If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to organize your digital life, check out Evernote! Here’s my Evernote review and all the great features you can use to make your thoughts, notes, and files easy to find, sort, and save. This post is sponsored by Evernote.
Raise your hand if your digital life feels cluttered. If we were in a room, almost everyone’s hand would go up, including mine!
With so much of our lives digitized these days, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed with all the information we need to save and reference. And because computers, the internet, and living in email and calendars are relatively new to humans, we as a society are still learning good systems.
If I asked you to organize a paper filing cabinet, you’d probably have a few good ideas on how to do that. But if I asked you to organize a computer hard drive, many of us get stumped on the sheer volume of files and the endless ways to sort.
The good news is there are apps that make this process more intuitive. One of my favorites is Evernote!
Your Digital Organization Hub
In my Digital Clutter Course, I recommend that people choose an organization hub and use it for all of their paper, notes, docs, and references.
Evernote solves the problem of feeling scattered across multiple devices and is the ideal hub for all your thoughts, notes, files, and docs.
Evernote started as a phone app, but now it’s a robust web and/or desktop app that can be used as an all-in-one storage solution. And if you work on multiple computers or devices, this makes moving from one to the other or referencing something on the go super easy!
Back when I first started using Evernote, it was mostly a note-taking app. But years later, there are a bunch of new features to make this your daily productivity workstation.
The Home Dashboard
I LOVE a good dashboard where you can see so many things at once! Especially one you can customize. Just like you can choose the photo and design in your Gmail, you can choose a photo for your Evernote Home. I currently have beautiful light and airy wheat : )
There are customizable widgets so you can put your productivity priorities front and center. At the top of my dash I have Tasks + Calendar plus the Scratch Pad, which is great for starting to write without having any extra clicks. Underneath are recently saved notes, a pinned note (links I share frequently via copy and paste) and a shortcut to all notes.
You can also add widgets based on filters or tags, such as “work only” or a specific group of notes. Note you need to upgrade your plan to Personal to totally customize your Home.
I love the phrasing of notes and notebooks because the words draw up the image of a stack of notebooks, like in school – one for each subject. I have notebooks for Recipes, Blog Posts, Clients, Personal, and more.
Inside each notebook are groups of related notes.
I have notes for:
- Coupon codes, including images of coupons
- Links I share frequently
- Books I want to read
- Saved recipes
- Tickets I’m saving for an event
- Lists (like a packing list)
- Travel ideas
It’s easy to start a new note from scratch, using a template, or by dragging and dropping in an image. You can also share notes or create them using the Web Clipper extension right in your browser, which is awesome for saving recipes.
The formatting, colors, and templates make customizing notes very fun and easy! You can also create your own templates for frequently used styles.
Scanned + Voice + Sketch Notes
No scanner, no problem! You can use the Evernote mobile app to scan and load all kinds of docs: receipts, contracts, tickets, itineraries, and more.
On mobile, I found the voice notes to be extra nice! How often do you just need to brain dump an idea on the go? Once you’re back at a computer, listen and take notes in the very same spot!
The sketch notes are cool too. While we’ve been brainstorming renovation layout ideas, we have done a lot of digital sketching so we could save and share with our architect. Sketch in color and add shapes too. Plus, if you have a touch screen device like an iPad with a magic pen, you can hand write or draw very easily.
Search across all of your notes and docs – even hand-written ones! This is so cool for people who like to doodle and take notes in a physical notebook but then upload a scan of that to their Evernote cloud. Evernote can SEARCH THESE! Think too about uploading photos of a whiteboard after a brainstorm session.
Using tags will definitely help you sort and organize your notes in the most ideal way. Adding the simple #work or #travel or #brainstorm tags will save you lots and lots of time down the road! Pay it forward to your future self and think about how you might reference your saved notes later on.
The ability to filter notes is also very helpful. Filter by lists, task lists, reminders, date created, date updated, tags, keywords, and more.
Tasks has a lot of features to really make your list work for you, like reminders and due dates, and the Professional subscription gives you the ability to assign tasks.
The ability to assign a reminder to a task is KEY for me because I often create reminders for myself in the future but don’t want to think about them until the time comes.
There are also recurring tasks, which is great for anything that pops up week after week! Think: water plants, annual appointments, renewals.
Within the tasks segment, you can filter and sort by notes, which is great to separate personal and work.
Evernote is also integrated with Google, which is especially great for Google Calendar and Google Drive. You can sync your calendar inside the app, which makes it so easy to connect notes or docs to specific events.
You can also connect to Gmail and Slack for easy note sharing and communication.
Evernote Free Plan and Subscriptions
If you want to get started, Evernote has a base plan that is free so you can start getting organized right away! I think it’s worth upgrading to the Personal plan, however, because the features upgrade and ability to sync unlimited devices is worth it.
There are also two paid plans: a Personal plan and a Professional plan. The paid plans offer additional features such as the Google integration, customization, the ability to invite team members and collaborate, offline access, and more.)
And for anyone with a small business or who regularly works closely with others: there is a Teams plan too!
You can subscribe to the Personal plan for $7.99 a month or $69.99 a year, and the Professional plan is $9.99 a month — or pay annually and get a discount ($69.99 or $99.99, respectively).
I tell the students in my Digital Clutter Course to choose an app, even if it’s paid, and commit to it. I think one paid app is better than 5 free apps, so the cost per year for all the organization you get on one of the paid plans isn’t something I’d turn my nose up to.
My Evernote Review
Home: I think Home is Evernote’s greatest feature! When organizing things, people tend to tuck them away. But we all know out of sight is out of mind, so the dashboard keeps everything you need a click away! I love that you can customize it, and drag-and-drop and different widget sizes make that super easy.
Shortcuts + Pins: I think the ability to pin and shortcut to frequently used notes is a valuable feature. The 80/20 rule applies to a lot of our productivity, and I use 20% of my notes 80% of the time. Then there’s always the search feature for everything else!
Calendar: On the dashboard, I’d like to see my calendar as a weekly view or list of upcoming events instead of just by day, since my appointments are more scattered than someone who has back-to-back meetings.
Tasks: A great way to organize your life and take all the reminders out of your brain!
I think Evernote is a fabulous app for anyone looking to organize all the jibber jabber of your life! From brain dumps to things you stumble across online to keeping your tasks and events at top of mind, you’ll be a more organized human if you embrace all that Evernote has to offer.
Learn more and sign up here!
More digital organizing posts: