How to Get Your Stuff into Evernote

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Evernote. It is one of those amazing tools that can radically boost your productivity. I use it probably more than any other program other than Mac Mail. It has enabled me to realize my dream of a paperless office.

Evernote Import Diagram

But Evernote can also be initially intimidating. The program is so deep and feature-rich that new users hardly know where to start. It is like buying a Swiss Army Knife. I personally used it for two years for little more than typing meeting notes into it.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, Second Edition. It is worth setting aside a couple hours to work through this brief, 95-page book. It will save you DAYS of learning Evernote on your own.

Now, after several months of really exploring the program, I have discovered ten different tools for getting my content into Evernote:

  1. Type It. You can create a note and start typing. I find this particularly helpful for brainstorming, taking meeting notes (especially on the iPad), outlining a speech, or even—as I am doing now—writing a blog post.
  2. Email it. You can forward any email to your unique Evernote address, and it will show up in your default notebook a few seconds later. I do this several times a day. I often add additional comments to the note and tag it.
  3. Scan it. While I have gone paperless in my office, not everyone else in the world has. As a result, I still must process paper. If I determine that I need to save a copy of the letter, invoice, invitation, etc., I scan it directly into Evernote with my ScanSnap scanner. I then toss the paper into the recycling bin.
  4. Clip it. When I encounter an interesting blog post or web page, I use the Evernote extension for Chrome to clip the entire page directly into Evernote. When I do so, I can assign it to a notebook and add any relevant tags. Evernote has these extensions or add-ins available for most browsers.
  5. Paste it. Sometimes, I don’t want to save an entire email message or a web page. Perhaps I just want to save a quote, an image, or some other interesting item. No problem. I just select the text, copy it to the clipboard, and then use a keyboard shortcut to save whatever is on the clipboard to a new note.
  6. Drag it. If I have a file I want to save to Evernote, I can select it in Finder and then drag it to the Evernote icon on the dock. Evernote then creates a new note with the file attached. Note: With the free version of Evernote, you are limited to image, audio, ink, and PDF files. With the premium version, you can attach any kind of file.
  7. Print it. If you are working on a file in another program and want to save a copy in Evernote, you can select File | Print and then (at least on a Mac) “print” a PDF of the file to Evernote. Note that when you save a PDF to Evernote, it becomes fully searchable.

    Screenshot of Save PDF to Evernote

  8. Record it. Admittedly, I don’t use this much, but you could use this to record a note to yourself, a phone conversation, a meeting, or a lecture. (Make sure you first familiarize yourself with the laws pertaining to recording these various items.) This option is especially handy on the iPhone when you want to record an idea but aren’t in a position to type it.
  9. Photograph it. This is particularly useful with the iPhone. I use it all the time. Recently, for example, Gail and I were shopping for a couple of side chairs for my home office. We took pictures of the ones we liked and stored them in Evernote. It was the a simple matter of reviewing them when we got home. I have taken pictures of medications, license plates, and printer cartridges, etc. As an added bonus, Evernote indexes all the text in the picture.
  10. Automate It. This is a bit technical, but I found it worth the effort. You can create a new “Mac service” that allows you to right-click on a file in Finder and send it directly to Evernote. You can also create an Auto Import folder using the Mac’s “Folder Actions.” Once you set it up, any file you save or drag into that folder will be immediately added to Evernote. I didn’t know what any of this meant until I set it up, using the links I have provided. It took me about 20 minutes to do it.

You don’t have to use all of these techniques, of course. However, I think it is worth familiarizing yourself with them, so you know what tools you have in the tool chest. You can then select the appropriate tool for the job. My goal has to make these second-nature, so that I can quickly add items to Evernote and keep working on the task at hand.

Question: Which of these tools do you find yourself using the most? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Ironyoda

    The question is though, how do you get your stuff out or moved so as to be useable in another format? I’ve not found it user friendly in this respect.
    Jim

    • http://www.bradfarris.com/ Brad Farris

      Jim:

      I like the “email a note” option for sending my evernotes to others. If I’m brainstorming, or note taking I often just cut and past into Pages or Word to continue working on it. Web pages and scans are just PDF’s so I usually print them if I need to use them in another format…

      Brad

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I will be posting on this in the future. I have found Evernote to be very flexible in this regard.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I’ve not had a problem here, either.  I copy and paste into sermon and lessons all the time, quite easily.  My use of Evernote is primarily in my church office, as a minister, and personal stuff at home.  I find it pretty flexible.

  • http://www.bradfarris.com/ Brad Farris

    Michael:

    I’ve been spending more and more time in Evernote these days. I have a ScanSnap and it’s perfect for converting paper into Evernotes. The email feature & web clipper are terrific for quickly adding things with no friction. Perfect for research and reference.

    I have finally created a todo/project system that works for me. Now on to the iPad and I’ll have the last piece complete.

    Brad

    • Joey

      Brad, I have been working on using Evernote for to do’s as well and am curious what you’ve done.

      • http://www.bradfarris.com/ Brad Farris

        Joey:

        I have a more complete description here: http://www.bradfarris.com/using-evernote-review but in brief.

        1. I keep 4 lists. Today, Tomorrow, Later and Saturday. Today is for today’s priorities, Tomorrow is for my next tier (should probably say “this week” instead), and everything else goes in Later.  Errands, etc. go in Saturday.
        2. I also have a project list for each of the projects that I have active. When I do my weekly review I move items from the project list to Today, or Tomorrow
        3. I use text only as I want to edit it on my iPhone, so I use [ ]  to denote a to-do
        4. When I complete an item I move it to the bottom of the today note under a heading with the date (that way I remember that I completed it and when). I archive those monthly.

        I keep all these notes in one notebook called “To-do”, new items come into the INBOX notebook for processing.

        It’s GTD like, without the contexts (which aren’t that useful).

        Did that help?

        Brad

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Great post and how you use evernote…

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Interesting ideas.  I’ve toyed with using it as a task list as well, and haven’t found a system yet that works well for me.  I’ll have to take a closer look at yours.  Thanks!

  • Daniel Parris

    Excellent stuff Michael!  I’m doing several of these already but there were a couple I haven’t tried yet, such as the “Mac Service” tip.  I have used Evernote along with my scansnap scanner, and a good shredder, to essentially go paperless in my home office.  

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Interesting that you don’t use the voice feature all that often. As a songwriter, I use that more than any other. Since using evernote, I haven’t lost an idea. Even for co-writing with people in other states I can record an idea, type in the lyrics, and email it to another. Brilliant.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a use I hadn’t though of. It is indeed brilliant!

      • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        Mike, I think it’s time for you to become a songwriter if you want to use Evernote in its full capacity :)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Don’t tempt me. I live in Nashville, where GREAT song writers are waiting tables. ;-)

    • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

      That’s cool. I never thought of that, either. I’m going to have to try that one.

      • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        I think you’ll love it Chris. It’s really strengthened the songwriting process for me.

    • Joe Lalonde

      David, wow. That sounds like a great feature of Evernote.

      • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        Joe, it takes a little getting used to, but now I use it every day. It simplifies my process so I can focus on what really matters – writing.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      That’s something I might have to do! Right now, I have just been recording new riffs and stuff I make up on my phone…Guess, I should get evernote to do that!

  • http://www.writerscupofgrace.com Alicia Scott

    Yes, yes, yes – wahoo – LEARNING to do all of these things. I did purchase “Evernote Essentials”  and read through that – very helpful. Some of your other blog entries about Evernote have also been VERY helpful for learning. I’d say my biggest challenge right now is having/creating and carving out time to really apply some of these things. I’ll have pockets of time periodically – but I mostly am just challenged to really put all these fabulous Evernote things into practice. I DO have my Evernote stuff connected and syncing with Nozbe (also something you’ve helped me a ton with). So – KEEP blogging about these things. THANK you – and as always – THANKS for your contributions.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Alicia. You are welcome. One thought: you might want to schedule an appointment with yourself to learn Evernote. Just block out a couple of hours and go for it.

      • http://www.writerscupofgrace.com Alicia Scott

        GREAT idea. :-) Thanks!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Michael, would you consider a post or two on how you create a workflow using Nozbe?  How you use it, features you like, etc?  My staff team has just signed up for it, and we’re still tripping over ourselves so far.  Thanks!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, I plan to do that after my Evernote series. I find that my audience can only handle about one Productivity post a week.

