10: Four Ways to Use Evernote and Why Every Business Owner Needs This Tool

digital clutter evernote podcast Jun 02, 2022

Evernote is a powerful note taking and organizing tool. Learn four ways you can use it to organize your business and keep track of everything. Whether you're looking to declutter your email inbox, manage project tasks, or just take better notes, Evernote has the features you need.

Resources and Links

Get started with a free Evernote account (or upgrade to a paid account) at lydiamartin.biz/Evernote.

Access the free Evernote Web Clipper at evernote.com/webclipper.

Download my free Evernote guide with suggestions on how to get started with your first few notebooks at lydiamartin.biz/notebooks

Join me for step-by-step video tutorials, PDF guides with step-by-step instructions and so much more in The Digital Clutter Cure: Evernote Edition at banishbusinessclutter.com/evernote.

Access my recommended list of scanners at lydiamartin.biz/scanners.

Want to stay up to date on new podcast episodes, or ask a question that I answer on the show? You can do this and more at launchperspective.com.

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So welcome to tonight's training. I decided to share four ways to use Evernote because so many business owners have been asking me what's all the fuss about. Right. You guys probably have multiple tools that you use in your business both for organization, list building, project management, note taking, all the things. Right. So, what is so magical about Evernote and why do I feel that every business owner needs this tool?

Well, I'm going to start off by sharing a little bit about my story, especially if we are meeting for the first time. So, prior to 2013, I was a stay-at-home mom who was running a home-based business. And I actually had that business for 20 years. And for the first 17 years, I always say I was busy, I was blessed, but I was frantic and frazzled most of the time. Who can relate? Right. I know it was difficult. Of course, I'm raising my family, I'm running a business and I just could never seem to keep up. I couldn't keep up with the paper. I couldn't keep up with the post-it notes with all the to-do lists. You know, I was accomplishing things, but I never I felt that feeling of peace.

You want to feel calm and confident instead of cluttered and chaotic. Right. And I really truly felt chaotic for many years in my first business. I was drowning in paperwork. You could never see my desk and hardly see my floor. You know, of course back then most things were done with paper and not digitally. So, I had piles of door prize slips, and sales receipts, and catalogs. And it just was overwhelming. And the worst part of my year was always tax time because I had no system, no organizational plan of how to handle tax receipts. So, I would throw them into a shoe box and be stressed every tax year trying to figure out what my expenses were for the year.

So, if you can relate to this, I want you to know this was my life for about 17 years. But in 2013, I was introduced to Evernote. It sat on my computer for six months. I did not understand it. I finally phoned a friend and said, "Becca, please explain to me why you love this tool." And just by hearing her talk, the light bulb started to go off. I started understanding that my problem was not disorganization. It was indecision. If you've ever heard that quote from Barbara Hemphill, she says that, “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

And that is what I struggled with. Deciding a plan for my clutter and the place that the clutter was going to live. I saw this vision of Evernote solving both of those issues. The place of where I could put physical, digital and mental information, right, and also a system that I could implement to streamline and become more productive in my day. Okay. More efficient, clear that clutter. And that is exactly what Evernote did for me in 2013.

So, if you're watching this live or watching on the blog, you can see this photo of a very messy desk. This was not my desk because there is no way I would have taken a photo of my desk in those days. But that's just an example of what my desk looked like on a regular basis compared to today. The picture you see on the right is my office. And it does not look that perfect a hundred percent of the time but now that I have a system and a place where information lives, I can get it back to that very easy and very quickly.

So, who would love to have a desk, a workspace, that you can walk into because you're not struggling with that paper clutter? That is what Evernote did for me in 2013. Now, since then I have, of course, implemented so many other systems with this tool. I fell in love with it so much that in 2016 I became a Certified Evernote Consultant. That's what they used to be called. Now we're called Evernote Certified Experts. And I just renewed my certification just a few weeks ago. So, this is my most recent certificate, but I'm honored to be an Evernote Certified Expert. We are not employed by Evernote or paid by Evernote, but as an expert we are certified by them in saying that we have gone through all of the training and the classes to be able to help others learn and work with this amazing tool. So very honored to be that.

