The Bottom Line
At the suggestion of a very organized co-worker, I decided to try using Evernote, an online system designed to help you keep track of and remember important details and information - the things you might typically jot down on a notepad or on a sticky pad.
I was skeptical at first as I had tried other online information systems without much success. Plus, I already had what I thought was a very comprehensive system using binders, notepads, and sticky notes.
After trying Evernote, I must admit the system exceeded my expectations. Here's my review of Evernote, my new favorite online organizational tool.
The Evernote program allows you to:
- capture information in multiple formats such as free text, emails, attachments, photos and screen shots of websites;
- organize the data into electronic notebooks by category or project; and
- search for the data using keywords, titles and tags.
You start using the system by installing the client application on your desktop and then by setting up a free online account.
Every note that is created or edited is automatically synchronized to a web version of Evernote for your review. You can then access the program locally on your desktop or from any web browser. You can also download an application for your Blackberry, iPhone, iPad or Android.
There is a free version of the program as well as a premium version. The main differences between the two plans are:
- the amount of free online storage space is limited; and
- the maximum note size in the Premium version is twice that of the free version.
- Easy to install
- Apps available for Blackberries, iPhones, iPads and Androids (among others)
- Automatic synchronization between desktop, web version and mobile apps
- Notebook categories are easy to create
- Free-text notes are easy to create
- Notes can be tagged for fast and easy future reference
- Free storage space is limited
- "Getting Started" instructions somewhat limited and hard to follow
Contributing Writer Review - Evernote
Although I'm always looking for ways to better manage my time and to be more organized, I've always resisted electronic planners or digital note systems. Bottom line, I'm a paper person and still use a paper planner and calendar. A self-confessed office supply junkie, I'm always on the quest for the perfect binder, notebook or pen. This explains my initial hesitancy with regard to Evernote.
What finally made me try it?
- I was in the middle of three new projects at work.
- I was responsible for all of the due diligence as part of an acquisition.
- I had just started writing for About.com.
- My two children, who are juniors in high school, were starting to look at colleges. I was more concerned with how Georgia's state scholarship program worked.
I was simply at a point where I was trying to manage too much information, and my paper system wasn't living up to its end of the bargain. I guess you could say I was desperate.
I started using Evernote simply to manage all of my work projects and responsibilities but soon realized I could manage both work and personal details all in one system.
I now use the Evernote program for:
- Project management notes
- Meeting notes
- Sunday school lesson plans
- Grocery lists
- School information
- Organization tips
- Time Management tips
- Working moms article ideas
- To-do tasks as I think of them
I now have one central repository for everything. It's also much easier to keep my desk neat, which appeals to my organized side. I just might have to tackle using an electronic calendar next.