How to Use Evernote with an iPad to Take Meeting Notes

In 2004, I bought a Toshiba Tablet PC. I had hoped I could use it for taking notes in meetings, using Microsoft’s OneNote software. However, after a few months, I gave up. The system was just too clunky. I resigned myself to using a Moleskine notebook for taking notes in meetings.

iPad Tilted Up on Its Official Case

However, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in a meeting with one of our authors. Several people pulled out their iPads and began taking notes. This piqued my curiosity.

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.

Although I had bought an iPad, I wasn’t that impressed with it. While it was a beautiful machine, I thought of it as “An Elegant Solution in Search of a Problem.”

Watching these people type into their iPads made me re-think my position.

Since that time, I have replaced my faithful Moleskine notebook with an iPad running Evernote. I am now carrying it with me everywhere, just as I used to do with my paper notebook. So far, I am pleased.

Here’s why:

  • The iPad is just a little bigger than my Moleskine notebook. Heavier, to be sure, but not bulky like my Toshiba was. It seems natural now to carry it into a meeting, prop it up on the conference table using the official Apple iPad Case, and start taking notes.
  • Evernote is a great piece of software. It’s like a digital file drawer. You can store anything in it and find it almost instantly. Best of all, they have a version for my iPad, my Mac, and my iPhone. It all syncs remotely in the “cloud,” so I can access the same notes anywhere, regardless of the device I am using. In addition to text notes, you can also take a picture on the iPhone or Mac and record a voice memo on the iPhone or iPad.
  • I actually like typing better than writing by hand. My handwriting is almost illegible, and it was always a challenge for my Toshiba to recognize it. I’m sure the software has gotten better, but typing is now my preferred input method. (Yes, I have tried NoteTaker HD and PenUltimate with the Pogo Stylus.)

I have adapted my paper note-taking system to Evernote, using the following notations symbols for the four types of items that require follow-up:

  1. If an item is particularly important or insightful, I put a double exclamation mark in front of it, like this:
    !! This is a really important item. I’d like to be able to find it quickly when I scan my notes later.
  2. If an item requires further research or resolution, I put a double question mark in front of it, like this.
    ?? This is an item that needs more research.
  3. If an item requires follow-up, I put a double “at sign” next to it. The at sign reminds me of David Allen’s GTD task management system. The item looks like this:
    @@ This is an item that needs follow-up.
  4. If I have assigned a follow-up item to someone, I put a double ampersand sign in front of it. The ampersand, which is symbolic for “and” reminds me that I am doing this task with someone else’s help. It looks like this:
    && This is a delegated item that needs tracking.

When I get back to my office after the meeting, I act on these items, either calling people, sending emails, or adding the items to my task manager.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials. It is worth setting aside a couple hours to work through this brief, 84-page book. It will save you DAYS of learning Evernote on your own.

The system is not perfect. I would love to see Evernote add to their iPad app the same formatting options they have in their desktop client (e.g., bold, italics, alignment, numbered lists, etc.). I’d also like the ability to create templates I could reuse with custom fields. However, the system is working, and I think it will undoubtedly improve as the software gets better.

Questions: Have you tried digital notes? If so, how does your system work? What software have you found helpful? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Gregg Fraley

    I love your note taking system — they should teach something like that in schools.

    Thanks for your user story with regard to the iPad, I too prefer typing. Curious as to whether it is relatively easy to add a sketch with Evernote, or if you have to go to a separate iPad drawing tool, like Brushes. My moleskin notes are punctuated with drawings….

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don't think you can yet add a sketch, but I am sure that's coming. I occasionally have the need for that, too.

      • Alan Wages

        Great post, I was hoping you would write about this.

        On the sketching question, you can draw something in Penultimate and email it to Evernote. Not perfect since it requires going into a separate app and creates a new note in Evernote, but it works if you need to save a picture.

    • jonnycat

      Try CourseNotes CourseNotes App for taking notes for school — it includes support for drawings.

      • Michael Hyatt

        Now this looks cool, too. I will check it out.

  • Lola J. Lee Beno

    I love Evernote and the fact that I can access it from everywhere.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I like that, too. I keep it open on my Macbook pro. I press Ctrl-Option-⌘-N to immediately start a new note from anywhere. I also use it quite a bit on my iPhone.

  • Tod Shuttleworth

    Mike –

    I could not agree more. I take my iPad to every meeting. I have not tried Ever Note but am installing it now. BTW, building my first presentation on the iPad. Loveit.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. Let me know what you think about Evernote. Make sure you get the iPhone app, too. It's got some features that I can’t live without. For example, you can take a picture of a business card, and it will create a fully scanned, indexed Evernote note.

