Evernote for your family. An introduction.

The beauty of Evernote is that it syncs automatically across all your operating systems. Never lose another post-it note, scrap piece of paper or notebook that has important information in it. You’ll also streamline your desk from a jumble of notes and folders into a single digital storehouse.
— The Art of Manliness

 Confused about what Evernote can do for your family

A year or so ago I had no idea about the usefulness of Evernote.  I'd vaguely heard about it, but I'd brushed it off.  I didn't really want to bother with another app.  In all honesty  I thought it would be time-consuming, complicated and a lot of hard work.  

A year later and I now use Evernote everyday - for work and  family.  My husband is also an Evernote convert.  After a few short weeks of using it I realised it was the opposite of time consuming.  It saves time, increases our productivity, reduces stress and simplifies our life.

An online, searchable filing cabinet 

Evernote is the number one information storage system for our household.  Our searchable, online filing cabinet.  It's completely simplified the paper in our house.  And it's kept us way more organised.

Here's a quick example.  The kids get home from school. Loads of notes are pulled out of bags and thrown on the table.  You're left with a handful of paperwork - certificates, invitations and timetables. 

They're all important.  They all need to be saved or referred to later.  Using your smartphone you take a quick Evernote scan.  They are now in the cloud, in your secure account.  And you'll never lose them. You'll be able to access them anywhere, anytime.  From your phone, tablet or any computer in the world with internet connection.

You've got documents and paper coming in from everywhere

The paper doesn't stop. Where do you put it all?  In short put everything into Evernote.  Everything.

Ok, you don't know anything about Evernote yet.  How do you get things it into Evernote? What's the point of it being in there? Why is it any better than your filing cabinet? I'll get to all that.  Right now I just want you to get a feel for how it can help your family. Even for what seem like the most trivial things.

Bills, kids homework, permission notes, reports, party invitations.  You've got lists written on bits of paper and in notebooks.  Then there's important documents like passports and birth certificates. Add to that paperwork from work, household maintenance, renovations, and holiday planning. 

Over 100 million people use Evernote

A year or so ago I  became obsessed with podcasts.  Particularly podcasts on simplicity, healthy eating and productivity. I kept hearing people talk about Evernote.  So many people were raving about it.  I wanted to know what I was missing out on.

I began to look more deeply into Evernote. And I realised I was missing out.  I found out that over 100 million people were using Evernote for work and home.   I signed up to check it out and haven't looked back.

How can Evernote help your family? 3 Simple Examples

1. Birth Certificate or Passport ID check

You have to fill out a form at a bank.  You need your birth certificate or passport details.  You don't have them with you.  They're in a box, filing cabinet or a special box at home. Somewhere.  This means another appointment, another trip.

Not with Evernote.  Simply open your Evernote app, do a quick search of your notes and you'll have access to your document.

2.  Lost Phone Number on a Scrap of Paper

You need a plumber.  You remember a friend of a friend scribbled down a fabulous plumbers name on a scrap of paper a few months ago.    Where did you put it?  In your bag, a draw, the study?

You took a snap of it and it went into Evernote.  Evernote can search handwriting so can find your note easily.   With a simple search you'll have access to the plumbers details in seconds. 

3.  Party Invitation

You know your child has a party.  You have a feeling it's next Saturday. Or is it today?  You're sure you put the invitation on the fridge - it's not  there anymore.  You were getting around to putting the date in your calendar. You don't even know the child's mother.  You don't want to call another parent in case their child wasn't invited. Awkward.

No drama with Evernote.  Lost the piece of paper.  It doesn't matter. With a quick search in Evernote for the word, 'invitation' you'll see a copy of the invitation on your screen.

Evernote is so flexible.  You can use it however you want.

Evernote is an odd kind of productivity tool.   Odd  in a good sense.  It has a lot of flexibility and you can tailor it to your needs. While there are general guidelines, everyone uses it in their own unique way.  

In terms of basic family information storage, note taking and lists you can use it for so many things.  Here's a sample: 

  • awards and certificates
  • keeping your partner organised
  • cards, notes, letters
  • artwork
  • lists of repairs for the house
  • milestones
  • insurance and bank statements

Final Comments

So this is a small introduction to Evernote.  Over time I'll be writing a series of posts to help you learn more about this invaluable tool.