12 Surprising Ways to Use Evernote You Might Not Have Considered

I have been using Evernote since early 2008, when it was still in private beta. Since then, it has truly become my digital brain.

Evernote Running on My iPad

My Evernote Packing List

Evernote is one of those rare apps I can’t seem to outgrow. I am always finding new uses for it.

In this post, I want to share twelve ways to use Evernote you might find useful, and perhaps, even surprising.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, 4.0. It will save you HOURS of learning Evernote on your own.
  1. Keep your medical records. I keep my doctors’ names and contact information, medications and vitamins, surgeries and illnesses in a single note. This comes in handy whenever I go to a new doctor.

  2. Record your license plates. I don’t need this information often, but when I do, I can never remember it. Now I just have a photo for each of my cars.

  3. Subscribe to email newsletters. I don’t need more information cluttering up e-mail inbox, so I subscribe using my Evernote email address. (You can find this under Evernote | Account Info.) The newsletters get funneled directly into my database.

  4. Take a photo of your printer cartridge. I buy this infrequently enough that I can never remember my printer model, let alone what cartridge I need. With a photo, I can quickly reference it at Costco or my local office supply.

  5. Save important email messages. I generally file all my email messages in a singular archive folder. However, occasionally, I want to save a message related to a specific project. I simply forward it to Evernote and add the appropriate tags.

  6. Collect reader and listener questions. Whenever someone writes or calls with a question I have not answered, one of my assistants records it in Evernote and adds a “questions” tag. Then when I am looking for blog post or podcast episode inspiration, I review the list.

  7. Maintain a packing list. I hate getting to my destination and realizing that I forgot something. That’s why I maintain a comprehensive packing list in Evernote. Here’s the actual list if you want to see what I include.

  8. Snap pictures of your child’s art. I got this idea from ShefsKitchen. She takes pictures of her kid’s art and then discards the paper. I have just started doing this with my grandkids. (Psst: Don’t tell them.)

  9. Clip web pages to read later. Whenever I come across an article or post I want to read later, I use the Evernote Web Clipper for Chrome. I add a “read later” tag, that way I can get to these clips with a simple saved search. When I have read it, I remove this tag.

  10. Record my best haircut. Occasionally, I am unable to book my favorite stylist. The first question the new one asks is, “So how do you want me to cut your hair?” Rather than tell them, I just show them. “Make it look like this.”

  11. Save speaker resources. I use Evernote to save all my personal anecdotes, illustrations, case studies, quotes, jokes, and statistics. (These are the actual tags I use.) I store these in a shared notebook called Speaking Resources, so my teammates can add to it.

  12. Collect items for meetings. I create a tag for each upcoming meeting. It includes the date and a brief description (e.g., “2014-07-11 – World Domination Summit”). Then, as I create notes about the meeting or receive emails, I simply tag them. I can then sort the tags by name to put them in date order.

This hardly scratches the surface, but hopefully, it will stimulate a few ideas. The more you use Evernote, the more useful it becomes.

By the way, I have written twelve more posts about Evernote. Here is a handy index for all of them.

Question: What is an interesting way that you use Evernote? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://markstruczewski.com/ Mark Struczewski

    Thanks, Michael. After I read your tips, I took pics of my prized mountain bike and our car and then uploaded them to Evernote. I never thought about this. For some reason, I keep forgetting you can upload pictures to Evernote too. I am a Premium Member and sometimes I forget how powerful and resilient Evernote is. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://www.latinosbehindthelens.com/about/ Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

    I think that #3 is rather brilliant. In all honesty I use my gmail address for all newsletter emails. But I can use the Evernote email for the newsletters I really want — like your and Jeff Goins :-)

  • Evan Bennett

    I take screen a shots of books I find on my Amazon app or songs that come up on Pandora that I want to follow up on later and file them in folders in Evernote.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    This is brilliant! I use Evernote for a lot of things, but never considered a photo of my hair. Seriously, the printer cartridge one is a great idea, though I do have it on a custom order list with Staples already. Like Michele, I use Evernote to keep track of my custom food list, so I have no uncertainty when I go to the grocery store.

  • Guest

    Great tips, Michael. I use it fir a lot of those things, but I also keep my suit and other clothing measurements there. They come in especially handy for online shopping.

  • http://webmagg.com/ Mark Praschan

    Great tips, Michael. I also use it for keeping my suit and other clothing measurements. It comes in especially handy for online shopping.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great application.