      • communicatrix

        I love Evernote as well, but have had problems with the iPhone camera on my 3G taking legible closeup photos. Am I doing something wrong, or is this just another point in favor of upgrading to the 4G? :-)

        • madge

          i have the same problem, c-trix. saving my pennies for the end of the month :)

        • Gary

          You need to know your phone camera’s “minimum” focal distance just like any other camera lens.  If it is 18 inches and further out, then when you hold something 17 inches away it will likely be soft.  Closer yet and it will be really out of focus.  Try it and see.

  • @abrewing

    I may have to switch to typing notes. I am using the iPad now with PenUltimate and the Pogo stylus but it feels slow with too many errors. I am trying to replace my Lenovo Tablet w/OneNote. Your notation symbols are simple and intuitive. My colleague has been pushing Evernote and while I have the iPad version, I have not been using it extensively. Sounds like I need to.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Gary Mintchell

    I've been looking at the iPad for note taking. The 10 hour battery life is appealing. I can't take my MacBook Pro to conferences. The 1-2 hour battery life is a killer. Do you touch type? How is that experience? Is the response fast enough?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I am basically a three-finger plus thumb typer. i can touch-type, but I am slower at it. Regardless, I watch people do it on the iPad all the time. I find the keyboard very speedy and apt. Best of all, it's less noisy than a laptop—no sound whatsoever.

  • @TMNinja

    My iPad replaced my laptop quickly. The size, form factor, and battery life made it a laptop killer for me.

    Agree that Evernote for iPad is awesome. The ability to instantly get your "cloud" notes is amazing.

    The iPad just seems that much more polite in a meeting setting than "clickty-clacking" on a laptop. :)

  • Eric S. Mueller

    I've used Evernote off and on since version 1 when it was really rough. I was a beta tester for Evernote 2, so I've seen it go through lots of improvements. I do like being able to access my notes through desktop clients, the web client, and my iPhone.

    One feature I'd love to see is the ability to put task check boxes in notes on the iPhone. That makes it easier for me to make notes of things I need to do and find them again through filtering.

    I've always been impressed with Evernote's web clipper, even back in the early days. To this day, I still use it to copy pictures and snippets of websites to keep in my notes. It will clip anything without loss of formatting.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I'd like to see them add the check box feature into the iPad and iPhone version like it is in the desktop client. I can filter by my symbols now, but it would be cool if they would adopt something similar, make it more graphical, and make it a permanent feature of the left-hand sidebar.

      Thanks for your input.

      • Shawn Davis

        I am trying to use your symbols (!!, @@, &&, ??) for organizing my iPad notes in Evernote but when I run a search it does not locate them. Any ideas? Love this idea to create action, follow-up and accountability.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Unfortunately, they no longer work. You can, however, use regular characters, like “_im” for important. Thanks.

  • Lawrence W. Wilson

    Mike, is there some reason you don't just take your Mac Book Pro to meetings? While It's a little more cumbersome, I can file items and add them to my action list immediately so there is almost no after-meeting follow-up time.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes. I think it is intrusive. The keys are loader and you have to peer over the display. Also, I find that I get more easily distracted. I do use it at conferences, however—just not office meetings.

  • Cheri Liefeld

    I have been using the Evernote/Ipad combo for the last month. I like the keyword ability so that later I can find the notes based on the keywords I assigned it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I like that feature, too.

  • patriciazell

    I feel so stoneage! Here I am trying to figure out how I can take notes during the school day in order to remember everything I need to remember. I haven't quite figured out how I can keep track of a notebook. An iPad is out of the question because Macs do not get along with our school computer network–some of my vocational students had Macs and it was a nightmare getting their senior projects completed. So, to answer your question, no, I haven't tried digital notes. :-)

  • Ron Lane

    Great review of another way to use the iPad. I haven't gotten one myself, but I have seen a few people using them to take notes. They too were typing on the keyboard.

    I have heard about the "think in ink" concept of you better remember things that you write down. Do you find this to be as effective by typing? Does the EverNote app for iPad allow you to use the stylus and write in notes?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, you can't write yet in the Evernote app, but I am sure that is coming. For me, typing is as effective as writing. Both enable me to clarify my thoughts. That’w why I always tell people that I don’t know what I think about a topic until I have blogged about it. ;-)

  • Scott Williams

    Evernote is great… I'm still going back and forth on whether or not to get the iPad. I've had several conversations this week about getting one. My buddy sat next to me at a 2-day training w/ his and I think that was enough convincing!

