stack are notebooks of my different sermon series. Then, in each notebook of a specific series are my study notes for each sermon. In an instant I can pull up my notes from any sermon I have preached since I have been using Evernote no matter where I am, whether in a Starbucks or in my office. I do the same thing for my church’s Wednesday night Academy classes; I have a stack called “Academy” and then several notebooks of the various classes we have offered. Then, under each specific notebook are my study notes for that particular class.
But that is just the beginning of how I use Evernote. I am still a relatively new pastor in the Shelby Baptist Association. I am trying to remember the faces and names of a lot of local pastors. So, at a recent dinner where many pastors were represented, I nonchalantly began snapping photos with my camera of local pastors and directing the photos with their accompanying name to an Evernote notebook called “Shelby County Pastors.” Now, when I arrive at a meeting of pastors, I open Evernote for a reminder of who is represented and what their names are. Brilliant!
I also use the app for storing receipts and insurance information. For example, I simply took a photo of my coverages page for my auto insurance and sent the photo to my auto insurance notebook on Evernote. Now my coverage, policy number, and proof of insurance is available with me at all times with just a glance. When I make a purchase for the home or something that is tax deductible, that invoice or receipt goes straight into Evernote.
The list goes on. Outlines of books I am reading? Yep, I have a notebook called “Book Outlines.” How about fun things like my “to watch” movie list and my current top ten favorite movies? They are right there on Evernote. I play old school video games, the kind that require a password to begin at a level where you left off. I have an Evernote notebook called “Gaming” where my old Nintendo video game passwords are stored. No more random sheets of paper with scribbled passwords. Grocery shopping lists, inspirational quotes, and saving favorite blog articles that I can repost on my blog at a later time all happen on Evernote for me.
I completely agree with what others have said – the only way to appreciate Evernote is to go “all in.” Try it for a month and use it for everything, not just a random note here and there. Then you will begin to see how this little app really is an amazing help in a very busy life.
So why not try it? Do me a favor – if you are going to give Evernote a try, can you download and install the app from the link below? That will help me receive a free month of Premium Evernote and it will also give you one free month of Premium service to experience Evernote at its full potential. Have fun!