How to Use Evernote If You Are a Speaker or Writer

I have been using Evernote for a couple of years now. I use it to manage meeting notes, store blogging ideas, and file interesting articles I read on the Web. It has basically become my electronic brain. However, unlike my aging brain, Evernote provides near-instant recall.

Evernote Screenshot

Screenshot of Evernote

Recently, I started using it to manage the raw components of my speeches. I have seen a lot of different systems for this. One of my authors, who is also a popular public speaker, once showed me his system. It contained literally thousands of 4″ x 6″ cards, arranged alphabetically by topic.

I decided to use Evernote for this and am loving it. It works beautifully. I don’t have everything converted yet, but enough to make it an indispensable tool. This database will only become more valuable over time.

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.

I have set up four separate notebooks in Evernote:

  • Illustrations
  • Jokes
  • Quotes
  • Statistics

I am now in the process of adding my content to this database of speaking resources. Specially, I am including the following:

  1. Blog posts. I am going back through my 900-plus blog posts and extracting the various components. When I find a personal illustration or a historical anecdote, I copy and paste it into my Illustrations notebook. The same is true for quotes and jokes.
  2. Web articles. When I am reading on the Web, I do the same. If I stumble across something I think I might want to use later, I copy and paste it into the appropriate notebook. This can include everything from other bloggers’ posts to news articles.
  3. Digital books. This is also a big advantage of using Kindle for my reading. Anything I highlight in a Kindle book is automatically extracted to my personal Highlights page on Amazon. I can copy and paste these directly into Evernote from there. This is a huge productivity boost.
  4. Traditional books. One of the great things about Evernote is that you can share individual notebooks with others. For example, I am still reading several print books and highlighting them as usual. In the margin, I put an “I” with a square around it to indicate to my assistant that I want her to key the highlighted content into Evernote. I use a “J” for Jokes, a “Q” for Quotes, and a “S” for Statistics. Like this:

    Evernote Marks and Highlighted Text in The Hole in Our Gospel

    Evernote Marks and Highlighted Text in The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

The key with all of this is to add the appropriate meta tags, so that you can search the content later. I try to add every tag I can think of—usually 6–8 per entry—so I can find the relevant information quickly. Evernote also allows me to add a URL for each entry, so that I can get back to the original source if I need to.

I am going to do my very best to add to this database every day. I think this will become hugely valuable to me as I prepare speeches and even write books in the future.

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  • Deiric

    Michael,

    An excellent system that addresses a problem I struggle with myself. Very elegant. As has become my custom I am swiping this diea and making it part of my modus operandum. Thanks

    Deiric

    p.s. You have really upped the ante on posting – is this daily post your new schedule?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My new schedule is daily, Monday through Friday. I am taking Saturdays and Sundays off to write (Saturday) and recharge (Sunday). Thanks.

      • Deiric

        God bless your energy – and then there’s the day job. Keep up the sterling work!

        D

    • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

      I swipe a ton of ideas from Michael, too. :)

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        You have to credit me the first three times; then you can act like you came up with it on your own! ;-)

        • http://twitter.com/mrmarkmcdonald Mark McDonald

          I think this is the theory of Rick Warren too. He says first time you reference who had the original thought, second time you say “I’ve heard it said” third time you say “as I have always said”. Youth Ministers such as Doug Fields are more forgiving, it is only once you give credit as we know youth ministers steal everything.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve heard it said that originality is forgetting where you got your material from.

          • Jorris

            I’ve always said that.

  • http://www.justcris.com Cris Ferreira

    Michael, I’ve also been using Evernote for a while. I use it mostly to save useful stuff for my daily job (I provide support to IBM software products).
    Lately, I’ve also been using it to save ideas for my posts.
    But I’ve never thought of using it like you suggested. Although I am not a speaker, I eventually prepare Bible studies, and your system can be very helpful for that too.
    And it will solve a problem I’ve had for years: how to save the interesting things I find in traditional books. I’ve never thought of getting snapshots and using Evernote for that! And since Evernote uses OCR to index contents from images, that is THE perfect solution.
    Thank you for that!

  • http://www.confessionsofalegalist.com Jeremy Statton

    I recently discovered Evernote and so far have basically used it to write down things I want to remember. Thanks for the suggestions on how to utilize it better. It seems that you can spend an entire day talking about how to discover how to completely use the program to make yourself more efficient.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So true. The possibilities with the program are endless. It’s especially good when coupled with the iPhone app. This allows me to enter notes on the go. They also make a great iPad app.

    • http://www.cdenning.com Chris Denning

      Yea, I’d agree with Michael in that Evernote isn’t complete without having a mobile compliment to it. It syncs on cloud servers (and the best part is it’s free!), and it makes it easy to capture thoughts as soon as we have them. Enjoy digging into Evernote.

  • http://www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com Leah Adams

    Thanks for the post. It sounds like a great tool and one I will definitely check into soon. I save raw data in various e-files on my computer and thumb drives. It is not very organized and it sounds like this would help me out a great deal.

    • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

      Sound like Evernote will rock your world! Leave all that mess of random files behind you.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        It will. I continue to discover incredible uses for it.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I use Evernote like crazy but still got some very valuable stuff from this! I mainly use it to keep track of blog ideas.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use it for that, too.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use it for that, too.

  • http://twitter.com/heretolead Michael Lukaszewski

    I also use evernote to write my blog posts. When I’m done, I copy and paste into WordPress.

  • http://twitter.com/mhmcintyre Mark McIntyre

    I’ve been using Evernote for a while and like it. Thanks for the excellent ideas on how to arrange the material in notebooks.

  • http://twitter.com/dscammell dscammell

    This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

    Personally, I’ve used OneNote for years to take conference & meeting notes, ideas, track important information and some journaling. It is totally free to use, share and sync. I can access OneNote on my Windows Phone device (iPhone too), on the web and on my desktop. The only cost is a 1 time purchase of OneNote for the desktop. I can also share Notebooks too. I like how I can have multiple notebooks with multiple pages.

  • http://deltondearmas.wordpress.com/ @delton70

    Great post! Ironically, perhaps the most valuable bit in this piece for me was about accessing Kindle highlights. I’m a student at DTS use Evernote and Kindle extensively in my studies. When writing a paper, I connect (or should I say, used to connect) my Kindle via USB to get all my highlights. They were in the form of a text file, and ordered chronologically (NOT by book title). Because I am generally reading 4-5 books at a time (even before I was in seminary), my highlights were a jumbled mess that took valuable time to navigate. Your link to “your_highlights” on Amazon is a win! Thanks!

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

    System? I should have a system?

    Having recently installed Evernote on my computer at home and at work, along with my Blackberry. I’ll look at using for this!

