David Sarna started using Evernote after he realized that finding anything in paper piles at his home and office was an archeological excavation. A typical ‘messy desk person,’ before Evernote, David discovered the tool via an article written by an old classmate of his, Wall Street Journal personal computing guru, Walt Mossberg. After finishing his last book, he decided to tackle his next project: Evernote for Dummies.
We sat down with David to ask him a few questions.
Why did you decide to write Evernote for Dummies?
Evernote changed my life. For me, it’s the most amazing program. But, as I talked to others, I realized that some people don’t quite get Evernote, or how to get started. They need someone to tell them: “If you want to do this, then do that.” I believe that there was a major need for this book, and I saw an opportunity to help more people see the incredible value that I get from using this product.
Who is the audience for your book?
The target audience for Evernote of Dummies are those people who need a little more step-by-step guidance for using a new product. These are not active Evernote users, who understand the features inside and out. This book is targeted at people who may have downloaded Evernote to their machine, but aren’t sure where to go from there, or what the value is of the product. The book doesn’t presume the reader has any previous knowledge of using Evernote.
Give as a very quick overview of what one would find in the book.
Evernote for Dummies is a typical ‘Dummies’ book. We try to cover everything about Evernote — from how to install it to your computer to how to use all of the different features. There’s also a chapter for developers, in which we introduce the Evernote API.
Where do you use Evernote?
I have a BlackBerry, Macbook Air, and iPad and I have Evernote installed on all of them. These days, I find myself using Evernote on my iPad more and more. If I’m borrowing someone’s computer, I use Evernote on the web.
How do you use Evernote?
I use Evernote in a myriad of different ways:
- I send all of my important emails to Evernote.
- I have an electronic fax system set up to send every fax that I received into my Evernote account.
- I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, so everything I scan goes straight into my Evernote account.
- I use the Evernote audio feature to record meetings I have over Skype.
- I use Shared Notebooks to share information with my colleagues. It’s the main way people within the company (who are all based in different locations around the country and the world) stay up to date with everything that is going on.
- I use the Simultaneous Search feature, which lets me conduct a Google search and see the results inside my Evernote account. Simultaneous Search has become my primary search method.
- I use the Evernote Web Clipper to capture and remember interesting things I see on the web.
I probably do much less tagging than most people. I prefer to let Evernote do the work for me. By typing in just a few keywords into the search box, I’m able to find exactly what I’m looking for.
The fact that I can combine my web clips with my faxes, emails, and everything else I do in one place makes Evernote an invaluable tool. When I was younger, I was much more of a ‘nerd’ than I am now. These days, I like tools and technologies that are simple to use and Evernote is just that. You click a button or an icon, and it’s in Evernote.
The more you use Evernote, the more valuable it is to you. As you save more of the interesting things you care about into Evernote, you’ll see it become the primary place you go to for you to find something.