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How I used Evernote to Tame the Chaos (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Green Elephant)

For those of you who don’t know, I’m only a part time employee here at Synectics Media. During the fall and winter semesters I’m a full time college student pursuing a bachelors degree in Writing and Rhetoric with minors in Biology and Philosophy. On top of all that I’m a research assistant with the Writing Transfer Project and secretary of the campus juggling club. To put it another way: I’m really busy. I do a lot of stuff, and I have to change roles frequently.

Organization doesn’t come naturally to me so I’ve had to find a system that works for me. So I’ve joined the cult of Evernote.

Evernote

The Prodigal Green Elephant

Evernote is a digital note taking service that has completely changed my life. Whenever I start any project it’s the first thing that I open. I’ve found it so useful that I wanted to take a moment to show you how I use it.

I’ve created 4 rules for using Evernote to get things done.

  1. Put everything in there. Evernote offers so much space with their pro plan that I never run out of space, even with my (excessive) usage. I copy my emails into Evernote using their mailbox feature. I send every picture that I take there, and just about every web page that I find has something interesting on it gets copied to Evernote.
  2. Organize as much, or as little as you want. Evernote has tags, notebooks, notebook stacks, lists, reminders, etc. All of that stuff is great but there is nothing that demands that you use it. My personal system consists entirely of notebooks, I just create a new one for each project. Some people find this insufficient, but I usually find that between the notebooks and the search feature I can get by very quickly. This bring me to my next point:
  3. Trust the search. Evernote keeps great track of every word inside your notes. This means that if I want to, I can search for every note that has the word “Batman” in it (about 60 references found). Evernote also has text recognition. This means that I can take pictures of my handwritten notes, and Evernote will include them in my search results.
  4. Use it everywhere. I don’t just photograph my notes, I use their Penultimate App to take notes on my iPad with a stylus. This also automatically indexed by Evernote, so I can always find what I need.
Penultimate

Evernote’s Penultimate App

This is just an introduction to how I use Evernote. If you’d like to see more, just drop me a comment below and I’ll follow up with more information including how my project flow works.

Stay awesome!

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