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

    I’ve only been using Evernote for a couple of months, but it’s rapidly taking over from my paper notebooks. I’m keeping all my meeting notes, research, agendas, notes from calls and interviews, etc in there. I’ve even moved my to-do list into Evernote and I’m loving that!

    I’m on the verge of using the “shared” notebook feature to push work to my team and store our templates etc. that everyone uses.

    Love it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Do you have a way to create Evernote templates, Brad. Do tell!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Do you have a way to create Evernote templates, Brad. Do tell!

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        That would be nice to know. In other reviews, I had heard that templates were one of the bigger differences between Evernote and OneNote.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, I am stride-for-stride with you on this one. I commend you in your efforts to convert everything into Evernote. Did you know that Evernote will recognize hand-written notes? White something on a notecard or in the margin of a book, take a pic and put it into Evernote. Search and you shall find.

    I wrote about Evernote here: http://www.hansschiefelbein.com/2011/01/27/productivity-essential-evernote/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have tried that yet, but will do so. Thanks!

    • http://bentune.blogspot.com/ Ben Tune

      That’s nice to know.

  • Dwright

    Thanks for the tip on Evernote! I have a Word document that I cut and paste quotes into. This is going to save me so much time!!! I was looking for a statistic the other day and I had to search through several speeches to find it.

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

    Hi Michael, thanks for promoting Evernote sometime back. I have it installed on my PC and my Android phone. I love the ability to take pictures with my phone and save them as notes. Evernote even has OCR capabilities to turn my notes into text.

    Currently as a speaker, I reference my blog (and others including yours and Seth Godin’s) for ideas and I usually Google quotes and topics. I created a speech notebook that includes a business card filler page for my ideas, quotes, and notes that I write down on specially printed business cards. It includes some pages of action verbs and adjectives, along with popular metaphors and smilies that are helpful when writing a speech. I usually keep the notebook in the car with me and it has proved useful in Toastmaster meetings and other speaking venues. (Here is a post that I created a while back on setting up a similar goal setting notebook that your readers might find useful. http://bit.ly/guNA3X )

    I never had thought of using Evernote for my speech ideas. Another brilliant idea, Mike! Evernote will definitely help keep track of ideas as they come in. Where is the tip jar… this idea is a keeper!

  • Patlayton

    Oh my.
    I have truly come to feel that reading your blog is, next to my quiet time, the most ministry building thing I do every day. Your ideas are all over my office.
    My speaking mentor was Florence Littauer. She taught me, lots of years ago, how to build a speaking topic PAPER filing system. Although I am MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone saavy, I still use my paper manila folder system to store my speaking writing notes. I do have one file on my computer in Documents, where I collect “Personal Stories” for speaking. I put things in there as I travel, ect.
    THIS little hint could rock my world!!
    How cool would it be just to cut and paste into my next speech!
    Thank you Michael. I have a long flight tomorrow. I know just what I’ll be doing.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Patlayton

    Oh my.
    I have truly come to feel that reading your blog is, next to my quiet time, the most ministry building thing I do every day. Your ideas are all over my office.
    My speaking mentor was Florence Littauer. She taught me, lots of years ago, how to build a speaking topic PAPER filing system. Although I am MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone saavy, I still use my paper manila folder system to store my speaking writing notes. I do have one file on my computer in Documents, where I collect “Personal Stories” for speaking. I put things in there as I travel, ect.
    THIS little hint could rock my world!!
    How cool would it be just to cut and paste into my next speech!
    Thank you Michael. I have a long flight tomorrow. I know just what I’ll be doing.
    Have a great weekend.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. That is encouraging! Thanks.

    • http://bentune.blogspot.com/ Ben Tune

      Thanks to Michael, I’m a much more organized person.

  • Daleschaeffer

    If a person did not have an assistant and did not want to take the time to Re-type the content from a book they could simply take a picture of the page and upload to Evernote. I love that even words within pictures are searchable with Evernote!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    I used evernote for awhile, but I have found that springpad.com has become more efficient for me and provides more information at my finger tips. It has also work well with the intergration into my time management system which is a hybrid of David Allen’s Getting Things Done and the FranklinCovey Planner.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Can you elaborate on why you like SpringPad better? I have others recommend this, too.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve started using it in a similar way. But one thing has me squeamish, is there any way to back it up?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you use the desktop application (at least on a Mac), you will have a local copy of the database, which you can backup.

      • http://2020visiononline.org Josh Hood

        I use Evernote, but this was my concern, too. What format is this database in? Can the files be opened with Word or Notepad, for example?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I think they are XML files. But if you have the desktop app, why would you need to open them in Word or NotePad?

          • http://2020visiononline.org Josh Hood

            I was being very pessimistic. lol Thinking worst-case scenario and wondering how I would access my data if Evernote were to totally disappear and my program crashed. Forgive us for being such negative thinkers! :)

          • http://www.jensrasmussen.info Jens

            And google docs now supports XML files!

        • http://brettkelly.org Brett Kelly

          Hi Josh,

          The Evernote database is highly optimized for the application itself, but if you export one or more notes as .enex files (HTML is the other option), you can open and manipulate them using any plaintext editor (Notepad is one, but you’d probably want something a little more powerful if you’re hand-editing XML).

          Cheers,
          Brett Kelly (Evernote employee and the guy who wrote the ebook Michael mentioned)

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Thanks for jumping in here Brett and participating. I just finished Evernote Essentials last night. I loved it. It was very helpful.

          • http://2020visiononline.org Josh Hood

            Awesome! Thanks for the info!

      • DrV

        Crazy concern: Evernote has possession of all this content? What if they go under. Unlikely but one of the concerns with personal data in the cloud.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          You also have a local copy if you use their desktop app.

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

    Once again you’ve revealed how I’m using an elegant multi-faceted program for a paperweight. Kind of like when you described how you use google reader (http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-use-google-reader-to-keep-up-with-your-favorite-blogs.html )

    I’m using some ridiculous system that involves a bit of Evernote, a dash of Notes, a pinch of paper files, and—believe it or not—even a little Scrivener. An organized Evernote system seems to be the one place that could “talk” to all the other formats.

    Thanks for this, Mike. And thanks to everyone else for the great ideas in the comments!

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

      I’m with you on this. I read this blog and find out that, wow, all that software is actually useful!

      I even went ahead and went to the paid version with more storage space because I can now see how it would be useful.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I use the paid version, too. I want to support those who provide such helpful tools. Thanks.

  • KC

    Michael-

    I just started using Evernote two months ago on my ipad. I read your blogs daily and this is another fantastic one to help me get more organized with Evernote. Thanks!

