10 Tool Challenge FollowupAs promised as part of the 10 Tool Challenge this post is to report on progress in the past month on learning my first tool Evernote.
I didn't catch on quickly the first time I tried to learn to use Evernote, you know how it is when you're busy and stressed -- tough to focus on something new and different. This time was different in three ways.
- I added Evernote to my morning routine so it is one of the things I open as soon as I turn the computer on, right along with email, calendar and Netvibes (my reader).
- I happened to check www.lynda.com (where I pay a monthly subscription) and they had an brief course on Evernote. The course helped me "get it", in other words, it helped me see and understand the organizing principles of Evernote and to set up the basic Notebooks for a solid start.
- On top of that one of my learning partners Raye Shilen aka @preventiongeek gave me a few tips on how she uses Evernote which got my mind jump started on how it could work for me.
Evernote is organized by Notes & Notebooks. For us digital immigrant types, its sort of like having a series of notebooks to record things in but not having to carry them around all the time.
Notes can be made up of text, audio, screen clips, website links, images, photos, etc. There's a built in mic so you can record notes when that serves your purpose. I learned from Raye to organize notes by date first then title (3.1.13 Title) and to tag everything (more on that in a minute). I've noticed that I can also change the date on the file without having to keep an extra copy like when we use Word. For me, it has helped to make it a habit of opening a Note when a meeting, conference call or even a new project begins. It is so easy to take the notes and make a list of tasks and then send the note via email to other meeting participants. Even better, Evernote assigns a specific email address to you enabling you to forward important project/topic emails as Notes. You can also specify a particular Notebook and add tags as part of the email header.
Tag your notes, which means add a keyword or phrase or series of
meaningful letters/numbers to each note so that you can find all the
related items by tag at any time. How I wish I'd had this capability
back in 1990 -- my boss back then would have loved it!
Notebooks can also be put into Stacks meaning grouping them together -- basically a collection of Notebooks. So when you have several components to a project you can put each in a Notebook and then stack them together.
The best part is that everything is available on every device I use and continuously syncs in near real time. For me that means my laptop, desktop and mobile phone all have the same content in my Evernote Notebooks and Notes.
I wouldn't say I've mastered Evernote in the last 30 days but I've actually learned a lot AND best of all have been successful at integrating the tool into my work processes. I'm jazzed. I'm sure Evernote does other things I haven't explored yet but so far I'm really excited about how much easier it makes my work day.
How about you? How do you use Evernote as part of your work day?