I use Evernote on an everyday basis and I use it many different ways. One excellent quality I found is that it is available on a variety of platforms. I use it on Windows and a Mac at home, Windows at work, my iPad and my Android phone. Evernote is simply a part of my daily routine and it is an important part.
Not just a normal notepad: Most people probably think Evernote is just another notepad but it stands out because it's much, much more than that. It practically manages all aspects my life including work, my e-books, my blog as well as my home life with the kids and my wife.
Organizational uses: I have several levels of organizational use for Evernote. I input everything into one notebook unless it's shared information. I use tags to organize my projects such as things I need to do today, active projects, inactive projects, contexts and upcoming actions. Then I use major tags for objects such as Work, Home, Reference, Clients, Miscellaneous and Reference with minor tags beneath these larger categories. The minor tags cover doctors, mortgage, insurance and other tags that are related to the major tags.
Notebook Stacks: I found Notebook Stacks to be extremely useful in my quest for organization. Everything that I want to share with others, such as coworkers, clients and family, is kept in a shared notebook in the Stack. The favorites bar is extremely handy to keep tags and saved searches for quick future access. There are also two ways to search- I can browse through my tags or I can do a saved search. I use the CloudHQ service to share the info across other cloud services to my coworkers or others that don’t use Evernote.
One Note Per Client: Sometimes I must compile large amounts of content for my clients, so I use one note to serve this purpose by including contracts, PowerPoint presentations, phone notations and any other literature prevalent to that client. I found that Note Links is a very useful feature and I use it to paste links if the info is already in a separate note in Evernote. It's nice that Evernote provides an auto-updated date and time with a shortcut every time I wish to add new content to my note.
Backup: Users should frequently backup their Evernote data using services such as the cloudHQ service which securely backs up all data to other cloud services. While Evernote is extremely secure and safe, things can happen such as power outages and server downtimes. Although rare, this is something that should be considered, as your data could be inaccessible at a very inopportune time. There is also the possibility of a single point of failure. This happens when there is one part that can prevent the entire system from working if it were to fail and obviously this is something that should be avoided in your company or work. In this case, relying solely on Evernote for security of your files could potentially be this point of failure because if something were to happen and you are unable to access your data on Evernote or if you experience data loss, it could become impossible to recover your files and data unless you have used CloudHQ to backup your files to Dropbox or another cloud service. One of the most likely problems for data loss is user error. Even though Evernote has plenty of failsafes implemented to protect users and their data, user error is still the leading cause of data loss globally. According to an article on PCWorld, human error causes up to 25% of sensitive data loss for companies. One way to compensate for this and prevent data loss is to backup all of your Evernote data to Dropbox or other cloud services using cloudHQ. Additionally, there is always the possibility of malicious deletion. Hackers are smarter than ever and while Evernote has many security implementations, there is the possibility that a flaw can be found and exposed. Here is a recent story stating that a hacker gained access to one of clouds and deleted much data, virtually destroying people's lives in the process. This shows how much of our lives we have invested online and shows me that it is VERY important to secure my data by backing up this data to other clouds such as Dropbox, Evernote, Basecamp, Google Drive and others. cloudHQ is the perfect solution for this as it securely backs up all data and syncs it across your network of cloud services. It also helps with team collaboration. If I am on Evernote and my coworker is on Dropbox and I make changes to a file or data, my coworker sees the changes instantaneously. This service is unbeatable for data backup and sharing.
Note Links: Meetings can be extremely stressful as there is always a lot going on in a short amount of time. Note Links helps me stay sane with a lot less confusion. When I travel, I can create a master note with my travel route, and I include the times that I am to be places, such as appointments and meetings. I include the confirmation from my airline in a note link in this master note. I had a recent trip where I met with a lawyer from a law firm. After speaking with him, I hyperlinked his name to the file I created specifically for him in Evernote. This info referred to three things I wanted to accomplish at that meeting. Within that file I also had placed a link with an embedded video of another client giving testimony that I brought along to let him view. I saved the notes in an offline folder and, when we did finally meet, all I had to bring along was my iPad. Even better, I only had to access the single note that contained all of my organized information. I didn't have to go rummaging through bags, papers, folders or my laptop- I simply had to click on the one file in my iPad. To say that the client was impressed with my professionalism and organizational skills is an understatement.
Shared Notebooks: Shared Notebooks can be extremely useful since I have a team of coworkers that may be working on the same file or may need access to info I currently have. I can send other coworkers the information instead of potentially wasting hours of repetitive research and work. As an example, I am currently working with one of my coworkers to produce travel plans. Once the research was completed we put it into the Shared Notebook, along with the route info. Another example- as I was preparing a presentation for the law firm's litigation team, I did research on my own firm as well as new case law. I then produced the presentation based on the information I obtained from my research and placed it all into Shared Notebook which I then, in turn, shared with the brand and marketing teams and my coworkers. By utilizing CloudHQ, it is also shared across all of my cloud services making it easier for others without access to Evernote at the time to access the information.
Travel Expenses: Hotel, car, gas, food, flight- I scan all of my receipts so that I have them all organized in one area for examination later. This saves me time as I don't have to do it all at one time at the end of my trip and the hassle of trying to find receipts that could have gotten misplaced or even lost.
Evernote Peek: My son had to go through a series of mathematical speed drills containing 25 questions in his math class at school. I did a little research trying to find something that could help him learn while being fun and exciting at the same time. When I heard about Peek, I had to try it out. I made a new notebook and named it 'Math Questions.' I then took 75 math questions and made 75 separate notes in the notebook Math Questions. When I opened that notebook up in Peek, he absolutely loved it. He happily lifts the cover to check his answer and it's obvious that Evernote has helped make math fun and exciting for him.
Audio Notes: Over the summer, I hired a reading tutor for my son. As I wanted to keep up with his progress, I needed something to record. It turns out Evernote has that feature so I began using it to record his reading. By the end of the summer I could see and hear the difference and my son loves to be recorded. This makes reading fun and exciting as well. And thanks to cloudHQ all these recordings are stored in Google Docs so I can share them with my family on Google Plus.
More Evernote Uses: Evernote has so many uses I doubt I can list them all, but I also use Evernote for capturing and organizing family events or kids' artwork- things that I can reflect back on in the future. I currently have over 200 notes with my kids' drawings and of course each one is tagged with their names for future reference.
coudHQ keeps these sentimental items securely backed up as I would be heartbroken if I lost these drawings that my kids have been giving me for years.
Family Vacations: Note Links is very useful for planning family outings and vacations. One example is from a few months ago when I was planning a trip with my parents and of course they wanted all the info- where are we staying, what is there to do, directions and photos and such. My wife had gathered all the information so I simply put it all into Evernote and sent it to them. This was much easier than just cramming everything into several emails and overwhelming and confusing them with a mass of unorganized material.
For those of you, like me, that try to live as paperless as possible, Evernote is a perfect solution. I can scan receipts and documentation related to anything- report cards, pet needs and appointments, lawn care and maintenance and so much more. As many of these are important documents, I use the cloudHQ to securely backup all of my data in case of data loss or corruption. I can’t afford to lose many of my documents, they are irreplaceable.