    -KC

  • John Kile

    Hi Michael,
    You have presented some great ideas here. I did find a blogger who has a system to create templates. I am going to give it a try. Here is the link.
    http://blog.lobrecht.com/rick/2010/10/06/evernote-templates/

    John

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that link. I am really surprised that Evernote doesn’t have a template feature built in. In searching the web for this feature, I found that people have been requesting it for at least four years!

  • http://www.JanetOberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Thanks for this priceless info, Michael!
    I am beginning a speaking career now and after the last few times I spoke I realized that I wanted/needed a way to organize my notes, etc. … so this info is great timing for me. Thanks again!

  • Maureen

    I just downloaded this. I’m always looking for a way to capture info I come across. I tried using a database program but my brain just does not conform to collecting info this way.
    I might use it to collect information for a speech but, I’ve found the best way to give a speech is using mind maps. So I’ll start collecting info and ideas using Evernote but I will always speak using a mind map.

  • http://twitter.com/promobrain Mike Freestone

    i’m not a public speaker….yet, but i liked your succinct description for how to use Evernote. I Have an account but have not utilized it effectively. great post…..and it is giving me evidence i need to have a kindle.

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    I’d like to throw out a relevant question I struggle with as I find myself becoming more and more dependent on Evernote: What happens if Evernote ever goes quietly into the night through merger/acquisition, or good old-fashioned bankruptcy, possibly rendering our years of intellectual capital inaccessible?

    I know realize there are export capabilities (at least on the Mac version), but they’re not pretty, and they are very manual.

    //Scott

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. However, I use Evernote via the Mac app, so I also have a local copy of the database, which I can use offline. Worst case, I still have a copy.

  • http://twitter.com/douggamble douggamble

    I do something very similiar. Evernote was like a dream come true as I had searched for years for a good illustration database. It functions as that and more. I also use it keep my raw notes and first draft of messages. I like your tip on adding lots of tags. I need to do more of that so I can find stuff easier.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It would really be cool if someone would collect a ton of illustrations and then sell the notebook as part of Evernote’s “trunk” program. I would definitely buy a copy.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It would really be cool if someone would collect a ton of illustrations and then sell the notebook as part of Evernote’s “trunk” program.

  • http://ashley.theworldrace.org Ashley Musick

    I’m recently started using Evernote on my Macbook to keep up with meeting notes, brainstorming sessions, and even details for to-do’s. I’m loving it. I love that I can just search through it and find what we discussed in last week’s marketing meeting, find phone numbers, and even take pictures of business cards.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    Thanks for this post. Ever since you replied to my comment about using the highlight feature in Kindle and transferring the highlights to Evernote, I’ve been meaning to sneak in a request for you to write more on how you use Evernote. I’ve had it for a while but haven’t figured out the best way to use it. My Blackberry Evernote interface is weak, so it hasn’t helped when i want to make notes away from a keyboard.

    Right now my Evernote looks like the electronic equivalent of a briefcase with papers shoved in and sticking out.

  • Anonymous

    I love Evernote, too. But, I am somewhat trepidatious of maintaining information that may be either critical or sensitive on the cloud. So, I use OneNote (which is available on the cloud, as well). It’s a little easier to read and VERY easy to find things across my (27) different sections.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you use the desktop version, you also have a local copy—at least on the Mac.

    • http://bournemedia.com David Bourne

      Evernote allows local only storage, if you want it. And all the info is synced across devices.

      Both my Macs have current copies on the hard drives. My info is also on the cloud, and my iPhone also downloads all notes for offline, no connection access.

      Local notebooks stay on only one Mac.

      I’m glad OneNote is available, though. Options are always good.

      Best

      David

  • Rick

    Old-fashioned, 4×6″ index cards, alphabetically. Used to use an old typewriter to fill them out. Now use computer or free-hand. I highlight books similarly – I write the words on the page that I want to file under (e.g., SPIRIT, WATER, WORD), then make a card for each. It’s slower, but reasonably dependable. EVERNOTE looks like a real blessing for research/writing!

  • Michael Cusick

    Thanks Mike, I’ve seen your previous references to this program/app and never looked into it. After hearing how you use it I think it will be very helpful. Just downloaded it for free.

  • TNeal

    You wrote about Evernote, a particular filing system, but I read in addition the importance of having a filing system in the first place. I rely too much on memory and a scattered, loosely-organized system to recall quotes, thoughts, perceptions, etc. I’ve got some great notes. Now if only I can find them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Maybe I assumed too much!

    • http://brettkelly.org Brett Kelly

      One of the best things about Evernote is that you don’t necessarily haven’t build a complex scaffold around your data if you don’t want to – in most cases, a good command of the search grammar is more than sufficient to find just about any note within a minute or so. Have a look at this article I wrote on the Evernote Knowledge Base for more information on advanced search: http://evernote.com/about/kb/article/advanced-search?lang=en

      Cheers!

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    You are a machine. : ) Love it. Great ideas on the folders.

  • Despond

    I began using Evernote to write sermons, you add links to every passage so if you have access to the internet you can just click. But what I do is I copy from Evernote to Olive Tree Bible Reader, the passage I will speak on. I can have the passage and notes side by side. Every reference written will be opened by Bible Reader.

    I also keep my journal in Evernote and have scanned some old entries with my phone.

    Just a reminder that unless you are Premium on Evernote you have some limitations such as no access off-line.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide a link to Oliver Tree Bible Reader. I went to their site, but I don’t see this. Are you using a desktop version? I have their iPhone app and love it.

    • http://www.cdenning.com Chris Denning

      I use Evernote for my prayer journal, which has completely changed my prayer life. Do you guys know of anyway to password protect notebooks in Evernote, or is it not available yet?

      • http://brettkelly.org Brett Kelly

        You can’t password-protect entire notebooks, but you can encrypt regions of text within notes if you like. Be warned, though – if you misplace the encryption password, nobody (including Evernote staff) will be able to decrypt the text!

  • Bill Chapman

    One feature of Evernote you didn’t mention is that you can use your iPhone or camera to take a picture of a page in a book and forward it to Evernote. Evernote’s software will scan for text in the picture and that allows you to find the page when you search on words contained in the picture. I use it for taking pictures of my whiteboard handwritten notes after a Bible study to keep a record of some of the discussions that arise.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is an excellent point. I have used this a bit, but not enough.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TGPQIR52STXVPCH3KOV26WHDAA Spinks

        You really ought to be taking iPhone snapshots of the text in books. Your poor assistant shouldn’t have to key in what can easily be input with a push of the camera button.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          The problem is that I want all the bibliographic material typed in, too.

  • http://www.themlmattorney.com/about Kevin Thompson

    This is really helpful and a great idea! I use Evernote but I never thought to use it to collect quotes and topics for speeches. Thanks.

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Michael,
    Even though I do not speak publicly very often, I still file for my writing.

    I file anything I might want to use as an illustration later.

