After a lot of dithering around, I've finally had a productivity epiphany in the form of an app called Evernote. I've had a free account for years and really only used it for clipping web pages I wanted to go back read when I had time. And guess what, it never really happened. I'm not sure who's doing Evernote's PR, but I must say they are doing a stonking job in getting the brand name out there, and I've never heard anyone say anything bad about it. So I thought I'd go back and see what all the noise was about. In true geek fashion, I blocked off some time and got stuck in.
The result is amazing actually. I'm hooked. So here's what makes it so great for me.
1. Clipping web pages, pictures and odds and sods from the web
I already mentioned that I was already doing this, but it was like filing the equivalent of finding something lying around your house you don't want to throw away, and you just open the spare bedroom (or the junk run if we're being honest), you chuck it in, and then close the door and run. So now I have confronted my bulging 'junk room' and sorted it all out and it's bliss. Evernote has a couple of free little browser apps that help things along. One is called Clearly - which allows you to clip a web page, and then save a 'clean' version so you are left with just the basics of the content.
When you clip stuff from the web, or have ideas and thoughts you want to capture - where do you put them? So now I've created lots of different notebooks into which I put all the stuff I write down in notebooks and on scraps of paper, but can never find again.
So my notebook 'place' now looks nice and neat like this.
Instead of cluttering up my already groaning and overloaded email inbox with saved stuff like receipts from online purchases, I can email them to directly to Evernote, and tell it exactly what notebook I want it to go to.
This is really cool - it could be the beginning of a paperless office (don't laugh - a girl can dream can't she?). Using the phone app, CamScanner, I can scan receipts and other scruffy bits of paper I have lying around. Then those receipts can be uploaded into Freeagent or Xero (whatever accounts package you use), and you have one very happy accountant.
Using the Hello app that Evernote has created, I can keep better information on people that I meet at networking events. I can store their picture, scan business cards (at last I've been able to chuck out the box that's stuffed full of business cards I've been meaning to file properly for ages), and the app stores the information from the card into contact files - and voila, an instant CRM facility.
So that's my top 5 reasons why I like this tool. There's lots of other reasons too, but if I write any more someone is going to think I've completely lost all sense of reason.