Remarkable Ways Of Using Evernote

This article was published on SuperApple.cz in the first half of 2015.

There are many articles with pretty good advice and recommendations on how to use Evernote for the usual purposes. However, there are plenty of uncommon uses that might not even cross your mind – today, I want to show you some of those. We’ll talk about why it is a good idea to store certain information in Evernote and what are the best ways to do it.

Create A Database Of Your Favourite Restaurants

Travelling is one of my favourite hobbies that can nicely overlap with my work. It’s a great way to unwind as well as work on my projects and goals. What is more, though, is that travelling provides a great opportunity to indulge in gastronomic pleasures. I often joke around saying I travel only so that I can find something out of the ordinary to eat… Or do I?

More often than not, I come across excellent restaurants while visiting other countries, but I am also in the habit of storing every piece of information some place other than my own memory. There’s no doubt I’d forget both the name and location of such a place, which is why I let Evernote take care of it instead.

Here’s how you can do it: start by creating a notebook for “Favourite Places” if you don’t have one yet. The moment you discover one of those restaurants – you fall in love with its design, the service is impeccable, and the food is just heavenly – there’s nothing easier than creating a new note named after the place right there on the spot (for instance, the note for my favourite restaurant in Budapest is titled “Menza” after the name of the restaurant), with a couple of photos (which can be of the place itself, its staff, food or menu), and with GPS coordinates saved automatically in the background. Add tags to your note as well – I went for “restaurant,” “Budapest,” and “Hungary.

Evernote-restaurace

Then, when you have a couple of minutes to spare, edit the note in your computer: add a link to the website of the restaurant, and a brief description of why it is worth visiting again or recommending to a friend. You’ll appreciate it when you come back to Budapest maybe in a couple of years and feel like having a delicious meal.

All The Useful Keyboard Shortcuts In One Place

I find that knowing your keyboard shortcuts in the apps you use frequently is one of the basic ways of increasing your productivity while working on a computer. Whether I work with Evernote, Gmail or other apps, I try to use my computer mouse or touchpad as little as possible. And what better place to keep the most practical and frequently used shortcuts than Evernote?

There are several ways of getting them to Evernote. Creating a text note and writing them down is virtually the easiest one, but since that’s a bit time-consuming, I leave it as a last resort. I usually use a combination of Google search and Evernote Web Clipper installed in my web browser. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, it is a must for every Evernote user who wants to save webpage content.

If I want to look up Evernote shortcuts, I google “Evernote keyboard shortcuts,” then open the most reasonable-looking link, click the elephant icon on the browser toolbar (the icon for Web Clipper) and save the page, usually as a “Simplified article,” which simplifies its formatting and provides a more legible output. Nevertheless, choose an option which works best for you. Before saving it, I choose my “Archive” notebook, add tags according to the app, platform and nature of the new note (in my case it’s “Evernote,” “OS X,” and “instructions”), and change the name of the note to “Evernote Keyboard Shortcuts for OS X.”

Evernote-klávesové-zkratky

Then, when I need a particular shortcut, I simply use the Evernote search syntax. In most cases it takes only 2 or 3 keywords to find the right note.

Not Enough Room On Your Fridge? Evernote Has Plenty

If your kids enjoy drawing as much as my nephew does, there’s a good chance you’re running out of places where to put all the piles of artwork. We have already given up on keeping it all in paper form – though the masterpieces end up displayed on the fridge or a board, naturally. Instead, we save them to a shared notebook in Evernote that everyone can access.

So, are you ready to give up nostalgia, which is likely to occur when disposing of hundreds of works of art, and trade it for a sense of relief you’ll experience a couple of days later once you realise how easy and practical it is to archive anything in Evernote? Excellent. Now, create a notebook titled “Children’s Creations” (or give it a name of your own choice, of course), which will be the place you and all your family members can save the pictures to. Have I mentioned that the others will have access to it as well? Well, yes, that’s because I recommend sharing the notebook – it’ll make your family incredibly happy and you’ll all be able to enjoy your children’s art together. Create a public link for the notebook, which will allow everyone to see the pictures whether they’re Evernote users or not – in which case they will be able to access it via their web browsers. You can also share it via Work Chat with those who want to contribute to the notebook.