    When I’m reading a book and I see a good quote or story I might like to use later, I put a * (star) next to it, tag it (servanthood, humility, character, ect.). Then, I go back through the book and make a copy of that page of the book and file it. This allows me to give the name of the book, author, and page number to reference back. It gives me the ability to create good endnotes in my writing and adds credibility to my thoughts.

    In addition to filing away books, I always file away good articles, blog posts, and jokes I might hear. These are all printed on paper then filed away in my filing system.

    I’m sure you will agree, as a speaker/author, the most important thing is that you file content, not how file the content.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I agree with your last sentence. Anything is better than nothing.

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

      And now I have to start… I’ve been very</em lax at filing. This will help, I think…

      • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

        Jeff, yes you’ve got to start.

        Once you start filing and begin to reap the rewards from it, you will keep filing.

        It’s like most things where you need to practice for a while before you begin to reap the rewards. But the rewards are worth it!

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

          I know…. It’s the motivation that I’ve been lacking. But I downloaded Evernote this morning. Thanks!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I agree. I found that I had to get in the habit. I also created some keyboard shortcuts via iKey to make it easier.

  • http://www.paulhickernell.com Paul

    I have notebooks for all my upcoming series and topics. It gives me an easy place to dump potential ideas. I also have notebooks for pending articles, articles published, and ideas to develop. Evernote is a must have tool for me.

  • Jerry

    I use Evernote every day and recommend it to others. Thanks for sharing some ideas that will make it even more effective for me.

  • G Lance Teel

    Michael,
    After 3 years of just using Evernote for random web stuff – this year I am incorporating it into ALL aspects of my life. GTD, Customers, Blogs, Catechism Class, Bible Study, whatever.

    Can you share your folder/tag structure. Maybe readers can as well. This is a great topic. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I may do that in a future post. Frankly, I still feel like a beginner!

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

    I’ve been looking at Evernote, and have seen it featured on several blogs this week alone. You’ve convinced me to give it a closer look. Thanks!

  • http://bournemedia.com David Bourne

    Michael,

    Thanks for the Amazon Kindle Highlight link! A great, great way to get thoughts and quotes into Evernote.

    I want to make sure folks with iPhones, iPads, Macs, PC’s, or Androids know this — You can all make notes via Kindle apps. You do not have to have a Kindle device.

    Thanks for the great work,

    David

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that clarification, David.

  • Karl Mealor

    Wow o wow o wow…

    Ok, I’ve been using google docs to store speaking notes and now I feel like a rank amateur…

    Thanks for letting me know about this.

  • Karl Mealor

    Does the Nook have similar features? Does anyone know?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do not know. Sorry.

    • http://twitter.com/flyfished Ed Roden

      Unfortunately, it does not :(

  • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    Thanks for sahring this insight. This is why readers come back every day to your blog. I wish Evernote had been around when I was a minister, but now as I try to improve my blog and look for speaking opportunities I know this will help me get prepared.

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive Joseph Sanchez

    I’ve just wrote down illustrations and facts on a word document and then searched through the whole file….I think evernote would be a lot better, lol.

  • http://twitter.com/David_LeDoux David LeDoux

    Thank you for this very timely post. I’ve been looking for ways to use my new organization app, springpad.com, and this post hit my Google reader. I started a notebook to collect all the different ways in which people are using their own systems (whether it be Evernote, Springpad, etc.) and have bookmarked this post. Your willingness to bless others by sharing this like this is very generous…not something I see many other CEOs doing.

  • Pat

    Michael, another excellent idea. I have used Evernote for random reminders (airline frequent flier info, books I want to buy, gift lists, etc.) but hadn’t thought about it for this use. I do a lot of research for my writing and speaking, so this is perfect. However, I can’t get the new notebooks to come up on my iPod touch. Seems to only recognize the default. Is this problem fixed in the iPhone or only available with the paid version? Do you know? Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      All the notebooks come up for me on my iPhone fine.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      All the notebooks come up for me on my iPhone fine.

  • DrV

    Michael – Nice post. I have just started working with DevonThink and I was wondering if you have any experience with it. With regard to large amounts of information that you describe DevonThink has the capacity to make semantic connections using AI. On Evernote we are dependent on aggressive tagging. I wonder if its the best solution for massive projects?

    At any rate, flirting for now. Would love your insight on DevonThink if you have any

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I tried DevonThink several years ago, but don’t know enough now to really have an opinion. Sorry.

  • http://www.steveperky.com Steve Perky

    Michael,

    This is great stuff. I have been setting up Evernote over the past week to organize my items. I did not realize that about Kindle highlights. I will add that to my filing process.

    Thanks!
    Steve

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Mike,
    I like Springpad.com because it makes it easier for me to organize and keep track of things. It has the same option of allowing a library (where you keep stuff) to be open to folks or private to you only. You can color coat your libraries to help separate things (especially GTD categories). It has Google Calendar integration and event and task reminders. It has apps for all the platforms (I use Android). It integrates with Chrome and allows you to capture information in a “snag it” format and put into your folders. It also serves almost like a personal assistance. For example, I can scan a bar code of a book or product that I am interested in and it pulls the information into the note that I am creating. If it is a book it will provide information about the book, reviews, and also prices from various on-line retailers with click through capability to buy. One example that I liked to share is when I have a category item for @Purchase (GTD) and had a DVD series that I was considering buying. Springpad.com sent me an alert to tell me that the price had dropped from 59.95 to 19.95 on Amazon and so I purchased. Also, if you like to see movies, you can put a movie that you are anticipating in it and it will send you an alert to remind you when the movie is premiering and provide information about local theaters near you to get tickets. Evernote you had to create your own organization system. Springpad.com has it created for you. You just name the notes and color code them yourself. You can also customize views in Springpad.com. Springpad.com is free regardless of how much info you have on it. You can quickly capture, organize and share everything that you find interesting especially with the web clipper integration with Chrome and even through mobile interface or bar code scanning. You can create projects and mange them, task management (Both GTD) and it has a great system to even organize and help you with recipes and it can help you determine what you need to shop for based on those recipes (Twitter tells me you and your wife love to cook) . It also has about 70 or so apps that you can use to enhance your experience. This is just the beginning. I will have to say no desktop app yet, MAC client will not be available till June (since you are an Apple guy). It takes awhile to get use to it, but once you do it is great.

  • http://storiesfor.us Amelia

    I was so happy to see that Evernote is free! I’ve been using stickies on the Mac, and I have too many ideas and it was turning into a mess. I’m still a pen and paper person too. I keep a notebook with me at all times where I scratch notes and ideas and starts of essays, but the notebook is just a holding spot – I type everything up later. (My husband insists I’m getting an iPad when the new version comes out…) I’m going to install Evernote this weekend and give it a try.

