Evernote is a Time Saver
2015 brought me the opportunity to start-up a small business. I have a myriad of information to deal with from classes on “How to Write a Business Plan” to tips on networking or ideas for the business. I have been deluged with information and ideas. This is a good thing. I had read about Evernote a few years back but never felt the need to explore simply because, I had a tried and true system of organization all in my head. Well now I’m almost 47 and the memory is not as good as it used to be, so it is fitting that the Evernote logo is an elephant that never forgets.
I’ve been using Evernote and have discovered that it has been invaluable to me thus far, and I can only see it getting better in terms of organizing ideas and projects. I share these tips for any small business owner to get started.
First let me explain. My system of collecting information on the internet or links, pdfs, random notes, random thoughts, meeting notes, etc… was almost non-existent. I would save web clippings in a bookmark file on my bookmark bar. I would use yellow pads and notebooks to keep the random notes and thoughts as well as meeting notes together. Pdfs would be saved to a file on my desktop. All that is over. I have one central location to put all these things. Here are my tips for getting started.
First I set-up the Evernote Web accounts on my laptop, tablet and cell phone since you can use each tool to collect data including camera, web clippings, email, pdfs, voice recordings, handwritten notes, etc…
I basically spent some time setting up all of my notebooks where you will put the individual notes that you create or that are links, pdfs emails, pictures, scans, etc…. The word notebook appears on the left side of the screen, right click then click new notebook.
You can also create a stack which is sort of like a suitcase to save all your related notebooks. Example all of the notebooks related to my business operations can be in one stack. All of my blog notebooks can be in another stack. So the hierarchy that I customized for my own life:
- My Business (Stack)
- Financial (Notebook)
- Bank loan (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- Bank account (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- Operations (Notebook)
- Staffing outline (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- Meeting (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- Financial (Notebook)
- Blog (Stack)
- Instagram Blog (Notebook)
- Article about Instagram (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- picture of Instagram (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- web clipping re: Instagram (Note: note, article, pdf, link, email, scan, picture)
- Instagram Blog (Notebook)
As you can see it is an easy organization system that anyone can set-up. Customize in your own way for your own projects.
Create notes clicking the large button on the top of the page marked +New Note. Begin to create notes and organized them by clicking the dropdown menu to choose the notebook. This is the way to save the notes that you type. Then type the tags that you would like to include.
Tagging is an important component when using notes. They allow you to organize your notes on another level than just the Stack, Notebook, Note method. I tag with all the keywords in the article or elements of a picture so that I can easily search for notes.
Next take the time to automate some of the functions of Evernote. I use IFTTT to have gmails that are starred to go directly to a notebook. There are also IFTTT recipes that allow you to save pictures from FB, Instagram, Twitter or almost any social media channel automatically to a notebook. The IFTTT recipes with Evernote are a long list automating would be beneficial to save time.
My favorite tool with Evernote is the Web Clipper an extension for your browser or a widget for your mobile device. I can scan articles then I can save the link or screenshot to an Evernote notebook.
Another favorite thing I can do with Evernote is create lists with check boxes. Just click the box on the toolbar that looks like a box with a check mark to place the check boxes in your note. And get your checkboxes immediately. It’s nifty little time saver and can eliminate your paper to do list.
This brings me to the next great tool within Evernote that you can use which is the collaboration tools. You can click the Share button within a note and send your note via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Email or create a link that you can send to a person or group.
Evernote for your mobile device is the most handy tool of them all. As a small business owner, I collect a lot of pictures and voice recording as well as random ideas for blogs and services. First I downloaded the apps for Evernote on my devices. Then, I easily shared them with my Evernote notebooks using the widget on my phone just choose share on any picture or recording and click the Evernote icon. It sends directly to my Evernote.
Evernote has allowed me the ability to go paperless in this delicate world. In addition, this has caused less paper clutter in my life. I really love this app and have only just begun to discover it’s uses in my life. Here are some ideas for you:
- Create outlines
- Create to do lists
- Take notes while learning a new skill
- Record ideas and save in a central location
- Keep copies of paper, receipts, reports, pdfs, important docs
- Organize research
- Record meetings
- Save children’s artwork
- Save certificates
- Save coupons
- Collect social media updates (automate with IFTTT)
Evernote for Small Business
Evernote has been one of my important discovery thus far as a business owner. I find that I am more organized than ever because of this tool. I know I will use this tool far into the future for keeping every project or life task organized. I am able to do everything to date with the free version of Evernote. This is a tool I highly recommend for use for any business owner trying to track their projects or ideas.