  • John Richardson

    Wow Mike, you may have stumbled on the ultimate use for the iPad. I have taken my new MacBook Pro 13" laptop to meetings. The 10 hour battery life is great and the keys are pretty quiet, but the heads up screen is still somewhat intrusive. I usually still resort to paper, but I have found that if I use my daily planner sheets, I have a quick place for hot button items, e-mail address's, phone numbers and the like.

    Your article did give me an idea for a professional note taking system using a planner sheet, pre-ruled business cards, and Fisher space pen. I'll have to put this together this weekend and give it a try. One of your ideas above could make this a revolutionary tool. If it works, I'll share it out on my blog. If anyone wants to use the planner sheets, they are a free download at . Thanks for your great blog!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great, John. I look forward to your report.

    • patriciazell

      I downloaded a planner sheet–thanks for providing the link.

    • Simon

      So John – what were your findings?

      • John Richardson

        I put together the first part of the system, a note taking template, and find it works well. I've been experimenting with note cards, but I haven't found a good import system yet. Once I find something that works and is easy to use, I'll post about it. Here is the link to the note taking template. I hope you find it useful.

  • @bobevankc

    MIchael. Thanks for the post. A few months ago you had a post asking about what apps or productivity software folks used and I chimed in with Evernote. You're right on target. Evernote is awesome and I've been a fan since July 2008. I use it for note taking as well as my digital file cabinet. Every document I get that's important and I might need to reference later I scan in using my ScanSnap S300. There is a setting that scans directly to Evernote and it has PDF text search capability.

    Additionally folks might want to consider using the new souped up Documents to Go for iPad. That allows you to type directly into Word and create PDF's. Docs to Go is one great program and I'd highly recommend it. This allows you to keep your documents in Word format with bullets, numbered lists, etc.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Are you using Docs to Go as a replacement for Evernote or as a supplement. The ScanSnap S300 sounds great, too.

      • @bobevankc

        Just a supplement. I am much more a fan of Evernote because it's an all in one location for anything I do; pictures, notes, and I can email directly to my Evernote email address and web clips, pictures, and notes are there without me having to think about it. I only use Docs to Go if I am going to have to turn something around quickly in a more professional looking format. Thanks!

  • mattb

    Don't have an iPad yet, but I've been using Evernote on my MacBook & iPhone just about daily since I read about it in one of your posts recently. And now almost everybody else I work with is using it. My job has me working with a church, a theatre company, a coffee house, a non-profit, a design company, and other churches from time to time. I'm not the most organized guy, and this has solved my problem of keeping notes in Pages files buried in folders across my computer – lots of clicks to get to each one. I could never keep up w/ where I was on projects for all those organizations…but now I can see where I am on anything in one window. I've found using lots of notebooks works better than lots of tags for me b/c the iPhone app breaks up notes by notebook, so I can see where everything is a bit easier that way. Then one of my few tags is for important to-do items, so I can keep master to-do lists for work & home to scan easily on my desktop version. Wondering what life would've been like had I found it sooner!

  • Felicity

    You might like this iPad case called the DODOCase. It actually looks like a Moleskine and is hand-made using book binding techniques. Mine is on order still, but it looks like a nice artistic edition to the iPad’s utility.

    Thanks for the note taking tips, too!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That looks really cool. In fact, I just ordered one. Unfortunately, it says that due to a spike in demand, it will take 5–6 weeks to get it! Thanks for the recommendation.

      • Felicity

        I thought you would like it, especially as a book person! : )

      • Joel

        Michael, did you get it? What do you think? I could't take the wait. Ordered the Apple case and really like it. Dodo has a competitor now too, not sure if you have seen that.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Yes, I love it!

  • ThatGuyKC

    Glad to see you've found greater functionality for your iPad. I'm drooling over it for now and hopefully will get the 2.0 version that will inevitably be released next year. For now I'm a poor grad student with a full time job and a family to feed.

    However, I am very grateful for my iPhone and occasionally use it to take infrequent notes during a sermon.

  • Jay Graves

    I am trying to blend Evernote with Things (which needs a cloud sync). Just started with Evernote last week. I do miss having "doodleability" as sometimes typing cannot capture a visualization. That being said, if you also have an iPhone the Evernote camera capture feature is awesome for preventing "do not erase" from being written on the whiteboard. Great post!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree on Things needing cloud sync. They have promised this for months. You might check out Nozbe.

  • Jeff

    Do you use the screen on the iPad to type or do you have a separate keyboard device with physical keys? If you use the iPad screen, what's the learning curve on it? Are you as fast as you are on a keyboard?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I have both, but I generally use the on-screen keyboard. I find it perfectly adequate. I am not quite as fast yet but fast enough.

