10 Ways Evernote Can Enhance Your Productivity - dummies

10 Ways Evernote Can Enhance Your Productivity

By David E. Y. Sarna

The uses of Evernote are infinite, limited only by your own imagination. This article offers you some ideas about using Evernote to enhance your creativity and productivity.

Wear Evernote on your wrist

Evernote for Pebble lets you access Evernote on a wearable smart watch. With this integration, notebooks, notes, shortcuts, tags, checklists, and reminders are easily accessible any time you’re wearing the watch. Imagine wearing your grocery list on your wrist and ticking off purchases as you make them. Reminders from Evernote can also pop up at the appointed times to keep you on schedule.

Eliminate stick-on notes around your monitor

Stick-on notes are handy, and you might have a ring of them outlining your computer monitor. Well, 3M and Evernote have teamed up to create Evernote’s Post-it Notes Camera. You can capture your notes easily and eliminate the unsightly frame around your monitor. You’ll have a searchable way of accessing your handwritten notes from any device on which you use Evernote.

Evernote versions for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone all include this camera. As you’re shooting photos of your stick-on notes, keep in mind that if you keep shooting consecutive photos, Evernote captures the whole group in a single Evernote note. To save each stick-on note as an individual Evernote note, just confirm and save each photo, and then start a new note for the next image.

Annotate and search your PDF files

You can not only save your PDF files in Evernote and have their contents searchable, but also use Evernote’s annotation tools to mark them up. This capability makes them more useful when you retrieve them, and you can search by the markups you’ve made in the files.

Clear your virtual desk

Many computer desktops are full of clutter — files that have been downloaded or saved without putting in a proper home. Evernote is a handy spot to collect and share all sorts of files so your desktop can remain uncluttered. You can use tags like Important, a date, or a keyword reminder of why you needed to save the file in the first place.

Manage e-mail

Instead of just forwarding important e-mails to Evernote willy-nilly, take a few extra seconds to send them to the right place. Use @ followed by the notebook name to direct a message to the right notebook, and use # to add a tag. You can also add ! to set a reminder. Here’s an example: To send party-planning ideas to an Events notebook, the subject line could be Subject: 5th-Year Celebration !2015/06/24 @events #anniversary. That note will be stored in the Events notebook with a tag of anniversary and a reminder set for June 24, 2015.

Take control of storage

You all have stuff you don’t want to throw out but don’t need every day. Those items tend to migrate to cartons, which are stored in attics, basements, inaccessible closets, or off-site locations. When it’s stored, that stuff falls into the “out of sight, out of mind” trap. You forget all about it, which means you may as well have thrown it out.

If you take photos as you archive and then store the photos in Evernote, though, you make your stuff searchable and retrievable. All those items are out of the way when they’re not needed, and you can easily find them when you do need them.

Manage bills and important correspondence

More and more firms let you receive bills, statements, and other correspondence by e-mail. If you set up your Evernote account’s e-mail address as the designated recipient, all those messages are delivered directly to Evernote, where they’ll be in one accessible place at tax time.

You can also investigate tools like FileThis Fetch for Evernote to automatically and securely download and organize years of information from banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, brokerage firms, mortgage companies, and phone and utility companies. The information can be captured automatically and downloaded to Evernote, so you can have access to all your statements anywhere you have Evernote.

Automatically filter and forward e-mail to Evernote

You can set up your e-mail client’s automatic e-mail filters to forward every e-mail from a certain sender or with a particular subject. You may have a weekly report from Google Analytics that you want to forward to your company’s Reports folder. Just set the recipient e-mail address to be your Evernote e-mail address, and use your e-mail tool to set up a forwarding rule. Check the help system for your e-mail client for specific details on how to create a rule to forward messages.

Hold paperless meetings

Big meetings, and even smaller ones, often involve stacks of materials such as agendas, minutes, and printed slide decks. With Evernote Business, you can create templates for these notes, giving your team a preformatted structure to save them time. Create a shared business notebook where you store all your template notes, and create notes that have the key fields you need for meeting-related info.

KustomNote, available from the Evernote App Center, makes it easy for all Evernote users to build note-taking templates and forms. An add-on tool, LiveMinutes, enables you to collaborate on your notes with others. With it, you can create notes, exchange and annotate documents, chat, or set up calls with your team from the LiveMinutes workspace.

Use Evernote to work in “coopetition”

Evernote, and especially Evernote Business, is ideal for business people, such as Realtors, who work in “coopetition” with each other, meaning they sometimes need to work in cooperation with each other to gain a competitive advantage. Realtors can share a notebook that includes useful information that everyone may use, but each individual can also have private notes and notebooks for information that is best kept to oneself.