          Have you watched the Nozbe video tutorials?

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            Awesome!

            I have, and am trying to climb the learning curve. But I think another perspective would help me out as well.

            Looking forward to it! 

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      LOVED Evernote Essentials!  So worth the price!

  • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

    Thanks for the tips Michael. I currently use the Email to Evernote function the most.   I am wanting to do the photogragh option more.    Do you have and ipod/pad app that you reccommend to this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just use the Evernote app for iPhone. It is excellent.

  • http://dikrankoundakjian.com Dikran Koundakjian

    I use the Evernote app on my iPhone all the time when I am in book stores. It just stays open, and I take pictures of books I am interested in, and then file them in my “Books to Buy” notebook.

  • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

    Print a file to Evernote!?!?!

    Life changing.

    Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It really is amazing all that Evernote can do.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I found that I can do it in Windows too. In fact, I just added the PDF manuals to a new thermostat yesterday and threw the print ones away.  That was actually kind of tough for me since I have a file cabinet drawer full of those things…  

  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    I mainly email into it, although I’ve started using my Blackberry to take pictures of information and directly upload. I’ve quit getting pay-at-the-pump receipts since I’ve started that, and no longer have all those little scraps of paper about! (I use logged mileage for tax purposes so I don’t need the printed paper.)

    One thing I’m still trying to figure out is how to add notes into shared stacks. The sharing features have just recently updated, and are much better than they were, but because of that I’m having trouble figuring them out. But I absolutely love this program.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Stacks really aren’t an entity per se. They aren’t shareable. Only the notebooks in them are.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this! I do almost everyone of these but didn’t realize I could print to evernote…  THAT ROCKS!  Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/synectics Kevin Pashuk

    I just updated the software on my Livescribe Echo pen.  I can now mark pages (in the pen) to be uploaded directly to Evernote by connecting the pen to its charging cable.  No tearing out pages and scanning.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I may have to try updating the software. I have a LiveScribe pen. My main issue, however, was the pen itself. If it were thinner and looked more like a real pen, I would be tempted.

      • http://rexblog.com Rex Hammock

        Good point. I must say I feel very nerdy using it in public — and I’m a Pilot g-2 user for real note taking. However, I use a wacom pen tablet as the primary navigation (and lots more) tool for my Mac when I’m at my desk, so the size doesn’t bother me. The heavier weight does, however. I have a very small collection (very small, as in 4-5) of fountain pens, however, and the weight and form factor of the LiveScribe seems similarly balanced to some of the larger ones. 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        The size was a big decisive factor for me to say “not now” on that decision…

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          If they ever do one that is the normal size of a pen, I am in.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I liked the concept.  Just not sure how much I’d really use it.  Especially if I’m uncomfortable with the pen’s size.  I really wouldn’t want to explain to my wife why I spent so much on something that sits around on the back of my desk all the time… 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I may have to try updating the software. I have a LiveScribe pen. My main issue, however, was the pen itself. If it were thinner and looked mor

  • http://rexblog.com Rex Hammock

    I’m Evernote-obsessed, as well. 

    Best thing ever for me is the new “stacks” feature that allows “notebook nesting” — I always felt it was the missing feature that kept evernote from being “perfect.” So, I guess it is, now. ;  )

    I’m experimenting with LiveScribe that has recently enabled a “save to evernote” feature. LiveScribe is a pen that actually is a camera / audio recorder. You write or draw on paper and it records what you are doing, then automatically uploads it to, in my case, evernote, when I connect it to my Mac. There’s a OCR optional app that will convert your writing to text or evernote’s OCR will help you find the note later if you don’t need it in text. (I use the iPad app “Write Pad” for pure hand writing to text to evernote). LiveScribe retails for around $140, but I bought mine, still in the box, via eBay for around $90.Didn’t know the “automate it” hack — look forward to trying it out.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      There is now a 2GB LiveScribe Echo Smartpen that retails for $99.

      • http://rexblog.com Rex Hammock

        Nice to know. I have the 4 GB, but I’m sure the 2GB would have been enough for me had it been available. Unless one records very long audio clips, I don’t think its worth paying extra.

