Today, I want to share with you how I use Evernote for practically everything from note taking to blogging to reading.
For those who don’t know, Evernote is a note taking app, a big competitor of Microsoft’s OneNote and Apple’s Notes. But Evernote is much more than that: Many people call it one’s “digital brain.”
The best thing about Evernote is that it’s cross-platform; it works very well on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android―I’ve had a very good experience with it on all platforms. On top of that, Evernote has a web clipper, which is available for all major web browsers.
The anatomy of Evernote is simple yet powerful: You can make notes, that can be saved into notebooks, that further can be grouped into stacks. Each note can be labelled with multiple tags.
Many people like to keep their notes in many different notebooks; others find it more useful to harness the power of tags. I’m in favour of the latter approach: Currently, I have 58 tags and only 9 notebooks in my account.
Once you sign up for Evernote’s service, you get a unique email address: You can then email your notes right to your Evernote account.
You can create and download templates, attach files to your notes, set up reminders, share notes and notebooks to collaborate with people, set up offline notebooks, connect different notes with internal links, and more.
Evernote has a lot of built-in fonts and many formatting options; you can insert checkboxes, tables, and code blocks into your notes, among others.
The service offers a lot of viewing options: List view, card view, etc. The nice thing is that, in the card view, you can see attached files and images, which make it easy to scan through your notes.
It’s really a very powerful service with a rather nice price and even for free with some limitations. Let’s move on and see how and when I use Evernote.
27 reasons to use Evernote
- Reason #1. I clip web pages and articles for future reference with the Evernote web clipper. It’s available for a lot of browsers, and you can clip articles, web pages, links, and screenshots and then tag and save them to the appropriate notebooks right from the web clipper.
- Reason #2. I make screenshots with the web clipper and annotate images right in Evernote to make technical guidelines. You can even blur sensitive content.
- Reason #3. I share content via shared notes and email.
- Reason #4. I keep a list of books that I want to read in a particular year and then insert a checkbox before each entry. When I finish the book, I check off the box. At the end of the year, it’s very easy
sum up the numbers. to
- Reason #5. When I read books, I use Kindle’s highlight function to export my content into PDF and then save it to Evernote with the tag “Book summary.”
- Reason #6. I draft my blog posts in Evernote. I have a blog post template with a detailed checklist that guides me through the whole process. It’s so good that I can access my draft on all my devices.
- Reason #7. I save my published blog posts into Evernote with the tag “Published blog posts.”
- Reason #8. I keep my meeting notes in Evernote.
- Reason #9. Each time when I take an online course, I keep my course notes as well as prepare my assignments in Evernote.
- Reason #10. I keep my business cards in Evernote. Evernote uses your phone’s camera that allows you to scan your notes, sticky notes, and business cards, all of them are delivered to your account. Evernote has a very robust searching function that makes easy to find stuff later.
- Reason #11. I save my best email templates in Evernote for future reference.
- Reason #12. I collect English phrases from books and podcasts for learning and polishing my English.
- Reason #13. I collect quotes from famous authors for future reference and inspiration.
- Reason #14. Technical guidelines, whether a WordPress guide, a cheat sheet for keyboard shortcuts, or a user manual, all come into Evernote.
- Reason #15. Job advertisements, vacancies all land in my Evernote account.
- Reason #16. I used to keep my mind maps in Evernote, but I no longer do so.
- Reason #17. I keep my affirmations in Evernote. (Affirmations are a short summary of what you want to―or not want to―be or achieve.)
- Reason #18. I keep my daily journal in Evernote: I’ve set up some automation with the iPhone app, Workflow, that saves my daily entries into a journaling “supernote.” All I have to do is press a button on my home screen, enter my answers to the pre-defined questions, and my notes automatically appear in my supernote as a single entry with the appropriate date and time.
- Reason #19. I keep my weekly journal in Evernote.
- Reason #20. I keep my weekly review template in Evernote.
- Reason #21. I keep my Life Plan in Evernote. (I assembled my Life Plan according to the book Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy.)
- Reason #22. I set my goals in a separate Evernote notebook and tag them according to the calendar year. Sometimes I make cross-references across notes to easily jump from one goal to another.
- Reason #23. I collect baby stuff in Evernote, be it a recipe, an important note, or a screenshot of a diaper. 🙂
- Reason #24. I keep my records of my baby’s weight in Evernote: I’ve set up some automation with the iPhone app, Workflow, that saves all weight records into a “supernote.” All I have to do is press a button on my home screen, enter the baby’s weight, and it automatically appears in my supernote as a single record with the appropriate date and time.
- Reason #25. My not-to-do list is a bucket for the stuff that wastes my time and should be automated, delegated, or completely eliminated. Keeping these items in the Evernote shortcuts makes it easy to revisit my list frequently. (Every single note can be added to the shortcuts, which sits on the top of the Evernote screen.)
- Reason #26. I enter important phone numbers into a table (a built-in feature of Evernote) and put them in the shortcuts.
- Reason #27. I keep project support material in Evernote for home-related projects and sometimes for office-related stuff as well.
And the list goes on…
+1 good reason
The ultimate reason why you should shake hands with Evernote is that it seamlessly works on virtually all platforms from your phone to your desktop to your web browser. Although there’re cross-platform apps on the market, Evernote beats them all by its cross-functionality including its powerful web clipper and performs very well with a fairly acceptable price tag.
As you can see, the list is almost endless; Evernote is so flexible, only the sky’s the limit to what you can get out of it.
If you’re serious about privacy, Evernote has a solution in place: You can encrypt entire notes or text within notes by a single password. So, you have two gatekeepers: One for your account and another one for your sensitive notes. Personally, I don’t keep much sensitive information in Evernote.
More about using Evernote
- 10 More Ideas How to Use Evernote for Note Taking
- Is It Time to Leave Your Old Elephant? – Evernote vs. Notion
- 138 Keyboard Shortcuts to Supercharge Your Productivity
- The Ultimate Guide to Perform a Thorough Weekly Review
Don’t forget to share this post.
Your one takeaway: Download Evernote for free and take some notes to get the experience.