Introduction: Work Smarter with Evernote by Alexandra Samuel
As a result of reading The Evernote Bible – The Guide to Everything Evernote, Including: Tips, Uses, and Evernote Essentials by Brandon Collins (Review), I have started to use the digital notebook much more because I learned how to use it more effectively. Work Smarter with Evernote by Alexandra Samuel teaches you things you would never think of doing with Evernote. For those looking for a how-to book, this isn’t the book for you, and Samuel makes this clear, and also provides the names of books that are excellent to do just that.
For instance, it would never occur to me to use the Evernote Clipper, which is a toolbar extension, to capture receipts for online purchases. I use the Clipper constantly to archive information I know that I will need later. When you take photos, you can use Evernote’s geo-tagging feature to tag them so you can find the location again if you wish to return to the spot. It isn’t clear to me how to do that yet, but I intend to find out. Evernote has Ambassadors who share tips with you, and if you have questions about Evernote, perhaps it’s a good investment of your time to join the forum.
What is Work Smarter with Evernote by Alexandra Samuel About?
According to Alexandra Samuel in Work Smarter with Evernote, there are four different types of resources you can capture in Evernote:
- Information: Factoids, names, tips and updates.
- Actions: When you capture information, what’s the action step that you have to take next. Do you have to forward the information to stakeholders? Do you have to call someone? Note the action that follows capturing the information. You can also use Evernote to keep to-do lists, grocery lists, project plans and articles to read when you have time.
- Ideas: Capture your ideas as they come to you using Evernote. The software syncs across all devices – smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet….
- Inspiration: When inspiration hits you, capture the information immediately. Capture images, web pages and documents to refer to you. If you consistently use Evernote, when you are looking to be inspired, you have a pool of information to browse, and the ideas will start to percolate.
The more systematic you are in using Evernote, the more useful you will find it. An example Alexandra Samuel gives is taking a picture of the whiteboard at the ending of each meeting. This will allow you to quickly review what was discussed.
This works best if you have Evernote on multiple devices so you can sync them. For instance, I have Evernote on my smart phone, laptop and desktop computer, and I also have the web version and they are all synced.
Evernote Food for Thought
- If you are using Evernote consistently, and you capture important information, from time-to-time, export the data and store it off-site.
- One of your Evernote-enabled devices should have a camera since the software has built optical character recognition (OCR). You can snap and search business cards, memos, signs, instruction booklets and even handwriting. If you are a paid user, you can process your images and make them searchable much faster – you are queued ahead of free users.
- Capture notes while on the telephone, in meetings, draft blog posts, ideas for projects – the sky is the limit with what you can do.
Evernote’s Three Level Note Management System
- Note: Individual note.
- Notebook: Collection of notes.
- Notebook Stacks: Collection of notebooks.
Ideas for an Evernote System
- Set-up notebooks as broad as possible so you can store more notes in each notebook.
- Create no more than 50 to 75 freestanding notebooks and stack.
- Think of notebooks as buckets to fill and what to fill them with.
- Create notebooks for each business area.
- Create a notebook for each key responsibility.
- Create a notebook for each of your direct reports, or one notebook with the employees’ names as tags.
- Create a notebook for key projects.
- Create a notebook for background materials for a project.
- Create a shared notebook for members of your team so everyone can access the notes.
- Create a notebook for your professional development. This one I would never have thought of doing.
- Create a portfolio notebook to archive testimonials, emails from happy customers, pat-on-back from superiors, examples of best work and so on.
- To-dos: Use formatting option to create a to-do list.
- Activity Logs: Note your major accomplishments at the end of each day. Before Benjamin Franklin went to sleep each night, he evaluated his day, and that’s one of the reasons he was so successful. (Refer to Review of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
- Monthly Reports: Use activity logs to draft your monthly reports.
Examples of Reference
- Use Evernote to keep track of your logins and passwords. Samuel explains how to disguise your passwords, which is important if someone else sees your note.
- Snap business cards with your phone and store them in Evernote.
- Take photos of receipts.
Stack notebooks into likely groupings such as by each project, past projects, areas of responsibilities and so on. Manipulate Evernote to keep your top priorities at the top. Use characters and numbers in front of the names of your notebooks to force them to the top. Title your notes with a date to aid in searching. When titling your notes, think of how you will retrieve them.
Work Smarter with Evernote by Alexandra Samuel is a short book packed with a lot of tips to help you become more productive in 2013. I have already implemented ideas from the book. I also recommend that you read The Evernote Bible by Brandon Collins, or at the very least read my (Review).
How do you use Evernote?
Work Smarter with EvernoteEvernote: Unleashed! Remember Anything, Accomplish Any Goal, Get More Done (Evernote for Beginners – Your Complete Guide to Mastering Evernote Quickly)The Master Note System: A New Way to Use Evernote to Organize Your LifeEvernote: How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Day, Supercharge Your Life and Get More DoneEvernote: From Note Taking to Life Mastery: 100 Eye-Opening Techniques and Sneaky Uses of Evernote that Experts Don’t Want You to Know (Evernote) (Evernote Essentials)