  • FormFire Glassworks

    I have been using SoundPaper on the iPad because it records audio simultaneous with the typing. That way, if I have any questions about the content, I can play the audio, tap the portion of my notes that I am wondering about, and the audio will skip forward to that portion.

    It works great, I have a digital copy ready to go, and can email meeting minutes directly from my iPad. Then I can transfer them to Evernote to make them searchable.

    Would never go back to handwritten.

  • Karen

    I’ve been thinking about using my iPad for meetings and this helpful post pushed me over the fence. It’s getting harder to keep track of all the pages of notes from meetings I’ve been attending lately so Evernote could be a lifesaver. I didn’t know I could sync with my Macbook and phone. Thanks for sharing Michael.

  • D. Shick

    I've not yet tried Evernote (and don't own an iPad) but I have been addicted to One Note for some time. I love the search function and I'm still a little nervous about storing business information in/on the cloud. Any thoughts on that or comparisons of the two products from folks that have used both?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I loved OneNote back when I used to use it (about two iterations ago).

      I wouldn't worry about info in the cloud. It's encrypted. I’ve lost my Moleskine notebook a few times, so I consider that the least secure option.

  • Joann Loos

    I don't have an iPad yet, but I do use EverNote. I finally decided to use it to replace Google Notebook, which I still miss. I like that I have options to type in notes, get parts of web pages, or to save the whole page. I do a lot of research online.

    • Jay Samples

      You can do all of that with evernote.

  • Michael

    Cool article. I'm getting my iPad finally next week. I was testing my friend's iPad for a week and didn't want to give it back :-)

    The Evernote is my perfect notetaking solution because of cloud-sync… and because it syncs with Nozbe – when I tag a note "home" and I click on my "home" context in Nozbe, I see my Evernotes with home tag there. Same applies to Projects. This way when I'm getting projects done I can click on a project and see all of my actions and Evernote notes on one page :-)

    Hope this comment isn't too sales'y… I wasn't sue you knew about this integration…

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Michael. I was aware of it, but not in that detail. You have given me something else to explore.

      (For those of you who don't know, Nozbe is a cloud-based task manager. It also has a very elegant iPhone app, and, I believe an iPad app awaiting approval from Apple.)

  • raincitypastor

    I've used the ipad for note taking from the first day I bought it. I use Simplenote for note taking, and find it to be extremely easy to use. And, since I'm also a writer, I use Quickvoice to record interviews, both in person and on the phone. It's a marvelous tool. I bought the pad because I travel for teaching in Europe and simply wanted an e-reader to save hauling books. But the ipad's become a constant companion: e-reader, notes in meetings, e-mails, and much more. The old "don't love home without it" saying applies here. It's one of the best investments I've made.

  • Jadoe

    Good post. I would love to use my iPad to take notes, but the problem is that I also use Evernote to read meeting documents (memo’s, minutes etc). Those docs are mostky MS Word or PDF and as far as I know I can not add notes to the document itself?
    Any suggestions?

    • Michael Hyatt

      You can read those via Good Reader. You would just have to switch between the apps.

  • Ian Pedoe

    What an excellent system. Thank you. The software is amazing too. It's now on my Blackberry, iPad, and PC.

  • Matt Edmundson

    Evernote is awesome – and it works well for note taking on the iphone and the ipad – but I am a little frustrated about the formatting ability.

    I have a slightly different system these days – I have the Office2 HD app on the iPad. With it, I can create/edit/amend word documents easily (still the most popular format people use for sharing). It has all the formatting you need for the iPad and it works well for me.

    The fact that it integrates with DropBox, means that you can sync with the cloud easily. Because it is in a word format, I can also edit it on my PC and MacBook Pro.

    The only downside – I am not sure how it works with the iPhone (not tried it) – but I still have Evernote as a backup plan!!

  • Chris Ediger

    I’ve carried my iPad to meetings since day one as well and I completely agree. I used to take notes in a Moleskine and pictures of whiteboards with my iPhone. Then I’d transfer all of it to Evernote back in my office.

    Now I can add pictures directly via the Evernote iPhone app and take notes directly on my iPad vis the Evernote app.

    Biggest downside is the current inability to create or even edit rich text notes on the app. That, plus an iPad camera would make things complete for me.

    • Michael Hyatt

      i agree. I am hoping for Rich Text editing, plus checkboxes.

  • Blessing Mpofu

    Sounds like a great tool. I had given up on tablets and a little skeptical of the iPad but am rethinking. Apple owes you commission ;-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      You should go by an Apple Store and play with one. It will give you a good sense of what it can do.

