Evernote for keeping everything you need to remember.
When was the last time you felt like you had wasted time looking for something because you couldn’t find it right away?
It could be a tidbit of information, something you put away for safe-keeping, a gift you bought for a future occasion, an important document, notes about a client and work you did, or planned to do, or hours you need to bill, directions to go somewhere, instructions for how to do something, a recipe, a turn of phrase, where you put your succah decorations, or chanukiot…
So when was the last time…last week… last month… yesterday… this morning…?
What would it be like if you could put all of this information in one place, easily searchable, from your phone or computer or tablet (all synchronised and safely saved)?
What if you could include a photograph, audio file, screen shot, web page, notes or video to remind you of exactly what you need?
And what if this little handy tool is free* to download and use?
And what if you could search for it using any text in the note, as well as any “tags” that you created, customized for the way you think about things, the way you remember things?
How great would it be if this was also your to do list?
This is not all about imaginary what if’s. There is such a tool and I find it indispensable to my business and life. It is called Evernote.
I “clip” webpages or parts of webpages to it.
I write notes (with location services on, it will recognise where I am when I write it.) It may be a random recommendation from someone, or a note to myself as to where I can buy something I may need later (or where I bought something I like, or found the best price, or the service was great)
I may accompany it with a photo of what I am seeing, including a sign or a screenshot.
Perhaps I record an audio message or record a lecture.
I can even share the note I have just made.
But most importantly, I am confident I will be able to retrieve the information when I need it because I use tags as needed.
Let me illustrate with a some examples:
You want to remember how to get to a client’s location because it is a little tricky. You can take photos (think dropped crumbs) on the way, including the street, the door, a turn that is hard to explain – include a link and image of a google map – take a photo of the client to remember who it is (to go with the name). And if you add a tag (say “funny stairway”) or notice an interesting restaurant nearby, you take a photo of it too. (tag “restaurant to try”)
Now let’s just say that 6 months from now, you are sitting with a friend trying to decide where to go to eat and you think of that interesting restaurant but can’t recall its name or exactly where it is. Maybe you remember which client you were seeing and search for the notes about the client. Maybe you remember the funny stairway and search on that. Maybe you search on “restaurant to try.” You might even have several of these. Any of these memory triggers will get you to the information you want at that moment.
When I see an article on the web that sounds like something I want to know more about, want to show to someone (did I mention that notes in Evernote are shareable), or want to refer to later, I send it to Evernote (did I mention that you can email anything you want to your Evernote account?). And one of the great things is that I can choose whether I want to save the whole article, or just some part of it. Even greater is that even if that article is moved or deleted from its location on the web, I have it in the exact format, as I saw it when I clipped it. And if I share the note, the recipient can see it too. (have you ever sent or received a link for the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Wall Street Journal or other that can only be viewed in its entirety if you are a subscriber, or registered etc. With Evernote, the shared note has the content without having to go back to the original website (of course it includes the link so you can visit the site, if necessary)
When one of my clients asks me a question that requires a little extra research, or tells me that there is something they would like to cover in a future lesson, or calls me to ask me questions in between appointments, I try to make note of this information for future reference.
Herein as they say, lies the rub. Evernote is only as good as the information you enter, whether it be visual, text or verbal. So if you get into good habits of making Evernote your universal repository of information, before long, you will will begin to feel like you have it all under control.
*Certain Evernote features and services beyond the scope of this article are available on a paid subscription basis.
(Evernote is available free as an add-in or extension for your Internet Browser, at evernote.com, in the app store for your iPhone or iPad or Mac, in the Play store for your Android phone or tablet and in the Store for your Windows 8 device.)
Contact Bryna Lee Jacobson, My Tech Tutor at 050-7725767
This article originally appeared in Targima, the Magazine of the Israel Translators Association Annual International Convention.