From collaborating to project planning to in-image text search, Evernote is a real Swiss Army Knife of cloud productivity. Here's how to make the most of it.
Because it's cross-platform and available on just about every device you can think of, Evernote is perfect for business and work in many different ways. Here are our 10 best use cases. Feel free to add your own tips at the bottom in TabTimes' brand new comments section.
1. Organize your travel
Ditch the paper and create clipped, audio or image notes of airplane tickets, train tickets, hotel reservations, car rental information, shuttle information, receipts, and other travel-related items.
Once you have saved your travel info for a trip, tag notes broadly with "travel" or more narrow with a date, location ("San Francisco") or event name ("ad:tech") for quick and easy recall through the search feature in the iPad app.
Another geeky tech travel tip that works well with the Evernote iPad app: create a note with a copy of your boarding pass and you will find most airlines are able to scan your boarding passes right of your iPad.
2. Photo notes
Use your tablet's camera to capture image notes of white boards, design mock ups, or pictures of anything that gives you inspiration throughout your day.
One of the most amazing things about Evernote for iPad is that you can search images for text. For example, we took the above picture of a white board that displays a list of applications. The text for the white board is not very large in the picture note, but Evernote's search was able to return the white board image when a search was performed for the word "voice," which was in the image.
This is a very powerful feature, particulary if you're an inconsistent tagger.
3. Share notebooks
Evernote is a surprisingly powerful collaboration tool because it allows you to share notebooks with others via multiple methods.
Create a notebook with tables, to-do lists, notes, images, etc. in Evernote on your PC or Mac and enable the notebook for sharing (from desktop or web app, go to Shared Tab>Manage Sharing>Select Notebook For Sharing). Individuals with the Evernote iPad app will be able to view shared notebooks, which can also be set with the ability for users to modify a shared notebook. Individuals without Evernote can still see your lists via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
4. Go Premium
While you can use Evernote for free on your iPad, Mac, PC, etc., going premium has its benefits. First, the pricing is very reasonable at $45 a year and here is why: 1) 12 GB of storage (1 GB of uploads a month); 2) Single note size increased to 50 MB; 3) PDF's become searchable; 4) iPad mobile users can access notebooks offline (more to come on this); 5) 250 emails allowable daily to your Evernote email.
This breaks down to about 6,900 web clips, 10,000 camera phone image notes, 1,000 audio notes, 280 high res photos.
5. Search your saves
Evernote allows for excellent searching of notes in all Evernote versions, as well as the iPad app. Enter your search term(s) in the search box in the upper right in the iPad app and you should return every note tagged with the search term, image or web clipping as well.
At this point you can save your search for a more organized approach to your notes. For example, say you want to put all travel documents in one search so that you can easily and quickly pull your expense report information. To do this, once your search is completed, tap on the Save button in the upper left. Name your search, then click Done.
You can now access your saved searches from the More tab on the top navigation. Tap on search. You can also edit your saved searches by tapping on the Edit button.
6. Create to-do lists
While to-do lists aren't the most exciting things in the world, they are necessary. With Evernote, you can create a to do list for collaborative efforts, personal productivity, family projects, and more.
Create a text note and when you begin to enter text, a small Evernote editor will pop up allowing you to add check boxes to your note (it's in the middle of the edit bar). Once your to-do list is created on your iPad, you can share through Facebook, Twitter, email, or you can print your list. These lists are collaborative, which makes them an easy way to delegate tasks to team or family members.
7. Web clippings
Save web clippings while using Evernote with the web or your Mac/PC, and then read the articles you clipped using your iPad. This is also a great way to consume articles when you have no connectivity. Next time you're on a flight or you know you will have some downtime, pull out your iPad and read the 10 to 20 web articles you've saved over the past week.
8. Access notebooks offline
Huge productivity factor here with the ability to access your notebooks offline. While Evernote is a cloud productivity note cataloging service there are many, many times you'll find ourselves without connectivity--typically when you need it most. With the premium version Evernote you can access all your selected notebooks offline.
Before you find yourself without connectivity, in your iPad app go to Settings>Offline Notebooks>Select Notebook and it will download to your device. A quick tip, before you go off the grid be sure to sync and re-download your selected offline notebooks to ensure you have the latest data.
9. Save to Evernote
When perusing the web or reading email, PDF's, Word documents, images, and audio notes can be opened in Evernote. This is really easy to accomplish. Once you have a PDF or word document open, look for either the box with the arrow coming out or the words "Open In" in the upper right and you will be presented with a list of applications on your iPad that the media can be sent to. In this case, the iPad Evernote application.
Audio and video files (mp4, mp3, etc) require you to hold your finger on the file in an email or when one is downloadable on the web, which will pull up the "Open in" menu for you to select the iPad Evernote application. This is very handy for quick-saving documents relevant to projects, your files, projects lists, and more.
10. Manage projects
At most meetings it is impractical to take your laptop into the meeting, but bringing an iPad is pretty much standard these days.
Use the Evernote note iPad app to take text notes, grab pictures of white boards, record audio notes for reminders and track your project from beginning to end. First, create a notebook for your project using the desktop or web or mobile version of the app. Then share that notebook. You (and everyone else, if you choose) can continuosly add notes from each meeting.