What is Evernote?
Evernote is the collection of thoughts, articles, tasks, lists, processes, recordings, photos and/or other nonsense from my brain that I want be able to recall at some point in the future.
Are You New to Evernote and Completely Lost? So Was I.
When I first heard about Evernote is was this elusive productivity tool that was so amazing, yet so personal it felt like no on knew how to explain it. I watched YouTube videos put out by the company and they still didn’t help. What helped me was using it.
My advice? Just start, and you may find you start to understand how to use it and what you can use it for.
Why I Stopped Saving Articles to Evernote.
I used to find countless articles through apps like Zite/Flipboard, Entrepreneur.com or Inc. that I felt like I “had” to save to read later. My list of articles that I needed to read kept growing, and somehow I’d never find the time to read them. I realized A) I was being ridiculous and B) Evernote should only be for articles I have read, and want to reference again.
Don’t clog up your Evernote with something you haven’t read or don’t intend to read. It’s a recall center… so use it for things you want to remember.
Now, when I come across an article I find interesting I either A) find the time to read it or B) consciously choose not to read it and therefore determine I have more important things to do.
If I do read something that I’d like to reference then I’ll save it. I think after you read something that prompts you to take ACTION, then you should take that ACTION and implement it into your life right away rather than say you will, save the article for “later” and then never do a thing about it.
What I DO Use Evernote For.
- Voice recordings of important conversations, i.e. coos of my baby boy, or cute things my little girl says. I mainly keep memos of my kids in video form on YouTube (unlisted setting) but I do have a few things in Evernote.
I once recorded a 13 minute conversation with Captain Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13… I didn’t tell him so hopefully he’s cool with it.
- A list of all the talks/lectures I’ve prepared, and notes from talks/lectures I’ve heard.
- My personal mission statement, family missions statement.
- An archive of the papers I use to track my Yearly and Quarterly goals. I don’t believe in keeping paper around the house.
- Tons of other “stuff’
What I DON’T Use Evernote For.
- Presenting information in front of a live audience.
- Tasks / Task Management (I use ASANA for teams and complicated projects, I use Nozbe as my personal/family to dos, and I use paper routine trackers + stickers for routines and my bill/monthly expense checklist)
I don’t use Evernote for task and project management… just ask my interns from USU if they think I’m a fan of ASANA. I promise they’ll smile.
Why I Don’t Purge Information from Evernote
Honestly? I don’t do it because I don’t want to. I don’t want to waste my time deleting unwanted notes from Evernote, I’d rather be enjoying time with family, working on my business, or doing something that feels productive.
Have I ever deleted information from Evernote? Yes, of course.
But what I have done is chosen to be pro-active about what I put in Evernote and how I organize it, so that there is very little maintenance.
Want to Know More?
This barely scratches the surface of how I organize my Evernote, and use it to make my life easier. If you are interested in an in depth tutorial please leave a comment. If it’s helpful, and my readers want to know, I’m more than happy to give a full How-To on what works for me.
This photo to the left is literally what my Evernote sidebar looks like at the time of writing this post… it’s a work in progress. I used to have dozens and dozens of notebooks, but now I am moving over to using tags almost exclusively.
Below is basically what I’d like my Evernote to end up looking like:
- Archive: for everything processed
- Inbox: for everything to process (ex: add tags to)
Thanks for reading!