We've been using Evernote as our exclusive note manager for both mobile and desktop usage and apparently we're not the only ones who love its functionality. Evernote has seen an impressive spike in users ever since the Mac App Store release only a few days ago. We thought this would be a good time to share some of our favorite ways of using Evernote to help improve our productivity and efficiency both in and out of the office/home.
The fundamental notion behind these 8 ideas is using Evernote as a means of creating constant, yet fluid notes. We still use Evernote as a way to quickly create/delete notes on the fly but we also keep a "Constants" folder which holds all of the notes that we never delete but only alter according to our needs.
1. Where I parked/locked the car/bike This is a common problem with many apps claiming to solve it. We're not particularly app-crazy so we always try to solve a problem with an app we already own rather than downloading a new one. In this case, it is easy to make a new note that will forever hold the current location of your car/bike. This way you never have the sinking feeling in your chest about where you may or may not have left your transportation.
2. Drug store shopping list When do you not need things from the drug store? Between hand soap, paper towels, milk, detergent, etc.. the list seems to never end. This is why we created a "to buy" note that holds our growing list of products to buy. Whenever we think of the item we need, no matter where we are, we add it on the spot so it doesn't slip our minds later when we're at the store.
3. Remember interesting products We're huge book lovers and with the multitude of books constantly being released, reviewed, or discovered, it is crucial we keep a catalog of all the ones we're interested in buying or borrowing. For this, we keep a central Amazon wishlist that houses all of our book-wants. However, it isn't always easy to quickly add a book to the list. This is when Evernote comes in handy. Whenever we see or hear of a book that looks to be of interest, we add it to our note. Later on we'll add it to the main wishlist if we deem it worthwhile.
4. Basic ideas/inspiration This is a very important one to have — kinda like that black notebook writers keep by their bedside to record a thought when inspiration strikes them in the middle of a dream. Sometimes good ideas can be so temporal, coming and going so quickly it is impossible to remember them all. To combat this, we created an Inspiration note where we log away anything that seems to be promising. We use this frequently in museums, the park, coffee shops, etc..
5. Important dates/times Many of us already use some sort of digital calendar to hold our special dates and responsibilities. We're not suggesting this note should replace that — but it should supplement them. Some dates are so important that it wouldn't hurt to have a secondary reminder. Any crucial event gets recorded here and is deleted once it is over.
6. Places to eat Perusing the city streets will always yield a new restaurant find that we hadn't seen before. Quickly jotting down the name and location in our Evernote app is always a good way of remember where the spots we want to eat are when it comes time to pick a place to eat.
7. Before you walk out the door This one has saved our butts on numerous occasions and it could be used two ways. It could be a strict, daily reference point or used for special occasions. If you use it everyday, you can include the things you will always needs (wallets, keys, etc…) and add onto it whenever you think of an item you'll need for a future date. Or, you could save it for special days like the important business meeting where you absolutely need the project file saved on the flash drive or the reminder to take the gift card to the restaurant you're visiting on your dinner date.
8. Trip checklist Having just returned from a week-long trip, this idea was fresh on our minds. Making a trip checklist helps you ensure that you come and go with everything you need. Draft a list before you leave and come packing day, add things one by one as you go down your list. This ensures that you don't miss anything if you were to leave your "what do I pack" conundrum to the final minutes before you head out the door. Next, when you're at your destination, keep an ongoing list of things you purchase (or leave, for whatever reason). This way you will have a second list of things you know you can't leave without, ensuring you won't return home and remember you left your new Statue of Liberty keychain in the hotel's bedside table.