  • Anonymous

    Terrific post, Michael. I’ve been using Evernote for about 3 months now. I’m pleased with it’s ease of use, sync feature is incredible! Having the freedom to capture thoughts, notes, and key web content regardless of my location – home, work, iphone is a game changer.

  • http://twitter.com/ToddTrapani Todd Trapani

    I’ve been using Evernote like this for sermon prep for years. Another really good app to check out is DevonThink. It’s like Evernote with some cool AI functionality for better classification. Also it would be great to see your Tag listings. I’m always trying to tweek my list to better find info.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I tried DevonThink several years ago. Also, Yojimbo. So far, I like Evernote best.

  • Anonymous

    I am extremely unorganized in this area. Post it notes. Torn pieces of paper. Google Docs. Emails I send to myself. Organization is not my strong point. Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I wonder how Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt managed the raw components of their speeches.

    • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

      Their wives?
      :)

  • http://www.teresadrake.com Teresa

    My husband showed me this program a while ago, but wasn’t as succinct in explaining its merits and easy usage. I can’t begin to imagine how much more organized my notes will be and the ease I’ll experience in finding all my notes for my next presentation. This is a priceless product. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I am not tech-savvy as you Mike. I go by the traditional style of preparation for speech with simple tools. Thanks for you your post as a tech geek.

  • http://twitter.com/pthenderson Pete Henderson

    I use OneNote for these same tasks. Because I use this for Work, I am able to put all my thoughts, work notes, personal journal, webpages, and everything else into one place. I share my notes at work via SharePoint and personally via SkyDrive….sync’s great with my phone and multiple PC’s and with my co-workers.

    I also use a Digital Pen from http://www.adapx.com/ so my hand written notes are automatically downloaded into OneNote. I use the notebook and Pen for everything, so nothing is lost and I can search OneNote for handwriting as well.

    I didn’t know about the Kindle page where all my highlights are saved!!! That is such a big deal….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Michael,

    I like Springpad.com because it makes it easier for me to organize and keep track of things. It has the same option of allowing a library (where you keep stuff) to be open to folks or private to you only. You can color coat your libraries to help separate things (especially GTD categories). It has Google Calendar integration and event and task reminders. It has apps for all the platforms (I use Android). It integrates with Chrome and allows you to capture information in a “snag it” format and put into your folders. It also serves almost like a personal assistance. For example, I can scan a bar code of a book or product that I am interested in and it pulls the information into the note that I am creating. If it is a book it will provide information about the book, reviews, and also prices from various on-line retailers with click through capability to buy. One example that I liked to share is when I have a category item for @Purchase (GTD) and had a DVD series that I was considering buying. Springpad.com sent me an alert to tell me that the price had dropped from 59.95 to 19.95 on Amazon and so I purchased. Also, if you like to see movies, you can put a movie that you are anticipating in it and it will send you an alert to remind you when the movie is premiering and provide information about local theaters near you to get tickets. Evernote you had to create your own organization system. Springpad.com has it created for you. You just name the notes and color code them yourself. You can also customize views in Springpad.com. Springpad.com is free regardless of how much info you have on it. You can quickly capture, organize and share everything that you find interesting especially with the web clipper integration with Chrome and even through mobile interface or bar code scanning. You can create projects and mange them, task management (Both GTD) and it has a great system to even organize and help you with recipes and it can help you determine what you need to shop for based on those recipes (Twitter tells me you and your wife love to cook) . It also has about 70 or so apps that you can use to enhance your experience. This is just the beginning. I will have to say no desktop app yet, MAC client will not be available till June (since you are an Apple guy). It takes awhile to get use to it, but once you do it is great.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jim. That is helpful. Does it have the ability to create templates? This is one thing I think is missing from Evernote.

  • http://twitter.com/criznale Crystal Renfrow

    Thank you for this post. I use it for writing. I’ve created folders for topics I want to write on and then I clip any articles or ideas from the Web using the Evernote web clipper in Google Chrome. I also email my Word files to a particular Evernote folder so that if I have a “eureka” moment on the go, I can quickly add it on my iPhone app. Evernote’s blog has great tips on how others are using Evernote for school, research, and creative projects. The possibilities are endless on how you can use Evernote.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Evernote has a great extension for Google Chrome, too, that allows me to feed stuff into it straight from my browser.

      • http://2020visiononline.org Josh Hood
        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Josh!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

        Springpad.com also has a Chrome extension that does the same thing. It also has a Chrome app that lets you access your Springpad.com page from the browser.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          My problem is that I need my notes offline. Until they have a desktop app for the Mac with a local database, I don’t think it will work for me. Thanks.

  • Mojzis

    That really a great idea! Thanks

  • Phillip Kelley

    Seriously! Michael…quit reading my mail! Just this week, as I was putting what seemed like a million notes together for my Sunday sermon, I pounded the desk in exacerbation! “There has GOT to be a method for capturing all of these notes – some on napkins, others on e-mails, others on gum wrappers! Thanks buddy! I’m already striving to work on this…I think it will take a lot of work on the front end but will be well worth it later!

    You’re a stud!
    Phillip Kelley
    http://www.LivingGraceChurch.net

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I’m glad I could be of help!

  • Lennon

    This is a great idea. I’m a college pastor, and it never occurred to me to do this instead of dozens of different word documents. Seems much less cumbersome. Thank you so much for posting something like this.

  • Jeff Jones

    I got the idea to start using Evernote from you and now I wonder if they are going to cut me off one day or fear what happens if it ever crashes. I am using it for work and personal endeavors and everything has a place, every piece of paper scanned and stored, every crazy idea filed and categorized. It’s a great tool for a great price.

    Thanks for sharing your systems and methods with us. I’m stealing them for myself and have noted your response that you get credit the first 3 times.

  • Josh

    I uses “Notes” on iPhone. I need to give Evernote another try.

    • http://nerdgap.com Brett Kelly

      If Evernote feels like a bit too much for what you’re doing, you should definitely give Simplenote a go – quite a bit more lean than Evernote for those that want fewer features.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. Evernote has been like that band everyone likes so keep….trying…them out. I just have not been about to “get into them”.

    A couple weeks ago, I uploaded Evernote for the 3rd time with the intention of using it more. I have been trying to get friends to explain HOW they use it so I might get a clearer idea of how I might use it.

    This post was super helpful. Thank you again.

  • http://www.twobytwoministry.com Tony Weston

    I’ve been using Evernote for 2 – 3 years now and it has been sooooooo helpful. The ability for searching is incredible. It will recognize handwriting on paper and on whiteboards. You can leave voice notes, photo notes (with GPS capabilities), as well as entering standard text. The web clipping is worth it’s weight in gold. Also….IT IS FREE!! There is a premium membership available as well. It is probably the most useful software/app I’ve found in recent history.