  • Pete Larson

    Thanks Michael. Some of these I already do and the others are very new and useful as well. One other use I have is for keep track of online purchases. When I get the confirmation email of a purchase, I file it in EverNote for future reference. It’s great for checking warranty expirations, etc.

  • http://dasdivy.wordpress.com Kristie Burk

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for the list. I also take pictures of my kids’ crafts – by the way a great idea to take a picture of their 3D crafts, too! If you want to be a really cool grandfather, take the pictures at the end of the year and put them into a digital book (like Shutterfly). The kids and the parents will love it and they make nice gifts. :)

  • wilkins105


  • Kevin Brinkley

    Your idea about having newsletter emailed to EN is good but I worry about the source of the newsletter giving my address to someone else (unfortunately, it’s very common). If that happens, EN could get filled up with spam. Correct? Is there a way to prevent this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      If you read back through the comments, someone offered a solution using email forwarding. Thanks.

  • http://www.jonnywhitman.com/ Jonathan Whitman

    By far there are two ways that I use it pretty much every day:
    1. Cooking (mostly grilling)…Evernote is my cookbook! I even copy pages from my hard copy cookbook because it’s easier to access.

    2. Opening hours. I live in Italy…no two public offices, stores, museums, doctors keep the same hours. So I just take a picture of their opening hours and then find them easily with a tag.

  • creatility

    Whenever I loan a tool to a friend, I take a photo of them holding it so I can remember who has it and when they borrowed it. I had been just keeping these in the camera roll on my iPhone but thanks to your post, I will now add them to Evernote and tag them so I can quickly find them from all my devices. I also spray paint all my tools yellow which makes them easier to find in the yard or garage and easier to identify as mine when loaning them out.

  • TesTeq

    How many cars does a man need? That’s the question… Some people think one is enough. Some people think one is too much…

  • http://www.matthewkimberley.com/ Matthew Kimberley

    Oh my goodness. Number 3. A self-perpetuating swipe-file system for my favorite copywriters. Brilliant. Thank you.

  • http://dareesinsights.wordpress.com Daree

    I use it to flag recipes, attach pics of yoga poses, record tax-deductible expenses, speech notes, references such as passwords, homeschool attendance records, sermon notes I want to keep from church, book marketing ideas, Pinterest links for me to read later, budgeting notes, and blog ideas.

  • http://jammyerwin.com/ Jammy Erwin

    My wife and I have traveled to the same resort complex the last few years. We’ve deciphered the building/floor/room code and we keep it in Evernote. That way, whether we use VRBO or a rental agency, we know where the room is in the resort complex before we reserve it.

    I also use Evernote to store user manuals for TV remote controls, my router, all sorts of items that I occasionally need to reprogram but can never find the user manual.

    Great post, as always.

  • Nadia McDonald

    This is incredible information. WOW technology has totally blewn my mind away! The tool has amazing features and apps! I can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    Okay, my brain is about to explode. So simple, yet so strong. This stuff would have never crossed my mind. I agree with Kim Avery. #brilliant!

    (BTW…I save this list to Evernote.)

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    This is awesome, Michael! Clipping the post to Evernote now for future reference.

  • Matt

    #3 is genius! Great idea and thanks for sharing that one especially!

  • Myles

    I keep a separate email address for accounts payable and forward it to Evernote. Because Evernote scans everything, it helps me find the price of everything I purchased quickly.

  • RustyCas

    I have a note for each of our vehicles with make, model, VIN number, tag number, and a photo…. if your vehicle is stolen, it’s likely you won’t have any of this information handy.

  • http://www.gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

    Hi Michael,
    You continue to inspire us through your great example. I have been using Evernote for a couple of years at least now. But I am amazed how many ways we can use the tool. Thank you for sharing these tips.

  • Leigh Anne Bailey

    Thanks for those great ideas! This year, I have been taking a picture of receipts for purchases for my business as well as for my classroom. I have two separate notebooks for each. I have shared the business receipts notebook with my husband and daughter. This way, if they purchase anything for the business, they take a photo of the receipt and it goes in the same folder. I am very happy with this new procedure. I am confident I will have every receipt when tax time comes next year!

