Digital & Life Hacks Personal Information Management Productivity

30+ types of information you can collect with Evernote

Evernote is notes management tool, yet it many underlying features that makes it even more powerful with its ability to handle multiple types of meaningful information. People underestimate it’s use in the real life and paperless productivity. Let me give you 30+ things and purpose to use Evernote to collect them.

Forwarding from another source

  1. Chat Messages & SMS
    • Important application/registration numbers, order information, transaction IDs, etc.
    • Slack messages, other teams/community app like reddit messages
  2. Email
    • Similar to messages, an email containing important content for future references, including attachments
  3. Web Clipper
    1. For Reference
      • You need content from a webpage? or You might need the article/news that the page contains. That’s when you use Web clipper to clip the text & image content of the page.
    2. For Proof / as Screenshot
      • Some websites are getting updated or there’s a chance that they might remove the content in near future, in that scenario you can use this Webclipper’s ‘screenshot’ option. This will snapshot the entire webpage.
  4. Web Clipper – Read Later
    • If you using Pocket or any other ‘ReadLater’ apps, then it’s time for you to ditch them in favor of Evernote. Clipping web articles to Evernote gives you a common place for all your article collection to read later.
  5. Link collection
    • You can only clip the URL and clip it to Evernote using the web clipper. In this way, you can collect links to websites, more or less using like a bookmark manager.
  6. eBook highlights
    • Collect your Kindle book highlights by forwarding them to Evernote. This way you can have all your book highlights in one place.

Using Evernote’s built-in scan tool

  1. Hand-written notes scan
    • meeting minutes, sticky notes, any written paper that contains the information you want.
  2. Whiteboard scan / Projector screen scan
    • It is similar to scanning handwritten documents, but here you scan the whiteboard or any presentation screen.
  3. Business card
    • Scan any business card with the Evernote scan option, the OCR is capable of extracting the name, email, contact phone number from the business card and it can save it to Evernote, from where you can add it to your contacts directly or maintain the information inside Evernote.
  4. Receipts and bills
  5. Book pages
    • If you’re not a big fan of eBooks and prefer to read classic paperback books, then you can use Evernote scan to grab a few pages of the book. The OCR capability of the app helps you to search the notes/highlights in the future.

Sketching & Annotating

  1. Sketch [using Evernote’s built-in sketch tool]
    • Not all the ideas can be captured as text. Sometimes your ideas and points are in form of lines and curves, a doodle, a rough drawing, etc.
  2. PDF & mark-up [Using Evernote’s built-in annotation tool]
    • You can’t edit PDFs, yet you wanted to highlight some points for future reference. Upload the PDF document to Evernote and start annotating without the need for any additional software. Here you are not capturing a PDF file as an attachment, you’re capturing points inside the PDF by annotating. Evernote has the ability to show the annotated pages first so that you don’t have to scroll to find your points when you open it later.
  3. Quick snaps (annotate)
    • Take a pic, annotate to add more value and meaning to it. Then save or share.

Attaching and Linking

  1. File cabinet (attachments)
    • Evernote can be used as a Cloud Drive to store files. Fundamentally Evernote is not a file organizer, but it does a good job in handling ‘in-line’ attachments inside the notes. It is nice to see the files then and there as an inline attachment, as it gives more meaning and contextual info for the files.
  2. Cloud files (linking)
    • Files in Cloud? (Google Drive), just pull the link and use it inside the notes. You can capture Cloud files instantly in Evernote. It’s equivalent to attaching a local file.

Typing & Listing

  1. Quick random idea
    1. Use quick capture shortcuts in Desktop (Mac-shortcut: Cmd+Ctrl+N, Win-shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + H) and in mobile to capture a quick thought without wasting time in opening the app or finding a suitable title for the note. Just capture before the thought/idea fades away
  2. Minutes & Notes (usual note-taking)
  3. Checklist (shopping list, packing checklist)
  4. Routines, Guiding/Procedure list
    • You might be following a set of procedures, an order of execution of certain activities like exercise, yoga postures, etc from your fitness trainer, dietician. These data can be recorded in the order as it is in Evernote.
  5. Drafts with block points (Bullets List)
    • Evernote’s bullet list is easily movable (by dragging). It’s a good way to record all your points/ideas that you want to draft and move the orders later before final writing.
    • Composing Email drafts
  6. To-do list
  7. Reminders (Note with reminder)
    • Setting reminders for notes is a way it as a task reminder.
    • Tip: You can create a Notebook with the name “TODO” and every note title can be your ‘task name’ and the note’s body content may contain subtasks or task descriptions.
  8. Reminder note.
    • A good way to record where you kept what. You can record a ‘memory’ note which contains information like, where you kept the spare key, where you kept your car insurance, etc.
    • You can record your purchase dates of home appliances, devices to check whether they are still in warranty period (when you check in future date).

Tracking

  1. Journaling / Personal Diary
  2. Information tracker
    1. Diet or Exercise tracker
      • In weight loss training? or trying to get fit? Record your transformation progress with details and photos every day.
    2. Mood tracker (it’s therapeutic for some people)
    3. Medical health tracker
      • Record your symptoms and feeling of pain, possibly with health metrics (if you measure at home) like BP, the glucose level in the blood, etc.

Collecting

  1. Memorabilia
    • Got a milestone likes on Instagram? A heart-touching comment on Facebook? Worthy feedback? Letters/Gift from besties? Just take a pic, add the relevant details, and put it in Evernote for a future nostalgic experience.
  2. Quotes collection
  3. Inspiration collection (Like Pinterest)
    • Idea inspiring objects/scene/items. Eg.
      • Movie Posters
      • Lyrics/poem
    • Places to visit (with pictures and details of those place)
    • Things to do (bucket lists)
  4. Recipes collection (you can add the photos of the dishes too)

Audio

  1. Audio note
    • Audio records of the meeting instead of meeting notes
  2. Quick recording of a song (for lyrics or tune)

Did I miss something? You using Evernote to capture other things? What are they? Tell us in comments.

About the author

Sakthitharan Subramanian

Systems Thinker | Academic Researcher | Productivity Enthusiast | Loves Minimalism, Philosophy | Ph.D. in Computer Science |