Paperless re-visited (part three)

Ok, so I think I’ve carried on about my decision to switch to Evernote for long enough. Maybe it’s time to deliver on this blog by telling you something you don’t know - how I actually use Evernote. For there are as many ways to use Evernote as there are people using Evernote. If that makes sense.


Notes - These are the smallest element in Evernote. They can be a single piece of text or a multi-page document with attachments, embedded pictures and rich media. You can attach just about anything to a note. If you send a PDF or other file type to Evernote, it will become a note. That’s the smallest container available. And everything else is made up of Notes.


Notebooks - Are a collection of Notes. You can call the Notebook anything you like and it can contain any number of  Notes.


Stacks - Are collections of Notebooks.


Tags - The ancient art of tagging your data so you can find it later. They say there are taggers and hunters in the world. Those that categorise (tag) everything and find it by searching for the tags, and those who just search for the data. You can add as many (including zero) tags as you like to a Note. Just don’t name a tag with a #, Evernote doesn’t like that, it’s all cool, you’ll find out why later.


Reminders - Can be added to any Note and trigger alerts at set times.


Search - You can search for anything in Evernote. You can search by words, tags or dates and lots of other things like Location. You can even save a search and use it again later.


So that’s the basics of what comes with Evernote. I invented a few Note types of my own and I use tags to find them;


To-do’s - I moved my to-do list from Omnifocus into Evernote. All my eggs in one basket. So for every to-do, I create a Note and tag it To-do. I also move it to a Notebook called To-do’s. If they are time sensitive, I add a Reminder.


Contacts - Evernote can import contact information from business cards. So I created a tag and Notebook called Contacts. Photograph a business card, it moves to Contacts automatically and I get the option to send it to my Contacts on my Mac.


Ideas - Stuff occurs to me. A lot. At random. Usually at the worst possible time. Sometimes it’s a good idea, sometimes not so good. But it’s like Bruce said (in Armageddon) “I got a whole team of men sitting around somewhere (in my head) just thinking shit up". So I enter these as Notes and tag them "Ideas". I can write them on a bright pink Post-it note and scan them, or write them in my Moleskine journal and stick a pink house sticker on the page before I snap it with the camera. Or I can go old school and type. Anyway, they end up tagged as Ideas so I can find them again later.


Next: why some guy says I'm totally wrong about how I use Evernote and do I give a toss?