  • Noel

    thanks for this post Michael! I was never a fan of Evernote until I started listening to your podcast which by the way, has become a daily habit for me. I find evernote useful not only for documenting what I eat but also for taking note of my blog ideas. Continue doing what you’re doing Michael. Really appreciate what you’re doing and I am your biggest fan in the Philippines

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Noel. I appreciate that!

  • Jim

    Things I need for my aging mother. Such as a photo of the battery package for her hearing aids or a photo of the filter she needs for her air purifier. Also, a list of all her doctors, her meds, and meds she is allergic to.

  • http://www.truenorthquest.com/ Brian Del Turco

    Brilliant post! I just started using Evernote for impressions and insights I receive during a devotional time (even attaching a photo if I’m in a different place). I’m expecting that capturing these moments and reviewing them will help me to take in the landscape of my spiritual journey.

  • Luke Lenichek

    Micheal! This stuff is so simple and so cool. you know Micheal for a guy that is my dads age you are so up on the technology. You rock man.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks … I think. ;-)

  • http://growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    Finally had a minute to catch up on my email and read this post :) Thank so much for some great ideas! I especially love #1 and #4 and look forward to putting them into place immediately. I have been doing #9 for years and it is invaluable!

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    I would use Evernote to take a picture of my haircuts…but it would be a little useless! ;-) Great use of it!

    One of the best parts of Evernote is how the product continues to develop and grow. They have a commitment to be a 100 year company, which keeps them focused on something other than being bought out.

  • http://danielzickler.com/ Daniel Zickler

    Thank you for sharing that! Do you have an opinion on the parallel use of Evernote and Dropbox? Some use dropbox for files and Evernote for notes only, but I think that could get confusing fast…?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That is exactly what I do. In fact, my entire Documents folder sits inside DropBox, so everything is backed up in the cloud.

  • Melody

    Amy Porterfield mentioned you and then I discovered Evernote articles on your site! Sweeet. A few of my clients rave about Evernote, but since I’m a professional organizer I’ve learned how to keep my docs streamlined…but…I’m looking for higher productivity for myself and better tools that my clients may adore using! Thanks for sharing how you use Evernote.

  • Becky Black

    I love the email newsletter one. I’m definitely going to start doing that. I might actually read some of them then!

    I already do the packing list one. I keep a template list and make a copy and tweak it for individual trips. Very useful. That one works for any kind of lists that will remain largely the same and that you will use over and over – like a Christmas Card/Gift list for example. I’m a writer and when I have a book release I have a set of tasks I have to do every time – pages on my website to update, places to post the cover, all that kind of thing. So I created a template list I can copy and use each time. Saves me from putting them all as individual tasks in my To Do lists every time. And I set a reminder to make sure the list pops up to remind me to do them leading up to and on release day.

    My tip, one I’ve just started doing lately. If I get paper handouts at courses, seminars, panels etc, I scan them into Evernote and toss the paper. Better than trying to keep loads of paper and I have a much better chance of finding the information again later.

  • Peggy Arms


    Travel frequently and use Evernote to keep a travel log with photos.

    Just moved to a different house. Using Evernote to record remodel details…dates, costs, contractor data, etc.

    Evernote is a great place to keep a journal record of my vegetable garden (including photos)…planting/fertilizing/harvesting dates, etc.

    Accumulate all my favorite recipes in an Evernote folder…some are transferred files, some typed in, some photos.

    As a quilter, it’s convenient to catalog my quilts in an Evernote folder.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I can enter data on one device and access from others.

  • John


    I know you’ve shared a “Speaker’s List Prep” or something like that. You send it to the organization you will be speaking at so that you are both on the same page. I thought I downloaded it or kept is somewhere. Would you be so kind to share it with me?

    I hope that I’ve given you enough to know what I’m referencing.

    Thank you,
    John Loppnow

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Is this what you are looking for: Pre-Event Call with Event Sponsor?

      • John

        Thank you so much.

        I agree, especially now, to put a few tags.
        Thank you again!

  • http://clarkhighland.com SeoDamian

    A few ideas on how I use EN:

    I keep a notebook with all the MOOC (Massive Open Online Classes) information: Links, passwords, notes, reference books, ideas, homework.

    I also forward coupons (photos or copy the images into a note) that I ‘might’ need so they are always with me where ever my phone goes.

    I clip articles and note them for our discussion group for current topics that are likely to come up (social issues, current events, supreme court decisions…) so when the topic does come up, I am ready to contribute thought out articles.