If you are familiar with Evernote, you know that it's an app and Web service that lets you save and organize notes, PDFs, images, and all kinds of other random bits of data. But you may not have considered how useful and versatile Evernote can be for business use. Here are some of the ways I've incorporated it into my workflow.
My data, everywhere
Despite my general preference for plain text, there are times when I need documents with formatting. When I do, I can use the Evernote Mac client on my laptop to create rich-text notes. As I type them, the Evernote app syncs them with the Evernote servers. (It also retains a local copy on my MacBook.)
The same goes for images, PDFs, audio notes, and pictures from mobile devices (or my Mac's iSight camera): I can import them into Evernote, and they'll all be synced to the cloud. Thanks to its browser plug-ins, Evernote is also great for clipping content from the Web; again, those clippings get synced.
Once all those different bits of data are on the Evernote servers, they're synced to my other Evernote-capable devices, which include my iMac, iPad, and the Windows PC at my office; there are also Evernote clients for Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS. And you can access your Evernote data online using most standard Web browsers.
Everything in one place
Another thing I like to do with Evernote is to organize data by project.
For example, every time I travel for work I set up an Evernote project specifically for that trip. In it I keep a note with my itinerary, PDF images of my boarding pass and airport shuttle tickets, maps of the places I'll be (as images), and a rich-text file containing notes I've taken beforehand. Having all of that information in one project folder makes it easy to access as I trudge my way through a travel day.
Because I have an Evernote Premium account ($5 per month or $45 per year), I can download local copies of those project folders to my iPad and iPhone and so have access to them even when I don't have an Internet connection. And while I'm traveling I can take pictures of receipts, business cards, and other paper detritus I want to save using the Evernote iPhone app; that all goes in the trip folder, too.
In addition to setting up folders for specific projects, you could also create them for individual clients, for sales leads, or for almost anything else that calls for collecting information in a variety of formats.
Note: In addition to letting you download local copies of your data, Premium accounts add several other useful features: They enable you to OCR PDFs (more on that in a second). They also raise the monthly upload cap (from 60MB to 1GB), support bigger files (50MB instead of 25MB), provide versioning for written notes, and more.
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