Cory Voglesonger runs a product development team at Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a furniture, electronics, appliances and computer sales and leasing company with 1,150 company-owned and 664 franchised stores across the United States and Canada. Evernote is his team’s core collaboration, organization and communication tool.
At the office, employees primarily use Windows machines, but at home and on the go, they can log into their accounts from any device. When employees are on the road, they can log into their account from any number of computers and mobile devices.
Using Evernote for a Huge Project: Company-Wide Point of Sale
My team is working on building a new point of sale for the company, a massive project with many moving parts, stakeholders, and points of entry.
I needed a tool that would help my team quickly and easily capture the incredible amount of information that we were dealing with, and be able to access it from any device.
Here’s why we chose Evernote, and how it helps us run a smooth operation:
- We needed a tool that would be ubiquitous
My development team is distributed and is constantly sharing tons of information. People are on the road, in different locations, using different devices when they’re on the go. With Evernote, we can start a project at the office and pick up our workflow from any device whether we’re on the road, at home, or on a plane. Things are always moving forward.
- We needed a tool that would allow us to capture information in any format
Before we started using Evernote as a team, we didn’t have a flexible and easy-to-use place to house information like meeting notes, whiteboard drawings and quick handwritten sketches and memos. There was no one-size-fits all solution. With Evernote, we can capture virtually any idea, concept, or note –even if it’s written on a napkin during a lunch meeting! Everything that comes up over the life cycle of the project is saved into a shared Evernote folder, accessible by anyone in the company. [Learn how to attach files to your notes]
- We needed a tool that would make it easy to find information
Evernote has become a central knowledge base for the Aaron’s national call center and our business users, so having the ability to search through a lot of information and quickly find what anyone might be looking for is vital. Evernote’s search feature allows both members of the call center and business users to quickly search for answers to questions as they come up, instead of sifting through buried folders in a rigid system. Not to mention, Evernote helps my team and I organize our own incoming correspondences, attend to different projects throughout the day. With other programs, the information you’re looking for might be there, but it’s buried in a folder structure.
- We needed a tool that didn’t have a pre-determined structure
With Evernote, we can easily drop information into shared notebooks, without having to spend time figuring out a folder structure. For Aaron’s employees, Evernote is about getting information down and being able to share it across development teams, without having to immediately organize it.
- We needed a tool that would allow us to share information
My team is constantly sharing information. In Evernote, updates can be made quickly, so we always have access to the latest information. In the past, we’ve struggled to seamlessly share information with many different team members across the organization—particularly our national call center. [Learn how to start sharing]
Getting Everyone on Board
When we chose to use Evernote as a team, I created a Sponsored Group, giving every member of my team a Premium account. I didn’t have to worry about convincing people to convert to using new devices because it was ‘Mac-only.’ Evernote is available for virtually any device, so anyone on my team could use it. I pay for everyone’s account (discounted for groups) on one single bill. When new members join the team, I simply add them to the group, and they’re immediately able to access all team discussions, brainstorms, documents, snapshots and sketches. [Learn more about Sponsored Groups and how to get started.]
Making business decisions with the help of Evernote
Having a place to store all kinds of information—from snapshots of whiteboard discussions to files and voice memos—gives team members an easy way to save and share information that would otherwise have to be saved to different programs, files and computers. The ability to have any type of content saved in one place gives my team a holistic view of major projects and collaborations, and often helps build clarity around specific implementations.
We’ll often come up with solutions and make decisions by pulling up any number of notes associated with a specific date or aspect of a project.