How I use Evernote

A few days ago Steven Frank was asking on Twitter why folks no longer post about their PIM’s and the like, which made me think of two people; Jerry Fahrni ย and Cass McNutt. Both are information junkies and are always looking for a better way to organize their thoughts.

Over time I’ve had to find a way to organize mine. At one point I could keep

Evernote Work Note
Image of my Personal Projects Work Note.

everything in my head but as I’ve grown older that’s no longer possible. I had to find a way to group them electronically so I can search them. That’s where Evernote comes in. I just dump all kinds of stuff into it and rely on tags and searching to pull out what I’m interested in revisiting.

I call these streams of thought Work Notes and I have different work notes for different projects; Personal and Work to name a couple.

When I’m working on something I open up a specific Work Note, add today’s date, a hashtag just below that, and highlight the hashtag. This may not be the optimum way to organize but it works for me and Evernote is good at searching for them. I also include Evernote tags so I can search on those as well. The hashtags and the Evernote tags don’t necessarily match but they might.

As I work through the day I may paste an image into the note or make a bullet list or write about how I solved a problem. It can be anything I’m thinking related to the days work on this project.

Is it useful?

Yes, it’s useful to me. This may not work for you or your particular workflow but I’ve found it works great for me. Is it perfect? I don’t know that any generic solution is perfect for anyone. I’ve had my moments where I’ve considered using other tools to record my thoughts, like Day One, but I always find myself opening Evernote, adding a date, highlighting a hashtag, and going to work.