And I just wanted to share that if you do not have Evernote yet, maybe you have not set up an account, you can actually get started with a free account by going to lydiamartin.biz/Evernote. Now this is my affiliate link. That is one perk of being an Evernote Certified Expert. I do get to partner with them in sharing Evernote with others and make a small commission should you choose to get a paid account with Evernote, but you can absolutely start with the free version. I use and recommend the personal or professional plans and it's very inexpensive for the benefits that you receive. So again, lydiamartin.biz/Evernote.

When you go there, you'll see a big Get Started green button. You click that or click at the top for Plans and you will see the various plan options including the free version if you want to start there. Now the personal level of Evernote right now in the U.S. is only $7.99 a month or it breaks down to be under $6 a month if you pay annually. So, I just wanted to share that in case you are brand new to Evernote, you don't yet have an account. You're going to see the four ways I use it today and I know you're going to be excited and want to get an account. So that is how you get started with Evernote. All right.

So, let me also share with you a free gift that I have for you today. So, if you're watching here with me live just jot this down or if you're listening on the podcast, you're going to go to lydiamartin.biz/notebooks. So, in this free guide, it is a tool that you can use for suggestions on how to get started with your first few notebooks in Evernote. You're going to see in a minute what a notebook is and why that's so valuable. But I know a lot of people ask me, well, what should my first notebooks be in Evernote? How do I get started? So, I did want to give you guys this free gift to get started because I didn't want you to end tonight and say, well, now I have Evernote what's my next step? This gift will be that next step for you. All right.

So, let's jump into my first of four uses for Evernote. Number one is I use Evernote to eliminate paper clutter. So, you saw that picture of my desk which was filled with paper. And that was such a struggle for me for a very long time. But when I was introduced to Evernote, I started realizing that there are a lot of issues with paper. Now, no one can be a hundred percent paperless, and I never teach that method. I do teach a less paper method. Notice the difference. Instead of a hundred percent paperless you're going to have less paper when you implement some online systems. And that is what Evernote allows you to do. So, you know that if you use paper that it not only creates clutter, but it makes it very difficult to find things. You run out of space. It's not easy to share, update, edit. Not great for the environment. And you just simply run out of room. Right. You can only have so many filing cabinets.

Well, if you have an online system for paper, using a tool like Evernote, I kind of think of it as having a virtual filing cabinet. So, on the left here in this picture you see files, like filing cabinet, and then you have your folders and then you have your documents inside those folders. Right. Well, in Evernote it's like a virtual filing cabinet and instead of folders we call them notebooks. So, notebooks are like the folders that hold everything inside and then instead of files and documents we call them notes. All right. So that's the easiest, simplest way to explain Evernote, but I want you to think of what you're storing physically. You can now store online in a tool like Evernote.

Now, the way you can eliminate paper clutter is by one of two steps. The first option is to go ahead and get the Evernote app on your mobile devices. So, once you have an Evernote account, you're going to want to go to the App Store or Google Play. Download the Evernote app, especially to your phone I would say is the most important. And on your phone, you will have the ability to scan items into your Evernote account. So, this is a great place to start especially since it's free to have the app. All right.

So, I'm going to give you an example of this, but before I do, I also want to share with you the upleveled version and option and really what helped me completely eliminate paper clutter for my home and my business. And that was by getting an external scanner. If you have one of these, you know it is probably one of your favorite and most used tools. And I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap IX1600. All right. And this is an upgraded model. This is actually my third scanner that I've owned and one of the reasons why I love it is it does scan directly to Evernote. So, here's the link to a blog post that I wrote on my recommended scanners. It also talks a little bit about my journey with Evernote and you're going to go to lydiamartin.biz/scanners. And you'll get all the information there. There will be links for the scanner that I recommend, but I did want to mention that as an option. Okay.

