‘Twas the season for gift giving—to the tune of $967.13 per person, according to the National Retail Federation. And while this year’s most popular gifts for kids were perennially favorite toys, the…ahem, big kids looked to high tech to make their holiday dreams come true. Instead of sugarplums, many grown-ups had visions of Apple iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, and Amazon Echo (a.k.a. Alexa) dancing in their heads. If you were lucky enough to receive one of these gadgets this year, we have some good news for you: they all play well with Evernote. Thanks to some handy integrations—and a little help from our friends—you can capture and search your ideas wherever you go.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of these devices, here are a few tips to get you started.
Have a tête-à-tête with Siri
If you received an iPhone or iPad as a holiday gift, you probably want to take all its bells and whistles for a test drive. One of the most powerful features is Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. Evernote is integrated with Siri so you can stay productive even when you’re busy doing other things.
Create a shopping list on your iPad while you’re making breakfast. Add to-dos to Evernote on your iPhone while you’re stuck in traffic. Use your EarPods while you’re working out to tell Siri to create a note.
Here’s how it works: Awaken Siri on your device and then give your instructions directly to Evernote. It’s that simple. Try one of these commands today and see for yourself:
- “Create a note in Evernote called Meeting Ideas,” or “Create a note called Meeting Ideas in Evernote.”
- “Add ‘I should bring pizza’ to my Meeting Ideas note in Evernote.”
- “Create a list in Evernote with ‘Order lunch’ and ‘Make itinerary,’” or “Create a list with ‘Order lunch’ and ‘Make itinerary’ in Evernote.”
- “Show me the notes I created today in Evernote.”
You don’t even need to touch your device to create, add to, and search your notes, so you’ll be ready when your next brilliant idea comes along.
It’s time for Evernote and Apple Watch
If you’re the proud owner of an Apple Watch, be sure to add the Evernote app to both your watch and your iOS device. Evernote and Apple Watch work together (and are considered a single device in your account) to help you organize and find things when you’re really on the go. How?
- Record audio from your wrist. Now that sounds like James Bond, doesn’t it? But you don’t have to make a secret of it. Recording audio with Evernote for Apple Watch is more convenient, and a little bit more subtle than pulling out your iPhone or iPad. A perfect way to use it? Record discreetly into Evernote when you’re in a class or lecture, or if you have to interview someone. Just remember to get the speaker’s permission to record—unless it’s you. Recording your own voice so you never have to let an idea or a reminder escape you is one of the most popular ways to use Evernote with Apple Watch.
- Jot it down. Nobody’s suggesting you should write a novel in a 38 or 42mm form with your finger, but you can put bits of information into a note. Phone numbers, a simple sketch, or your parking space number are good choices.
- A third hand. You need to give the baby some medicine, but you also need dosing instructions. And your hands are full of…baby. Good thing you put those instructions in Evernote. Now you can just glance at them on your wrist while your hands are full.
Secrets for using Evernote with Amazon Echo
Popular gifts this year are Amazon Echo devices, sometimes called Alexa. If you’re new to having an always-on assistant in your home, you’re in for a treat. While Alexa doesn’t yet have Evernote Skills, you can still make Alexa and Evernote talk to one another.
- Visit IFTTT. If you’re not super-technical, all you need to know is that IFTTT helps one bit of tech communicate with another. Tell IFTTT that you want to Add Your Alexa to-do’s to Evernote, export your shopping list, or keep track of songs Alexa plays for you in Evernote, and the code will take care of the rest.
Looking to the future: Google (and more) await
It’s clear by now that the prevailing trend in personal tech is toward greater connectivity and deeper integration between devices and services. In that spirit, new gadgets are entering the market on what seems like a daily basis. One of the most highly publicized recent releases is Google Home—a device aimed squarely at Amazon Echo’s share of the market.
For now, Evernote is not integrated with Google Home, but rest assured that, as with our Siri and Apple Watch partnerships, we’ll be looking at ways of bringing full Evernote functionality to this and other gadgets in the not-too-distant future.
Congratulations on your new gadgets. Be sure to use them wisely—and productively—with Evernote.