[This is a post by Kent Sanders, who writes about creativity and the arts at ArtistsSuitcase.com. He is also the creator of the Take Note System, an Evernote course for artists, writers, and all content creators. You can connect with him via Twitter or Facebook.]
Special announcement: From now through Friday, April 18, Kent is offering 50% off all levels of the Take Note System. Use the code “TAXMAN” at checkout to receive the discount. When you purchase, forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a free copy of Dan’s book “The Leadership Mandate”! Visit TakeNoteSystem.com to check it out.
In 2010 movie “Buried,” Ryan Reynolds plays a truck driver living in Iraq. He is caught in a hostile attack and wakes up buried alive in a coffin. While you will hopefully never find yourself buried alive, I’ll bet you can relate to the idea of feeling overwhelmed. We encounter vast amounts of information every day: emails, blog posts, text messages, creative ideas, meeting notes, paper bills, and so much more.
As a leader, your success and your sanity are closely related to your ability to process and find information. Fortunately, the good folks at Evernote have given us one of the best organizational tools available to leaders today. Evernote can help accelerate your leadership in four specific ways:
1. Evernote helps you capture your ideas and information.
Have you ever been away from your computer and needed a way to record a great idea for a blog post, book, or other type of content? With Evernote, you never again have to worry about losing ideas. You can write text, record audio, or take a picture and save it into a note with the mobile app (or the desktop version). Everything is synced to your account, which is accessible on any device or the web. You can also send emails directly into your Evernote account.
One of the most helpful features is the Evernote Web Clipper browser extension, which lets you easily clip pictures, articles, and entire web pages directly into your Evernote account. You can add your own highlights and notes and share the note via email or social media. (Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Web Clipper.)
2. Evernote helps you clear your desk and your mind.
Although we live in a digital world, we still deal with lots of paper every day. If you have piles of paper cluttering up your desk or briefcase, you can easily transfer this information to Evernote. The easiest way is to use a scanner. I personally use the Fujitsu ScanSnap s1300, a great little scanner that works perfectly with Evernote. You simply put the paper in the scanner, push the button, and it sends a PDF file directly into Evernote. A cluttered desk usually represents a cluttered mind, and the simply act of cleaning and organizing your information has a powerful psychological affect.
3. Evernote helps you organize your content.
Once you begin using Evernote to store various kinds of content, you can easily organize it with notebooks. When you’re working on a project, you often have pictures, documents, handwritten notes, emails, and other related items spread across different apps and locations. Consolidate as much info as possible within an Evernote notebook and have it available in one place. This mirrors how we actually think and work. (Click here for a tutorial on how to set up your Evernote notebooks.)
4. Evernote helps you find your stuff.
What happens to all your content once you get it into Evernote? Fortunately, Evernote’s incredible search features will help you locate your ideas once they’re stored in the app. I currently have over 6,000 individual notes in Evernote. This includes text, pictures, scanned documents (including handwriting), attached files, and other types of data. But I’ve almost always been able to locate what I needed within a few seconds.
These are only four of the many ways Evernote can help you get organized and be a more effective leader. In nearly two decades of writing, teaching, and leadership, I can honestly say that Evernote is one of the most important tools I use. It has become an almost indispensable part of my daily life.
If you want to learn more about Evernote, join me next Tuesday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. (CST) for a free webinar, “How to Use Evernote to Ignite Your Creative Life, Get Organized, and Focus on Work That Matters.” Click here to register.
Questions: Do you use Evernote? If so, how do you use it to be more effective in your life, leadership, or creative work?