This is modern day living.
You’re working on a new proposal for a marketing campaign, and suddenly your phone rings. Turns out it’s your plumber calling to let you know that the replacement valve for the toilet in your bedroom will cost $21.99. You want to remember that, so you scramble for a scrap of paper on your desk and write “$21.99”, and carry on with your proposal. 5 hours later when the clock hits 6pm, you’re staring blankly at $21.99 written at the corner of a Post-It note posted on the corner of your laptop screen, and you’re struggling to remember what it’s for.
Image Credit: Ethicsalarms
In a study done by UCSD back in 2009, they found that the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. Fast forward to 2014, with the advent of broadband internet, high speed mobile networks and smartphones, do you think that figure is higher or lower?
Today, all of us deal with a barrage of information from various sources, spanning across all mediums from analogue to digital. All of us are guilty of checking emails after work or during vacations and weekends. Conversely, we’re also guilty of reading up on our next holiday destination during work (you tell yourself it’ll take 5 minutes, but before you know it…).
What Evernote provides is a service which helps you capture information wherever and whenever you are, synchronize that across your various devices, be it on your iPhone, Windows Machine or Android tablet, there’s an Evernote app for all of those (even the wonderful Pebble smart watch).
With the ability to quickly capture, sync, organize and search for information, I fondly refer to Evernote as my “life management service”. A couple of straightforward workflows are what I need to get the most of my day and to focus on doing things that matter.
Evernote as an “Inbox for life”.
Just like how an email service works, I receive and forward all incoming information in life into Evernote. Here’s how I do it:
Create a Notebook called “Inbox”. This will be the default Evernote notebook where all in-bound information will reside within your Evernote account.
Got an email? Forward that into Evernote. Got an idea on the go? Save a note into Evernote on your iPhone or Android phone.
Not all information that I want to remember is digital, and sometimes I do prefer taking notes with pen and paper. At other occasions, all I have with me is a pencil with a Post-It note. Whatever it is, to make sure all these random pieces of information have a digital destiny, I’ll snap a photo and save them to Evernote.
Don’t Organize. Just Search.
What’s the point of a system if you’re able to braindump information easily, but there’s no easy way to retrieve information?
This is where Evernote truly shines: just type in the keyword related to a piece of information you’re looking for and Evernote is able to quickly locate the relevant notes, even searching through documents like Word, Excel, PDFs and handwriting in photos.
The advantage of this system is that information capture becomes really, really easy and quick. There’s minimal cognitive overhead in processing information upfront, and now you can choose to deal with things later at a more convenient time, on your own terms.
Are you interested yet? Stay tuned as I share how Evernote allows me to have a fuss free holiday.
This is a 1st of a 4 part productivity series on how to use technologies like Evernote to help deal with modern day living, done in collaboration with Evernote.
Also read: 11 ways to be unremarkably average