  • http://nathancreitz.net Nathan Creitz

    I like Evernote, but the way you are describing your use of evernote is similar to something I already have: my hard drive. Sure, it’s not in the cloud, but I’m not sure that every document, file, picture, etc. needs to be in Evernote. Can you explain what you do with everything once it’s in Evernote that is different from it being on my hard drive?

    • Anonymous

      My hard drive crashed a couple of years ago and I lost about four years of work.  (Yeah, I know.  Should’ve had a backup.  Lesson learned.)  Evernote pretty much removes that problem.  That’s one advantage.

      Another advantage of using the cloud is that it’s everywhere you are (unlike your hard drive).  I haven’t started using Evernote, but I have used Google Docs. The main reason I started is that I would sometimes need access to notes that were on one computer while I was elsewhere on the planet.  

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Great points, Karl. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question. The main thing is that I can easily add notes that are searchable. For example, I might take a photo of a chair I saw in a store. I could store that photo in a file folder. But with Evernote, I can also note the store I saw it in, the salesperson’s name who spoke with me, the price I was quoted, etc. I’m sure I could do this with a file system, but I would be reinventing the wheel.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      The search function is what sold me.  And I keep finding new ways to utilize it and make it more effective in my work.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Thanks for the roundup, Michael. Your posts have opened up a vast new world of uses for this powerful program. One thing I’ve found helpful on the iPad is to use the screenshot function (push the select button and the on-off button simultaneously, which saves the screenshot in your camera roll folder under photo albums) and then attach the photo to a note and send it up to Evernote. This is really great for saving web pages, and application screens on the iPad. (It’s really helpful when you want to prove to somebody that you really did get that high score in Angry Birds!)

    The other thing I like to setup is a local folder that doesn’t synchronize with the cloud for secure items that may have social security numbers on them. This allows me to go paperless, but also have the security of keeping the data local. After what happened with Sony and their PlayStation data, I’m a little gun shy of  having secure data in the cloud.

    Just be careful, Michael. With a few more posts like this they may start calling you Mr. Evernote!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      John, I use local folders, too, for sensitive information. This flexibility is really helpful.

      I like your screenshot tip, too. Excellent!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I agree with the Mr. Evernote comment! :)

  • Anonymous

    Michael,
    Thanks for the tips. Just wanted to also let everyone know that for printing to PDF on PC, I use CutePDF http://www.cutepdf.com/products/CutePDF/writer.asp

    It is free and works great, especially for things like printing a receipt when I purchase things online.

    Bryan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that tip. Excellent!

  • Eoghanmurf

    Michael, have you tried highlighting the text selection in Chrome and then right clicking and selecting clip to Evernote? I think it should just clip the selection to a new note.

    Thanks for the print suggestion, hadn’t found that one.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it works great. I find the keystroke combo faster, but use whatever works best for you. Thanks.

      • Guest

        Michael, as described in your post, there is no need to copy selected content in the clipboard, there  is a direct keystroke combo to paste selected item. Just select and hit that combo keystroke.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I don’t know which version you are using, but mine requires you to copy it to the clipboard first.

          • Guest

            My mistake, I should have notified that I am using it on Windows. May be it’s not available in Mac version. Here’s a screenshot below.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, the Mac is slightly different:

  • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

    I’m a huge fan of Clipping. Now I have a database of articles that are searchable and printable, and I don’t have to have a huge filing cabinet with me everywhere I go.

  • http://twitter.com/churchpunk Chris Walker

    I wasn’t aware of the automation method. I wonder if there is a way to do that in Windows too. I love Evernote. I am not totally paperless yet. Would love to get a ScanSnap – that would make a huge difference.
    The only part of Evernote I still struggle with is how to keep things organized within Evernote. I try to take advantage of nested folders and tags, but sometimes I find that I have to organize huge folders on a deeper level.
    Primarily I have setup Evernote to work David Allen’s GTD system. I have had a lot of success with that.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think the Windows version has a feature for automatically monitoring a specific folder. It’s much easier to implement than what I described for the Mac.

  • http://www.carlestercrumpler.com/ Carlester T. Crumpler

    I’ve been using Evernote a lot more lately and typically use the Type, Email, Clip, and Paste features. I have considered upgrading to Premium so that I can use Evernote for work projects, but unfortunately my employer has blocked access to Evernote and the majority of all the highly rated productivity apps.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Why would your employer do that? Blocking Facebook or Twitter … I sort of get that. But productivity apps? Maybe you need to make a case for unblocking them.

