I’ve been an avid user of Evernote for some time now. I’ve noticed that I have several distinct uses for it, some that I have in common with others I have persuaded to use it and one use that is almost unique and, in my opinion, vital. So what are these categories of use? They are:
- Managing my time
- Storing useful tidbits of information
In the first category, managing my time, I find Evernote immensely useful for keeping lists of things I need to do – mostly related to projects I am engaged on – some personal, some professional. The check boxes come in handy here as I can bullet point the things I need to do, and then tick them off when I’ve done them. I also keep tables of numbers related to goals I have – for example, my time to run round the park or how many push ups I did. I used to use Task Merlin for all this, but I find Evernote does the job quite well.
In the second category are things I found useful at some point and will probably need again, but I don’t want to cram up my head with them. An example would be my microphone settings for Camtasia, the menu for the local Chinese takeaway or my Mum’s recipe for Paella. I am a software engineer and I tend to note down solutions I find for problems in this way too. Some people go even further in this category, aiming for a paperless environment and store their bills etc… A colleague of mine captures all their expense receipts this way and shares them with his accountant.
The third category ‘learning’ is, for me, the most important. A lot of people use Evernote to store notes of stuff they are learning and clips of things they find interesting or are using for research. I used to use Personal Brain, but I switched to Evernote (and I am still migrating information!) because Evernote allows me to do spaced repetition. I am an avid learner but I far too often found that I would read something interesting and, a week later, remember very little. Over time, that is an enourmous amount of knowledge I could have accumulated but didn’t. It got frustrating. Which is why I created Revunote. Since then I’ve used Revunote with Evernote to help me learn poems, the words to songs, applications of Tai Chi and contemporary dance routines, technical aspects of software engineering, business analysis and management (books like ‘The Lean Startup’ and ‘Business Model Canvas’ are fresh in my mind). The movies that I have watched recently are also much more vivid to me.
Yeah, it takes some discipline, but Revunote with Evernote makes it much easier and the alternative is an endless series of vaguely remembered encounters.