Evernote was like a breath of fresh air when I started using it 2 years ago. It was an immediate timesaver and a wonderful tool for personal development. Over time however I used it less and less and it became a dumping ground for…..well, everything! It was like that storage facility which holds all your old furniture, books and whatever can be squeezed inside – you know there’s good stuff stored in there but you steer clear because you know it’s a mess, but promise yourself that “one day” you’ll do a spring clean.
Cameron Reilly’s recent article has been the prompt for my ‘spring clean’ of my Evernote. Not only is his advice great but I’m setting up some of his structures to ensure that I’ll be a regular visitor and can access stuff at will. (I wish it was possible to make my real outside storage facility similarly organised and inviting.)
Cameron promotes 10 steps. These are great guidelines whether you’re an Evernote (reformed) messy like me or you’re starting from scratch.
Step 1: Download Evernote Everywhere.
Evernote operates with a free service and allows extra benefits for a small fee. Start with the free and setup Evernote on all your devices so you can access your data from any of them.
Step 2: Build A Structure Of Notebooks and Tags.
Cameron provides some of the best advice I’ve seen about how to setup your Notebooks and Tags. In my case I’ve chosen to use ‘Notebooks’ like a folder name, for example ‘Home’ and ‘Investment’ etc etc Cameron describes a Notebook as like the name of the large bucket in which you’ll store your related notes. I use the ‘Tags’ like a verb to describe an action I’ll take, so for example I’ve got ‘read’, ‘followup’ etc.
Step 3: Clean Up Your Inbox.
This is me this week (or month) & I’m following instructions!
Step 4: Keeping Your Tasks Organised
I don’t use Evernote as a organiser, but it has again demonstrated what a powerful tool this is and, as with all our tools, how we tend to use them in a very limited fashion, usually restricted by our own imagination. Evernote also announced a major update this week that has added some bells & whistles to this capability.
Step 5: Using Shortcuts
This is new to me so it has been clipped into my Evernote file with a tag that says ‘learn’.
Step 6: Using iOS Apps
Ditto as for step 5.
Step 7: Using IFTTT
I’m a IFTTT user already, however I’m having some teething problems in getting this recipe to work
Step 8: Using the Menu Bar
Somewhere in the clutter of the last 12 months I lost my elephant from the menu bar. This article prompted me to restore it and I’d forgotten what a wonderful feature it is – welcome back elephant icon.
Step 9: Using your Evernote Email Address
This has been a most used feature for me…although this will change with the return of the icon.
Step 10: Using the Chrome Extension
I’m not a Chrome user so this is the only one I’ve not pursued
So, whether an existing Evernote user or just starting out, check out Cameron’s full post ’10 Steps to being an Evernote Guru’.