  • http://twitter.com/johnataylor John A. Taylor

    Mike,

    I use all ten methods.  Like you, I especially find photographing things with my iPhone incredibly useful.  With tags and location set, I can easily go back and retrieve the information for the items I need, and I know right where to go to get them.

    I also have found an eleventh method quite helpful.  I created a bookmark in my browser called “Evernote: Add a Note” using the following url: 

    https://www.evernote.com/mobile/CreateNote.action

    Now if I have a thought while I’m working in my browser, I can quickly add a note, or I can open a note in a sidebar, and easily type in a note while I’m reading.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cool. Thanks for sharing that. I feel like I am discovering new stuff about this program every day!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Just added a new bookmark….

  • Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for another helpful article regarding Evernote! It seems like a very powerful program.

  • Ralph Stoever

    So far, I have mostly used Evernote as my GTD ‘reference’ and it works very well as such thanks to all the tags and the automatic indexation. 

    One unexpected application which I enjoy is photographing wine bottles. Good wine is not easy to come by here, so I take a picture of the wines I like and have them automatically in a searchable database. Evernote indexes the etiquette and I can automatically search by origin, grape or name. I just have to add my own comments or specialized tags for the various tastes or menu relationships.
    Through Michael’s last post, I had started to wonder about how to use it as ‘inbox’ in my GTD system. The post provides new clues as Evernote is obviously well suited to ‘collect’, but I’ll have to experiment to see how easy it is to ‘process’ it from with Evernote. I am keen on making sure the inbox and reference remain very clearly separated.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use Evernote for wine, too. It is great for taking photos of bottles you like.

      I don’t use Evernote for GTD; however, there are plenty of people who do. You can Google this and come up with numerous helpful articles.

      I think of the Evernote inbox as simply a half-way house for items I haven’t yet processed.

  • http://www.stuartclark.ca Stuart Clark

    I use many of these features but mostly the quick note taking ability and like yourself and Gail, my wife and I use it when we are doing research for new purchases. The print PDF to Evernote is somethig I had not thought of and is genius.
    I’ve had a ScanSnap for a few years and the combination of it and Evernote works very well.

  • A Brown, not The Brown

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen the HCSB Study Bible app for the iPad, but they now link your Bible notes that you make from inside the app to your Evernote account. You can even link Bible references so they are hyperlinked in the app.

    FWIW, I don’t work for Holman or the company that made the app. It’s become my go-to app on the iPad for Bible study because of this.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is very cool. Wow.

  • http://www.trevhamm.com Trev Hamm

    I love Evernote!  It’s been helpful from day one

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    Because I do a lot of research, I could not live without my Mac save/print PDF function. It’s perfect for original sources for end notes and footnotes. Slowly but surely you may be converting me to Evernote. Right now, my filing cabinet is my Mac. 

  • http://twitter.com/BradHarris22 Brad Harris

    I’m still getting to know Evernote and really liking it. I’ve started using the “email to Evernote” function a lot, as I take photos on my iPhone and file them away. I hadn’t thought of saving files as .pdfs and then uploading them – particularly helpful since I don’t have the premium package. Thanks for the tips.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Why don’t you just use the photo feature of Evernote for iPhone? It would save you a step in getting your photos into Evernote.

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    Do you ever worry that a hacker could hack your info or the site could crash, loosing your stuff? Being able to read recipes on my Mac on my iPhone at the grocery store may have been just the clincher for me to make a date with myself to start using it.

    • Ralph Stoever

      Scoti, most companies have a better and more frequent back-up system than I have at home. They have professionals to ensure a fast recovery, so I think there is less risk from loosing data in a crash than with local data.

      As for security, I am not sure how critical it really is. There is a hacking risk even with a home computer or a cell-phone. Isn’t a professional site at least as secure as a personal computer?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I really don’t. I mean that is a concern with any site, but I have a local copy, which I back up multiple times a day (via Time Machine on the Mac). It is also stored on the Evernote servers. If I have really sensitive information, I store them in a local notebook that is not synchronized to the Evernote servers.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      As far as sensitive information, as Michael pointed out to me elsewhere, all my credit card statements and bank statements are already in the cloud, just on another server.  The risk is already there. 

