I know it seems like I am a shill for Evernote.com but, if I may be a bit hyperbolic, I really can’t imagine life without it now. As a maven, I really do think it is my duty to connect you to useful software when I find it and this my friends, is it. Definitely one of the most life changing things I’ve found on the internet in a long time. Uncrate describes it the best of anyone:
“Evernote lets you capture nearly anything you want — including text and voice memos, web pages, photos (with text recognition!), documents, and more — and then automagically processing and indexing it all, adding it to a personal database that can be searched and accessed from nearly anywhere, including from your iPhone, Android phone, or BlackBerry, as well as any Mac, PC, or other web-enabled device.”
Got that? Think of Evernote as a set of giant file drawers up in the cloud that you can put just about anything you think you might want to get at later. You can organize your notes anyway you want into as many notebooks as you can dream up. Or not. Its pretty good at finding things anyway. Travel documents, tax receipts, recipes, articles to read, you get the idea. Explore their website to see the many different ways you can get things in and out of Evernote and you’ll see why it is the only web clipping service you should consider. Factor in an iPhone or any other smartphone and you can see how dynamic the service can get. Suddenly just about anything you think you might want to refer to later is easily saved and reviewed. Best of all, it is all free until you become a “superuser” and even then, you will be grateful to fork over the tidy sum of $5/month to get unlimited use (and even more incredible abilities from the system.)
You with me? No? Perhaps the best way to explain what it is would be to just show you how I have used it recently. Several months ago I decided to put all my recipes into the system. Like everyone, my recipes came in several formats. Magazine articles, index cards, emails, computer printouts, word documents, pdf’s, etc. Once all these files were uploaded as notes in Evernote they all became search-able immediately. They are now in the same notebook with the web clips of the blog recipes I intend to try someday. (Web clips take just the part of the web page you want to save – the recipe .
So what does this have to do with Guacamole Salad? A few weeks ago when I had decided to throw a party for our cat I created a notebook in Evernote to help me get organized. As I figured what I wanted to do I used the notebook to keep track of the parties various elements. The menu, recipes, my general plan and shopping list, flowers, etc. As I thought it through I just used the various notes in Evernote. I kept an excel sheet of my shopping list and ‘to-do” items in there as well.
So click on the picture of the Evernote notebook from my party (or one of the pictures of Guacamole Salad) on this post and you will see a shared version of my party notebook and you can poke around into my party planning process a bit and see the PDF files of the recipes from that evening. I really needed to plan as the party took place one hour after quitting time! You will also see my notes to myself and a couple of the secrets that made that hectic deadline possible including my secret for a tasty ceviche in minutes! You will see that notebooks can be made up around any topic and can contain anything and everything. In addition to recipes and parties I have notebooks for tax receipts, travel plans and research, shopping items under consideration, equipment owners manuals and warranty receipts, and much more. Use it for one thing and I guarantee you will find more uses. Check out the Evernote blog for more information on how this very useful tool is used!