What is Evernote? How to get digitally organized in 5 simple steps.
To put it simply, at its best Evernote is a complete extension of your filing cabinet and your brain. It has the ability to store notes, photos, PDFs, reminders, checklists, articles, or any other information you might need to recall later.
Now, how is this different from using notes or similar applications on your phone or computer?
Evernote easily organizes everything in "stacks" or collections of notebooks that have a similar theme, custom tags, and has the ability to look anything up by a search function. SO EASY. I can not tell you the number of times Evernote has saved me in my work, at meetings, and my personal life.
Where most of my clients' get hung up on becoming Evernote converts is in the process of setting up the account and getting started, but once we find a method that works for them, they're hooked! Because staying organized is my jam and I want everyone to have more brain space for good, deep-thinking, I'm sharing my 5-step process to get you on your way to being an Evernote pro!
Here are my 5 simple steps to digital organization:
Step 1: Set up your new Evernote account.
The only way to get organized on Evernote is to use Evernote. :)
Step 2: Decide what you need to organize.
In my eyes, less is always more.
When I first started using Evernote, I tried to over-organize. I had ten different notebook stacks each with a specific theme. I had a hard time remembering which notes I put where and would get frustrated hunting around for what I was looking for.
I started reading how different users utilize their Evernote and saw time and time again that most people were sticking to simplicity.
Because of this, I was able to reduce my 'stacks' to four themes, see if something similar will work for you:
- @inbox - a common suggestion for where to place things that have yet to be sorted or need to be referenced quickly.
- Business - A stack of notebooks specifically related to work or client work.
- Home - Use this for hobbies, health records, car maintenance, finances, and anything else personal.
- References (I keep this one as a single notebook instead of a stack of notebooks)- Any and every article or reference material you've come across and want to recall/read later.
Step 3: Add tags to your notes.
Evernote has a robust search function, if you are looking for something related to your tax information, no need to get super specific just type in 'taxes' and if you've tagged or used the word taxes in your note it will pull the information for you.
Step 4: Add Evernote in your daily digital use.
Although I've been an avid Evernote user since 2014 it took me well into this past year to figure out how easy Evernote was to incorporate into my daily habits.
The Evernote web clipper is my favorite extension for saving any and every article I read on the internet that I might want to reference later and if you have Evernote installed on your phone (I use an iPhone) it can send photos, information from other apps, or your browser straight to Evernote in a few taps.
Once I realized how easy it was to save and store information I needed later, I never looked back.
Beyond clipping and keeping articles I read, I love using Evernote to store anything that used to exist in my physical filing cabinet. A simple snapshot and a few tags and I can easily discard or forget about the paper version of whatever I'm saving unless I really need to keep it for legal reasons.
Step 5: Continue to stay organized.
Once you have these basic processes in place, all you need to do is remember to keep implementing them.
The more you use Evernote, the more it works for you so have fun with it!
P.S. Using the Evernote link to sign up will give you (and me) a free month of Evernote Premium.
If you run into any hang ups, or have any organizing epiphanies, I want to hear about them! Shoot me an email or leave a comment below!