With a no-holds barred approach to Asian cooking, and quite possibly the most extensive and varied repertoire of Southeast Asian street food found anywhere in the world, Jackie M has been sharing her passion for Asian cuisine with Australians for nearly 15 years. Jackie opened her eponymous restaurant in 2006 and, since making the decision to close the bricks and mortar location in 2013, has turned her focus to celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, food festivals, presenting and publishing.
Name: Jackie M
Profession: Celebrity Chef
How did you first find out about Evernote?
I’ve had it for quite a couple of years now, and it was underutilized for the longest time. It was like one of those add-ons or apps that you installed because it was recommended in the app store something like that. And really, for the longest time I was just using it as a glorified bookmarking service.
I started listening to podcasts, like business related entrepreneurial related podcasts, and usually, there was one particular podcast I listened to called Entrepreneur on Fire. And this guy asked a set number of questions of all these interviewees, like how they got started and one of the last questions he always asked was: What internet tools do you recommend to people if you had to pick one. So many people were suggesting Evernote that he had to edit the question and add “What Internet tool like Evernote…”, and yet people would still say “Evernote!” And so I thought if all these successful entrepreneurs were using Evernote, then I should check it out myself and learn a bit more.
How are you organizing your notes in Evernote?
Michael Hyatt is quite a well known internet personality, he’s like a thought leader kind of mentor, and he gave me some ideas about how to basically use Evernote more effectively. He suggested using a tagging system and so I started doing that as well. I am online quite a lot, so instead of just using it as a bookmarking service, I actually tried to organize all my bookmarks by adding tags to them like this one is related to that. I’ll put a hashtag or put a tag that says “recipe”, if I come across something interesting.
The great thing about Evernote is… I used to install a web clipping tool – if I see something nice (to clip) – it makes it a little bit awkward to organize, if I see nice recipe on Facebook, you can’t save that. But you can do that on Evernote. So what I do is I just save it properly with Evernote (Web Clipper) now and I can share it with my virtual assistants if there is something interesting there. So it is a great tool for me.
Because of all the functionality – I know there’s a free version and also a paid version – I ended up paying for it, because I thought “look, the scope is just so great in terms of what it is capable of and although I am barely scraping the surface of what I can use it for, I think I should support this app and pay for it”, and so I upgraded to a premium account!
How are you using Evernote to run your business?
Evernote is great in that sense because I have so many different ingredients; if you run a food business like I do, and certainly the kind of food that I cook, Asian food. Every time I go shopping, I have to do a lot of my own shopping, I get like 15 ingredients, not just salt and pepper and olive oil. I have a whole armful of receipts every time I go shopping, and you can actually just scan these on Evernote, so that’s my accounting out of the way.
Otherwise I’d have to sort them through, but Evernote can handle all that for me, so it’s really quite brilliant – the fact that you can get it scanned, and then you can get it to recognize the text as well, so you can sort it. And the other thing I use it for – you know my phone like everyone else’s phone has 5000 photos sitting in it – if I come across an ingredient in an Asian grocery store and I see it is interesting, I don’t want to just take a photo and have it saved in a photo gallery, I want it for my own business use… and that’s where Evernote comes into the picture. I can just take a photo of an interesting new ingredient and save it and it is filed in a separate library. So there’s lots and lots of functionality. Because I do a lot of online stuff – I am a member of 20 different membership sites and it allows me to have a tag and I can just go in and find my bookmark and find my log in – so it is really quite good, it is just saving so much time as well.
Do you use Evernote with any third party apps?
Yes, I use it with something called Blinkist. Blinkist is a great service that basically summarizes all these business books, kinda like Reader’s Digest – but even shorter than that. What I can do actually with Blinkist is, if I come across a book I like, I can just pipe it over to Evernote, and just get the summarized highlights of it.
What would you say is your favorite Evernote feature?
I don’t know if I have a favorite, but just the fact that I can centralize all of my research and all that sort of stuff. I’m always researching for something. I have a cookbook project, and if I see something interesting, I can just sort them through Evernote. Just cast everything there and I can go to Evernote and look for everything, all my research, everything from to-dos, recipes – everything is all centralized, rather than in browser bookmarks. I just like that whole idea of a proper centralized library.
I really like the business card recognition as well because everywhere I go, I travel quite a lot, I come back with armfuls of business cards, and I get my PAs to do other things, so they just kind of gather dust in my pockets, so it’s brilliant in that way. I can collaborate with my staff as well – I know there are other collaboration tools, like Google Drive, but I like the idea of having everything centralized like Evernote, so I want to get my staff on to that.
Everything is still quite new to me when it comes to exploring the different types of functionality. I’m really keen to be able to use it to help manage my business, because I always have a million things happening. There’s always something happening… This is perfect for someone who is really busy like me, who has fingers in all kinds of different pots. I’m really really excited about Evernote and what it can do.
Do you have any tips for new users of Evernote?
I started using Evernote more intensively in the last 3 months or so. Especially when I started listening to these podcasts, I thought I’d take a second look at it. In the past I’d just save the occasional bookmark, without really knowing what I was doing, and then after a while you have all these bookmarks and you go what do I do now sort of thing. When you start to create a system like organizing all these bookmarks then it started making sense to me, how I can use it more effectively.
Look up online on what its functionalities are. It’s not just a glorified bookmarking service, it’s got a lot of potential, but you really need to actually get yourselves tuned up about the possibilities. Because that’s what I did for the longest time – I just thought “oh, it’s just another bookmarking tool sort of thing”, but once you actually realize how powerful it is… search for a tag, business card scanning and receipt scanning. There’s so much potential in it that the average user might not be aware of so have a look around and research capabilities.
I’m always looking for other ways that I can improve on my productivity, so I am still feeling my way around Evernote. I’m still kind of a new user, but it’s basically like an all-in-one tool in the sense of managing all my different activities and all my research, and all my work as well, but it’s probably the best tool that I have among all the different things that I use online that can help me manage my business.