I love being organized! I have found the best way for me is to keep everything in one place. How do I do this?
I’m so glad you asked, I use an excellent product called Evernote.
I have received emails regarding how I stay organized. This is something I find is super awesome, and thank you for those that send emails (both good and bad). So, to answer those questions, I have been making a few reviews of the products that I use and really enjoy. I figure if I don’t like something, I will review that as they come up too. But for now, I am focusing on the things that I actually use.
I hope this will help you in some way. With that said, let me know of any other topics you want me to cover. Please comment below if you have used or are interested in using Evernote too!
Now back to our topic for today.
Evernote is a program that allows me to feel at peace. Knowing that everything has a place that makes me happy. I assume this is part of the whole Type A personality thing. I find if I keep everything in one location, it helps me feel less stressed, at peace, and allows me to worry about other things.
Being Overwhelmed By Paper – Bit of History
Even though I would say that I am very organized, there are still times that I cannot find something. It’s very frustrating to me, and I do not like that feeling.
To help with this paper problem, a few years ago, I purchased a small scanner and have tried my best to stay on top of it. Being able to scan necessary receipts, documents, and other essential papers also helped me in my goal of a minimalist lifestyle. This is until I realize I haven’t stayed up on scanning and have mounts of papers sitting around.
This then leads back to the feeling of being stressed and overwhelmed. Then I start to remember all the other things I have put off and need to get done.
After looking around at everything, mounds of paperwork, sticky notes placed around, and trying to remember where I put my to-do list. I tend to write notes and essential information down on notes. But then I have a ton of paper everywhere. Have you experienced this?
So to fix these issues, I started to use Google, DropBox, my computer, portable hard drive, USB flash drives, and even a few other cloud services. To make matters worse, I still have those sticky notes and paper notes. Not to mention the Google tasks and calendar reminders.
Realizing all the “To-Do Lists” is not a good thing. Not only that, but they are in different locations. As I started to realize this issue, I found the root cause of being overwhelmed. Thus the start of my search to put everything in one place.
Evernote – My Answer To Organization
During a search of a better system, I found and ultimately purchased a training on Evernote. I know this sounds strange, but at the time I had the money (it wasn’t a lot) and the time to do it. To be honest, the first step in training was to get an Evernote account, and I know a shocker. The crazy part was is that I forgot that I already had an Evernote account, and guess what? It even had a to-do list from a while ago.
It was during the training that I realized the pure power Evernote has to offer. Not only can you upload files, create notes, and keep everything in order. But it’s super easy to find everything!
I have found that using the tag feature to be the easiest for me to organize. You don’t have to use the tagging system, but I took the risk and am so happy that I did! It is pretty amazing.
After using their free service for a few weeks, in February of this year, I decided to pay for their Premium version. There are a lot of different things you can do with the Premium features. I will list the ones that I like (some are included in the Free version as well), such as:
- Take Notes (can easily create tables, attachments, web clippings, record audio notes, to-do lists with checkboxes)
- Attach files (PDFs, Receipts, Documents, full pages from the web, forward emails into Evernote)
- Scan and digitize business cards, and even create contact notes
- Annotate PDF files (super cool by the way)
- Create notebooks and tags
- Sort by date, title, tag, notebook (to name a few)
- One of my personal favorites is the ability to search for text inside of images (and PDF, Office docs too)
- Share a notebook with others (set permissions for editing notes and notebooks)
- Turn notes into a presentation
- Link Google Drive files
That is a bit longer than I had anticipated. But to sum it up, there are a lot of things you can do. It’s not just a simple list or note. It’s so much more! I almost feel like an infomercial right now, sorry, but it’s an exciting program.
Real Example – It’s Portable
You might be shocked here, but I enjoy being organized. I’m thrilled to have found Evernote as it works perfectly for me. The best part, not only can I edit everything on my computer, I can go on my phone as well. This has solved having multiple notes everywhere! Which, for me, was one of the most significant issues I was having.
As an example, just yesterday, I needed a file (which I conveniently put as a PDF in Evernote) and was able to find it on my phone in less than five seconds! I’m not going to lie, that was one of the selling points of the training I took. But it works!
Another example, I will share, is when I get a business card from someone. I used to put the card in my wallet or pocket. Not going to lie, most often, they ended up in the trashcan if I didn’t need it after a while. Othertimes placing the business card somewhere, on a heap of paper, never to be found again.
Now, I simply open the Evernote application on my phone, take a quick picture, and Evernote adds in all the critical information automatically. Then I give the business card back or toss it. This allows me to find the contact information at a later time easily, makes it so I don’t bring any paperwork home, and allows for the goal of being clutter-free!
Having less paper to deal with is incredible, and is helping me towards my quest for a minimalist lifestyle.
Really! No More Paper!
I no longer need to keep paper! Not to mention, it’s a lot more green and friendly to our environment.
Again, this program has helped me in my quest to achieve a minimalist lifestyle. After all, how much paper do you have? I bet it’s a lot! You might even have some of it staring at you right now.
If you are like me and want to have less paper, and you take all the time to scan it, can you quickly access it? Before getting this program, I found searching for a scanned document was not as easy as I hoped it would be. To fix that, and if you do what I suggested here, you will be amazed at how quickly you can find it. I am still shocked that it only takes five seconds!
If you have questions about Evernote or are interested in the training I took, let me know in the comments below. It was an excellent training by Charles Byrd, who surprisingly lives locally to me. The training didn’t take long and was at a great price. I am honestly shocked at the pure power of Evernote and am very happy to say that I use it daily.
As you could guess, I have been using Evernote for a while now. I am thrilled with my decision.
But nothing is perfect. There is one con that I have found. It is something that I’m not super excited about, but it’s manageable. Every once in awhile, I get a duplicate note. In my attempt to find how this works, I have made sure to close the program on my computer. This is because I use Evernote on my phone regularly. But, I still get a duplicate note every so often. To spin this into the positive, a silver lining if you will, nothing has ever disappeared!
Having a second note can be very frustrating. It didn’t take long to find a workaround. If I notice a duplicate, I simply make sure I know which note is the most up to date. I do this by entering the date and time I notice it. I then wait till I’m back on my computer (bigger monitor and more comfortable to see everything) and quickly delete the extra note I no longer need.
Another thing I learned, literally yesterday, was if I open Evernote on my phone I can click the sync button. This, I am sure, helps make sure I’m using the most up to date version of the note. We will see if this illuminates the duplicate notes.
Overall, I highly suggest checking out the free version if you want to get a fast and easy way to stay organized. If you have questions, let me know in the comments below. I have a few of my friends already using this fantastic program, and I feel I’m getting pretty good at it.
Enjoy the freedom of time, space, and the road to being clutter-free!