Heather Williamson is a horticulturist responsible for taking care of 800 plants on the lot of a major Hollywood studio. Heather helps to make sure that the physical property looks beautiful at all times and manages her day-to-day activities with Skitch and Evernote.
I use Evernote, Everywhere
- Android phone
- Skitch for Android
I use Evernote for…
As as a member of a 6-person gardening team, I am tasked with helping keep our facility beautiful and conducive to doing business. My responsibilities extend from our 63 acre lot to executive offices. Before Skitch and Evernote, it was very challenging to keep track of all of our plants: Which ones were healthy? Which ones needed treatment? Which ones have I ordered? Which ones need to be replaced? Together, Skitch and Evernote allow me to stay on top of everything.
It’s amazing how many times I get asked, “How often should I water my plants?” and I’m glad when people ask, because it means they want to have success at growing plants. Gardening is the number one recreational activity in America, and whether you’re a professional like me, or an enthusiast, you can use Skitch and Evernote to help you keep track of your plants, their names, where you purchased them, your garden planning, layout and its seasonal progress, and in-home arrangements.
Evernote for staying organized
- I organize all of my projects in Evernote. I have a few notebooks in my Evernote account and I keep all of my notes organized with tags such as ‘potted plants’ or ‘to-do.’ I have a running checklist of everything that needs to get done in my areas of responsibility, and am constantly adding to-dos to my master task list and checking off the completed ones (when I’m done with a task, I move it down toward the bottom of the list, so I can see all of the tasks which still need to get done at the top). I also have notes for all of the plants that I work with so I know exactly when one has been treated, if it has had issues, if it has been replaced with another plant, etc.
- Evernote is my visual frame of reference, my project manager and my binder. Instead of having to carry a paper notepad everywhere as I used to do, taking notes and then searching to find those notes later, Evernote allows me to have quick access to my notes while out in the field, and allows me to be more effective and proactive in my activities. Evernote has made it easy for me to focus on the things that are important, like finding a better way to deal with an issue we’re having or being more creative.
- My paper trail is in Evernote. I scan in any documents that I think I might potentially need into Evernote. If my boss asks me to save a piece of paper, I know exactly where to find it. I forward important email correspondences into Evernote, too. If someone asks, “What is the name of this plant disease we were talking about and what do we do about it?” I can look at the email I sent to a world-class expert, our exchange, and research I’ve conducted, all in one place. I’m able to find an answer immediately.
- I can solve problems with Evernote. I use an extensive tagging system in my Evernote account, which lets me organize my research on a variety of different issues related to plants including pest issues, diseases, design and maintenance. Recently, we needed to figure out a way to keep fruit from possibly falling on cars. It didn’t take long for me to look through my Evernote account to access the information on exactly how to cut the fruit from the trees, while keeping them healthy and free of disease.
- I keep gardening inspiration in Evernote. I’m often inspired by things I see online and out in the real world, and Evernote lets me capture my ideas wherever I am. If I see an interesting gardening article online, I use the Web Clipper to add it to my Gardening notebook. If I’m on a garden visit, I take pictures of various and interesting plants and designs. This helps me when I’m asked to design something; I can simply look through my gardening ideas and can pull up anything I’d like to reference and immediately share it with someone or use it as a seed idea for a new design. I also clip or take pictures of items I need (like replacement blades, new tools to try, plant food, novel bud vases, etc.).
Skitch for planning arrangements, keeping tabs on plant health, and more
- Skitch helps me create office arrangements. Part of my job requires me to style executives’ offices with plants. As I’m touring an office, I use Skitch to plan out what types of plants I’ll order and how I’ll arrange them. I snap photos of bare office areas with Skitch and use my finger to quickly sketch a likeness of a plant, to scale in areas I think could be beautified with foliage and show it to a customer as we confer. I’ll jot down notes about what type of plants would look good in each particular space, based on lighting conditions and the size of the area being worked with and also note relative plant sizes. When I’m back at my desk, I can pull up my visual reference, along with my notes, and know exactly what I need to order. The annotated images also serve as my guides when I’m ready for the plant delivery and installation process.
- I use Skitch and Evernote to keep tabs on plant health. When I treat plants, I take pictures of what they looked like before treatment, so that I can monitor how they respond to it. I note the type of treatment, date, and condition of the plants so I have both visual and text references. If an issue is new to me (for example, if I find a pest on a plant that I don’t recognize), I draw an arrow on the image of the plant so that I can quickly spot it next time I see it. From there, I can research the issue further and link the research to the note by using tags and placing it in a specific notebook.
- I use Skitch to draw attention to places, concepts and ideas I might want to revisit. Skitch is a great visual reminder to revisit my ideas. For example, I’ll point out aspects of arrangements I see at nurseries and might want to recreate, or point to locations I should revisit. Once these annotated images are in my Gardening notebook in Evernote, I can quickly scan through them whenever I need some inspiration.
Skitch helps me brainstorm ideas for our yearly community volunteer project
Our studio gives back to the community every year in the form of a large volunteer project. This year, we’re working with a local elementary school and helping them improve their garden. I’m using Skitch to brainstorm the layout of their garden to help myself get organized while on a job.
Since this is a volunteer project, the group is broken up into teams, and a team captain could be a studio executive or an intern. Evernote gives key people an opportunity to participate in the learning process and have the chance to be successful at what might be a new task to them. I’ll snap photos of different plants and annotate them with Skitch to point out which are weeds and which are desirable plants. I’ll also snap photos of large areas and annotate them to show how they should be planted. For example, I’ll point out that grass should be planted near a rock because it makes for a nicer design. All of these notes can be shared with team captains, as well as anyone at the school, so they can easily reference the planting placement recommendations. In addition, it’s a great visual reference of the “before and after” effect that the project has made.
How are you using Skitch for gardening? Please share in the comments!