Guy Kawasaki & Practical ways to use Evernote

Guy Kawasaki wrote a great article on 14 great ways to make your life easier by using Evernote.  There is a desktop client for Evernote on Windows & Mac Computers, as well as iPhone & Blackberry clients, so that you can capture and recall information where ever you happen to be.  I’ve narrowed Guy’s list down to the 9 that I think are most helpful:

  1. Take notes. Taking notes in Evernote is way better than searching for that pad of paper that’s lost or at home. It’s also better than a text document on your computer because either you won’t remember the name of the document, you won’t have that computer, or you will have deleted the document inadvertently.

  2. Take pictures. Got into a fender bender? Take a picture of both cars, the other car’s license plates, and the other driver’s license. Drink a great bottle of wine? Take a picture of the label. See a book that you must read? Take a picture of the cover. Evernote has a great iPhone app that enables you to upload these pictures directly to your account.

  3. Save documents. When I receive a document (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, or PDF) that I’ll need again, I forward it to Evernote for safekeeping. This is easy because Evernote provides a unique email address to enter documents in your account. I do the same for pictures that people send me. This is very useful when you use more than one computer to create documents or send/receive email.

  4. Photograph business cards. Rather than collecting a pile of business cards that you’ll never go through, photograph them with your iPhone and send their images to Evernote. Evernote recognizes text on the card, so you can search for names such as “Apple” or “John” when that’s the only thing you can remember about the person. If you’re using Evernote on a mobile phone, it can also geotag the photo so that if you can only remember that you met the person in Cupertino, you can still find it. And you can save trees: When someone hands you her card, take a picture of it and hand it back.

  5. Track expenses. When you get a business receipt, photograph it, and send it to Evernote. Then you or your secretary can grab it later for expense reports and tracking. I lose many of my receipts, but if I stick them in Evernote, there’s a backup when I need them. If you’re really anal, you can configure your scanner to sendyour receipts to Evernote so you have great looking scanned receipts.

  6. Store your online passwords and receipts. Whenever I buy something online or create an online account, I forward the confirmation or receipt to Evernote. Now when I forget my password, registration number, or date of purchase, I don’t have to go through all sorts of gyrations to recover them. (This happens approximately once per week.) You can, by the way, encrypt portions of documents at Evernote for greater security.

  7. Retain news and content from websites. As you come across interesting article, use the Evernote web clipper to review and use later. It’s much more likely you’ll read these articles than if you bookmarked it unless you’re a fanatic about processes such as organizing, synching, and reviewing bookmarks. Even if you are, bookmarks often break when URLs change. It’s much better to have captured the article once and for all.

  8. Record the wisdom of whiteboards. Think of Evernote as a poor man’s Smartboard to convert text on a whiteboard to a digital format. This means that after the enjoyable day at the company offsite, just take a picture of the whiteboard and send it to Evernote. Evernote will scan the text so that you can search for the word “mission” to find the fifty-word mission statement that you promptly forgot. This works for projected slides, too.

  9. Dictate your thoughts. The Evernote iPhone application enables you to record your thoughts and then upload it to your account. This is perfect for when you have a brilliant thought and want to ensure that it’s not lost among the detritus in your brain. If you give your secretary access to your account, you could make a dictation on the fly, and he can listen to it back at the office. [I personally use Reqall for transcribing text – Rich]

One thing I’d add to Guy’s list is Evernote’s ability to consolidate your itinerary into one place when you’re travelling.  Very handy indeed.

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