Tools that I use – Evernote
There are a number of tools, offline and online that I use in my business to make my life less complicated and more efficient. These tools are not always directly linked to photography, but as they assist me in being the photographer that I am, I decided to present my favorite tools in a series over the next couple of months.
One of my favorite and most used tools throughout the day is Evernote. I have scanned and imported every piece of information into Evernote that I want to keep close by and available.
Evernote’s motto is: Remember Everything
I started using the service in 2009 and it became quickly my main source to store information. Evernote syncs across pretty every platform that I know, including Mac and iOS. In other words, if I need access to a document it is just a screen away.
The companys is continously expanding it’s service and also developed one of the best business card scanning services that I know. It is that good, that Linkedin discontinued it’s own card scanning app and cooperates now with Evernote. More about that further down.
How and where do I use Evernote?
On my iPad I use Drafts as my main tool to take notes and send them to Evernote. Why would I use another app to take notes and send it to Evernote, though I could easily open Evernote and create a new document there?
For one, there is speed. Drafts is a straight forward, text only app that opens quickly a new document when I start up the app. More importantly, I can compose my notes with Markdown for quick, clean and easy formatting. (This blog post was written compeltely in Markdown and imported to WordPress.)
I often use Textexpander for customizable templates not only to write notes, but also emails. I should talk about Texexpander on it’s own in a separate blog post. By now, I outed myself as geeky, but stay with me. It took me a while to understand the benefits of using Drafts as starting point for information input and it’s interplay with Evernote and and some other Apps, I use frequently.
Evernote alone is cool, but the combo of Drafts and Evernote on my iOS devices is pure magic. Don’t take my word for it, try it.
For a photographer, using pictures and images in Evernote sounds logical. Interestingly enough, I hardly use the sound recording capabilities.
Let me start with the not so obvious. Evernote’s iPhone app has a fantastic document scanner built in, which I use to scan in receipts, which go straight into a folder that I created for the current tax year.
I use the iPhone camera to photograph interesting locations that I either used for shoot, or want to remember for future possible shoots. The nice thing about using the iPhone for those pics, is the built in GPS location, which makes finding those locations easy.
I also use the camera as visual idea capturing device. If I see something that I want to incorporate into a future image, I take a pic and store it in Evernote. This can be a thing or simply some interesting light that I see.
Talking about light. I made it a habit to photograph the setups of my assignments and add information within Evernote on what tools I used and what settings I defined. This might even include distances between light source, reflectors and subject. It makes my life easier to replicate a lighting setup that either just worked or I really liked in a different context.
I follow a fair number ob blogs and use Feedly to keep on top of my reading. Blogposts that I read and find interesting, I import into Evernote.
Feedly and Evernote offer for the iOS platform a free integration of the two services. So far, I have not been able to set it up successfully and rely on a IFTTT routine. You can download the recipe here.
It is fairly basic, but it works and does what I want it to do.
For other articles on the web, I use the Safari clipper from Evernote, which grew into a sophisticated tool. Unfortunately, there is no such tool for Safari on iOS, but there is a way of doing it. Philip Grunreich shares a workaround on his site. It is a tad geeky, but after implementing it on my devices, I am very happy to be able to save interesting web articles to my Evernote account.
Another way of saving websites into Evernote, is by sending the link to your Evernote account. More about this in the next section.
I use this tool to save email conversations relating to new projects and assignments, which I organise by setting up a notebook for each project/ assignment.
This helps me keeping all the information for one project at hand. Looking and searching for emails for a specific project is not very practical. I could organise my emails in email folders, but by exporting them to Evernote, I combine emails with other kind of documents and notes for those projects.
The businesscard scanner, not only scans in the businesscard, but also reads the information from the businesscard, checks the contact details from Linkedin and updates the card information with the information found on Linkedin. From there, I can import the contact into my addressbook and if I wish to, send an invite via Linkedin to connect. The invite ot connect on Linkedin does not allow customisation at this stage, but in this case, I don’t mind too much as I tell the new contact that I will send them a Linkedin invite.
Do you use Evernote? Does it work for you? What tools do you use with Evernote?