  • michaelhsmith

    because of one of your earlier posts I am now using Evernote…thanks. Also thanks for listing your system for taking notes and symbols for useful follow-up

    • Jay Samples

      Are the symbols still searchable in evernote for ipad, or did you have to create a new system of tracking important information that you can search in evernote? Thanks.

      • Michael Hyatt

        No, I am afraid they are not. I have reported the issue to Evernote. Thanks.

  • Preben Carlsen


    Brilliant post.

    I’m also using iPad + Evernote as a effective notetaking system.

    Any great ideas regarding naming a note?

    • Michael Hyatt

      It doesn't matter a whole lot, since all the text is searchable. Still, I am using the name of the meeting, plus the date.

  • randysrules

    The iPad is your most useful electronic notepad so far. I haven't jumped at it – still find my brain connected to my hand for notetaking, although I can compose well at the computer. Simply put, my moleskine is always there, never needs recharging, is ready to go rain or shine (including when hiking, fishing, on the road), useful at bedside without disturbing anyone, and readable even in intense sunlight!

    My synching of notes into my electronic filing system (customized GTD) is via scanner – not too inconvenient as it also gives me review time and often direct input into active work. Still, I'm monitoring your progress & results (pesky spies everywhere!!) – especially to see how you bridge "work" vs. creative thought anywhere modes!

  • Marc Millan

    Thank you so much for sharing this post bro, I saw the picture in your pic slide and wondered what the case was until i read the post fully AND…BONUS found that cool “course app” that is slick right there.

  • Shane lawrence

    I did the same thing, had an hp tablet but resorted to printing on specially designed pages I created because I can't read my own writing. A friend who hosts getconnectedtv convinced me to get an iPad. Now I use ithoughtshd app to take notes, using a mind map. I then email within the app to myself, attendees, and evernote. It's a perfect system and reduces both note taking time and followup time plus my team gets professionally formatted action items immediately after a meeting. The advantage og ithoughtshd mind map is that it is rawly easy to group your notes into themes before you send.

  • Jon

    Nice article with some nice ideas. I decided enhance my notes using the notation described but have no luck searching. Example, I add an important item and prefix it with !!. When I search my notes on the iPad version, none are returned using the search string !!. When I add double-quotes (“!!”) the iPad application crashes!

    Tried same on desktop and although the note in question can be seen briefly highlighting the matching text, !! in the search filters it out before it can be used resulting in a blank list. This appears to behave the same with all the special characters mentioned here (!,@,& and ?) so I am wondering how the author structures the search to allow relevant notes to be displayed.

    • Brandon Morrell

      I am having the same problem. Michael – do you have a possible solution for this? 

      • Michael Hyatt

        Unfortunately, I don’t. Evidently something has changed since I first posted this. I will post a message in the Evernote User forum and see if I can get an answer.
        Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

      • Michael Hyatt

        Rats. I remembered the Evernote User Forum is closed until tomorrow. They are launching some new forum software.
        It looks like this won’t work. Here is a workaround. Mark your text with these tags:
        _imp_ This is a really important item. I’d like to be able to find it quickly when I scan my notes later.
        _que_ This is an item that needs more research.

        _fup_ This is an item that needs follow-up.

        _del_ This is a delegated item that needs tracking.

        Please confirm that this works for you. It is working for me.

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  • Jason Simmons

    You can't go wrong with a Motion Slate. This is the best writing slate out there. I have tried them all. Using this with One Note really makes my notes worthwhile.

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  • JMUnderwood11

    I am just now (8/15/2010) reading your June 2010 blog on using Evernote on the iPad for taking meeting notes.

    I could not agree more that the iPad has the POTENTIAL to be one of the best tools for taking meeting notes.
    I also agree that, in general, EverNote is a great app.

    Unfortunately I find EverNote on the iPad to fall far short of what I believe is needed. The biggest shortcoming is that EN iPad does not support rich text in any way. You can't create new notes with rich text, nor can you edit existing notes (made on your Mac or PC) that use rich text.

    Without rich text, there is no good way to create lists.

    About 90% of all of my meeting notes involve lists of one kind or another, and usually require multi-level lists.

    I have written extensively about this in the EvernNote iPad forum:

    Make Evernote be THE Premier Meeting Notes App for the iPad

    Need Forum & Features Focused on iPad

    [. . . continued in next post]

  • JMUnderwood11

    [continued from my original post . . .]


    Amazingly enough, there is NO iPad app that is well suited to taking, let alone distributing, MEETING NOTES!

    I have personally tried most of the available "Notes" apps for the iPad.
    They all suck except for Evernote.