So, I'm going to go ahead and go to my Evernote account, and we'll come back to our slides here in a minute, because I want to go ahead and show you my Evernote. This is my home page or my dashboard, my literal hub of Evernote, because I use Evernote for everything. But I have put together some notebooks for demonstration purposes tonight. And one of those notebooks I've entitled Eliminate Paper. Okay. And I did scan this right before I came on live today, but I'm going to show you how. This is a thank you note that I got in the mail and a perfect example of something that can cause paper clutter.

Many of us are business owners, so yes, of course I'm scanning receipts and documents and things like that. But there's also memory items that we save, whether that's art projects from our kids, or thank you notes from people that we've worked with. And you want to save this, but you don't want the clutter. So, I even have a notebook in Evernote called Memories and Special Notes. All right. So, I might put it in that, but for today I had put it into this brand-new notebook called Eliminate Paper and I'll come to camera here. This is my thank you note right here. And I scanned this into Evernote so that I would have a copy of it, but I wouldn't have to hang on to it.

So, I'll show you what that looks like. Let me go ahead and go here to my phone. All right. So now you're seeing the Evernote app on an iPhone, and you can see I have my notebook lists. So, I'm going to go ahead and click on my Eliminate Paper notebook. And watch how easy it is to scan. I'm just going to hit New. I'm going to hit Scan and I'm just hovering over this note right here. It captures it. I hit Save and now that note is saved inside of Evernote. That's how easy it is to use the Evernote app from your mobile devices. So, imagine this while you're out and about. You just had a meal with a potential business client, and you get to write that meal off as a tax deduction. You can scan that receipt right from the restaurant, put it in a tax receipts notebook, and throw the receipt away.

This is literally how I have been able to go from millions of paperwork piles to one paperwork pile. One of the systems that I teach is a Sort-Scan-Shred method. And I teach one bin. That is how little of a paper I now have, because I have a system where I'm sorting into categories. I'm putting them into my To-Scan bin. And then once a week I'm scanning everything into Evernote. So, you can see how over time, how this one tool can help you eliminate paper. All of my paper is now being stored in my virtual filing cabinet. And that is Evernote. All right.

Number two favorite use for Evernote is that it organizes digital clutter. So digital clutter can be just as frustrating as physical clutter. Right. We all thought technology was going to make our lives easier and instead it made it even more cluttered. Right. So, I'm going to give you an example of what I mean by this. So how many of you are wanting to save things, whether it's a recipe, it's a blog article, it's a tool that you want to consider for your business, it's a training document? All day long we are accessing all different types of digital information. And some of us, to save that information, we just keep opening new tabs. Right. We have fifty tabs open on our computer because we don't have a system or plan for that digital content to go.

And the great news and exciting tool I'm going to share with you. My personal favorite thing about Evernote is the Evernote Web Clipper. So even if you have other tools that you're using for storage and organization and sharing docs, there is really nothing out there that I found that is as efficient as the web clipper. And I'm going to show you how the web clipper works, but you're going to go to evernote.com/webclipper. Another free tool from Evernote and this is a browser extension that, once you've installed it, allows you to quickly save any digital content that you need to hang onto into the notebook of your choice. It's just amazing.

So here I am on my blog and I'm just going to pull up an example here. So, let's say I don't have time to read this blog right now, but I want to save it for future reference. Notice the little elephant that's at the very top of my browser. This is the Web Clipper. Notice how I have a variety of options right here. You can click on what is called Article and an article basically captures a portion of the page. Or I can switch to Simplified Article and it removes all of the sidebars, the ads, the social graphics, and it just grabs the text and images from the article.

I can also clip a full page if I want to clip the entire thing, or I can simply clip a bookmark that will bring me back to this page. The last option is a screenshot which allows me to capture any portion of the page that I may want to save. So, for those of you that have been saving screenshots to your desktop. You have hundreds of them and they're creating tons of digital clutter. Now you can take screenshots and put them into your Evernote notebooks. Right.

