Time Management & Productivity Tools: Remember Everything, with EverNote App

by John Cummings on August 17, 2010

Evernote App - Productivity Tool and Time Management 101

Have you heard of EverNote yet?  If not, you’ve just got to add this tool to your arsenal of productivity tools that help you with time management and get you closer to living Barefoot and Rich.  Their tagline is simply “Remember Everything” and they’re not kidding!

We would all like to have the memory of an elephant.  But learning (and admitting) that we do forget things, often, is the first step to fixing the problem.   You’ve already heard this before but probably forgot where you heard it.   Don’t sweat it.  You don’t need to remember things like that anymore.  EverNote will do it for you.  And the time you’ll save will make all the difference in that delicate work life balance you’re working so hard to balance.

According to their website, “Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your notable life using your computer, phone, and the web.”   I’ve tried it and now, I use it every day.  And it saves me hours of time, for many reasons.

For one thing, I actually “wrote” most of this blog while driving home from a meeting where I was talking to friends about productivity tools.  I had some thoughts about how I wanted to review EverNote so I just fired up the app on my iPhone while I drove home.  Twenty minutes later, I had dictated my thoughts into a “voice note” on the EverNote app.   I emailed my assistant and asked her to log in to my account, listen and type this up for me.   Voila!

What it Does

In a nutshell, EverNote lets you capture and store (outside of your own brain!), all of  your thoughts, written notes, photos or audio files in one place (“in the cloud”) on the EverNote server, whenever you think of something.  You don’t need to think about how you’re going to remember little details because EverNote does it for you.  Now, you can move on to more important things (like fishing or working out or getting home in time for dinner – or lunch!)

How it Works

You can log on to the website at http://evernote.com to create an account or download their app using your iPhone, Blackberry, Droid and other smartphones.  It works on both Mac and Windows and the app works with iPad too.

Once you have an account, any note you make on your phone or computer will sync to your main account.   Save a note in the supermarket with your phone and it’s there when you log on at home from your PC.   Scan a note at home and save the PDF to your account and access the notes later from your phone.


Text Notes – The simplest way to use EverNote is an old-school text note.  Just type up a note of something you want to remember.    I do this a lot if I’m relaxing and an idea pops into my head.   You give the note a title and type away on your computer or phone.   Save the note in a folder of your choosing.  I keep folders for different projects or concepts.   Make as many as you like.

Photo “Notes” – You can make a note using the camera on your phone to take a photo or to move an existing photo from your phone to your EverNote account.   Let’s say you like to drink wine but you’re always forgetting which wines you’ve tasted and enjoyed.   My wife and I enjoy wines of all kinds but we usually forget which ones we like and why we like  them.    I have a folder on EverNote called “wines” and whenever I find one that I like or hear about, I can open the note, and update it with a photo of a wine label or notes, or both.

Voice Notes – This is great for anyone who does not want to text while driving.  (You never do that, right?)  Now, you don’t have to.  Click on the app, choose “notes”, choose “voice” and then record away.   When you get to a safe location, you can listen to that note, type it up or, best yet, have your assistant type it up for you.  Now we’re talking about time management!

TIP:  No matter what profession you’re in, you need to start capturing your thoughts when you’re out “in the field” by simply taking a photo and storing it to your account.   A picture is worth a thousand words and every time you have to try to remember what you saw, or figure out what camera or phone you took a picture with, you’re wasting you’re time.  Put it on EverNote and you’ll be one step closer to delegating a task that you should NOT be doing, to an assistant.

There are a whole host of other applications and programs that work with EverNote and the list is growing.  You can read about all of them at http://www.evernote.com/about/trunk/  One of the most exciting for me is the pliq.me app which is billed as being able to take your voice note and convert it to text before saving it to EverNote.  If that works, I’ve just eliminated my assistant step in this equation.  Now if I can find a way for EverNote to format and edit my blog posts . . .  Hmm.

I can’t do complete justice to the coolness of this product.  EverNote’s video about the product will tell you everything else:

For more time management and productivity tips, be sure to download my Top Ten Ways to Get of Work Before Lunch on the right side of your screen.

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