    Evernote has all the infrastructure to make it a GREAT Meeting Note iPad app.

    You just need two key features:
    1. Bullet and numbered lists
    2. Meeting Templates
    3. Handwritten notes (OK ,this is 3)

    Here's the Use Case:

    Walk into a meeting with nothing more than an iPad.
    Quickly take notes using either the KB or handwritten.

    Quickly record standard meeting info:
    1. Meeting title/name ((pick list)
    2. Participants (selected from Contacts)
    3. Actions (take aways)
    4. Decisions
    5. Next Meeting
    6. Etc

    Most meeting "quick-notes" benefit from lists:
    1. Bullets
    2. Numbered

    There are many enhancements one can envision, like Action Item tracking, but that can come later.

  • Hans Schiefelbein

    Michael – your article here came up in my Google search under "people in my social circle" discussing my topic: getting iPad files to PC.

    So here's my question: Can I create files (Word/Excel OR Pages/Numbers) and load them to the cloud so a PC *and* a Mac can read and edit them?

  • Ron Lane

    Great ever note suggestions. I will be trying this system of note taking starting tonight. Thanks

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  • @davidhooper

    Am in the only one who still likes pen and paper? Love my iPad, but find it a distraction in meetings.

  • Nicholas Madden

    Alrhough I don’t have an iPad I love taking notes on my iPod touch. It’s not bulky like a paper notebook. I love you idea for making sure the notes stay organized, I’ve always been thinking there must be an easier way. One day I’ll buy an iPad for taking note, specifically sermon notes/outlines.

  • Karie Price | Real World BA

    I recently came upon Evernote and now don’t know how I ever lived without it! I haven’t used it for meeting note taking though – duh! – so will now expand my use for that. Thanks for sharing your quick notation for various actionable items! I’m going to give that a try.

  • Allyn Edmonds

    Michael, nice post. I’ve tried Evernote many times, but it never seemed to stick with me. Decided to give it another try because of your article and some of the resulting comments people have posted. I’m curious, what task manager do you use? I’ve recently downloaded the Nozbe iPad app and signed up for their cloud service (web), I really like. Have you used it and what are your thoughts?

    BTW: Love the blog and have just added you to my Google Reader. =)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that Allyn.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I have just converted from Things (on the Mac) to Nozbe myself. I love it. It does everything I need, including could sync which Things doesn’t offer.

  • Cheriehepburn

    I have been using the IPad for a short time and getting happier daily. When I discovered Evernote I was very happy!!! I can communicate with clients and employer, sharing docs and meeting note easily. Everything from web projects to organizing the Christmas party.

    Now we don’t have sticky notes all over the office and half completed projects.

    Now, the only down side to taking notes with my iPad is the general attitude from others and it is often referred to as a toy. This was a typical 90’s attitude but I was surprised to see that it still exists. I worked for one company that tried to confiscate IPhones every morning. That lasted about three days. :-)

  • John Doherty

    This is great. My iPad is slowly becoming my go-to for meetings as well. I love syncing everything in the cloud.

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  • Anonymous

    I was looking for a good reason to buy my Ipad. I think that this post has open my eyes. I think it is a good combo Ipad-Evernote.

  • Carl Schulz

    I use the same approach to note taking combining Evernote and the iPad that you described.  I do switch back and forth between typing my meeting notes using Evernote or hand writing them using Notetaker HD and then “saving” them in Evernote.  I like being able to add sketchs and diagrams in Notetaker HD.

    I use OmniFocus as my task manager on my iPad and my Mac.  The latest update to Evernote (it may still be a beta as I install all their updates as soon as they are available) includes the ability to create a link to a note in Evernote.  Now if a note has an action item ( @@ –  ) at the end of the meeting I copy a link to the note and paste it in the OmniFocus action item.  Then when I am reviewing my to do list in OmniFocus I can click the link and open the note in Evernote on my iPad or my Mac.

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve been enjoying my iPad. I’ve found using evernote during meetings/conferences to be very rewarding. I especially like the ability to record the audio simultaneously while I write. It makes it easier to fill in the blanks when I’m going back over my notes.

    Tim Dahl

    • Michael Hyatt

      This is the one app that makes me tempted to buy an iPad again. Evernote in a meeting is awesome.

      • Martin Connell

        for those after something more “handwritten”, try Noteshelf.

        I feel a bit weird typing in a meeting on a screen, but writing using my fingers isn’t as intrusive I feel.

        Noteshelf has templates for all sorts of things – including standard legal pad, meetings & agendas, even things like piano and guitar music.

        so for me, handwritten notes in Noteshelf then post the results into Evernote.

