Often, as small business owners, we are looking for ways to improve productivity and reduce overwhelm. One way to do this is to automate as much of our business as we can – and maybe even go paperless. We like the idea of being cutting edge and more efficient but taking the time to learn new technology, and then use it effectively, can be overwhelming. We end up pulling the legal pad and pen back out.
Staying organized in my business got a lot easier for me in 2009 when I started using one simple to use tool that serves many common business needs, and is FREE: Evernote. This tool helps you to collect, organize and access information from anywhere. It can be used on your smartphone, IPad, and computer. You can take notes, make lists, set reminders, record, and take pictures. You can also collect information from the web, from email, or anywhere else you find info that you want to keep and access.
They keep innovating too, making it better and better.
So, to help you assess it’s value to you, and to give you easy references to get started, I have compiled several of my favorite resources on Evernote. This will save you lots of time and, if you are like me in December, give you a new resource to get organized for the new year!
Best Evernote Overview
Evernote: Getting Started – What is a better resource to understand Evernote than the Evernote people. They have put together this introductory video on using Evernote. The best thing about it is that they chopped it up into several very short video clips so you can quickly assess the tool and come back later for more.
My Top Uses For Evernote
- Making it easier to find things again later – I file all of the records I used to keep in paper files here. This gives me access to it even via my iPad anytime, anywhere, and unless your file drawer has a search by keyword function, I think you’ll agree it is a lot easier to find what you’ve filed here. My note taking app Notability can email directly to Evernote so I even use it for my meeting notes.
- Collecting websites and articles – I collect a ton of articles as references and resources for my blog posts or to just share directly with clients.
- Taking pictures to use on my blog – I can go directly into Evernote on my phone and take the picture from the app. This way the picture is already in Evernote and doesn’t get loss in my huge mass of personal pics in IPhoto.
- Keeping all of my business receipts organized – I take pictures of each receipt and tag it in Evernote. The great thing about that is it automatically puts them by month and then I add a tag for the business expense category it goes in.
Top Uses from Experts
Jamie Todd Rubin
Jamie is an Evernote Paperless Lifestyle Ambassador. You can find just about every possible use of Evernote on his site, here http://www.jamierubin.net. However, I have compiled a short list of his 5 best posts about using Evernote.
- 8 Ways I Use Evernote to Manage My Blogging – this was very helpful to me as I do blog a lot. Below is Michael Hyatt’s version of how he uses Evernote for blogging.
- Creating Interactive Holiday Wish Lists in Evernote – I thought this will help you get everyone sharing their Christmas wish list.
- Reading and Researching Using Evernote, Clipper, and Clearly – I use the Clipper all of the time to save things I find on the web.
- How I Get Things Into Evernote – In this post, he shares how to automate the process of getting things into Evernote.
- My Virtual Bookcases in Evernote – this one is a little detailed for me, but if you are the type that actually organizes your bookshelves, you will absolutely love this!
The Evernote Blog
It only makes sense to go to the source. Evernote has a great blog that has many contributions to all the ways you can use it and tips and tricks to use it most effectively.
Mashable has information on all sorts of things, but I usually look at the business posts. They provide tips, reviews, and current news on Evernote periodically.
Michael Hyatt’s Blog
I love Michael Hyatt’s blog for many different topics on leadership, productivity, and life. However, this is one of his several posts on how he uses Evernote. As a blogger he uses Evernote to capture information and ideas, but then he actually writes his posts in Evernote. And he is another blogger who gives many screen shots for people who are visual learners like me.
Getting More Organized
I pulled together these resources to give you several different perspectives on Evernote as a tool to get more organized and to automate your work. Hopefully you got some ideas about how Evernote could help you be more productive, less overwhelmed, and streamline your work.
I have found tools like Evernote to be invaluable in taking control of business. So much so that I want to continue to share with those who decide to try it. My next post on Evernote will be how to set it up efficiently for your business. I have collected many useful resources over the years to set up my Evernote and I have written a couple of posts myself on going paperless with Evernote. (Guess where they are all stored!)
How I can Help
I work with business owners every day who unanimously agree that they have more to do in a single day than they can find the time to get done. One of my goals is to help small business owners tame their business so that you can run it, rather than it running you.
If you are ready to get started with Evernote use the comments below to tell me about your biggest problems with staying organized and productive and I will make these comments the topic of a future post!