Thursday, 28 November 2013

Is it time to burn your post-it notes and notepads? Enter Evernote

Do you carry your Moleskine notebook around with you everywhere you go? Do you have post-it notes dotted around your monitor, hanging off your desk and generally covering your work area? If so, maybe you should try using Evernote to simplify your life.
Evernote is a cloud note-taking service that makes it easy for you to save notes (or small chunks of text) to the cloud. Any notes, web addresses, text or other content that you save is stored on a remote server, and can be accessed by any device which can run a relatively modern web browser or a version of the Evernote app. Evernote is great for saving to-do lists, notes, insightful forum posts or small chunks of text from within ebooks. Anything you save on your desktop, you can access on your smartphone and vice-versa.
Creative Uses for Evernote
While most people use Evernote as a simple note-taking service, you can share notes with other Evernote users, and this is where the service really comes into its own. You can create notes with project related to-do lists or shopping lists, and have your team mates tick of items as they are completed. You can also save useful links and quotations into a global note that everyone in your office can benefit from.
Evernote is perfect for remote or mobile workers because it combines the convenience of on-the-fly note taking (you can install a browser plugin that adds "clip to Evernote" to your right-click menu) with the ability to access your notes from anywhere in the world. Instead of ringing the office and hoping that a colleague will be on hand to read off that number from the post-it on your desk, you can just log in to Evernote on your smartphone and check the number yourself.
Evernote can handle more than just text, too. You can use it to save almost any kind of digital content, from PDFs and text to images. You can even link it up to automated services such as If This Then That, which will filter your email and RSS subscriptions and archive, filter or delete content depending on keywords, context and other conditions. The beauty of evernote lies in its simplicity and its flexibility - no matter what you need it for it can fit your life.
The Downside to Evernote
The main downside to Evernote is that it is a cloud service, and this means that you need Internet access to take full advantage of it. In addition, since the authentication system is just a username and password, there is always some risk of your account being hacked, and the attacker viewing sensitive data or deleting information from your account.
You can mitigate some of that risk by regularly backing up your notes, and by using secure passwords, but no online service will ever be completely secure. If you want to store data that will always be "for your eyes only", then you should buy a notebook and a pen, and then never let that notebook out of your sight.
Crispin Jones has written for a number of business related publications over the years. A fan of all things time management he hopes to retire by the time he is 38 and a half! A recent infographic that Crispin worked on for Name Badges International was featured on Entrepreneur

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