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  • Scott Wild

    Thanks for the great article and heads up on the e-book.  I LOVE Evernote, but didn’t realize the depth that I was missing!  Will happily share your site with others.  Have a great weekend.

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  • Ian Pickford

    I am chair of a large further education college here in the UK. We recently set up an e-governance group to experiment with and develop ways of reducing paper at meetings and become more efficient.
    My consultancy Magicfizz Limited uses a combination of iPads, Dropbox and Evernote and we help introduce these to the College governors. Whilst it is early days, these products together produce a solution that we could only have dreamed about ages years ago.
    Definitely an Evernote fan. Ian Pickford

  • Jdtwayne

    Upad is great for writing notes and emailing them into evernote. I can then do a review later that day and add any reminders, calls or actions to my system that I need.

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  • Anonymous

    Michael, Thanks for the posts! I realize it was written some time ago, but I just came across it this morning. I too am a big proponent of the iPad in meetings and have been successful at transitioning to note taking using the iPad/Evernote combo. I started by using NotetakerHD and then moved to just Evernote about 2 months ago. I even did a little science project to see whether I was faster typing into EN or writing with a stylus…the results are on my blog.

    Take a look and tell me what you think.

    – Chris

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great post. I had always thought the stylus would be faster, but I think I would get similar results to yours.

      • Anonymous

        Forgot to mention that I like the abbreviations you are utilizing to remind yourself about actions after a meeting. I am personally using “ACTION ITEM” if it is something I need to do or “WAITING” if I have assigned someone something. However, I really like yours as mine take longer to type!

        Thanks for the ideas!

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  • Anonymous

    Evernote for desktop is good, but I find MagicalPad to be more flexible for the iPad

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  • Mcamp52

    I am trying to make the switch over to Evernote with iPad. I really like the checkmark boxes and bullets. However, I am really missing a Tab feature. Does anyone have a suggestion for Tabbing with Evernote in iPad?

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  • RJ

    Other apps are available. I know one that is quite new but is picking up, epiNote.

  • Devon Sullera

    I personally use the Ghostwriter Notes app available at


    When my boss speaks during business meetings, I always find
    it easy to take down notes every word he utters. It is very easy to use and
    very cheap. 

    • Michael Hyatt

      This looks very cool, especially with the iPen hardware.

  • C_Dave

    On my side I have an Ipad since day 1, have been using a lot Evernote for its syncing capabilities but it lacks meetings oriented feature such as actions, to-do and follow-up.
    I’m always looking for a replacement App as I think we could gain a lot of time if it was done correctly.
    I’ve tested nearly every notes / todo app on the Appstore in 2 years, I have to admit I’m still amazed how difficult they are to use in a Work environment.
    I just discovered an App, Beesy, that seems to have understand note taking from a business perspective. I tried it for 2 days and for the moment I’m quite thrilled, even a bit too powerful at the beginning.
    I particularly love the fast and nice Icons to add different kind of notes / actions and the instant meeting minutes you can send.
    Another great thing I’ve been appreciating: it reuses my notes / tasks from the meeting in the To-Do manager, yes you read correctly ! Huge time saver.
    Only drawback so far: a few glitches here and there, but nothing compromising the use of the App, the App still in v1.0 and the lack of iPhone sync at the moment but the devs at BeesApps said they’re on it for a future release.

    My 2 cents on this one

  • Jeff Grosse

    I’m very glad that Evernote now supports rich text on the iPhone and iPad versions. The huge benefit to that is that you can add or modify rich text on either the desktop or mobile side and it works perfectly. An update to Penultimate allows you to now export your notes to Evernote, but unfortunately, that’s a one way street and you don’t get to update a note you’ve already sent. 

  • Justine

    Very good article about EverNote i think yu describe everything
    But i do not use anymore EverNote because i have discovered recently a very good app ” Beesy ”

    I have been usingIpad for 2 years. I used EverNote and then Awesome Note  for a long time and their ability to sync but both had a disadvantage ; the lack of features to accommodate tasks, to-do and make monitoring
    So i was seeking an alternative app to save time for my meeting. I have almost testest all the apps on Notes/ ToDo on the APPstore and I must admit I am still surprised they do not fit with a pro use. I have just discovered Beesy, an note taking and management app ToDo which apparently include taking notes with a business way. I have tried for several days and until now i’m really satisfied by Beesy. It’s really efficient and maybe the only disadavantage is you need time to use it efficiently. I guess this App really  deserve we spend a little bit time to understand it

    I love shortcuts of Beesy’s icons in order to use it quicky and easily add notes. Also, the advantage is to submit easily by email minutes about my different meeting

    Guys, if yu are interested yu can google “Beesy” of go to the website  http:/

  • Yuri Gomez R

    Great experience sharing. I’ll stay tuned to your reviews on note-taking. I’m working on integrating with evernote and your post is a great help.By the way, uiconcept for ipad is free, it’s a personal project for organizing non-structured ideas. I hope you can check it.

