Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to make Evernote "your own"

I'm a big of Evernote.  While it has been "catching on" with many Student Affairs Professionals across the country, I started using Evernote back in early 2011.  Armed with only an iPad, Evernote, and a wireless keyboard, I've been able to reduce my reliance on paper, reduce my storage footprint, and increase my productivity by avoiding paper files.  I've also avoided carrying a pen and paper for a little over three years now

The one question I often get is in the realm of ". . . I tried it and I couldn't get it to work for me."  I think that is often the result of some Evernote proponents suggesting a certain way to use Evernote. The beauty of Evernote is that no two people need to approach their utilization of it in the same way. For some, they love having everything in a folder and attaching tags to find notes later.  While I've played around with folders and tags, what I find is that the search feature of Evernote is so powerful that I'm actually more productive just dropping it all in the inbox.  Evernote automatically logs location, time, day, and premium users get pdf indexing which allows searching to happen in pdf files.  I sometimes refer to myself an "Evernote Slacker" but anyone who knows my productivity would never suspect that I utilize the program to do my digital organizing.

The other way that Evernote improves my productivity is that the program "lives" on all of my devices.  As long as I have a data connection, I can access Evernote from any device I own including a web interface.  I've yet to find something that provides that level of flexibility.  My phone of choice these days is the Samsung Galaxy S5.  As long as I have that device in my pocket, I can access anything I need within a few minutes.  

The other way that I find that Evernote helps with productivity is through Hyperlinks.  I will often reorganize notes by making hyperlinks within the software.  If I'm preparing to give a presentation or update to my supervisor, I'm able to quickly bring emails, documents, etc into one page that I can click through as if all of those materials were integrated into a webpage only available to me.