Jeremy Yancey is communications and marketing professional, blogger, and author who works with companies to optimize their brand online using digital, content and social media marketing. He is also an Evernote Community Leader based out of Sydney, Australia.
I’ve been using Evernote for around five years, and it’s changed my life. I’m not being melodramatic, or even exaggerating in the slightest sense. I’ll prove it to you.
I used to struggle with two things that cost me considerable time, and caused major frustration:
Taking notes, and having them easily accessible.
Maintaining and retrieving organized files.
I was fed up with trawling through paper notebooks, which were typically abandoned halfway through because of the scribbled chaos and overwhelming mess. My filing cabinet was more of a dumping ground than a systematic storage unit.
Surely there had to be a better way.
I picked up a copy of The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (still a favorite book of mine). From this book, I first learned about Evernote – an app that would soon not only solve my problems but would also become a pivotal productivity tool that I rely on daily.
Evernote…not only solved my problems but also became a pivotal productivity tool that I rely on daily.
I’m not writing a sales pitch. This is a genuine case study. Thanks to Evernote, I always have records and information I need, whenever I need it. I could be at the accountant’s office doing my taxes, and need to pull up a receipt, and it’s no problem because I stored it in Evernote. My boss might be trying to recall what was said at a recent meeting. A quick check of the meeting minutes in my Evernote answers his question. But Evernote isn’t just for work notes or housing vital records. Evernote is at the center of everything I need to remember. These could be scans of old printed photos, random, brilliant ideas I had while walking the dog, a shopping checklist (without one, I always forget something). When I triage my email inbox, I clip important messages straight into Evernote for later reference. If I’ve found a great article online that I want to keep handy, I clip a ‘simplified’ version of it, which removes all the junk (like ads) from the page and gives me a clean copy that’s easy to read. When out at dinner with friends, I can snap a picture of a wine label I like and jot down a quick note detailing when and where I had it.
I’ve now cut out about 90 percent of the paper in my life. I rarely keep physical copies anymore, unless paper is required. The rest sits safely in Evernote, ready for when I need it. The only notebook I keep is my Evernote Moleskine, which I use to take handwritten notes. I scan them into Evernote later. The Evernote Moleskine Notebook is optimized for use with Evernote app, which can turn handwriting into searchable text (my father-in-law was amazed by this, and is now using the Moleskine with Evernote too).
I’ve now cut out about 90 percent of the paper in my life.
There are no rules for how you set up your Evernote system. It is flexible and customizable, so it’s easy to set up exactly the way you want. With Evernote, you don’t have to deal with putting things in folders. Instead, there are notebooks and tags, which, for me, at least, works much better with the way I think and organize Evernote’s powerful search feature makes it straightforward and fast to dig up what you’re looking for, from almost any device.
Evernote made my life better because it helps keep me organized and more productive. I’ve cut out the chaos and freed up time to focus on what matters. It’s an app I can’t live without.
See more from Jeremy Yancey at his website, and follow him on Twitter @jeremy_yancey
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