How many projects are you working on? How many others would you like to work on “if I only had the time”. You probably had three, four, five, maybe even 20 things just run through your head. Now, where do you keep all of those organize and what is your strategy for making any of them happen?
I used to constantly think of things that I would like to accomplish. I would jot notes in a spiral notebook, but then never look at them again. Probably the biggest reason is because the ideas and projects all ran together in my notebook and it was far to much work to sort through notes on an idea that might have pieces of information scattered over several pages.
I now have over thirty projects going and I know exactly what needs to be done on each one. This isn’t some memory strategy or volumes of spiral notebooks, but a simple, clean, and SEARCHABLE file system that I have access to anywhere that I have my laptop, phone, iPad, or even an internet connection on a random computer!
Evernote will truly allow you to go paperless (if you so desire). You can scan anything you like and add it to Evernote such as
- Copies of bills received electronically or scanned
- Pictures of materials for a project
- Store documents
- Record audio
- Create projects and track their progress
- Resource information
I do all of my writing in Evernote and keep track of resources, related information and schedules for each project with just a click of the mouse.
My wife and I receive most of our statements electronically for our bills. Email is NOT a good place to store this. All it takes is one computer crash to loose those emails! I don’t worry about that because when I receive and email that I need to keep, I forward into one of my notebooks I have created in Evernote. When emailing it, I can change the subject line of the email and Evernote will create the title of the note, put it in the notebook I choose, and even add tags for searching.
Here is a picture showing some of the notebooks I have created. You first create a notebook as a place to store similar notes. You can also combine two similar notebooks to create a notebook “stack”. Think of this as a file drawer with separate files that each contain notes.
We are currently remodeling our house in preparation of selling it in a month or so, so I have a notebook stack called “Remodel”. Inside that stack are separate notebooks such as “Remodel by Room”. This notebook has a separate note for each room in my house that tells me what repairs and upgrades need to be made to that room.
One of the great things about Evernote is the ability to “clip” or save something directly from the web. If I am looking up instructions on how to do drywall repair and I find a helpful article, I can save it directly into my Drywall notebook and it will save that page complete with a link to the original page on the web. I find this helpful for online purchases because I just send my receipt straight to Evernote!
And it’s FREE. There is a premium version that is well worth the $5 per month or $45 per year. Upgrading to premium allows you to:
- Upload up to 1GB per month
- Access your notebooks offline on your mobile devices
- View previous versions of notes
- Recognize text faster in a scanned document
- Hide the small promotional ads
- Search your PDFs
- Collaborate with other users on the same notes
- Store bigger files
- PIN lock on your mobile app
- And get priority support
It’s free to start and you may not ever need to upgrade to the paid version depending on your usage. So click here to sign up for an account. Then you will have access to the desktop, web, and mobile versions all at no charge. What do you have to loose? And there are TONS of resources about how others are using Evernote. One of the most comprehensive is Michael Hyatt. You can find his Evernote posts here.
What are the reasons that would prevent you from giving Evernote a try?
(Feel free to also ask questions in the comments!)