How to Use Evernote: 22 Ways

by Ian McKenzie on February 3, 2012

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Last year, Evernote announced they had passed ten-million registered users. I don’t know how that stacks up against active users, but I suspect the ratio is high.

What is Evernote? If you’re not familiar with Evernote, it’s an application that helps you get organized and remember everything.

Here’s a short description from the Evernote website:

“Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. Did we mention that it’s free?”

In a nutshell, you can save anything to this program and access it from your computer, from the web, or even your phone. The short video below demonstrates some of the key features.

How do you get the most out of Evernote?

First, you need an account. The basic account is free and would meet the needs of many users. However, apremium account is only $45.00/year.

Once you have an account, what can you do with it?

  1. Giant Inbox – This is how I started using Evernote. Everything that comes into my head goes intoEvernote. I can add things to Evernote via the iPhone client, desktop client, or on any computer usingEvernote’s web-based version.
  2. Sticky Note Repository – If you have sticky notes plastered around the edge of your monitor, or scraps of paper floating around the desk, one of the simplest uses of Evernote is to store these day-to-day snippets of information in a more organized, uncluttered manner. Evernote can clean your office.
  3. Web Clipping – When you come across something of interest on the web, skip the bookmarks. Instead, use the Evernote web clipper to store for later reading. If you select and capture the content, you don’t have to worry about finding the material when sites disappear or change the URL structure. You will have have captured the article once and for all.
  4. Share Information – Instead of filling up everybody’s e-mail inbox with all the bits of information you feel it is important to share, store that information in Evernote. Create a shared notebook,  give access to the relevant people and they can decide when and how to view.
  5. Take Notes – Taking notes in Evernote is far easier than searching for the pad of paper that’s lost or not with you. If you organize and tag your notes as you go, they will be easier to find, using Evernote’s powerful search.
  6. Take Pictures – Had a car accident? Take pictures of the vehicles, the damage, license plates, driver’s license and insurance information. See a book you want to read? Take a picture of the cover. TheEvernote iPhone app makes it easy to upload these pictures directly to your account.
  7. Research – Instead of bookmarking your resources when you do research online, compile the relevant information from each page into a research note in Evernote.
  8. Meeting Notes – Type away as your boss drones on and before you’re back at your workstation, the notes are on your desktop. If you take hand-written notes, scan them into Evernote where the search function can recognize words in images.
  9. Idea File – Ideas strike at random times, in the oddest places. Evernote gives you a capture device almost anywhere. (I’ve never used an electronic device in the shower.) ;P
  10. Document Storage – When I receive a document (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, or PDF) that I’ll need again, I forward it to Evernote. Evernote provides a unique email address to send information to your account. Evernote can also monitor a designate folder on you computer. Save recognized file formatsto that folder and Evernote will upload to your account.
  11. Project Planning – Create a new Stack for a project. Sort different tasks and research topics into notebooks and make good use of the tags feature. Everything you need to recall or act on regarding a project will be in one spot.
  12. Store Business Cards – Instead of collecting a pile of business cards that you’ll lose, photograph or scan them send the images to Evernote. Evernote recognizes text on the card, so you can search for names such as “Staples” or “Henry” when that’s all you can remember about the person. Evernote on a mobile phone can geotag the photo. If all you can only remember you met the person in Vancouver, you can still find it. You can save trees: When someone hands you their card, take a picture and hand it back.
  13. Track Expenses – When you get a business receipt, photograph or scan it, and send it to Evernote.
  14. Track Personal Spending –  When you make a personal purchase, scan or photograph the receipt, and send it to Evernote. When I buy something online, I use the web clipper to send the invoice toEvernote.
  15. Store Passwords and Account Information – It can be difficult to keep track of all your on-line accounts, passwords and PINs. Evernote requires a password to log on. You can also increase the security by encrypting the contents of a note, using a separate password. All the usual cautions applyto storing and encrypting sensitive information. Make sure you understand Evernote’s encryption process before setting this up.
  16. Store Warranty Information – When buying a new item under warranty, store the information in a note. You can manually enter the data, scan the warranty card, photograph the serial numbers, or clip the on-line warranty page.
  17. Archive Twitter – Thanks to the Evernote-Twitter integration, you can easily capture the tweets you like: your own or those showing up in your stream. Plus, as an added bonus, you can now send yourself a quick note right from Twitter –no need to do any of that pesky app switching. Here’s how…
  18. Keep a Journal – I kept a daily journals for a long time. Eventually, I got to a place where I was keeping more information electronically. Now I can put journal entries directly into Evernote: things I notice, find interesting, or want to reflect on, get entered into my Evernote. Using a numerical format for the date and tagging with “Journal” makes it easy to update and to find what I have written.
  19. Create Lists – Grocery lists, to-do lists, movies to watch and gift ideas, these are all lists I update regularly and like to have handy. I have a notebook called Lists. All my lists go into that notebook, and are always accessible on any of Evernote’s many platforms. Using Evernote’s checkbox feature, I can make these lists, and check things off as I do or buy them.
  20. Blogging – Evernote for blogging is great because it keeps all blog-related ideas together in one place. For example, you can create a notebook to keep a list of blog post ideas, articles about blogging, and drafts of articles for use in future blog posts. Whenever you want to save something blog-related, put it in here.
  21. Hand-write/Sketch Notes – One of the lesser-known features in Evernote is the ability to create a “handwritten” note, called an Ink Note. Using your mouse or a tablet, you can write text into a note. This feature comes with a full range of tools for you to use. For example, you can select the color of ink you’d like to use. You can also select the width of the pen. You can pick a pen, a pencil, or if you make a mistake you can pick the cutter tool to remove your error.
  22. Go Paperless – Using an combination or permutation of the above ways to use Evernote, you can work towards being completely paperless.
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