Seven More Strategies for Achieving Even Better Digital Organization with Evernote
When I first started using Evernote a few years ago, I immediately saw how it was a great option for collecting those thoughts that occur at random times. No paper? No problem? Grab my iPhone instead and capture that idea.
When I discovered note linking in Evernote, I was even more thrilled. The ability for me to create one table of contents for all the notes that I want to reference quickly appealed to me. And I use that table of contents frequently!
As I used Evernote more and more, I found myself figuring out new ways to make this app even more helpful on my mission to go paperless.
I continue to use nested notebooks to give a filing cabinet feel to the overall structure of my digital organization, but I've added several more notes and notebooks since my first digital organization post: Streamlining My Life with Evernote.
Directions for Uber/Lyft Notebook
My Person and I share a car. Since I'm not fond of driving, I use Uber or Lyft on a fairly regular basis.
I've found that having notes with specific directions or messages for the Uber or Lyft driver is incredibly time saving. And I think the drivers appreciate the specific directions that I can quickly copy and paste into a text message to them once they've accepted my ride.
As an example, my school has two different parking lots that are not connected. To complicate things even more, for whatever reason, GPS sends many of the drivers into the residential neighborhood next to my school where there is no entrance. While some drivers know the neighborhood and ignore GPS, many do not and get lost.
Rather than frustrating everyone, I created a note called "School Directions" and I entered in a concise description of how to get to the parking lot where I will be. Naturally, I note link each set of directions to my table of contents for easy access. Then I just copy from the Evernote note and paste into a text message to the driver.
My rides are much smoother now!
Notebooks for Menus, Pamphlets & Brochures
We don't get food to go often, so I don't like cluttering up drawers with various menus. Same thing with pamphlets. Some pamphlets have some good information, but I don't want to maintain an endless paper filing system, or worse...a jumbled pile of miscellaneous messaging.
With my menu notebook, I just use the Scannable app to capture the images from the to go menu, and title the note as the name of the restaurant.
I haven't used this system on vacation yet, but I anticipate that I will. Travel brochures and pamphlets can be really useful, but who keeps them once your vacation is over? I know I've found myself wondering what the name of that company was...
Rather than wasting time searching the internet, my plan is to scan those brochures into a notebook for that vacation. Easy future reference point.
More Ways I Use the Scannable App
- Customer Service Phone Calls
Whenever I have to make a customer service phone call about a purchase, health insurance, refund, or complaint, I'm usually writing notes on whatever piece of paper is handy. Most of this information I'll never need again, but I like to keep a record of the call just in case. By scanning that paper into Evernote, I preserve those records without cluttering my desk with random notes.
- Paint Chips, Astrobright Paper Packaging & Color Palettes
When I decorate a new classroom, I use specific complementary colors. By scanning those paint chips or pictures of the paper packaging into Evernote, I know that I have those colors with me whenever I'm shopping. No clutter in my purse. No forgetting to bring the paint chip along.
While I haven't scanned much for home decor, I could see scanning color palettes or swatches into Evernote to make life easier. I could see brides finding this technique useful as well.
For educational supplies that I purchase, I use Scannable to organize those receipts into Evernote by school year. I can scan one receipt at a time to create a single note per receipt, or I can let them stack up for a month and scan all of them into one note.
My Person and I brought home a Labradoodle puppy in mid-June. Evernote proved, once again, to be an efficient receptacle for all of our puppy information.
- In my initial research, I used the web clipper to save blog posts and websites that I thought held useful information or products.
- As I read different books from the library about raising puppies, I would use Scannable to capture key passages, graphics, or pictures and save them into various notes.
- Living in Arizona, rattlesnakes can be a problem when you're walking your dog. Our little guy is too young right now for rattlesnake avoidance classes, but every time I see an advertisement or blog post about different classes that organizations offer, I either use the web clipper or Scanable to record that information for next spring.
- Finally, I create a note for each of our vet visits. Before the visit, I'm typing in questions that we have. During the visit, I'm adding the answers and anything else the vet tells us that I want to make sure we remember.
Webinar & Online Course Information I Want to Keep
I like signing up for webinars and online courses. Oftentimes, the presenter will send a PDF of the entire presentation or lesson. While all of that information may be useful from time to time, I find that it's actually information overload.
There are usually key slides or concepts that I want to remember. Not every single slide!
Instead of saving the PDF I'm sent, I take screenshots of the slide, or chart, or whatever as the presenter explains it. Then I select the images I want to keep and transfer them into one note in Evernote.
If I was sent a workbook that I filled out as I listened, I can add that piece to Evernote. Or if I took my own notes on paper, I can use Scannable to add that image into the note too. Or if I just want to edit the note within Evernote and type in my own thoughts, I have that option as well.
I enjoy some video games. Mostly World of Warcraft. Those stupid achievement points just keep sucking me in.
Since many of the quests are repeatable, I create notes about strategies I use to win. I find this record keeping especially useful if I take a hiatus for a bit. I'll remember that I used something I found on some fan website to complete this quest, but after taking a break from the game, I can't recall where I found my strategy.
Sometimes I type out my own notes because I customize strategies for my characters and their abilities. Other times I copy and paste from various forums.
Likewise, there are certain items that my characters are hunting in the game. Sometimes I'll keep notes on my progress toward buying or finding those items as well.
Monthly Clean Up
Finally, one strategy I've adopted to keep my notes and notebooks organized is a recurring monthly reminder to clean up Evernote.
Sure, there are months when I just can't take the time to be thorough. But most months, I go through the default notebook where I dump information that I don't have time to categorize. I reassess those notes, decide where they best fit, and move them.
I try to scan through a few notebooks each month to see if any notes are outdated. I've found that when I capture all of my ideas as easily as Evernote allows me to, I end up with lots of junk notes. Anything that's not deemed useful to me gets deleted. I like minimizing even my digital life.
I truly appreciate how flexible Evernote is. This one app has helped my digitize so many of my thoughts and records.
If you found the information in this post useful, I would certainly appreciate you sharing it on social media. Or if you have Evernote uses that you'd like to share, please comment below.