  • Louper

    Thanks for the post. I must admit that the choice of note taking is pretty hard. I tried Evernote during a lot time and then I found a new app called Beesy. pretty interesting and useful to use. Just want to know also if someone knows when the new update of Beesy is coming ? 

  • Kloontjer

    This comes at the perfect time! I am heading back to grad school and was debating whether to go back to paper and pen, carry a laptop or something in between. Do documents in Evernote transfer well between Macs and PCs? If I took note on an iPad will they be useable on a PC?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, they will, provided you took them in Evernote. (I assume this is what you mean as opposed to attachments.)

  • Dmcbride_crowder

    I love Evernote and my iPad. I use Evernote mainly for storage and organizing. I use Pages for note taking and once I get it in the firm I want, then I can save it to Evernote. All my Pages documents are also stored in the Cloud and accessible from all my Apple devices.

  • Kent

    I have used it for note taking but I have yet to develop a not taking system.
    This will help me a lot. Thanks.

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  • Melanie Anderson

    You know what? I just love you! You are always so
    informative, and every one of your posts seems to address something that I have
    been thinking about in the days that have passed.


  • David Yana

    are plenty of apps to take notes on your ipad but very few are really
    productivity apps able to generate structured reports. Writing down meeting
    minutes or meeting reports is a painful process which is time consuming.

    has been released on the appstore recently: the principle is to formalize notes
    during the meeting and get a meeting report as soon as the meeting is over in
    pdf and in .txt if you want to review the format. They provide audio recording
    and camera so as not to lose any data during the meeting. The app exists in
    english and french and a spanish version is on its way, it is a very productive
    tool for those who spent desperate time formalizing their meeting notes.

  • Jill K

    This year we hired a car and toured the ‘wild west’ states of the U.S. Whilst i was reliant on wifi to upload pics to the internet every evening, i found that Evernote on the ipad was quite practical for blogging in the car.
    My partner is happy to do all the driving and i just had to navigate at the same time. But i blogged every day with ipad on my lap.

  • Alexandra G

    But on the iPad keyboard, can you type as quick as you can write? Could I can type quickly on a regular keyboard, but not on the touchscreen keyboard. Do you bring an external keyboard?
    I would like to take notes in class with an iPad, but my concerns are the above, 

    1. not being able to type quick enough on the iPad internal keyboard
    2. fitting to little on one page. Isn’t the stylus kind of big? Can you write small with it?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I can write about as fast as I can type, though I am still getting the hang of it. The stylus is kind of big, but most of the notebook apps let you write in a little magnified window that then makes it smaller on the page. It sounds more clunky than it is. I find that it works surprisingly well.

      • Juli

        I’ve been having a problem with Evernote. I used to be able to use the recording feature and take pictures at the same time. For example when I’m in a seminar I used to be able to record the speaker and take pictures of their PowerPoint presentation on the screen. Now those two functions won’t work together. I have tried chat support and they’re telling me it can’t be done although I have numerous notes from last year where I was able to do it. Anyone have the same problem? I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app twice.

  • Kip Boyle

    Michael, I’ve previously tried to use Evernote on the iPad and my MacBook Air. After a few days of using it I had an unfortunate sync between devices which deleted several hours worth of important work. After being burned like that, and having no idea why that happened, I didn’t have the heart to keep going. With the success you seem to be having, I’m going to read all of your Evernote blog postings and give it another try. I really want it to work!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry to hear that Kip. If you use the premium version of Evernote, it has a Note History feature that could help you. It basically makes a snapshot of your notes every time they change. You might want to read more here.

      • Kip Boyle

        Good to know. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  • jgjimgrn

    I paired my IPad with a Zagg keyboard folder which makes typing in notes to Evernote much easier than the screen keyboard. It’s like having a computer

  • Jim


    The article is very useful, thank you for sharing!
    Evernote it’s a great app to taking-note in meeting, I use it all the time with Beesy to generate meeting minute in one clic.

  • Sharon

    Task cloning has completed the circle for me on getting my Evernote meeting notes to action items that show up immediately in Nozbe. I started using Nozbe when you talked about how it integrated with Evernote which i had been clumsily using for time management. I h had also switched from moleskine to evernote for meetings upon your suggestions. But I had too much stuff to do sitting in evernote notebooks so using this application changed everything.