  • http://twitter.com/flyfished Ed Roden

    Great post – couple of thoughts…

    Why do you put them in separate notebooks? Why not just use Illustration, Quote, Joke, Statistic in your tag? This would follow the GTD system better of filing…

    You mention in the comments about sharing via trunk – with the new mac vesion (still as a RC I think) you can share folders – which is a great tool. You could share with other speakers you work with and have a larger collection. You could also share folders with authors in terms of content.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That would totally work. I just wanted the minimal organization, because that’s how I build my speeches. But either way would work fine.

  • http://www.newwealthparadigm.com Doug Armey

    Great tip on the Kindle highlights page. Didn’t know that existed. I personally us MS One Note. Same idea. I have converted all my blog ideas, quotes, etc over to it for easy locating. Hadn’t thought about separating them as quotes, illustrations etc. Helpful article. Thanks.

  • http://www.RobertBrewer.org Robb Bewer

    Evernote is irreplaceable for me. I use it for meeting notes, important pieces of data, and even thoughts I take on Scripture. A lot of apps sync with it. OliveTree has this built into their iPhone and iPad apps. I love it. I actually hadn’t considered using it for my speaking notes. I’m inspired.

    Do you see yourself actually teaching off an iPad or other tablet device from your notes in Evernote?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t see myself teaching. I think it is a great collection tool, but I don’t see it as an organizing tool or presentation tool. I use OmniOutliner for the former and Apple Keynote for the latter.

  • Nelson

    Michael,

    Though I’ve used Evernote a bit, especially on my iPhone, I’d be very interested in your evaluation of DEVONthink. I use DT pro, which uses artificial intelligence for blazingly fast searching and compiling of raw materials. I’ve not used tags as you do in Evernote, but your example spurs me onward. The items are as accessible as their tags, I think.

    DEVONthink has apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Eager to hear what you think.

    Nelson

  • http://twitter.com/rontoledo Ron Toledo

    Hello Michael, This is Ron from Evernote. Thanks so much for putting this post together and sharing it with your readers. We really appreciate all the support, it’s always great to hear of all the ways people are putting Evernote to use.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for crating such a great product, Ron. As you can see from the comments, many of us have found Evernote to be an indispensable tool. Thanks especially for dropping by and commenting!

  • Anonymous

    Michael,

    This is a great example of how to be a “Power User” for Evernote.

    I watched a webinar this week about using PersonalBrain and am considering converting totally to that, but now I have to think about that whole idea. [Because of the multiple access I have with Evernote over PersonalBrain].

    I am at a point where I am going to have to evaluate the programs/apps that I have been using. I need to look at when I need it and how I can get to it at that time.

    Thanks, I may now have to “borrow” some of your ideas here. (yes, I will give you credit for this weekend ;) )

  • Mikeschnell

    How does Evernote differ from Microsoft OneNote?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Personally, I don’t know. I haven’t used OneNote in years.

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    Is there a way you can capture and store audio bits?

    If you could, it would be interesting if it could do speech recognition and pull words out of the audio stream.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it has a voice recorder feature. This is really handy with iPhone.

  • Alex Wilson

    EverNote has been a life changing tool for me. I have been using to organize my personal and business life. It is a wonderful tool that allows me to work with multiple platforms. I use a Windows based laptop for work, a Mac at home, an iPad and iPhone when mobile, and a web browser in some places. I am never without my notes.

    I take meeting notes on it and share them out via email before the meeting is over. My wife and I each have an account and share some folders to collaborate on. I have been using it to organize my blog writing and my college courses. What a wonderful tool.

    I will be most happy when all platforms support the same features and work alike.

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    OK… I’ve seen you tweet about Evernote a lot and I just assumed from the way you talk about it that it must be hideously expensive and only for the Mac (one of which, I do not have).

    This post convinced to go to the evernote website to check it out and guess what? It’s FREE and works on Windows!!!

    I will try it but I’m about as organised as flock of headless chickens, so we’ll see….

  • http://www.cdenning.com Chris Denning

    I LOVE using Evernote. I use it especially for tracking my Kindle notes, blog ideas, and song writing. I love the way that you can collaborate and share notebooks, it works great for workshopping songs.

    I have also found it incredibly useful for storing all my notes from talks and seminars I hear. The tags make it so easy to search and come back to content later. I can see the obvious benefits for storing talks, illustrations and such.

  • http://www.cdenning.com Chris Denning

    Also, does anyone know if it is possible to password protect (locally) notebooks in Evernote? I’ve not found it and would love to see it in an update.

    • http://nerdgap.com Brett Kelly

      Hi Chris,

      You can’t currently password-protect entire notebooks (or even entire notes, for that matter), but you are able to encrypt regions of text within a note. If you highlight a portion of a text note and right-click, you’ll see the option to encrypt it. Be careful not to lose your password, though, because not even Evernote staff can decrypt the text without it!

      -Brett
      (Evernote employee)

      • http://www.cdenning.com Chris Denning

        Thanks Brett, helpful insights. Do you think this would be something you guys look into as a possible update in the future?

        • http://nerdgap.com Brett Kelly

          I’ll send the message up the food chain – I know this isn’t the first time folks have requested this, for what it’s worth.

  • http://twitter.com/rickhubbelltimc rick hubbell

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for your packing your blog with legitimately useful stuff. So I’ll give Evernote a try based solely on your rec. Downloading now.

    Rick

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Michael,

    Springpad.com has a template library and also the ability to create your own templates.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is very appealing!

  • Anonymous

    Again, your post is making it to one of my folders in Evernote. I am just learning of the value of Evernote and your information is a great help. Thanks.

  • http://www.gospelofkingdom.com Gregory Scott

    Michael-been using Evernote in my law practice since you first mentioned it here and it has been great. We are using it and sycing across our iPad’s, iPhones, MacBook Pros and iMacs. It is incredibly simple and easy to use. Thanks for the heads up.

  • AndroidAbh

    btw michael, whats ur thought about SpringPad. I found SpringPad is more useful for me . Its more feature rich then evernote but does not hav OCR which is very sad though.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My problem with it is that I need to be able to access it offline. Last I checked, SpringPad doesn’t have a desktop app, so you have to be online to get to your stuff. That doesn’t work for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ddejonghe Dominique Dejonghe

    Very nice use of Evernote! Most interesting for Evernote power use is the Evernote Essentials eBook. Have a look here: http://goo.gl/AUb8b (affiliate link)

  • Anonymous

    I bought a Macbook Pro today and just read this. I have evernote on my Iphone and don’t use it fully. But after reading this, I’m going to be index card free by the end of 2011. I have index cards everywhere.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      They work together beautifully. You will love it.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    I’m a big Evernote fan and have been using it a lot to draft blog posts and keep track of links to blogging tools and ideas. Never thought of using it for digital/paper books before. Thank you for the idea!

  • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

    Love Evernote. Have started using it on my iphone to save idea snippets that I later turn into blog posts.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    Thanks for this post, Michael! I’ve been using Evernote for a while, but not as effectively.
    Have you ever used Delicious to archive web pages?
    Have you replaced it with Evernote?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I never did get into Delicious. I archive Web pages in Evernote.

    • http://travisrobertson.com Travis Robertson

      I used Delicious for a very long time and replaced it with Evernote when there was that big scare about it being shut down. There are a couple of ways to import your Delicious data into Evernote depending on whether you use a PC or a Mac. A quick Google search will get you some options. I used both systems for a while. Now, I’m only on Evernote.

  • http://www.bubbasmith.net Bubba Smith

    I loveeeeee Evernote! Thanks for this post! I will be sharing it with people to sell them on using Evernote!

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    When I read something and it gives me an idea I quickly mind map it
    The main idea ….. If I use this post as an example …ever note would be the center and the “spokes” would be stories and one for quote and one for joke etc

    And I would start to add my current concepts into each spoke as more branches

    I am very visual and I need to see the information. I also find I had hundreds of notes that had no connection to each other , so I would never use them again
    If I mind map information right away I start to move it into my material

    I will check out ever note if their is a way to mind map on it than great! Thank you Michael foe sharing your system

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Mind maps are great. I don’t use them often, but on some projects they are invaluable for me.

  • Sjohnston

    I am not a public speaker very often, but I see how Evernote could be hugely useful to capture a variety of info sources regardless of your responsibilities. Thanks for another great idea!

    One question I have is whether you can tag/import entourage notes into it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t have Entourage on my Mac now, so I can’t test it. Perhaps someone else can answer. Thanks.

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  • Kb1428

    I use Evernote as well to store everything. One feature you did not mention is the ability to email content directly from the web into a specific folder with tags. This saves a huge amount of time.

  • Robneil

    Could you “evernote” a full book that you borrowed in a library?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Probably, but it would be a lot of work!

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  • http://heartscape.wordpress.com/ Jane

    What a great program! I’m downloading it now. As a writer, artist, and speaker-in-training, this will prove invaluable. Thanks so much for the tip! Can’t wait to share it with my busy husband, too.

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  • http://www.coryscomments.com Cory Hintz

    Thanks for the information Michael. I just started using evernote. I found this information very helpful.

  • http://blog.lifecaptured.com John Arleth

    I clipped this blog post to start this system, subscribed to the feed and am considering the advertising spot now available. That’s a powerful post. Found it on Lifehacker! Linking to it from my blog. That’s a powerful posting. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I appreciate that.

  • http://TheWorkflowAnalyst.blogspot.com/ John Zecchini

    Thanks for the Evernote info. I have used the index card method when preparing a speech–only one card with up to 10 key points. As for jotting notes and ideas I’ve been using my Droid phone and ColorNotes app. It’s just okay. I’ve downloaded Evernote to my phone and can’t wait to use it. While researching info on Workflow I came across your workflow system for processing e-mails. Great process–thanks. I am always looking for business processes to apply to my own Workflow System design.

    John Zecchini
    http://TheWorkflowAnalyst.blogspot.com/
    http://John.Zecchini@TheWorkflowAnalyst.com/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I am glad this was helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/john_gallagher john_gallagher

    Mike,

    Great post. You give me ‘hope’ for my nook. I haven’t yet figured out how to get my annotations/highlights easily cut and paste into Evernote (which I just started to use about a week prior to this post). The tag feature is so important.

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  • http://twitter.com/mrmarkmcdonald Mark McDonald

    Awesome thoughts here.

    I seem to have better filing systems online that I do with paper. Paper articles disappear where as Google search helps me online and explorer helps me if it is on my hard drive.

    I think I will be shifting to Evernote after reading this blog post.

    Keep these helpful tips coming. I love how you are able to have laser focus in your posts, one post is one tip or one useful idea.

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  • LanaVaughan

    Evernote is incredible! I’ve been using it for a while and don’t know how I managed before.

  • LanaVaughan

    Make sure you get the Evernote Clipper. Huge time saver

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, I use that every day from within Google Chrome.

  • http://twitter.com/conversiondiary Jennifer Fulwiler

    I just wanted to circle back and thank you for sharing this! I began using Evernote to track blog ideas after reading this post, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s revolutionized my blogging. It’s increased my efficiency by at least 300%.

    Also, a speaking-related question:

    Do you have any tips for how to do a smooth transition to Q&A if it’s supposed to follow directly after your speech? I.e. How do you avoid diluting a memorable ending with something like, “And now, if anyone has any questions…”

    Thank you again!

    • Bill Chapman

      Seems like an emcee would be helpful, here. In the introduction of your talk the emcee would indicate a Q&A will follow the talk. Make your tremendous finish, smile, and sit down or move aside. The emcee will then ask for questions and you will return to the podium to answer.

      • http://twitter.com/conversiondiary Jennifer Fulwiler

        Great idea, Bill! I definitely prefer that setup — that’s the way I’ve normally done it. Though I will be introduced by an emcee, these conference organizers have specifically requested that I go right in the Q&A. Hmm.

        • Bill Chapman

          In that case, you will either need a creative ending, or step to the side, close your eyes, wait for the applause (gasps, or whatever else your ending evoked) to subside, then open your eyes, make eye contact with each person in the room, smile, and ask for questions.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I have done this many time, just like this. It works fine.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have found it’s best if the host comes back up and announces that there will be a Q&A time and then invites me back to the stage. Thanks.

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  • Chris

    Michael,

    As a fervent Mac user you might consider Scrivener, a wonderful tool for research and writing. For more information see http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php.

    I use it in combination with Evernote for registering quick notes on the go.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have it and occasionally use it, but have never really made it part of my workflow.

  • Chris Schreuders

    Michael,

    As a fervent Mac user you might consider Scrivener, a wonderful tool for research and writing. For more information see http://www.literatureandlatte…..

    I use it in combination with Evernote for registering quick notes on the go.

  • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

    I’ve been searching for a good system like this for months. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kevin Harris

    Michael —

    This is excellent. Since your talk at Kingdom Advisors, I have been working hard to shave some time off my work week. Thanks for another great idea.

    God Bless –

    Kevin

  • http://www.coachbillhart.com Bill Hart

    This is great Mike. I have used PowerPoint over the years (now Keynote), and have pulled and categorized individual slides, but yours is a much more elegant system. My stress comes from ~just~ having moved from “Things” to “Action Method”, but it may not matter, as I am looking to you as my clearing house on most of this stuff anyway!

