Not time ago I was just like you.
I didn’t understand why there existed all the fuss about Evernote. I tried using it many times but failed miserably. I was always bullied by the interface; not literally. It seemed like the interface was yelling at me and after some time screaming and saying: Just stop using me, already. It always felt to me that Evernote is just like any other note taking ap, slightly better than some but not top-notch, obviously.
Not before every feature I used, looked bland pointless. For taking notes – as most of the people use it for – did not work for me. It always had too much clutter. I thought why all this mess? I can always use paper and pencil. It worked for me and was fast too. All in all, there always existed other options to do the same task without even touching the elephant skull, and that too efficiently.
Evernote as a note taking app is too slow and painful.
Evernote as a planner app is too slow and painful.
Not long time ago if you’d have asked me if you could use OneNote over Evernote, I’d probably have said ‘yes’. And I wouldn’t have laughed at you too.
Though one day I felt I could not tolerate this anymore. The app drama I mean. Because I couldn’t be more productive than a person watching cats all day. I pitied myself. I tried many applications but to-dos won’t do any good to me, like ever. But somehow I just knew the answer to my dilemma — Evernote. I knew two things: it has features like crazy, which I can hack together to make it more like me and it syncs between every device available.
I felt skeptic because I never knew how but I knew I had to use it.
And that was the starting of my crazy life of Evernote. And further into, I’m pretty impressed. Evernote finally got me in the ship I never thought would sail for me.
I was wide of the mark about everything I knew about it. Evernote is something.
[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”1024”] That’s not all folks[/caption]
Ask me again now, if you can use OneNote over Evernote. I’d first laugh at you and then will bully you, until you die. Just kidding, but don’t use OneNote instead of Evernote. There are many, many tasks *you can only* accomplish via the path you don’t want to take (wanted here to actually write ‘the path not taken’ because I’m in love with that poem by Robert Frost).
I was initially skeptical that I will yet again ditch it, but things were different now. I was already in love with the elephant-headed app. Whilst using Evernote, everything came back to me. Everything that felt ‘pointless’ to me actually, made, perfect sense. It actually made a big-o-deal of sense. I never actually picked up the fact that Evernote is only relevant when you commit yourself to use it.
For example you’d be wary of making notes. Slaying them as soon as they are created. Nope. You are doing it wrong.
Lifehacker: The key to Evernote is to commit to it and jump in with both feet. It’s pretty rotten if you’re just using it for a few isolated tasks, because absolutely, it doesn’t do any one thing perfectly and it’s not as fast as other apps. But as a whole it does everything perfectly.
Here are my some of the tips on how you can use Evernote in a lot innovative way. Shall we begin?
1. Don’t be too emotionally attached to the concept of notebooks. Make as many as you want. No, you don’t have to remember anything you write in that notebook. You don’t have to give an exam or something afterall. Jokes apart, you can also make a note be in two-different notebooks. It’s that handy and will keep your notes ordered and easily accessible.
2. And continuing first, create as many notes as you can. Commit yourself to Evernote. Don’t be wary about the clutter or loss of order, it is meant to be used like this. Committing yourself to it is the first and foremost task you need to accomplish.
3. Install web clipper for Evernote which is available for all the major browsers. (Major browsers because I don’t know if it is available for juju-no-anyname browser. So don’t ask me.)
Store all the web clips into a separate notebook for example web clips or something. Use this as a bookmarking system for later referral. Apparently if you don’t want to use clipping functionality still install the webclip extension because it searches your notes simultaneously when you do a search on Google.
4. Make an Evernote email address which lets you forward emails, tweets, or any other type of content to your notebook.
5. You can use IFTTT and archive your entire digital life. Lifehacker had an excellent writeup on this. (Lifehacker Link)
6. You can store the credentials as you can encrypt the text in the note. Since nobody except the one who has the paraphrase can decrypt it, it is quite secure.
Fun Fact: I use it like a journal to which nobody has access to. Sounds fair right.
7. You can quickly jot down ideas/notes for projects/class because the primary function of Evernote is still note taking. No rocket science in that.
8. You can use it for storing digital manuals and instructions for various electronics at home.
9. If you are premium digital subscriber, you can use the additional upload capacity to scan receipts, bills and letters.
10. Use it as a reminder app. When in to-do checklist mode, tell evernote to remind you tomorrow or any other date. A reminder pops right at the instant when you lit up your phone on that day, given you sync it with your phone.
11. Use it as a to-do list which syncs between different devices back and forth and pushes the latest version of list when you make any changes.
12. Keep track of all your digital purchases and their serial numbers. It is quite handy dandy when you want to quickly find what you purchased and when, and is it in warranty date or something.
13. You can right-click on any note and copy its link inside Evernote. You can make internal linking notes by pasting that link inside another note for quick access.
14. Evernote can read text in your images So if you’ve got a photo like the one I took of a receipt the other day, it will scan it make it searchable. In this particular example I searched for receipt obviously.
15. If you are a programmer like me, make a notebook called code and put a snippet of all the code you’ve ever written. Makes perfect sense to me. I can go back any time and see how my past-self implemented something particularly amazing thing. Use this; you’ll be proud of past-self someday.
16. You can use it to archive Instant Messaging chats. Because it is searchable you know what she/he said. And can accuse her/him later for being rude or something.
17. For bloggers out there web clipper is a must. While researching for an article, just make a notebook which you can later delete, and lay the basic outline of the article. This article for example came out smoothly by using this tip.
18. Build all your future shopping lists in Evernote and share folders and notes with your roommates or spouse.
19. Not only can you create a “Wish List” notebook of fantastic items — they’ll show up alongside your Google searches if you’re looking for something similar.
20. There was a book you wanted to read this summer, but you can’t remember it now. Luckily, Evernote can, because you dropped it in your “Summer Reads” notebook.
21. Inside the note , use the share menu which shares a note with people. Send them the link. It works like a .txt file hosted on Evernote. Anyone with a link can see them but it is far easier and convenient than sending info over email. Just send the link and they can bookmark it.
22. If you’re a twitter fanatic use Evernote directly from there. Just follow @myEN which lets you send notes to your account directly either by a DM or a tweet.
23. Livescribe smartpens keeps a digital record of the things that you write and draw with them, and can even store audio too.
24. All in all you can use Evernote as a basic utility Inbox where you can store anything you want to remember.
Fun Fact 2: Elephant remembers everything, somehow. That’s why Evernote has an elephant head.
25. Lastly, you can only get better at using Evernote and devise your own hacks by using more of it, everyday. Nothing beats experience after all.
If you have more awesome innovative ways of using Evernote, care to share. Drop them either in the comments or email me.
Not time ago I was just like you.