You know how it goes, you find a great article online that has a great fact or tidbit in it. Later that week (or month) you are talking about just that article with a colleague and you want to send them the article…but here’s the rub. You have to find that article again. With so many opportunities to find and pursue content, from Facebook, to Twitter, to your new Feed Reader (since Google has announced the demise of Google Reader), email newsletters, and handouts from various meetings and conferences, the odds that you will be able to find exactly the article you’re looking for are minimal at best. And the time it will take you could be significant.
My solution: Evernote. According to their website, Evernote’s proposition is threefold.
- Capture anything. Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.
- Access anywhere. Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
- Find things fast. Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.
You’ve probably heard of Evernote, you may even use it. I know I had, and until recently used it intermittently, only to clip web pages that had bits of code I hoped to be able to find again at some point in the future. But this year, I discovered the real power of Evernote and its true power. And this was that moment…
My Evernote Ah Ha Moment
I have about 100 Brand Books from various companies in PDF form that I have collected. And every time I wanted to find an example of “Venn Diagrams” or “Manifesto” or “Brand Personality“, I had to open each and every Brand Book until I found the two or three examples that I could use to refer to. As you can imagine, this was tedious and time consuming. Of course I had a pretty good idea of the 10 or so that I regularly used, but sometimes, I want more variety. The answer? Evernote. Since Evernote can search within PDF documents (and Microsoft Documents), all I had to do is get the documents into Evernote. And it turns out, that you can setup your Evernote Desktop program to import a folder on your computer. So I simply setup a rule that any document in my Brand Book folder should be automatically imported into Evernote. Now all I have to do to find a Brand Book that references “Brand Keywords” is to open Evernote, go to my Brand Book folder and search for “Keywords.” Any Brand Book that contains the word “Keyword” will automatically appear. Then it’s just a matter of paging through the Brand Book to find the specific reference. This ensures that I can find all references, quickly and thoroughly.
Of course you probably don’t have about 100 Brand Books that you regularly search, but think about all those documents you do have, from your friends, colleagues, and co-workers, from bloggers you like to follow, and from all that internet content we are exposed to on a daily basis. You just have to get it into Evernote to harness the power of all that relevant and interesting data. And Evernote makes it so easy.
- Use Web Clipper, which simply sits in your browser and when you push it, sends the page you’re looking at to your Evernote account.
- Grab the mobile version for your smart phone and you can take pictures of documents you just received in a meeting and send them to your Evernote account — and the text in those images is SEARCHABLE!
- Check out Evernote Hello to take a picture of the business card you just received (and have it send the picture of the card to Evernote, simultaneously scan the card for data, read the contact information from the card, go out to LinkedIn and look for a complete contact profile, AND load it into the contact list on your phone in under 30 seconds). WOW!
- Take handwritten notes on a regular-old-ordinary notepad during your meeting, and take a picture of those notes with your Evernote App on your smart phone and… you guessed it, the image is sent to Evernote and yes, it’s searchable. (Even bad handwriting is inexplicably searchable–it’s miraculous really.)
- Powerbot Apps makes a little program that sits inside your email client (Google Apps/Gmail or Outlook) and gives you a button that allows you to send that email directly to your Evernote account.
- And for that Google Reader replacement? I’m liking Feedly a lot, but they don’t have an integrated conduit to Evernote (yet–one can hope). But they do have the ability to send the post by email, and the ability to specify an autopopulated bcc. All I had to do is load my Evernote email address (yep, you get a private address to email directly to your Evernote account) in as the automatic bcc on any email sent. Then if I find an article I want to keep tabs on, I click the email button and “send”, it automatically goes to my account.
- Want more? Want to see some really interesting integrations? Check out IFTTT for Evernote uses that may spark your imagination.
Now here’s the real killer-app element….you can access all your Evernote notes, wherever you are. On your mobile phone, on your computer, on the internet, on your tablet…well you get the idea. It’s all instantly accessible.
Evernote: The Killer-App for Marketing and Beyond
As you can see the opportunity to become a marketing super-star is palpable with the power of Evernote. All your research, all your meetings, all your contacts, ((all your starred items from Google Reader)), and all the content you come across on a daily basis, at your fingertips. Plus, if you’ve got Evernote Web Clipper enabled in your browser, those documents searched and returned to you every time you open Google to search for anything. That’s powerful.
Of course, Evernote only gets better as you expand its use beyond your Marketing life and into every aspect of your life. All the same principles that work for Marketing documents also work for Recipes, Thank You notes, scribbled bits of paper that you need to keep, your diary, etc., etc., etc. The possibilities are literally endless.
So, do you use Evernote? How do you use it? What are your favorite apps for expanding its features? Please share your thoughts below!