So, my favorite one that I use most often is the Simplified Article. So, let's go ahead and pick that one. I can even choose the notebook of my choice. Let's just do our Action Items notebook and I'm going to hit Save Clip. That's how easy it is to take information that's online and put it into my Evernote notebooks. So, think about this. I'm talking about recipes, anything that you're needing to save. Okay. A bookmark back to something. Maybe a confirmation. How many times do you purchase something and you have a confirmation and you're tempted to hit Print? I never hit Print because I can just click my Web Clipper and take a screenshot of that confirmation and send it to the notebook of my choice. So, organizing my digital clutter is one of my favorite uses of Evernote and I do that through the Evernote Web Clipper.

Now let's go ahead and move on to number three. Number three favorite use is reducing mental clutter. Mental clutter is caused when you have so many tasks happening, so many things to keep up with. Things that you don't want to fall through the cracks. And I'll show you an example of this. I love to think of Evernote as my 80's Trapper Keeper system. Right. How many of you had a Trapper Keeper in the 80's? Right. Trapper Keepers held everything. And if you're not old enough to know what a Trapper Keeper is, you're missing out. I'm sorry. But it was something that held so many things. Right. And that's what I think of for Evernote.

Evernote can hold onto your client information. Okay. If you're working with clients in a coaching business, for example. It holds onto leads. Now it's not like a CRM or an email service provider, but it's a place for you to take notes on hot leads that you want to follow up with. Okay. I'll show you in a minute how you can create tasks to make sure things do not fall through the cracks. So, imagine a place for everything. Rather than trying to hold it all in your brain you get to place these items inside of Evernote. All right.

So, I'm going to show you an example of just something that I do with my personal clients. And I just kind of put a little demo note together. So here in my Reduce Mental Clutter notebook, you'll see that we can even put together charts inside of Evernote. So, if I just want to keep up with certain clients that I'm working with, I can put in the dates that they have their sessions. I can write notes. I can say if they've paid for their session. I can really just use this as a great checklist option. In fact, Evernote even has options to put check boxes.

You can also use the many Evernote templates to work with people, projects, calendars. And I'm going to open up the template gallery because so many people don't know that this is available. But let's just say I wanted to look for a daily planner, a pre call planner, a weekly planner. So, there are a number of templates that you can pull into Evernote, or you can create your own. So, in this example, this is like a training template where you can basically keep track of everything that you've reviewed with the client. The training they've taken. The links to their social media profiles. Anything that you need, their goals, their questions, you have a place to put all of this information.

Now here is what really helps my mental clutter. Let's say you have a client that you're working with and now that client emails you. And you're thinking, oh my goodness, I need to remember what this person emailed me. And five days later, you're like, oh no. Did they send me a message? Did they send me a text? Did they send me an email? And you now spend all your time trying to refind that message. Right.

So, one of the wonderful features of Evernote is they have something called Email Forwarding. So, I take an email from Sally Smith, my client, and I forward it to my Coaching notebook so that when I am wondering where Sally sent me a message or what the message was, I'm not searching everywhere. I'm searching Evernote. All I have to do is go to my Coaching notebook. Right there is Sally's email. Right there is Sally's notes that I have from her last call. I can clip something from Sally's website, but everything comes to one place. Can you all imagine what this will do for mental clutter knowing that you have one place for everything?

Now, the other helpful tip is that Evernote also allows you to add tasks. So, if I'm working with Sally or maybe I've clipped something from the web, and I need to remember to take action on something. Maybe I'm forwarding an email to remind myself to pay a bill. All of these things can be set as a task in Evernote. So, let's say for this example, I'm going to say, "Follow up with Sally." Because she said she was going to do something. And I want to make sure I text her to see how that's going. So, I say, "Follow up with Sally." I can come in here and I can set a due date for next Monday to follow up with her.

