Taking care of your time: my top 3 wins for using Evernote
Updated: Sep 6, 2021
Does anyone ever feel good about losing time?
I never do.
It's why I spend a lot of time learning how to take better care of it.
I recently had to teach a lesson on a part of Chinese that I was sure I had prepared something for in the past.
I felt like I must have written the same plan… and it must be somewhere. Have you ever experienced something similar?
The worst part is when you can’t find it, and you have to create something from the beginning, all over again.
After digging through my files for a few minutes, I suddenly remembered to go back to ’the source': Evernote. 😎
Some of you may remember how much I love Evernote, which is a digital notebook you can get on your phone, laptop etc.
I still use it everyday. It primarily helps me capture and organise my learning, thinking, and teaching flows.
I was recently asked about my three top reasons, or wins, for using Evernote.
As I was writing them out, I realised it might be useful to share with you all here too.
So here are my top 3 wins for using Evernote, and some of the biggest reasons why I still use the premium version of it.
This is not everything I use it for, but these are definitely the 3 biggest wins for me.
Key win #1:
Rapidly writing or recording a voice note to save an idea quickly
Nearly all my lessons, training sessions, articles and even important meetings or conversations with people begin as a simple note in Evernote.
I use the voice record function for when I need to note an idea down quickly.
Many of these articles you read here begin as a voice note recorded in Evernote.
I have also used the voice note to capture points in a lecture. When I was a student I used to record lectures, or parts of a lecture using it too.
I sometimes use Otter (a dictation tool) to transcribe these little MP3 files into text if I need to later.
But I often find it more helpful to listen to the audio files myself and jot down the main ideas.
Tiny bonus: if I'm outdoors and I hear a song I like, I take a recording, so I can try and figure out what it is later when I have time.
Key win #2
Using the search function for anything and everything, but specifically in tricky situations: Cards/ID numbers/Passport Scans/Car Registrations & Documents
If I'm suddenly asked for my driving license number, or my ID number, my current contract or an obscure, random license agreement for anything, I can likely tell you what it is or get the document in a matter of seconds. (As long as everything has battery, ha!).
It’s not because I walk around with my most important documents glued to me, it’s because Evernote can scan and store images, and show them to you in a quick search.
In Evernote, the search function is really so strong.
Without doubt it’s the underlying feature I rely on the most, because I use the App so extensively.
When somebody crashed into my (parked!) car recently, I had every piece of information required for the process of reporting it within a few seconds. Being able to take photos and store them in a note of the incident was just a plus, especially for police reports later, when I couldn't rely on the App we used to upload the photos officially.
So even if I’m not that organised and don’t file things into notebooks, the search bar just brings up images and related text inside images for whatever I need.
It's super useful.
Key Win #3
Saving all kinds of things I come across and want to remember for easy reference
I often print screen something I see while browsing on my phone, and upload it to Evernote directly.
I take photos of places I’d love to come back to, beautiful things I likely won’t see again but would like to have one day.
I love handwritten notes, but you can’t keep all of them forever, so taking a photo of them and having them searchable is great.
Platforms like LinkedIn don't allow saving or filing of useful posts, so I save a screenshot, or upload the link directly from inside my browser on the phone.
I save my illustratrions and artwork for my drawing course, uploaded directly from the Procreate App.
Also, if someone has gifted me something or if it’s a perishable item but I love it and want to remember it, I take a snap and keep it in a memories folder.
I don’t visit that folder often but it’s been so nice recently to reconnect with the person over those gifts.
If you’re a teacher/parent, have you ever been gifted work or things from children that you love, but can’t necessarily keep? The kind where you want to cherish and let them know you still have (when they inevitably ask you about it months later!)?
Taking a snap and keeping them in a little notebook is a beautiful way to keep the gift and honour the time they took to make it for you.
So that’s it - my 3 core wins for using Evernote.
Writing this out, it seems like I spend a lot of time adding things to Evernote. But it’s counterintuitive. It’s actually saved me so much time - and energy.
And to me, there’s nothing more beautiful than taking care of your time.
Enjoy exploring Evernote 😄