- Name: Parker Holcomb
- Profession: Entrepreneur, Founder of All College Storage and eHighLighter
- Location: Brooklyn, NY
- Website: www.allcollegestorage.com, www.ehighlighter.com
- Twitter: @parkerHolcomb
Parker Holcomb, an entrepreneur and longtime Evernote user, shares some ways that Evernote and Skitch help him grow and run his storage and shipping business, All College Storage, as well as develop his newest company and app, eHighLighter.
Parker’s Quick Tip: Note links nested in a checklist can help you stay on top of the more detailed tasks or processes in your life by creating a quick and easy information hierarchy. Check out my GTD system with nested Note Links below!
I Use Skitch and Evernote for…
Running My Business
I use both Evernote and Skitch religiously to help me manage everything about All College Storage. From training new employees in business operations to shared task management, the apps are a key component in keeping me connected to my employees and in managing the work that needs to be done. Here are some examples of the ways I use Evernote and Skitch to be more productive at All College Storage.
Evernote for Task Management
The company’s slogan is “student run, professionally done,” which means I depend on my 16 student employees (called Campus Presidents) to help manage the business on the ground and provide great customer service. I use Evernote Shared Notebooks to help them stay on track with the company’s goals while managing a lot of the day-to-day operations independently. This gives them the ability to “own” their campus presence and share in the entrepreneurial experience, while allowing me to keep track of important milestones.
To manage all of this, I’ve started a central GTD system which includes a checklist of everything that needs to be completed, organized by type of task and priority. I use Note Links for each item in the checklist to connect to more information and notes about each individual task and to help me manage the completion of tasks. For example, each school we service appears as a Note Link, and clicking on it reveals a shared note with a more detailed list of tasks that my Campus President will check off when they finish.
Because Evernote is available for almost every device, my employees can access this information whether they are at their desk or on the ground organizing a pack, which makes me feel confident that I am always up to date with what’s happening in my business at any given time.
Skitch for Training
Even though I share a lot of documents from my account with my employees to help them learn different parts of the business, it’s often much easier for me to share detailed information with a simple Skitch image. For this reason, Skitch has become central to my training process. From the back-end of our payment system to the packing map for a given school, it’s much faster and simpler to show my Campus Presidents what I mean by adding shapes, arrows, and text to communicate the information visually with Skitch.
Skitch makes it easy for me to create materials that Campus Presidents can use to teach others our system. This is really helpful in scaling my business, as they need to bring on a lot of contract laborers and train them in best practices for packing and organizing the trucks. By simply sharing a couple of Skitch images that detail how our system works, my Campus Presidents have the tools they need to get their contractors up to speed in no time.
Developing my App
In addition to my work managing ACS, I’m developing eHighLighter, a personal research assistant app that integrates with Evernote and brings eBook benefits to paper sources. It’s now available in the Trunk! With it, you can take a picture of a book, then highlight and transcribe the text in the image to create searchable annotations and citations. These tools make organizing research a breeze.
Skitch for Sharing Ideas
Throughout the process of building eHighLighter, Skitch has been really useful in communications with my developer. If it weren’t for Skitch, describing what I want certain buttons to accomplish or mapping out idea flows would require sending dozens of emails back and forth. With Skitch, I only need to mark up an image of the home screen with text and arrows, drop the image into an email. Building an app requires a lot of work, but annotating with Skitch has made the process much more efficient than it would have been otherwise.
Evernote for Organizing Large Projects
Evernote also plays a critical role in helping me manage the development process. All the information I need to make sure I don’t stray too far from the development roadmap is easy for the whole team to access in a Shared Notebook, where I save feature summaries so that we have concrete goals for each version and we never miss out on any key pieces. It’s also helpful to share idea flows and organize my thinking around different features, and because I can access it from anywhere, whenever an idea strikes me, I can immediately capture it and share it with my team.