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Evernote - second brain

darksmile92 profile image Robin Kretzschmar ・4 min read

Evernote can become your second brain!

Quick heads up on the reason of this article:
I learned to appreciate Evernote to be more productive during business hours, more organized in private matters and to keep knowlegde better! I want to share my experiences with you and give you a start to try Evernote if you are not already using it.

I will cover some topics in general first and then give you an insight in how I use them.

The following sections cover general information on some Evernote features / usings:

Templates

Reuse!
When it comes to common tasks repeated very often, "KISS" (Keep it simple, stupid) and "DRY" (Don't repeat yourself) comes to the mind of a developer. Why not adapt this to Evernote and create templates for meeting agendas, protocols you are creating very often with a similar structure and other things?

Simply edit a note to serve as general template, make a new notebook, call it Templates and add the note. Next time just copy the note and get done sooner!

Protocols

Keep track of important informations
There are often meetings that require me to take notes or memorize something from them.
Simply create a new note and start writing down everything. Formatting can be done all by shortcuts - which is nice.

As written earlier, templates come in handy here to maintain a structure.

Agendas for meetings

Plan ahead
Everbody loves agendas and defining goals for meetings (at least if they want it to be productive and efficient).
Do them within evernote in advance and attach them to your invitations.
An agenda can take time, so extend it everytime something new comes to your mind and keep for looking it up anytime later without having to use your calendar.

Email integration

Save, attach, profit
Evernote has plugins for Outlook and other common email clients. They allow you to create a note from the email (including attachments!) so you can save it for later access.
Also every Evernote account is linked to an Evernote Email address which you can send or forward messages to that will be saved in your notebook automatically.

Web clipper

Evernote also offers various ways to save a website, and article or just some parts of web content to your notes. Bookmarklets, Extensions and the installed software itself are possible to use.

Reminders

Right time, right information
You can set reminders and alarms on notes so you never forget something again and have the right information at the right time.

Sharing notes

Don't keep it to yourself
An important part is sharing of knowledge. Evernote lets you share notes as an email message or with a link (public or private). This makes it easy to share a note within seconds.
Notes can be exported as PDF and other files.

Work Chat

Share with ease
Another way to share notes is the feature called Work Chat. It lets you chat with other evernote users which you know the account email for and share notes over the chat.

PDF, images, attachments

Never browse documents again
You can add any kind of attachment to notes. Evernote has a very good OCR feature that lets you search withing PDFs and images!
Timesaver!

Installation, App, Cloud, Premium

Evernote has a lot of nice features if you install the client either on your PC or the app on your phone.
But your notes are also accessible via a web interface from anywhere.
There is also a Premium abo (paid) which gives you even more features!

Now my usage:

Templates
I am using templates very often for code review protocols to not forget important points to check and to maintain a structure of these protocols.

Also for agends protocols. Here is an example:

Evernote template agenda

Download evernote template agenda

Knowledge
Some problems are solved by looking around if someone else already encountered it and found a solution, some by try and error. Either way it is good to keep track of such things like bug reports and resolutions in case they pop up another time. Do your best to documents good so next time is easy to solve.
Also interesting articles, blog posts or parts of API documentations are landing in my notes.

Reflection
I take 10 minutes every day to reflect my working day.

  • How do I feel right now?
  • What was good today?
  • What can I do better tomorrow?
  • Where have I wasted time senselessly?
  • What needs to be done tomorrow?

Private documents
With time the folders in your shelve start growing and growing with invoices kept for tax reports, guarantees and other reasons. I scan all papers, sort them in Evernote and throw away the original if possible. This way I am able to find information very fast with help of the evernote search and don't have to page through my folders.

Travel planning
Same is for travelling. Keeping important documents in Evernote and offline with the Evernote app on my phone makes it easier to lookup information from anywhere and ensures you are not screwed because you left your tour ticket at home.

Hope this gave you a little insight in my daily use of Evernote and maybe gave some good impulses.

Feedback very appreaciated!

Discussion (1)

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Julia Moskaliuk

I use it and Evernote works perfectly, especially with TMetric time tracker. All my worked time is tracked and I keep it under control. tmetric.com/integrations/evernote-...