What's All the Fuss About Evernote? Should I Be Using It?

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Dear Lifehacker,
It looks as if everyone seems to be all the time raving about Evernote, however I do not actually perceive its attraction. Isn’t it only a notes app that different apps do higher or less complicated? What’s makes Evernote so nice?

Just do not get it

Dear Just,
You’re not alone. I believe the world is likely to be divided into two teams: Those who love Evernote and those that do not (or, at the very least, do not perceive why so many individuals love Evernote). Evernote is a cross-platform app that serves many functions—it may be your digital file cupboard, note-taking device, every day journal, activity or challenge administration system, recipe-keeper, and extra. Because it has so many makes use of and completely different options, Evernote can each attraction to lots of people and really feel like overkill to others. (Our personal Adam Pash has written about why he can’t get into apps like Evernote as a result of he prefers apps that do exactly one factor effectively.)

Although few different Lifehacker editors use the app, many How I Work visitors and Lifehacker readers additionally love (and I imply love) Evernote. Heck, I take advantage of it myself. We requested our Evernote followers why they cherished it a lot, and this is what they stated.

It’s a Universal Inbox: Store Anything You Can Imagine in One Place

Evernote integrates with nearly all the things. It has browser extensions that will let you save an online web page—in its entirety—in a single click on for future reference. A devoted Evernote e mail deal with permits you to ahead emails, tweets, or some other sort of content material to any of your Evernote notebooks. Also, IFTTT (If This Then That) assist means you may robotically ship content material from different providers (e.g., Gmail or Google Reader or Pocket) to your Evernote account. If nothing else, you can use Evernote to archive your digital life.

Evernote can thus serve are your “all the things” inbox. Thanks to its cross-platform assist (desktop apps, internet apps, cellular apps) you actually can offload your entire reference supplies, concepts, to do duties, or different digital objects to Evernote and by no means fear about the place you’ve got collected all these random bits of knowledge. It’s one container to retailer all of them. Evernote’s search is sweet sufficient that you could retrieve all these docs rapidly, nevertheless it additionally has nice pocket book and tagging group (extra on that in a bit) that basically make it stand out.

Jay G. says:

I take advantage of Evernote for EVERYTHING. I take advantage of it for my every day journal. I take advantage of it with IFTTT to save lots of all starred objects in Google Reader to save lots of fascinating articles for future reference. I scan all donation and different necessary receipts by scanning and emailing. I take advantage of it to prepare initiatives with quotes, concepts, snippets from the online, and typed notes. I take advantage of it to retailer all digital manuals and directions for numerous electronics across the house. I additionally use it to save lots of favourite tweets (once more with IFTTT). I take advantage of it to retailer instructing notes, dialogue concepts, and so forth. I take advantage of it to reference private paperwork, contracts, medical paperwork, and so forth.

That’s simply off the highest of my head, however these can be the most typical makes use of. I’m a Pastor of a church and I discover this device indispensable.

Chris Okay. writes:

I take advantage of Evernote every single day. I am a marketing consultant and sometimes meet with shoppers to debate designs. It could also be weeks or months in between conferences. Evernote makes it simple to catch proper again up the place we left off. By synching between my MAC and my Droid I may even get caught up whereas I am ready within the foyer 5 minutes earlier than a gathering. And I can share the notes with my friends.

Basically, you may dump all the things in there—from written or typed notes to picture snapshots or movies to voice recordings—and depend on retrieving them later both with the dependable search or your individual tagging/pocket book group.

It’s Digitizes Your Physical Notes and Backs Them Up in The Cloud

Because of its multi-platform assist and OCR characteristic, Evernote additionally helps individuals who simply need to go paperless. Mike U. says:

I can reply it merely that it helps the unorganized get organized.
Being an Evernote premium subscriber, I take advantage of the extra add capability to scan receipts, payments and letters, share family notebooks with my partner, scan our children paintings and tag it with date/occasion/grade. Additionally, I take advantage of it as a repository for documentation (learn:work) in searchable PDF format.
It is completely the one device I take advantage of every single day a number of occasions a day.

There has been quite a few occasions I have been on a name and wanted one thing like insurance coverage data, and it was simply retrieved, as a result of all the things goes into Evernote.

Evernote can rapidly flip photographs and scanned pics into notes—and in addition decipher the textual content in these photographs. (The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine is a pleasant marriage of the analog and digital.)

It’s Great for Task/GTD Management

Productivity marketing consultant Daniel Gold says he makes use of Evernote as a “life administration device”:

It permits me to leverage it as a doc administration device to incubate all my reference associated supplies (each scanned papers and digital) with my motion objects. With notice linking, I can join the dots between duties and reference objects. Add in saved searches and I can rapidly filter by initiatives and duties to give attention to what should completely go proper to ensure that me to be extra productive & profitable. 

