Working, studying, running a business…all of these require being organised. The best way to organise a busy life is to find a method that combines all aspects of your life in one place.
It took me awhile to find an app I liked but, for the last two years, I have used Evernote almost every day and I think I’d feel lost without it.
This blog post will explain the features and benefits of the Evernote tool. I also share ways that I use it in all areas of my life – in my studies, my business, blogging and just generally to organise myself.
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So what is Evernote?
Evernote is a mobile and computer app that helps you get and stay organised by storing your notes and documents in the cloud.
Basic (free account) – 60MB a month storage and usage across 2 synced devices
Plus (around £2.50 a month) – 1GB a month and usage for unlimited devices. I have this account.
· Save text, photos and audio
· Make lists you can check off
· Save and access PDFs
· Set reminders
· Save webpages and images
· Search for text in notes, PDFs and images
· You can set up shortcuts to your favourite notes and notebooks
· Create different notebooks to organise your notes
· Make sketches and draw simple diagrams in your notes
· Sync all notes and notebooks across 2 devices (unlimited with paid accounts)
· Plus account – select notebooks and save them for offline use
· Plus account – forward emails to your own Evernote email address to save them
- No need to worry about losing or forgetting a physical notebook. Access your notes anywhere with Internet access (or offline with a paid account)
- Useful to store and separate different notes as notebooks can be created to slot notes into
- Create comprehensive notes by combining text, images, lists, audio, web pages, PDFs, diagrams...etc. all in one file
- You can start straight away - no training needed
- Easy to use interface with more formatting options than a basic note taking app
- Easy to store all your notes in one place as they sync automatically between devices. Start a note on one device and finish it on another.
Ways I use Evernote
· I create quick to do lists almost every day. Sometimes these are just the 5 things I want to do when I get home from work. You can create lists with little checkboxes which satisfies my love of checking off competed tasks!
· I use the web clipping tool to save recipes from websites into the app. This is an add-on available for most web browsers
· I also have a journal notebook which I use when my brain is just a little too full of thoughts – kinda like a not-so-impressive version of Dumbledore’s Pensieve. If I’m feeling stressed about anything (work, university, business, friends…etc.) I open a note and just scribble down all of my thoughts without stopping. Writing it down helps me feel less stressed and sometimes it evens helps me find solutions to my problems.
· I save PDFs of my readings so I can access them wherever and whenever. If I’m travelling by train or in a café I can access my materials to take notes – without having to lug hefty textbooks everywhere!
· I set up a note at the beginning of a block of work and copy over my essay question and guidance. Then, whenever I’m studying I can jot down any essay ideas that come to me in that note on my phone or laptop. When you take a break from studying your brain continues to make connections between what you read. Evernote allows me to record these thoughts
· I make audio notes – either to remind myself to do something, or because I can’t type out a thought right now. I went out for a run a few months ago to destress from essay writing and a great point came to me mid-run. A few clicks and swipes on my phone and I was able to leave an audio note for myself to listen to later. I must have looked very strange shouting into my phone about emergent strategy and complexity theory but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
· I record all of my blog and content ideas in one notebook. I create a separate note for each idea and scribble down a few thoughts. Whenever I’m at a loss for ideas I can just scroll through my list
· I also have a separate notebook for general business ideas that come to me or that I learn through listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Every so often I read through these notes and grab an idea or two to act on.
- It can be difficult to get the full benefits without forking out for one of the paid accounts. If you use it a lot you’ll soon run out of space on a free account
- It hasn’t completely replaced my use of pen and paper as I really enjoy mapping out my ideas physically. Maybe Evernote could introduce a simple mind mapping feature
- Evernote should only be used to take notes you then copy into other documents. Evernote uses a file extension that doesn’t integrate well with other software. If I’m drafting some essay points I’ll email myself the note from the app and then copy the text into Word.
As Evernote is free I would say it makes sense to download the app and try it. See if you like it and can see yourself using it enough to make upgrading to a paid version worthwhile.
I hope you found this review useful. Leave a comment below with your views on Evernote.
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