Tips & Stories

Using Evernote to Solve Everyday Organizational Challenges — Guest post by Deb Lee

Posted by Deb Lee on 13 Aug 2009

Posted by Deb Lee on 13 Aug 2009

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Deb Lee, CPOR Name: Deb Lee
Profession: Certified Professional Organizer®
Blog: Organize To Revitalize
Twitter: @dallisonlee

Part of Evernote’s Summer to Unclutter Series

Hi there, I’m Deb Lee, a Certified Professional Organizer®, and the owner of D. Allison Lee Professional Organizers. As an organizational expert and someone who teaches others how to maintain order in their lives, I am always looking for new ways to help my clients. Each one has their unique challenges and needs when it comes to organizing. After seeing how well Evernote worked for me, I started thinking about how it could be a solution to some of the things they struggle with.

Here are some examples:

Evernote as a Small Business Tool

  • Challenge: My clients with small businesses often print web articles and SBA (Small Business Association) information they want to refer back to. Sometimes, they’re not quite sure where to store them for easy retrieval, and they end up in piles on the office floor.
  • Solution: This is where the web clipper would come to the rescue. All these clients would have to do is store the web page or article they want in their notebook, and, voila! …all would be right with the world again…and those piles would vanish into thin air.
  • Challenge: One of my clients owns a hair salon and is always on the look out for new products. She has a very large collection informational materials and brochures.
  • Solution: She could definitely use Evernote to keep track of new product information. She could take photos of all those materials or scan them into her Evernote account. That way, she can find them any time.

Evernote as a Recipe Keeper

  • Challenge: Many of my clients love to cook and one in particular loves to print recipes…lots of them!
  • Solution: With Evernote, she could keep all of the recipes in her virtual notebook and only print the ones she wanted to use at that moment, or better yet, just call up the recipe on her cell phone and skip printing altogether. I know many trees who would thank her for this.

Evernote as Trip Planner

  • Challenge: Each year, another client of mine plans two family vacations. She showed me a binder overflowing with maps and “places to go” clippings. It was an awesome binder that took some time to put together.
  • Solution: Now, I can tell her that she could have easily stored everything in an Evernote notebook and accessed it all on her phone while on the road.  That means less time building a binder, and more time having fun.

Evernote as Organizational Tool For Professional Organizers

  • Challenge: You know, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Evernote is a great tool for us professional organizers. We, too, collect enormous amounts of information that might benefit our clients. Some of us are bloggers who want to have quick access to stuff we might want to mention in a blog post.
  • Solution: Evernote would give us the structure we need to keep all of this content organized.

Evernote as Wedding Planner

I also have a very personal Evernote story. I decided to test drive Evernote while planning my wedding. As many brides do, I collected lots of information from bridal magazines and put them in a binder (with labeled tabs, of course). This system worked really well for the pages I took out of magazines, but when I found something I liked online (like wedding dresses, hair styles, and favors), I would have to print it…or as I was often fond of doing, I kept many browser tabs open. This was not so good…too much clutter on my desktop. I’m sure by now you know which Evernote feature saved the day.  You guessed it, the webclipper! Instead of printing or opening multiple tabs, I clipped my favorite web pages and saved them in my Evernote notebook. The best part was that I could access my info from any computer. I could even send all my ideas to my maid of honor using the sharing feature. Ah, I was in love…with the Elephant (the web clipper) in my browser toolbar.

What I’ve discovered is that Evernote is for anyone, the average person, even me. In fact, it’s one of the best relationships I have!  So far, I’ve focused mainly on the web clipper feature, which I love. It keeps me on track and saves a few trees in the process. And, it only gets better because now there’s an Evernote app for Blackberry. So, I can access my notes from anywhere. Yep, this relationship is going to the next level.

Evernote’s Summer to Unclutter

Check out our previous post in this series: 5 Ways Evernote Maximizes Your Organizing Potential

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6 Comments RSS

  • Lora

    The link to her blog, Organize To Revitalize, should be: http://dallisonlee.com/blog.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      @Lora Thanks for catching that. It’s fixed.

  • hamhead

    what would make evernote really useful is storing the notes offline on the iphone. this will be a sea change in how the product is used by iphone users. also with the latest iphone topping out at 32gb, storage has become less of an issue. i’ve often found myself needing to quickly refer to info on my iphone evernote and having to wait for a spotty network connection, etc.

  • Laurent

    @hamhead The notes you mark as “favorites” are available offline! That feature has saved my life repeatedly.

  • Michael Johnson

    These are some great ideas. I have been talking to a attorney friend of mine about the joys of Evernote. He is now placing notebooks in his Evernote system by the type of law that he is practicing. Civil and Criminal and tagging information with his client’s name and the date that he has received the documents. He has about decided to purchase the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. I really need to charge him a consultant fee.

  • Dana

    The new crops (trees) not planted would not be thankful for bypassing the recipe print process :)

    Seriously, we have all of our recipes in Evernote. In fact, we take Bon Appetit and Southern Living. Both sites put the recipes online, so we simply dog-ear the pages with interesting recipes so that when we’re at the computer, we can search for them and put them in Evernote (in less time than it takes to rip them out and put them in a phyiscal “To Try” folder). We print every recipe we cook. In a full year it doesn’t add up to even one pack of paper. No biggie.