Even although Evernote lacks the standard trappings of a to-do checklist supervisor (e.g., reminders and checkboxes), it may be a worthy alternative in the event you arrange a system for utilizing it.

Evernote templates make it simple to show Evernote right into a challenge/GTD device, however maybe probably the most thorough GTD Evernote system is previously mentioned The Secret Weapon. TSW takes benefit of a few of Evernote’s distinctive options: a number of tags choice (e.g., rapidly discover: “.Active Project,” “2-Next,” “@Work”) and e mail integration.

Whether you employ a construction like The Secret Weapon with Evernote, Evernote may handle your duties and initiatives, because of the simple e mail integration, tagging capabilities, and in addition pocket book sharing (for collaborative challenge administration).

It Rocks for Note-Taking, Whether Simple or Detailed

Lots of people additionally use Evernote as a note-taking device and for learning or studying. The app has built-in audio seize assist and integrates with instruments just like the LiveScribe digital pen (nice for college students and fixed assembly attendees).

Personally, I discover the note-taking to be a bit gradual and cumbersome on Evernote. If I need to simply rapidly jot a notice down, it isn’t the perfect device for the job (apart from the truth that it is an amazing common inbox, as above). I believe this kind of dissatisfaction with simple note-taking and syncing is why loads of Lifehacker editors have resorted to less complicated options like utilizing plain textual content recordsdata and Dropbox. (I am defaulting to index playing cards.)

Still, Lifehacker reader suggestions suggests lots of you’re additionally utilizing Evernote not simply as a digital file cupboard however as a digital notebooks or notepads. Nathan A., a graduate analysis pupil in chemistry on the University of York (UK), makes use of Evernote as an digital lab pocket book:

Each experiment I do has a devoted notice for it, and on the notice I notice down the COSHH/danger evaluation data, security procedures, procedures and any references I’ve used. … After the experiment, I copy up my observations, measurements and so forth from the lab ebook into the Note. This is nice because it means I can write my studies with full entry to my notes, and simply share a duplicate with my Academic or the remainder of the analysis group.

It would possibly sound somewhat laborious, nevertheless it ensures a contaminant-free ‘paper path’ and it makes writing studies up a complete lot simpler.

Matthew B. makes use of it to rapidly notice milestones in his son’s life. And Zef C. makes use of Evernote to jot down recipe elements.

Many readers stated they preferred Evernote’s capacity to not solely sync throughout all units and manage with tags, however protect the notice creation date. And Grad pupil Andy Okay. says Evernote is useful when it’s a must to compile a number of media codecs into one cohesive format. (Also, did we point out it was free for all this multimedia archiving/recording goodness?)

It Works as a Digital Reference System, Great for Research Work or Archiving Material

I take advantage of Evernote as a digital file cupboard and in addition as a spot to dump and manage concepts. The internet clipping browser extension works rather well (though generally it makes me wait longer than I need to). Instead of saving simply the URL, like Springpad does, Evernote saves the total article and the URL—which is nice for reference functions. With a number of tags choice and the flexibility to hyperlink notes collectively, Evernote is the last word reference system. As frequent Lifehacker contributor Shep McAllister says, it is nice for doing analysis and highlighting how various things are linked.

It Allows for Multiple Special Notebooks

You may put Evernote to any activity that includes archiving, journaling, or in any other case recording data.

Adam R. says:

Evernote is ideal for a beer ingesting historical past of the completely different microbrews I’ve had. I embrace footage of every bottle or glass of beer together with tasting notes for each.

I additionally use it for work objects I want with me in every single place I’m going, together with IP addresses, community ID’s and server names. Easily searchable and hasn’t failed me but.

Others use Evernote to protect their:

  • Meeting notes
  • Client/challenge notes
  • Home contractor cellphone numbers
  • Songs (chords, tablature, and so forth.)
  • Technical knowledgebase
  • Travel plans
  • Motivational quotes
  • Usernames and passwords (I’d suppose twice about that)
  • Recipes
  • Important (e.g., children’ medical) paperwork
  • Bucket checklist

There are many different methods to file data, however maybe actually none as feature-rich and universally accessible as Evernote. There are tons of plugins for Evernote too, so you may just about mould it to your actual wants.

Those are the primary causes/methods all of us are utilizing Evernote. It’s not with out its flaws (Alexio R. has a love/hate relationship with the app due to its computerized formatting), nevertheless it’s just like the Swiss Army knife of seize instruments.


Thanks to everybody who chimed in about their Evernote use!

Have a query or suggestion for Ask Lifehacker? Send it to [email protected].

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