Wrangling Documents with Evernote

A guest post from Joseph Rooks:

I have the digital version of a very cluttered desk. There are files all over the desktop, and folders inside of folders. I know I made most of these folders so I wouldn't lose something important, but now I can't remember what's inside any of them and I can't find anything I'm looking for in them.

So I did something about it. I downloaded Evernote, a free note-taking program that works on Windows, Mac OS, and the iPhone, and syncs its notes to the Internet. It keeps my notes backed up and saves the time it would take to e-mail them to myself or copy them to another computer with a thumb drive.

Joseph Rooks uses Evernote.

In Evernote, I categorized my notes using notebooks, which are listed in the column all the way to the left. New notebooks, and new notes inside them, can be created from the File menu. I have a notebook for my favorite recipes, and another, called "Design Inspiration," holds text, photos, and drawings that inspire me. Inside my "Article Ideas" notebook, each note represents a category, and each contains a list of topics or headlines.

I can create a new notebook for anything. I'm thinking about making one for scans of old magazine articles. Evernote's powerful search function will be especially useful for that. When it syncs to the Internet, it attempts to identify any words contained in the images. In a clear scan or photograph of a magazine article, Evernote will be able to identify all of the text, enabling me to find a specific excerpt if I need to by typing a snippet of its text into the search bar.

I've decided I prefer this to my old method of dumping files into a folder and never seeing them again.


Joseph Rooks is a freelance writer and designer.  He blogs at Keeping Tech Simple, his photos are on flickr, and he's on Twitter @josephrooks.

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  1. Thank you for featuring me here. There are some other useful features in Evernote that I didn’t get to talk about, like tagging and photo notes, so I hope you will dig around and see what else you can get out of it.

    If you have questions, feel free to ask. I will be watching the comments so I can answer them.

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