Dec 12, 2012

Elephants Can Remember (Apologies to Agatha Christie)

First of all, an apology in advance to all my techno-savvy readers ... please look the other way while I gloat over my new technological "discovery"!

The name of my latest technological friend is Evernote. Yup, the green elephant head that you see down below is a real boon to me. 

One of my main activities while surfing is copying and saving articles I want to read again, or craft projects that I want to try. And most probably it will be in the middle of these activities that I will remember something that needs to be done @home, @shopping etc. But I would be so engrossed in surfing that the item would inevitably be forgotten by the time I got up from my chair. Now let me tell you in what ways Evernote has made life a lot easier for me.

1. Evernote has this lovely interface with my "notebooks" listed on the far left side. I have notebooks called craft, decorative ideas, braindump, home and garden and so on and so forth. I can choose whether the notebooks should be private (in which case it is saved only on my comp) or whether it can be shared by others. 

2. Which leads to the loveliness that allows me to access my notes on my android phone. So whatever I enter into my comp gets synced on to my phone that goes with me everywhere. My notes are always accessible! So now I can tell you some of the uses I put it to:

3. Evernote has a web-clipper with the elephant-head icon that appears in one corner of my browser window. When I find something that needs more than cursory attention, I just click the elephant and he asks me whether I need the whole page, just the article or even just an image. I tell him what to select and which notebook to put it in and voila!

4. I have a notebook called monthly shopping in Evernote. Till now I used a master grocery list (made, I think, back in 2002 and updated occasionally thereafter) carefully preserved in a sheet protector. Once a month I took the list around the kitchen and pantry with a notepad and checked for the items in the list, then noted down what I needed. Then I took the paper list for shopping (Or forgot it,  which happened very often) What do I do now? Evernote has a checklist feature that can be used to insert "tickable" boxes. I have three notes in my monthly shopping notebook - each corresponding to a floor of our favorite grocery shop with a list of the items available on that floor. Whenever I run out of something, I just take my phone, find the item and put a tick against it  and note the quantity I need to buy next month. So I just have to carry the phone to the store and uncheck the boxes as I put the items in my basket. So easy, huh! Saving paper is a bonus too!

5. I have another notebook named Someday. In it there are items like Books I want to read, Movies I want to watch, etc. I note down the names of interesting books and movies. The next time I go to the library or the bookstore, I have a ready list of things I need to look for.

6. This can be done even without Evernote, but since it is already there, I make use of it. I use my diary to plan the activities for the weekend (Isn't there something so satisfying about writing it down than just using keys or tapping/swyping on a tiny screen?) When we go out on Saturday morning, I just take a snapshot of it on my phone and my errand list is so handy from there on.  

7. The best thing about Evernote is when I get some free time, I can go through all the articles that I have collected and read them at my leisure.

I know that Evernote can be put to greater and more varied uses than what I have listed. A few videos at their site can give you some ideas if you haven't tried Evernote. 

I guess Microsoft One Note too has the same features and they have a site called where the notes are uploaded. I use One Note on my comp too, but I put only those things there that I need only when I access my computer. OneNote app's interface looks much more colorful, but I am happy with my little green elephant. What is it with me and cute icons????

Speaking of cute icons, you may remember my post about Astrid tasks. I recently became bold enough to sync my phone with an online Astrid account, so I can type to my heart's content when I get tired of using my touch phone screen. Do u know that Astrid has activity-specific icons there? For instance, when I click on my "Write" list of tasks, a bespectacled Astrid complete with pencil and paper appears! I just wish they would come to my phone too!

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