For a long time Evernote was very much my digital filing cabinet. I had used it for years but it became even more embedded into my routine thanks to a purchase. My process changed because I got a new all in one, printer, copier, scanner that has the ability to scan straight to Apps like Evernote.
Gaining my new All in One
I got this that February partly as a birthday present but with my money added to it. I had wanted a printer for a while that could print on A3, and the fact it can not only sheet-feed scan duplex but also send it directly to Evernote with a built-in app was a significant plus. Having owned a Brother ScanNCut for some time I am impressed by their updates.
Let’s be honest, Canon the makers of my existing Pixma MG5350 charged considerably more for a printer that would just print A3 never mind these extra bonuses, so it was an easy decision. There was not an awful lot of space in the flat we living in at the time of purchase, but it has been worth its allocation!
What is Evernote?
Let’s face it Evernote has been around for quite some time; it has also been part of my digital organisation for many years. I know that some of you will know all about it, but others may not be so aware, so bear with me at this point if you know the basics.
Evernote is at its most basic a note-taking system, but it would do it a massive disservice to leave it there. A note can be a quickly scribbled reminder, but it can hold images, tables, audio files links to websites or other records, it is, let’s face it, a digital filing cabinet. Evernote also plays nicely with other apps which increases its usefulness even more.
My Evernote Set up
I have a relatively small selection of notebooks in Evernote because I supplement the notes within them with tags which allow me to organise them very efficiently. Some of the Notebooks are shared with Michael so we can both see them, these include:
- Annual folders 2019, 2020, 2021 etc: things from Banks, Businesses, Tax information and so forth
- Sentimental Items: Scans of greetings cards we have exchanged etc
- Home & House Keeping: User Manuals, household hints and tips to remember etc.
- Wish List: Hints for Birthday or Christmas gifts for each other or larger purchases for the house.
I then have some notebooks that are my own and not shared with Michael.
- Entrepreneur: productivity, blogging advice etc. (although I am working though and editing this into my PKM system
- Genealogy: My own information and some for my WikiTree profiles.
- Craft Gallery: a scan of some of the cards I have made for people as a reminder.
- Craft Inspiration: scans of pages from magazines with ideas to try etc.
- Craft Inventory: a record of what craft products I have here is a good tutorial on YouTube to create one:
The beauty of Evernote is that it is available on every platform so if I go to something like a craft shop (on the odd occasion I get out) I can bring up my Craft inventory on my phone and make sure I am not purchasing something I already have.
How Evernote Integrates
As previously mentioned Evernote is fantastic for integrating with other apps so here are examples of how I currently use or previously used it with the other apps I have discussed in recent weeks:
With Active Inbox
I previously talked about ActiveInbox the extension I used to mastermind my Gmail. Email is a great correspondence tool you can contact anyone for any purpose. Sometimes that purpose is just to provide you with some information or documentation. You want to keep the information but do you need it sitting in an email taking up space, it’s not the ideal place to look for it, is it, so any reference-based email I receive I forward to Evernote.
There are various ways to do this, but the simplest is to use the Evernote email address you are supplied with and just forward it there. It lands in the folder of choice, in my case the Inbox where you can label it and file it away. Have I mentioned Evernote is also intelligent enough to read the text in PDF’s so you can just type some words into the search box and it will find the correct note? Clever!
The next Application I talked about was Trello. I previously used Trello to plan all of my blog and personal projects and tasks. Although you can put quite a lot of detail into one card on Trello if there is plenty of research needed I preferred to link an Evernote document to the Trello Card. I do this using the Evernote Power-Up in Trello. If the project is something, I am working on like a blog post or an organisation project the linked notes go into the Current Projects Folder I mentioned in my folder list.
If it is a long-term plan, for instance, a card on the Forever Home board on Trello it will be in a Future Projects Folder I didn’t mention. I can, therefore, look through these within the Evernote app or click the link within the card in Trello which takes me straight to the relevant note.
The Evernote and Todoist combination was my least used one but I didn’t need to do anything about it because IFTTT managed it. You may remember in the Todoist post I have the filter entitled ‘Gaining Karma’. This list contains a selection of tasks I can do once I have completed my allocation for the day. If I complete any items from that list, it sends a record to Evernote into my ‘Entrepreneur’ Folder with the tag ‘Productive Day’ it automatically adds the date to any note I create so this provides a quick way of seeing when I have good days and the activities I did on them.
I have been using Raindrop for a year s my bookmark manager, although it is more than a basic bookmarking tool. One of the ways I use the tool together is for my Genealogy. If I have a VIP profile in WikiTree I am working on I will bookmark it in Raindrop then in the details section add a link to an Evernote note that has the details I have researched.
I have the Premium version of Evernote, and I think it is worth the money, but there is a free version. The main difference is less storage space, and you can only synchronise your account over two devices, i.e. a mobile phone and a laptop. The ability to read PDF’s I mentioned is also a premium feature, but you can see the complete details for yourself here:
I hope you have found this overview of not just Evernote, but how Evernote can work with other applications useful.
I have actually moved away from Evernote. Not that I don’t still very much recommend it as a tool. But for my personal workflow it became a surplus cog in the wheel. When I began to take Personal Knowledge management more seriously, Obsidian was my preferred choice for this. The main things I didn’t want to put into Obsidian were paperwork scans. Apple notes was the logical place for these. So after a long relationship with Evernote it was time to step back. I still have my, now free, account because things can always change again, softwares change and adapt and so do I as a person.