I love how in Evernote we can create an entire task list, sort by due dates, and I'm going to be able to come in here and know exactly what tasks I need to do. And they all take me back to my original note. So having a system for the information to be stored, being able to add your task items, being able to take things from email, from the web, paper, all these different places and put them in one place. That is a huge mental clutter savior.

So, let's go ahead and go on to number four. For number four I put my favorite use for Evernote is that it helps me remember everything. Okay. Not just about tasks, but also because of their amazing search functionality. And unlike other tools where I'm just saving files and the only thing it's searching is the file name. Evernote, especially if you have a paid plan of Evernote, it will search everything. It searches images. It searches PDFs. It searches inside your notes, the titles, your checklists. Which means that I don't have to remember it all. I forward everything to Evernote from my itineraries when I travel, to report cards for my kids. Anything I need to re-reference later I put into Evernote.

This is a picture of your brain or your brain with Evernote. Right. Everything that I'm trying to remember and do in any given day, whether it's for my personal life or my business life, I put it in Evernote so that I can easily find and get to what I need. They have this search bar right up here at the top left. And I can type anything in this search bar, and it will find what I need. So let me just type in Mental Clutter and right now what it's searching is inside this notebook. I'm going to click that off and now it is finding anything that I need that is related to mental clutter that I have ever typed in here. You can see there's a lot of notes. Okay. And it helps me find what I need quickly. All right. And that is my favorite use. We have filters that we can put in to easily get to what we need, but I absolutely love that I can put an image, a document, typed text, and I don't have to remember where that is anymore because Evernote is the place that I store everything. And it allows me to find it again. I can easily share it, find it, store it, edit it, all the things within Evernote. Amazing. Right. All right. 

So let me go ahead and share with you the four things. We'll do a quick review. So, Evernote is going to help you eliminate paper clutter. Scanning, we're able to create an online system for paper. We're going to organize digital clutter with the Web Clipper. We're going to reduce mental clutter by starting to use Evernote as the place where we store everything. We're going to add our tasks, so nothing falls through the cracks. And then we're going to use Evernote to remember everything. We're going to be able to do search to find what we need. We're going to be able to go to our task list to see what needs to be done. And you can see how this reduces all different types of clutter.

Now you may be thinking I'm new to Evernote. This all sounds great, but is there a way that I can learn how to do this? Because when you first jump into Evernote it can feel overwhelming or you may have Evernote, which is intuitive, but you maybe aren't thinking through all of the many ways to maximize this tool. So, I just want to share with you tonight that you can continue learning Evernote on your own. You can go to lydiamartin.biz/Evernote, get an account, jump in there, start working with it. Or you can go ahead and jump into a training course with me that is going to teach you each and every step of how to set up this tool and how to make the most of this tool.

Now, not only is it going to teach you Evernote, but as a business coach and strategist, I teach you also ways to maximize and be more productive in your business using this tool. So, I'm very excited to share that we have a brand-new course that has launched. It's called the Digital Clutter Cure Evernote Edition. And I have been offering a Digital Clutter Cure program for over two years now. We've had hundreds and hundreds of students go through that program, but it was a very intensive eight-to-twelve-week program, and it included an Evernote training course. But so many people kept asking me can I just get an Evernote training? You know, I don't have the time to invest in a ten-to-twelve-week program. Can I jump into something now where I can start learning and maximizing this tool? And that's why we've created this version of The Digital Clutter Cure.

So, the Evernote edition of this program does include step-by-step video tutorials, PDF guides with step-by-step instructions. It's self-paced. It's lifetime access. You can access it from any device, and it even includes templates, checklists, and workflows that you can customize for your use. All you need to do is go to banishbusinessclutter.com/evernote and you will be able to learn more about the different modules and the different things that we're sharing and teaching inside the program.

I hope that tonight's training was helpful. I hope that those of you who are already using Evernote, we're reminded of a few things so that you jump in and commit to using Evernote in these four ways. Of course, there's many more ways to use Evernote, but I hope that it was helpful. Thank you so much for listening and I hope to see you inside the course.

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