      As far as backups, I read on the Evernote blog that they have several redundancies in their backups, at multiple locations, so if they do lose data, it’s not gone from all their servers.  It’s a simple restoration.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I am planning to write a post on Evernote security. I have been researching it. The bottom line is that I am satisfied with Evernote’s security.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I would be interesed in reading that one!  I’ve searched their blogs and forums on the topic and have read a lot as well.

  • http://thejeffbrown.me Jeff Brown

    I was intrigued when reading Evernote Essentials and Brett’s suggestion on setting up, say, Amazon receipt e-mails to go directly to Evernote for archiving.  You could even go as far as deleting them from gmail (or wherever) in one fell swoop.

    This concept will be especially useful to me in light of the fact I have too many filing systems in too many places; gmail being one of them. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have subscribed to my own blog that way, so that my finished blog posts are automatically archived in Evernote. Very cool!

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        I like this idea.  I have been copying and pasting my blogs into a notebook.  Having it automatically archive blog posts through email is just pure genius – and a time saver!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Great idea!  Could you share just how you do that?  That would be a very useful feature for me.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Super simple: just go to your blog’s email signup page. Enter your Evernote address. If your email system requires opt-in confirmation, then just enter the email address manually into your list management system. For example, I use MailChimp, and I can just add the address.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    I started using Evernote when reading your other posts. But YOU-ARE-RIGHT when you say: “But Evernote can also be initially intimidating. The program is so deep
    and feature-rich that new users hardly know where to start.”

    I decided to just start using the free version to get familiar with it. Found myself getting bogged down because it is so feature rich. Wasn’t sure how to use it on a daily basis. Not ready to give up though.

    From THIS post, I already see several ways I WILL use it almost daily. Good stuff. Will get familiar with it a little more and then jump to the premium version when I feel ready. Thanks, Michael.

    @wmarkthompson:twitter

  • http://www.facebook.com/KennethClapp Kenneth Clapp

    Michael, one quick clarification on your article (which was very good). You can NOT record phone calls on your iphone with evernote. That’s not a shortcoming with evernote, that’s the restriction Jobs put on the iOS. Though evernote may look like it’s recording, if you start it before you make your call, it will cut off as soon as you get a ringtone. An easy way to see this is to try to start recording after you’uve already dialed the number you’re calling. Wish this was a feature, it would be incredibly helpful to me, but, apparently it’s not enough for Apple to sell you a good product, they also want to dictate how you use it :)

    Kenneth Clapp

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Kenneth, you are correct: you can’t record calls on the iPhone. However, you can do so on a Mac and perhaps a PC. I simply make my call, put it on speaker phone, and click the record button in Evernote.

      The quality is not great, but it captures both sides of the conversation.

  • http://twitter.com/jaredbgregory jaredbgregory

    Michael, 
    I need one or two descriptors as how to differentiate between Evernote and Dropbox. I have read Brett Kelley’s post on the issue, but it doesn’t clear it up for me that well. What is an example of what you would put into Evernote vs. what you would place into Dropbox?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t use DropBox much. For starters, you can’t easily annotate files or tag them. I have switched from DropBox to SugarSync for file synchronization. It enables me to designate any folder as one I want to sync, rather than having to drop files into my DropBox folder.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t use DropBox much. For starters, you can’t easily annotate files or tag them. I have switched from DropBox to SugarSync for file synchronization. It enables me to designate any folder as one I want to sync, rather than having to drop files into my DropBox folder.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I use Dropbox for sharing files between my computers and a few trusted individuals.  If I need to share the curriculum for church camp, including PSDs and images, all in one fell swoop, I use Dropbox.  Evernote is my filing cabinet right now, although I keep finding new uses for it daily.

      Also, moth of the other youth ministers in my area don’t see the need to subscribe to Evernote like I did.  That means that their file types are limited.  Dropbox helps with that as well.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    My two top methods for getting information into the system (OneNote for me) is typing and pasting.  When pasting from web pages, I appreciate that it automatically puts in a link to the original URL – which allows me to easily get back to the page for oter information.

