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Keeping my act together

I was recently thinking about what tools I used to keep myself in order. Let’s face it, this industry lends itself to disorder at best, to chaos at worst.

Back in August 2010 I declared Microsoft OneNote the next best thing since sliced bread.  I fell in love with OneNote.  I lived, breathed, and died by OneNote.  And for the record, I still use OneNote.  But I have been introduced to and have also fallen in love with Evernote.  It’s the next best thing since…well, OneNote.

There is a definite learning curve to working with Evernote.  But once you get the handle of it, it can be a powerful tool.  And you don’t have to give up OneNote if you want to continue using it as well.

The Cost of Evernote

There is a free version of Evernote, or you can get Evernote Premium for $5 a month or $45 a year.  The free version of the program is online only (you have to have Internet access, you cannot access your notebooks when offline), and limits you to 60MB of uploads per month.  Also, you can allow others to view your notes and notebooks, but they cannot edit.

The premium version of Evernote allows you to upload up to 1GB per month, you have offline access to notebooks, you can sync your notebooks across multiple devices, scanned PDF files are searchable, you can provide access to others to edit (not just view) notes or notebooks, and a few other perks.

Why Evernote

In a nutshell, this is a slick, convenient tool for keeping track of all types of information across multiple devices.  It always seems inevitable that I have a brilliant idea while standing in the middle of the grocery store, with nothing to write with (or on).  With Evernote, I can simply pull out my phone open the Evernote app and quickly write down my brilliant thought before it seeps out of my brain, lost to eternity.  When I get home, Evernote automatically syncs, so I can access the information from my iPad or my laptop.

The free web clipping tool is a must-have as well.  You can install it easily on your browser(s) of choice, so that when you run across something on a website you can easily “clip” it to Evernote.  You can clip a whole page, a screenshot, a selection that you highlight, or a simple bookmark.

I also like the ability to share notes and notebooks with others, and to be able to allow them to provide direct edits.  It is a great collaboration tool, tracking changes in real time.  In my opinion it is much better than trying to collaborate via email.

Currently I am using Evernote to:

  • track marketing ideas
  • take notes for a book I’m writing
  • gather data for a future business venture
  • take snapshots and keep notes regarding changes I want to make to my website
  • organize fundraising information
  • coordinate training materials
  • jot down ideas for future TRO articles

If you read my 2010 OneNote article, you will notice I mentioned that I track my groups in OneNote; but not in Evernote. While I have figured out how to track groups in Evernote, there are just a few features that make me prefer OneNote for this one task.  But for anyone that does not own Microsoft Office and does not have OneNote, it is possible to track your groups with Evernote (thus giving you access to your groups across all platforms).

If you have Evernote, how do you use it?  Tell us in the comments!

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