Why I love Evernote

Evernote Logo

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in BusinessWeek by Rob Walker called As Evernote’s Cult Grows, the Business Market Beckons and it got me thinking about my use of Evernote.

Over time, Evernote has been “stealing” minutes from other productivity applications in my life. The biggest “looser” has been Outlook. I used to use Tasks in Outlook for my “Trusted System” but for the last couple of years I have been using Evernote.

It has also been stealing minutes from Word because I do lots of my rough outlines and “brainstorming” in Evernote too. It just seems like Evernote is so flexible and solves so many of my problems that it continues to gobble up more and more of my time.

As Walker says in the article, “Once you get it, they say, you live and die by Evernote” and sooner or later you get caught up in “The Evernote Lifestyle.” Not only do I rely on it as the foundation for my GTD Trusted System, but I use it for and ever-increasing range of tasks.

It’s logo is an elephant because it is designed to help you “Remember Everything.” Here is a quick example, I’m in the gym and I keep running into the same people in the locker room but forgetting their names. So, I say “I’m sorry I forgot your name” and then when they tell me I put it in Evernote with a little clue to help me remember. Then the next time I see the person I just whip out my phone and I can easily find their name. This has happened countless times.

Getting information in and out of Evernote is the key to its success. You can capture anything – your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see. You can capture and retrieve your “stuff” on any device because Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there. And you can find you stuff fast by searching by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.

Evernote is exhibit A for what a modern app should be. It is easy to use, fast, free, works on virtually all devices, leverages the cloud to store your information and sync it across all your devices. It leverages the “freemium” model where you can pay for additional functionality.

The people who I have recommended Evernote to generally fall into one of two camps. They either, try it for a little while and quit because they don’t “get it” or it becomes the foundation for their entire organizational structure and they can’t imagine life without Evernote.

Which camp do you fall into and why?

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About Michael Keithley
Digital Transformation CIO and Public Speaker. Previously, CIO at Creative Artists Agency

3 Responses to Why I love Evernote

  1. Pingback: Why Evernote is amazing… | Steven De Baets

  2. dcfindlay says:

    I love Evernote because it minimises drag. No friction getting information in there — I can do it easily and naturally using anything that integrates with email, or by right-clicking from Windows, or by using IFTTT, as well as a bunch of apps and services now that directly integrate with Evernote.
    I’m also finding less friction getting information out of Evernote. While notebooks and tags are still the basis of my trusted system, increasingly I’m using saved searches to target the kinds of searches I do often that don’t fit easily within the tag/notebook structure.

    Every now and then you get an occasion where Evernote gets you out of a novel tight spot, like the other week when I had to deal with a hire company that had a broken search function on their CRM system and couldn’t find our account. While I was standing at the counter, I was able to use Evernote to bring up an old contract of theirs from the last time we’d dealt with them, and help them around their own forms.

    The more you use it the better it gets.

    • Well said. Evernote does minimize drag by reducing the friction of putting information in and getting information out. I know people who scan all their important documents – drivers licenses, passport, insurance etc. just in case. Similarly, it is a great place to store owners manuals.

      As you say, “the more you use it the better it gets.”

      Would you consider writing a guest post elaborating on how you use it?

      Thanks for the feedback.

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