    I really look forward to using the scan feature – I am just not quite there yet :)

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I love the ScanSnap that I bought.  It makes filing fun!

  • Jonathan Gallegly

    Michael,
    Thanks for sharing.  I feel so unorganized most of the time.  I download Evernote last week after subscribing to your blog.  I look forward to using your tips to help me get organized.  I especially like your comment to another poster that they needed to schedule an appointment with themselves to learn to use Evernote.  I am thinking that is exactly what I need to do.

    • bethanyplanton

      I like that idea of scheduling an appointment with myself to learn Evernote. I just might do that this afternoon. 

  • Tom Weber

    Michael,

    I’m just beginning my journey with Evernote based on your recommendations.  I would like to learn more about how you organize and manage all the information from blogs, tweets, emails, etc.  I follow just a few blogs and tweets and the amount of information is, at times, overwhelming.

    Thanks
    Tom

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I really don’t use Evernote for that—unless I want to save a post for future reference. I use HootSuite for managing Twitter and Facebook and Google Reader for managing RSS feeds from blogs and news sites.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Why Hootsuite over others, such as TweetDeck?  Just curious…

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Preference mostly. Plus with HootSuite, I can get more on the screen and see someone’s Klout score. My wife uses TweetDeck and swears by it. You can’t go wrong either way.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            Thanks!  I tried Hootsuite, but keep coming back to Tweetdeck.  I like that fact that it has a desktop application.  Hootsuite is web-based, right?

  • Sheila Boggess

    Thanks for the details on Evernote.Evernote is one of more than 300 tools featured in a forthcoming book Upgrade to Free: The Best Free & Low-Cost Online Tools and Apps (available for preorder at http://amzn.to/U2Famazon). Jing is one of my favorites. Thanks for the details on Evernote.

  • http://twitter.com/tstcpublishing TSTC Publishing

    Check out Michael Hyatt’s column on Evernote, one of 300-plus  tools featured in our forthcoming book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/georgeniebling George Niebling

    Dn. Michael – this is *great* stuff …

    I’m just beginning to use Evernote and saw your blog posted from my colleagues at http://www.facebook.com/tstcpublishing

    I wish I’d had Evernote available when I was earlier in my dissertation project … which brings up the *other* way I know of you and that is your wonderful Ancient Faith Radio podcasts. I’m a Subdeacon at St. peter Orthodox Church in Fort Worth, Texas and have enjoyed your teaching.

  • bethanyplanton

    Once again a great post on using evernote! Your posts are always so helpful. Since I just started using Evernote, I have been using type it and paste it tools. Right now those are the two that I have found most helpful. 

  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to your ebook on Evernote when you decide to pull all your posts together!

    I clip & type the most with Evernote. But I will  look at the other options you laid out.  Clipping is addicting.  I like it better than bookmarking web pages. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Right now I am not planning on one. Brett’s done the heavy lifting. I have 10 other books (literally) that I want to do. I am happy to promote his.

      • Anonymous

        I do have Brett’s book and it is really good!  

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    Typing (iPad or laptop) and email.  Having said that, I just clipped your post with the Chrome extension.  =)

    Scanner is my next option when budget permits

  • Eric

    You mentioned forwarding emails into Evernote.  Does this mean that you don’t keep emails in folders within your mail program?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I keep all my emails in one folder—my Gmail “All Mail” folder. Once I have processed the message. I move it there with a keystroke.

      However, I forward mails to Evernote that have to do with upcoming speaking engagements, blog ideas, book projects, etc.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I keep time sensitive emails in my email program.  But lots of other stuff, such as resources, devotions, articles, etc, go into Evernote and then I delete them from Outlook.  Saves Outlook from becoming too bogged down.

  • http://twitter.com/acavender Amy Cavender

    Mac users who are also fond of QuickSilver might find this hack (sent to me by a colleague) really useful. I use it all the time to capture ideas to Evernote as I think of them, without having to leave the application I’m currently working in.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amy, do you have a link? Thanks.

      • http://twitter.com/acavender Amy Cavender

        Here it is: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20081002082657926

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I’m using two of your ten ways–write it, paste it. The latter represents a major technological leap in my computer skills (at least in the way my mind works).

