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How to Use Evernote for GTD®
Each day, most of us take notes, make lists, read content online, and have to look up something we've written down before. You could use one app for each of these tasks, or you could use Evernote.
Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps. It's designed to store your most important information in a way that you can always find it, no matter what device you have on hand and no matter how disorganized you are. Whether you type notes, scribble ideas by hand, take photos, record voice memos, copy information from websites, attach images and documents, Evernote has a way to store everything you need to remember.
Once you start adding notes to Evernote, you'll want to organize them, or at least add more information so that they are easily searchable in your account. Evernote lets you organize notes into notebooks, which are similar to folders, and notebooks into stacks, which are like parent folders. Additionally, you can add create and tags to notes, giving you more ways to search and sort the notes that you keep. Evernote can also automatically add geolocation data to your notes, if you allow it to, letting you find notes based on where you were when you initially created them. It's an ideal function for people who takes notes during business travel as well as travel writers.
Between the tools Evernote gives you to organize your notes and the metadata it adds automatically, finding the notes you need is never an issue. A powerful and fast search function works extremely well, too. Evernote even has built-in optical character recognition (OCR) that it runs on images that you upload that contain text, including handwriting. For example, let's say you have a handwritten recipe, and you snap a photo of it using Evernote. All the text in the recipe becomes searchable automatically. The OCR feature is available for all Evernote membership levels.
Beyond creating, reviewing, and editing notes, Evernote lets you highlight, annotate, and add visual callouts. With options for sharing notes and notebooks, Evernote supports collaboration, too. Additionally, teams and businesses using Evernote can use its Work Chat feature to have real-time conversations with collaborators while looking at your notes, instead of moving a discussion into email or a chat app.
Another excellent reason to choose Evernote as your note-taking application of choice is its smart Web Clipper. The Web Clipper is a browser extension that, in one or two clicks, lets you save the contents of a web page to your Evernote account. It's smarter than many other tools with similar functionality because it automatically suggests the notebook and tags that you're likely to add, based on your history of web clipping and other notes in your account. Additionally, when you have the Evernote Web Clipper installed, online searches can also include searches through your notes.
For example, if you search on Google for "lasagna recipes," and you happen to a lasagna recipe already saved as a note, it will appear in the margin alongside the typical search results. With a Premium or Business subscription, you can also surface Related Notes, or those that share keywords and metadata with the note you're typing. For example, if you write a note about your business earnings for this quarter, and you have past notes regarding business earnings, Evernote will suggest those similar notes in case you need to reference them.
With a Premium or Business membership, you can also forward emails into Evernote, as well as upload Office files and PDFs and have their text become searchable the next time you use the search function. Premium and Business members also get the ability to scan and digitize business cards, as well as turn notes into a presentation in just one click or tap of the screen.
For a few years, Evernote offered another account level, Plus, which was phased out as of April 2018. Plus offered more than the free Basic account but less than Premium, and for a mid-tier price. According to Evernote, anyone with an active Plus account "will maintain their subscription as long as their subscription remains active."
If you're looking for a way to keep all your writing, ideas, documents, and much more in one place, Evernote is a great tool to consider. Instead of jumping between apps, you can do it all in one place—and be sure you never forget anything.