After reading this great post on Andrew Maxwell’s blog (hat tip Ben Matthews) I was inspired to post my own uses for the free online, desktop, and smartphone app clip & save tool Evernote. I’ve been using it for a little while now after Chris Brogan wrote he used it in his email newsletter – if the man recommends it, it’s usually worth doing.
I’ve blogged about some other free resources and tools elsewhere here, but haven’t mentioned how useful I find Evernote for both my work and personal life. Try setting up a free account and having a play around. In terms of how I find it helpful – here are a few tips:
- I took snapshots on my mobile phone of things I wanted for Xmas and sent the images to my Evernote account, so I could email well-meaning relatives a list of options later on (acquired Clay Shirky’s excellent study of crowdsourcing Here Comes Everybody this way – recommended).
- I regularly clip whole articles and blogs that I want to read when I have more time – some related to work, some not. Pick these up via the web or iphone app at any time, any place.
- I now save tweets, facebook comments and other social media mentions of my charity, so that I can drop them in as jpgs in reports for clients and our fundraising teams. It helps build a ‘library of impact’ (I just made that term up folks, cite me if you use it). Also doubles up as a ‘portfolio’ notebook.
- I use Google Alerts to let me know of online media coverage and then clip what it looks like ‘on the page’ – and send it to a ‘work notebook’ in Evernote. I have found that saving web pages any other way can lose the aesthetic look of them and sometimes Windows just screws the whole thing up anyway.
- Because of the clip and edit simplicity, it’s easy to save clean powerpoint screengrabs too – and so I’ve saved fave presentation pages to Evernote to use in reports / docs / or just for the portfolio.
- I save pages of PDF’s; whole documents (such as media strategies to adapt later); Flickr images for use in blogs, reports and web copy; and write ‘notes to self’ and save all of these to Evernote.
- I file away the email confirmations for seminars, events, conferences (and gigs) in an ‘Events’ notebook, so they’re all in one place and not floating around various inboxes.
- When planning PR strategies and media approaches, I research who’s writing and blogging in the areas of interest to my charity – and save their biographies and Journalisted.com entries into a ‘Useful Contacts’ notebook. These are invaluable for keeping tabs on who I need to speak to around a particular topic, and works as a great refresh when picking up the phone by reminding yourself of what they’ve written about previously. Include the url link to their page, and refresh it when you need to see journos’ up-to-the minute articles.
I don’t think I’m a naturally organised person, so any tools that help me file items and then find them again really easily get a huge thumbs-up from me. Because you can tag everything with keywords, you just start to type what you’re after in the search box (e.g. ‘press releases’…) and up it pops.
Are you already using Evernote (I know some of you are), and can you give me some more tips on how it makes your day job easier? If you’re not – give it a whirl, ‘cos unlike me – this elephant never forgets.