If there were a league of professional Evernote users, I’d be a star quarterback. I write about the brain-organizing service frequently. Most recently it was an article called 10 ways to make Evernote rock harder over at ReadWrite. I’ve said it many times before: I love Evernote and in many ways it keeps my life running. But lately I’ve found some profoundly interesting uses for the service that I think have the ability to make a big impact on other people’s lives.
1. Declutter your physical world
As I was cleaning out the basement and garage the other day I began to wonder why I was hanging on to so much stuff. I realized that a lot of my boxes were filled with sentimental stuff I had not been willing to get rid of over the last several years because there were too many good memories there. But then I realized: I can save the memory of some of this stuff digitally and go ahead and clear up some space.
In order to make this happen I would need to be sure the images taken would be stored as close to indefinitely as I could manage. Immediately Evernote popped into mind. As a pro user I have plenty of storage space and I don’t envision quitting the service ever (I guess that’s where the name comes from). Perfect.
The first item to be digitized before heading to Goodwill? A case of all my old CDs. It’s wasn’t like I was ever going to use them again (as a Spotify user with a MacBook Pro Retina computer sans CD/DVD drive). It took me just a minute or so to snap the covers of all my old CDs and save them to Evernote. It still felt a bit weird getting rid of them… but I’m totally enjoying my awesome, clean, junk-free spaces now. Well worth it. If I ever want to reminisce all I have to do is hit my “throwback” notebook.
This is kind of mind blowing if you think about it: I’m moving junk online where I basically have unlimited shelf space and away from my offline world where I have limited shelf space. But the memories are not lost.
2. Keep your life in perspective
Lately I’ve got a new Evernote habit: tracking the good and bad things that happen in my life. By creating a note (but you could easily create a notebook) called “Don’t Forget” I’ve been able to keep a better perspective on life.
Whenever something good happens (you know, one of those, “Whoa, did that just happen? To me?” moments) I make a note of it. Whenever something bad happens (as in, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”) it goes there as well. Why? It’s simple: when things are going really well I can be appreciative of them and see what kind of progress my life is making. When things go bad I can see that that hasn’t always been the case and that I actually have a lot to be thankful for.
Because it’s life, it’s sometimes hard to stop what I’m in the middle of and make a note. That’s where Evernote’s reminders come in handy. Picking a day, like every Friday for instance, to remember the good and bad that happened over the previous days is a good way to keep track of things without overloading yourself.
3. Sort your notes by importance using tags
I’ve got an Evernote notebook called “Business Ideas” where I keep track of any good ideas I might want to take action on later. The thing is… I have a lot of ideas. And some are better than others. The thing is, I have so many, it was getting hard to track which were the ideas with the most promise and potential and which were more forgettable.
There’s an easy way to get around this. It’s sort of like creating a favorites list. Using a quick tag like “A” or “1” it’s easy to sort the best from the rest. This could work with anything.
Additionally, it’s a great way to keep track of favorite or frequently used notes without cluttering up the shortcuts list (which I like to prune and keep pretty short).
Use this any way you like—the options are practically limitless. Try using the “*” as a way to star important items or the “r” key for items you need to revisit sometime, but that aren’t immediately urgent.