Evernote – A Digital File Cabinet

Mar 6, 2010 | General

In the last month I’ve started using a tool that has revolutionized my ability to control information – and save me time.  OK, this blog isn’t about Act! or how to organized your information in Act!.  This is about finding a method to the madness of organizing all the other stuff in your business or personal life that you have to control.  I’m talking about the articles you read online, blog posts, emails on topics of interest, hand written notes, photos, audio files, a Twitter post, research projects.  You name it, the list never ends.  Paper files don’t always work and they aren’t very green.

After reading an article by Walter Mossberg in the WSJ, I discovered Evernote.  This is nothing short of amazing and the powerful basic version is free!  Evernote is a hybrid of cloud and desktop software that gives you the ability to store virtually any item you want, organize it in notebooks with tags that are logical to you.  And have control of your data from any computer anywhere you have an Internet connection.  Oh, and by the way, you can share it with others if you want.

Evernote is a private digital file cabinet that is searchable, well organized and easy to use.  It works with MAC, Windows, iPhones, Palm Pre, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Android.  It has plugins that make it easy to upload data from Outlook, Twitter, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

All the data you upload is stored on the Evernote server in your secure account.  Once uploaded you can create notebooks based on how you want to organize the data such as project or topic or client.  Each item you upload can also be tagged with key words for instant retrieval.

Evernote can be used for gathering ideas for personal or business projects, upcoming trip planning (confirmations, maps, agendas, venue information), client projects, you name it.  The Evernote Blog has some interesting examples.  Here are some of the ways I’ve been using Evernote:

  • Clip news articles of interest to clients – You can email these directly from Evernote
  • Forward e-newsletters that I want to refer back to later
  • Scan hand written notes from meetings or photos of whiteboard notes taken by my phone (BTW, Evernote will even decipher your writing making it searchable!)
  • Clip blog articles for future reference
  • Share a notebook out and share that with a client to review our work for them
  • Clip product reviews and store information for an upcoming scanner purchase.

As I mentioned earlier the basic version of Evernote is free.  There is a 40 MB monthly limit to storage, but no overall limit.  There are limitations on files that can be uploaded, example you can’t upload MS Office docs.  And there are tiny ads, but I’ve never found them to be intrusive.  The premium version is $5.00 per month or $45.00 per year.  Your monthly storage goes to 500 MB.  Virtually any document can be uploaded, MS Office files, PDFs (and they are also searchable.)  The ads disappear with premium.

As the pace of business and life in general keeps picking up, the need to stay organized becomes a premium.  Evernote can give you that ability at little or no investment.  If you adopt Evernote, let me know what “outside of the box” ways you are using it.