Add a tag with the artist’s name to every new note you or the others create (for instance, “Tommy Roberts”). It’ll make looking up your offspring’s artwork quite easy.

Evernote-dětské-kresby

If you want to try the latest technology and save time, and you’re willing to spend some money, I recommend getting the Evernote ScanSnap scanner. Evernote doesn’t normally ship those to the Czech Republic, but you can order one via LifeNotes. Of course, if you don’t have to deal with a large number of pictures, you’ll manage to scan them to Evernote even with your mobile phone, or you can try specialised apps such as Scanbot, Scanner Pro or others.

Measurements Of Your House

As I was moving to my awesome new flat this July, Evernote was one of my indispensable tools. Not only did I use Web Clipper to make lists of furnishings I wanted to buy, I also noted down all the measurements that I could ever need in the future. Whether I needed to know the size of my kitchen, living room or bedroom, I always had the information right at my fingertips.

So, my “New Flat” notebook contains photos of individual rooms and annotations with the measurements (via Evernote Skitch) as well as the floor plans. Anytime I needed to know if I could fit something into a particular place, or discussed made-to-measure furniture with a professional, I consulted Evernote where I had all the necessary information. It was brilliant.

Evernote-vybavení-bytu

I added tags to the notes containing specific items according to the rooms they belonged to, such as “bathroom” or “kitchen,” which allowed me to find what I was looking for in a flash. Both moving and furnishing of the flat was a walk in the park afterwards.

Do Away With Petrol Station Gifts

Hunting for Christmas or birthday gifts can be a stressful affair for many of us. Especially if we want to come up with a perfect gift at the last minute. Not to worry, though. It can easily be avoided by carefully making notes over the year.

It’s pretty simple: just create a new notebook, name it “Gifts” or something along that line, and then create a note for every potential gift receiver. That’s where you’ll keep adding any ideas that cross your mind – be it a specific item or just an area of potential gifts. When it’s time to go shopping, you’ll appreciate this “list” of yours. Don’t forget to tag each note with the name of the person in question (for instance, “Peter Abbott”).

Editor’s note: We’ve recently discussed this topic in How to Keep Track of Gifts With Evernote.

Make A Wish(list)

Personally, I quite like the idea Tomáš Baránek posted on Lifehacky.cz. There he describes how he uses Evernote to stop himself from going on a shopping spree: almost every time he is seized by the urge to buy something new, Tomáš puts it on his list in Evernote first. Not only does he always have the list of things he wants to buy at hand, but he also saves money this way, as it makes him think twice about buying something.

I have created a single note for this purpose and put it among the Shortcuts for quick access (I do use it very often). Otherwise, it belongs to my “Archive” notebook. I simply add specific items to the note along with links where to find them.

You can also use the list to help your family and friends who don’t often know what to get you when gifts are due. Create a public link for the note and send it to your loved ones, which will allow them to have a constantly updated list of ideas at their disposal, and also to easily find particular items on the Internet. Speaking from experience, it will prove so successful that they will soon make a similar arrangement themselves.

Evernote Almighty

This short list of mine merely scratches the surface. Evernote is a very powerful tool that allows you to note down and then later look up any kind of information you need. Whether you opt for any of these suggestions or you’ll find your own (and maybe even more useful) ways of using Evernote, it’ll certainly be a great asset to you.

Go ahead. See for yourself.

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Daniel is a lecturer, trainer and consultant for self-organisation. Also a globetrotter, sportsman, and lover of people, coffee and nature. He is the founder of LifeNotes which brings Evernote users from the Czech Republic and Slovakia together. As a freelance entrepreneur, Daniel holds training sessions on self-organisation, GTD and mind maps. In his training, he focuses on the progress his trainees make, not just handing on information. More than 1000 participants took part in his training – CEOs, managers, businessmen, consultants, assistants and entrepreneurs. Daniel comes from Ostrava, but most of the time he’s on the move across his homeland or abroad. When he’s not in charge of some educational or development project, he writes articles and books, or just wanders around the globe.
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