A Tango with Evernote

I may be an old-school aficionado of Moleskine notebooks, a huge fan of the brand and a devout user of the classic and traditional way of capturing ideas. But lately, I’ve decided to branch out, if you like, trying out a little experiment: a tango of sorts, with a little piece of software called Evernote.

Evernote is a web-based note taking application, but the beauty in the software lies in its extensibility: the service can be accessed from virtually anywhere, and with a native app for most popular smartphones (Apple iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and even the iPad and iPod touch), one can live safe in the knowledge that one’s thoughts, ideas and plans are kept safe from physical destruction. Because, after all, even the legendary Moleskines are vulnerable to the nemesis that is spilt coffee.

Evernote works by organizing your notes into notebooks: think of them as mini files in a larger, digital filing cabinet that you can carry with you wherever you go. What I truly like about the service is the synergy it presents between the traditional and modern method of capturing thoughts: Evernote allows one to capture handwritten notes with a phone camera or by scanning the image, so that all ideas are stored safely in the cybersphere.

how i use evernote

I am the editor of my school’s recently-launched blog, and as such this position means that I constantly need to manage incoming posts, plan editorial meetings, draft my own editorial posts and keep everything in equilibrium between the ten writers, a cartoonist and co-editor. This can be a monstrous job to tame, and I am aided by Evernote in managing the entire system. I keep a separate notebook for the blog, in which I deposit notes on agendas for meetings, ideas for blog posts and content for the site, and random thoughts and images that could potentially become new services we could launch. I even run the editorial meetings directly off Evernote on my BlackBerry: the agenda is compiled in Evernote for Mac during the week, and through the sync feature, I can walk into the Friday meeting with the digital agenda ready on my phone’s screen.

Evernote is like a second extension to my brain – the first being my trusted companion, my classic black Moleskine pocket notebook – and I use it to deposit numerous ideas for blog posts for this blog. Although I’m unable, due to time constraints, to work on my book, whenever I find something useful it goes straight into my Evernote digital notebook, where I can later transfer it into Scrivener (where the entire novel is kept safely).

This is a great app to use for managing your life – both offline and online. Try it for yourself – and watch your productivity soar.


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