    I’m a plodder when it comes to technological advances. I like them. I just don’t get them. When I do, I love them. Using Evernote falls into that category. Advancing in its wider range of uses doesn’t quite yet.

  • Jim Martin

    Michael, I have a question that relates to your post.  I’ve tried to find the answer but am stuck right now.

    How do I move something (say a clip of today’s post) to a shared notebook that was NOT set up by me?  The one that I set up comes up along with the other notebooks in my list.  I could put it in any of these notebooks.

    However, what if I want to place it in a note book that is a shared file (that originated with someone else)?  One the left hand side of my desktop Evernote, all of my files are under the word “Account.”  Under the word “Shared” are the files that I did not set up but are shared accounts with other.  I don’t understand how I can clip something directly to one of these files.

    Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I honestly don’t know, Jim. You might try posting the question on the Evernote support forum.

    • todddoubleu

      Jim … When that particular notebook was shared with you, the person who created it had two options for Recipients: 1) View this notebook or 2) Modify this notebook. In order to select and activate the second option, the user must be a Premium subscriber. If you can indeed modify, you merely need to drag and drop the item on that particular notebook. I hope this addresses the question you have. Have a nice holiday weekend!

    • todddoubleu

      Jim … Upon further review, I don’t think you can. My initial answer works if you created the notebook and have it on the “Account” side. My understanding is that you can’t clip to the notebooks on the “Shared” side (the ones shared with you.) You may need to cut and paste into a New Note on the “Shared” side and then move it into the notebook. 

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    I have never heard you talk about evernote before…this must be your first post on it? Just kidding…Great post and very informative!

  • Daniel Lukas

    i’m struggling to bridge the gap between evernote, and a slick system for accomplishing ‘todos’. any suggestion here? 

    i want to keep evernote as the centerpiece of my organizational life, but me not having a good solution here is causing me to look other places. like omnifocus. or springpad.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use Nozbe for task management and Evernote as my digital repository. I think they are two different functions. The cool thing is that Nozbe ties into Evernote.

      • Daniel Lukas

        what is your process for getting stuff from evernote into nozbe?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          You can read up on the process here and here.

  • http://mikesingletary.wordpress.com Mike Singletary

    How did I not know about the print-pdf-to-Evernote feature? Brilliant!! Thanks Michael!

  • http://jornadadeumlider.com Fernando Almeida

    Hi Michael. I am also a big fan of evernote. I have used for a couple of years when I was starting my MBA online and had to find stuff and clip it so I could write all those papers. It was such an awesome tool that I got my daughter on it for her essay writing class in highschool.
    I am amazed, though, at the possibilities you list in your post. Thanks for sharing these. I will certainly be trying some of the new ones I did not know about.

  • Doug Murrell

    Michael, help!!!  I have looked into so many productivity tools over the years…Outlook, Franklin Covey (paper and electronic), MS Project, GTD, Entourage, Moleskin, and now a combination of Outlook/Moleskin.  I have a Mac Pro at home, a Thinkpad for work, and an Android phone.  I plan on purchasing an iPhone 5 and iPad2 this summer.  I like the idea of Evernote although OneNote 2010 would make sense given my work environment.  How do I simplify to improve productivity, or I should say efficiency?  I would LOVE a paperless office.  And you are only the second person I’ve ran across that is actually doing it.  The other person was an executive pastor of a mega church with no desk in his office (my hero).  Help…I know what I want to build but my tool selection is not the best.  Thanks for sharing your life.  Your blog has been a tremendous blessing.  For me, the pain of staying the same has finally become greater than the pain of change.  I am ready to change.  Please advise.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Doug, the first thing I would do is simplify—pick one computer platform, Mac or PC and stick with it. If you can, pick one computer for work and personal life. That’s what I have done for decades. Make sure you need an iPad. Don’t buy it unless you know exactly how it will fit into your workflow. I had one and gave it up. I now use a MacBook Air for everything.

      Simplify the number of devices, then simplify the number of software programs.

      Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/doug.murrell Doug Murrell

        Michael,

        Thanks for your counsel.  My wife and kids are heading out of town for a week.  I think I will start Operation Simplify by going through your book “Creating A Personal Life Plan” and a long overdue review of GTD. 

        You rock!
        Doug