Monday, 15 June 2015

Evernote - save everything and organise your digital life to be more productive

Do you find yourself lost in trying to organise your digital content? If you have not already heard of Evernote keep reading as it is tool of the week.
Evernote empowers the user to capture, organise, and find information from a range of platforms. You can take notes, clip webpages, take pictures using your mobile phones, create to-dos lists, and record audio. Everything you add to Evernote is synchronised with its web service which can then made available to a number of clients such as Windows, Mac, Web, and mobile devices. One of the stand out features that Evernote has is the ability to perform image recognition from all incoming notes, which in effect makes all printed or handwritten text found within images searchable.

Here is a quick rundown of the best features Evernote has to offer:
  • Notebooks add notes, sketches, text, images etc here. One thing to remember is that Evernote has limited the number of Notebooks to 250 for any account regardless of if you are Premium or Free. Notebooks can shared with others to facilitate collaboration.
  • Optical Character Recognition – as mentioned earlier this allows any text to be read whether it’s text in a PDF document, a scanned photocopy or even a picture.
  • Evernote Email Addressusers can email documents, files and pictures to the unique Evernote email address associated with their account. 
  • Files anywhere you goas well as the online service, Evernote has an app for the computer desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android so users can access their files anywhere on the go.
  • Voice Notesusers can create searchable voice notes using their mic on their desktop computer or their mobile phone.
  • Browser Bookmarks – users can store, categorise and tag their browser bookmarks in Evernote.
  • Content capture - content can be captured in a number of ways including typing text, handwriting, drawing, copy–and-paste or drag–and-drop from any source, or using the Web Clipper built in internet browser tool.
  • Searching content there are many ways to locate note easily either by searching for text, selecting notebooks, tags, or using the filter.

1. Create a Evernote account
Creating an account if very fast and easy process, simply navigate to and click on the green Sign up now button. After which enter your email and password for your account to be created.

Once your account has been created you will be presented with following screen which provides quick links to download the Evernote desktop and Web clipper:

If you do not wish to download either of these or want to do it at a later stage click on Create your first note to continue. 

2. Homepage
You will then be taken to your hompage

  • New note - allows you to type a note, create a to-do list, capture photographs, record audio, store documents and more.
  • Search – simply type the text you are looking for and Evernote does a good job in locating relevant results. Alternatively if you wish to do an advanced search you can use the following to narrow down your search: Notebooks: Enter notebook:SOAS to locate all content related to SOAS.Tags: Enter tag:Italy to display every note created that is tagged Italy. Dates and Time: Enter created:day-1 to display every note created yesterday or you specify the exact date by entering created:20150610 will show every note created on 10th June 2015.Files and More: Enter resource:image/\* to view every note containing an image or resource:audio/\* for audio.
  • Work chat allows you to share notes and notebooks, exchange ideas, and get feedback from colleagues in real time
  • Shortcuts – lists all the notes that you have added to your shortcuts.
  • Notes – displays all the notes that you have created
  • Notebooks - displays all the notebooks that you have created
  • Tags - displays all the tags that you have create

If you click the icon in the bottom right hand corner you are presented with your account settings, a place to buy Evernote merchandise and the logout button.

3. Create note –
Creating notes are simple to create, use the drag and drop feature if you wish to add image and files for your note: 

Click in the New tag (along the top) to add tags that will help you find your notes in the future. Click on the + icon to add up to a maximum of 100 tags per note.

Evernote will automatically assign a Notebook to the note however you can change that by clicking the Notebook name from the top left corner and then selecting the relevant Notebook where the note should be saved to.

When adding text into your note you will notice some icons appear along the right hand side which allow you to add a bullet list or numbered list, create a to-do-list, indentation, create a table or attach files to your note.

Once you have are ready to save your note click the green Done button in the top right corner. Your note will then be displayed at the top if you have the sort by set to Date:

4. Share
To share you note via social media, email or as a link click the Share button in the top right corner:

If you wish to add collaborators to your note select Send note and then either enter the email address in To field or connect to your Google account to retrieve contacts. Specify what level access you wish to grant them, add a message then click on the Send button.

6. Desktop app
One of the best features of Evernote is the Desktop which allows you to have access all of your material and the ability to create notes in offline mode without the need for your internet browser. Once your desktop connects all your offline notes will be synced with your account.
Using the desktop app your data is held locally on your machine as well as on Evernote’s server.

7. Mobile/tablet app
If you decide to use Evernote then the mobile app is a must have as the benefits of being able to carry your notes and create them whenever and wherever adds to the convenience of an already effective tool.
A useful add-on to Evernote’s mobile and tablet app is Scannable which turns your device into a handy document scanner which will allow you to capture text in a document.

8. Web Clipper
Another useful add-on to Evernote’s service is the Web Clipper which provides you with the easiest way to:
- Save web pages and easily organize them in Evernote.
- Clip the entire page, just the article, or selected text and images.
- Save PDFs you view online directly to your Evernote account.
- Clip Gmail conversations along with any attached files.
- Annotate web pages with text, shapes, arrows, and stamps.
- Search for something online and Web Clipper displays related notes from your Evernote account along your results.

9. Free Vs Premium
You can use Evernote for free however depending on your usage of the service. A casual user should be content with the 60mb allowance per month whereas a heavy user this will not be sufficient therefore the premium allowance of 1gb per month maybe more suitable for them. I would recommend that you use Everenote for a few months to see how you use the service and then decide if you need to upgrade.

Final thoughts
Evernote provides the perfect solution to organise your modern day lifestyle by creating an easy and quick experience of creating notes syncing across multiple devices with lots of features to keep you more than content.

Twitter: @SOASBLETech

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