Getting Started with Evernote

Evernote is one of the tools that I use every day on all of my devices.

It is a place to keep your notes, articles, images, recipes, scans, sounds, to do lists, video (and the list goes on!) organised into notes and notebooks with tags to make it easy to find anything at any time.

It syncs across all your devices from your smartphone to your tablet to your computer, which means you have your notes available everywhere.

Why you Might Use Evernote

Evernote is a free application that enables you to capture all sorts of information and access it from anywhere (did I already say that?!), which means that you can use it to store, amongst other things:

  • reference material
  • plan projects
  • manage projects
  • meeting notes
  • trip arrangements
  • scanned ‘memories’ documents (e.g. concert programmes)
  • online and handwritten / scanned recipes

One of my favourite uses for Evernote is to take notes straight into it at a meeting so you don’t need to write up your written notes. That is a massive plus as far as I’m concerned. Otherwise those handwritten meeting notes just become another task on your to do list that gets overlooked as it feels like duplicated effort even though you need the notes in a format that you can use, store and search. If you don’t type quickly enough you can also scan any handwritten notes straight into Evernote and it turns them into a searchable document.

Here is some more information about what Evernote is and how to get it set up.

Terms to Know

Here are a few terms you need to know

Note: A single item stored in Evernote.
Notebook: A container for notes, where your notes are stored.
Stack: A ‘group’ of Notebooks
Sync: This is how your Evernote notes are kept up to date across all of your devices, including computers, phones and the Web.
Account: This is simply the username and password you need so Evernote can identify your notes and make them available to you anywhere.

Getting Going with Evernote

First you need to set up an account with Evernote.

If you are on your computer, go to this page to get a free month of the Premium version of Evernote or go to their home page and select ‘Download’. Evernote has a cloud version that you can get to from any browser but it’s much more convenient if you install it on your computer.

You will then be prompted to create an account, which will enable you to sync your notes across all your devices.

And then go to the app store for your devices and download the Evernote app.

Creating your First Note

The most common form of content saved in Evernote is simple text. It can be as simple as a note to yourself or a part of a web page or email you want to remember. Here is how you create your first note with this type of content.

At the top of the main Evernote page is a button labeled ‘New Note’. Click this.

evernote new note

Evernote creates the new note with the cursor in the body of that note. Title it with whatever you like. Now you need to click anywhere in the main part of the note. Go ahead and begin typing here.

You can change the style of the text font, increase or decrease the size of the font or even change the color while working on your note. There are options to bold, italicise or underline the text as well.

When you finish, Evernote automatically saves and synchronises the new note to Evernote on the web. Your note can then be accessed from any device on which you have Evernote installed.

Understanding Evernote Sync

Evernote’s true power is in its synchronisation ability. By synchronising your notes to the Evernote on the Web, you are able to create and find your stuff on any web browser, mobile phone or any computer.

So basically, when you clip a recipe from the web on to your Windows PC, you can read it on your iPhone when you go the supermarket to get ingredients. That same recipe can be accessed from a friend’s MAC. Evernote on the web is continually updating all your devices with the most current versions of your notes.

Evernote automatically synchronises your information every few minutes. And if you want, you can sync manually anytime by clicking the ‘Sync’ button.

evernote sync

Evernote Premium

Although the basic Evernote system is free, there is an option to upgrade to a Plus account (currently £19.99 per year) or a Premium account (currently £34.99 per year) that gets you more functionality.

I don’t suggest signing up for either straightaway. Have a go with Evernote first and see if it suits you. If it does then I’d definitely suggest investigating the one of the upgrade options.

Currently with the Plus account you get 1GB of upload space, offline access to your notes, the option to save emails into your Evernote account and you can add a passcode lock on your mobile devices.

With the Premium account you get unlimited upload space, you can turn notes straight into a presentation, scan and store business cards, annotate attached pdfs, search in Office documents, and the list goes on!

Let me know how you get on. What ways are you finding to use Evernote? Please share below:

Image courtesy of punsayaporn /

About the Author

I work with business owners and leaders to improve their wellbeing, in these days of overwhelm, whether that be physical, mental or digital, using my POWER to Live More 5 Fundamentals of Simplify, Systemise, Share, Self Care and Sustain. I also work with business leaders to help them to improve their organisational employee engagement and wellbeing. I believe they are interlinked in a lovely virtuous circle.

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