I finally tried Evernote, and I’m glad I did.
- It’s an incredibly useful program to save all kinds of information.
- It has a gorgeously simple design.
- It’s free.
Here is what it looks like on my computer:
I had heard of Evernote before, but I thought it was just a way to save quick notes, like reminders on a Post-it. I already had a note-keeping system that worked for me, so I dismissed it. My philosophy is “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” so I don’t try new software just for the novelty of it.
This one is worth trying. Seriously. Go try it. I use it every day, and it keeps me more organized and free of paper clutter.
First it organized my recipes.
For the past few months I had been trying demos of recipe management software, and I wasn’t pleased with any of them. They were costly, overly-complex, and all the forms and check boxes weren’t worth the trouble.
I collect most of my recipes from the internet, but I always make changes and substitutions to them. I was looking for an easy way to save the recipes along with my notes and changes, and then be able to find them later. Sometimes I bookmarked a web page, but it didn’t help when the internet was down, a page took five minutes to load, or it had been deleted. I had recipes saved in Word files in folders, but they were hard to search for, and I couldn’t always remember the recipe names. As a result I had recipes everywhere, in every form.
Evernote made it easy to organize them. When I found a recipe I liked online, I could just highlight what I wanted to save on the page (including the photo), click a button, and that was it! Since you can add tags to your notes, you don’t need to bother with folders, and the text is highly searchable if you want to look for a specific recipe or ingredient. I love that I can preview the recipes as I scroll through them, because I usually remember the photo instead of the name. Since the format is simple, it didn’t take long for me to add my other favorite recipes to the collection.
Then it simplified my projects.
I’ve built up long lists of website links for my interests and hobbies, such as gardening, beekeeping, and sewing. When you spend time reading blogs, you end up with a lot of new ideas and information! I went through my bookmarked links and saved the ideas and instructions for projects that I wanted to try. I also organized my own notes so I could have everything in one place and find them quickly. It’s like having a personal reference library, streamlined with only the parts I want to keep!
It created an inspiration board for me.
I used to clip pages and photos from magazines to keep in a folder, and now I do that in Evernote. When I come across a photo that I like, it’s easy to save that photo along with the website source. Later I can scroll through the photos when I’m looking for a home design or project idea. It’s so much better than looking down a list of web page bookmarks, wondering which one had the inspiring photo I liked so much.
More things you can keep in Evernote:
- to do’s
- inspirational quotes
- scanned receipts
- business cards
- voice notes
- project plans
The software integrates with email, Twitter, iPhone, and it comes with a web account so that you can access your notes anywhere. There is an optional upgrade, but the basic free version has been enough for me.
Programs that you pay for should work this well, and this does it with style.