Evernote

Today, I’m going to do a little pitch for this app that I have been using for quite some time – Evernote. I have been using Evernote for about 2 years now – but on a rare basis – as a repository for storing some notes that I have. Kind of like those post it notes style where I just have something I have to remember e.g. postal codes of places I am going, stuff mentioned at work etc. However, recently I have added something new which actually enhanced my usage of Evernote.

But first, the basic Evernote.

What’s good about the Evernote is that you can pull the data on your computer or through your smartphone app. On the computer, you can use the Evernote program (download) to add notes. I have also discovered that there is an APP for Google Chrome so that you don’t have to download the program; you can just run it off your browser. You can also access the notes via your smartphone app (Android, iPhone, Windows, Blackberry) on the go. Perfect for adding some random thoughts.

You can set virtual notebooks; which is really just a folder for notes. This allows you to categorise them properly. The categories I have are Food (places to eat, recipes to try), Work (no need to go into specifics here), Finance (some stock information) etc.

You can set a title for your notes; tags too, so you get more control on categorisation. You can also search for your notes using keywords, however I have yet to amass such a large amount of notes to require the search function.

It’s like a nice Google Drive that you can use to store all kinds of information on the cloud. But what makes me tick is the Web Clipper add-on that I can install on my Chrome browser.

Whenever I have seen something I like on the internet, I might want to save them for reference. If I want to save the entire content, I can Pocket it (another app for another time). If I want to capture a portion of the website and place it in a notebook, I can use the Web Clipper.

What is amazing is that it is able to recognise what the main content is in the different times I have used it, such that clipping the data is just a click away. I have copied recipes that I wanted to try out (seared scallops, yum), a book review on a book I wanted to read in the future etc.

My only pet peeve is that I don’t have a camera phone to use the other features. I could take a photo of something I like and place it in a notebook. For example, a type of wine that has been recommended; I could take the photo so that I can buy it myself in the future.

Plus, the app design is pleasant to the eye and it looks important enough. Some apps have pretty old-school designs which don’t give the feel good factor. This is shallow, but hey, Evernote has both beauty and the brain.

I have yet to try the sharing and collaboration part, but that also promises to be another important aspect for work. I am already thinking of using it to manage my various projects so that I could allocate work to team mates and have them put in the current statuses. For example, I could be in charge of organising a department dinner and there would be several areas that I could look into. For one, my department will give a self-made farewell gift to those who are leaving us in the job rotation cycle. The entire gift making process includes purchasing of materials, obtaining farewell messages from the team, printing relevant materials and finally putting everything together. If I could share a note and have my team members commit to updating it, life could be so much easier.

Evernote is the one app where I would recommend to everyone seeking to increase productivity in personal or even working life. Try it today.

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