Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I am referring to Evernote (www.evernote.com), a truly amazing product. They selected the elephant as their logo, and it’s fitting.
The product helps you remember everything. It allows you to capture information, notes and ideas in any way that’s convenient for you. You can type yourself a note. You can dictate a grocery list. You can take a photo of a product you want to research. You can even record a clip of an idea with your web cam / camera phone or scribble yourself a note.
Once you’ve recorded all this information, it can be organized into folders known as notebooks. The search feature in the product will not only search typed text; it will even search through your handwritten notes or pictures that contain words. Best of all, the product is absolutely free.
As if that wasn’t enough, Evernote can be loaded on practically any platform (PC or Smartphone) so your notes are available when and where you need them. You can even encrypt sensitive information. Synchronization happens automatically, but you can designate certain folders to be local to your PC only. There’s even an option to email information to a special email address so it shows up in Evernote in the proper folder with the proper tags. I use this feature to forward meeting agendas or directions.
Speaking of tags … for those of you who are accustomed to being able to tag items, Evernote has that capability as well. As far as I can see, there is no limit to the number of tags you can assign to a document. You can, of course, search by these tags in addition to the other search options already listed.
Did I mention that you get all of this for the low, low price of FREE? There is a premium option available as well that gives you more storage space and other enhanced features, but I’ve found the free version to be sufficient so far.
Let’s say you are going grocery shopping this weekend and you want to make a list and collect coupons. You can create a notebook that contains a text document with your grocery list along with images of any coupons you want to use. You can add to this list throughout the week so that when you’re ready to go shopping on Saturday morning everything you need is in one place. If you need to, you can print the coupons just before the trip. If the store allows electronic copies of coupons, they will be available automatically on your smart phone as part of the syncing process.
Plan vacations, research topics of interest, capture ideas so they don’t get away, and do it all in any way that is convenient to you wherever you are. That’s Evernote.
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