  • PoulAndreassen

    It is amazing to know that there are articles like this on web . Thanks for sharing this Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • TNeal

    It’s taken me a month to download and use Evernote. Immediately it’s had an impact. I can find quotes despite my limited and faulty memory. I just had to return to this post and say, “Thank you, Michael.”

  • http://twitter.com/StuMcLaren Stu McLaren

    One of the things that I’ve found EXTREMELY useful is the Evernote “Web Clipper”: http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper.php

    I hope more and more sites look to add the Evernote “clip” button – especially blogs (like this). It just makes it even easier for other Evernote users :)

    Here is the WordPress plugin that can make this easier:
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-evernote-site-memory/screenshots/

    All the best,

    Stu

    • TNeal

      Thanks for the additional info.

  • Leslie Traylor

    How does one set up your amazon Kindle page to record personal highlights? You have turned me on to evernote – I love it –

    Leslie Traylor

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  • Clint

    I love Evernote, using it for writing, idea management, staff meetings and personal to do. One thing I find frustrating in regard to sermon writing is that if I create a formatted note on my desktop app, when I open it on my iPad all the formatting is stripped, what’s the work around for that. For example, I always highlight scriptures in a color and bold key points, all of which is stripped on iPad.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t have an iPad, so I can’t help you there. You might try asking in the Evernote Forum for iPad. I have found it very helpful.

    • http://blog.LifeCaptured.com John Arleth

      Well, to use a little levity, I think Microsoft One Note keeps formating.  

      Converting to a pdf might work.  For example, if using Microsoft Word, you can probably save as a .pdf or print as a pdf, save it as a pdf and upload the pdf to Evernote.  

      Since evernote doesn’t change web colors, it is doubtful that evernote is the problem and more likely something with the ipads limitations or settings.  (You may be able to save as an .html file and upload that to evernote, too.) 

      Another good choice is to go to your local apple store, and ask the apple genius to help.  They are very good.  (You can make an appointment online for the store, so you don’t have to stand in line.) 

      Best,
      John

  • http://www.adonislenzy.com Adonis Lenzy

    Great system.  I’ve been using Evernote for a few months and really starting to maximize it now.  Thanks so much for sharing.  This will definitely help me.

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  • SCrazyD

    As I read, I underline or highlight phrases or paragraphs I want to capture. After I finish the book, I go back to the beginning to flip through and re-read my underlined material and determine if there is a word within the text that can be my “hook” or main idea and I circle it. I also look for complete phrases that are so good that I need to see the whole thing at one time, not just the topic. If there’s not a clear word, I’ll write it in the margin. The next step is to create a typed index. Fortunately, I am blessed with an assistant, so I give the book to her and she creates the index. When the index is finish, she’ll print it out and paste it to the inside cover and any blank pages in the back.

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  • http://twitter.com/laubancu Laurentiu C Bancu

    Hello Michael, indeed, very useful article. When you have time, you might check our platform too, it’s somehow similar to Evernote but dedicated especially to writers (www.shelfster.com).

    If you check it please let me know what do you think about the idea.

    Many thanks,
    Laurentiu Bancu
    CEO

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It does, indeed, look very similar to Evernote—even down to the green color in the branding.

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  • http://twitter.com/HopeFaithPrayer Rex Rouis

    I love Evernote. I rely on it to keep track of all my Christian blog and business documents. It integrates wonderfully with my smartphone. I still love my Moleskin but hey that’s OK.

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  • http://www.accidentalcreative.com Todd Henry

    Michael, ALWAYS love these Evernote posts. Couldn’t agree more about the value to speakers! 

    I do a ton of talks, seminars, etc., and one additional way I use Evernote as a speaker is as a BACKUP plan in case (1) my Macbook air, (2) Dropbox and (3) GoToMyPC all fail. (I know…it’s a long shot, but as you know, when you’re on the road you DON’T want to be without access to your most important docs.) 

    I throw all of my Keynote slide decks into Evernote in a few different formats so that I have them and can access them from any computer in the event of an emergency. While I’ve never had to use it, it’s great to know they’re there in case I ever do!

    Thanks again for the Evernote tips.

  • http://www.pinkdaisyjane.com Heatherly Lane Sylvia

    I just added this blogpost into my evernote to reference later this week. 

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  • http://twitter.com/tonydoland Tonydoland

    great post!  the popular author is John Maxwell. 

    p.s. I didnt read through other comments so if someone else got this good job to you. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s true. It is!

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  • http://twitter.com/tracyacorley Tracy A Corley

    This is excellent Michael! Thank you! I added one more category: stories. When preparing a presentation, people like relevant stories. I have lots of them and have a terrible time organizing them. This really helps!

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  • http://twitter.com/dannymaldonado Danny Maldonado

    Thanks for the post Michael. 

    It is a great program. I would love to see from Evernote the option to use it as a blogging software. It would be great that after you use it to gather all your thoughts, ideas, notes, etc, to be able to post directly from it to your platform. (WordPress, etc). I had sent that idea to them a time ago. That would make it even more appealing. Just a thought.

  • CLare

    Any ideas on how to map out ideas in a graphical way? I’ve got a huge amount of material to remember for my role in teaching and good to refresh memory as not as good as once was. Want to find a mind map way of easily noting items as well as anecdotes etc but n a connected way? Any ideas apart from a word doc with embedded links and docs which is all I can think of but can’t do on the ipa d…. Thanks!

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  • http://about.me/revchadbrooks chadbrooks

    I am a pastor/preacher and I attempt to be 3 months out. I use evernote to organize my larger preaching schedule, series emphasis as well as individual messages. I use it mainly as a dumping ground for information and planning.

  • lifeisstory

    As a pastor, I’ve used Evernote as a sermon storehouse, but not to engage with the raw data and preparation. I think I might give this a try.

  • sony

    great tip for new bloggers like me… Keep continuing sharing ideas with amazing tips, tricks, informations … Make Money , Blogging Tips, Widgets, Free Tools, Tricks

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

    Kent Sanders directed me to this post. Great stuff, Michael. Love the way you break it down. I’ve been calling everything “illustrations” in Evenote. From now on, I’ll use “illustrations,” “humor,” “quotes,” and “statistics.”

  • http://JasonandChelsea.com Jason and Chelsea White

    Michael, your blog posts on using Evernote are very helpful. Thanks!

  • http://www.suesundstrom.com Sue Sundstrom

    Hi, thank you for the tips! I have created the same notebooks in Evernote – I’ve been wanting to use it to file quotes and interesting articles, but hadn’t worked out how to do it as systematically as this. Great ideas. Sue x

  • http://mnmmariam.wordpress.com/ mariemerald

    I stumbled across this post while visiting your blog. this is great. thank you!