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Monday, August 27, 2012

Using Evernote to Organize My Ideas

EVERNOTE, the Evernote Elephant logo and REMEMBER EVERYTHING are trademarks of Evernote Corporation and used under a license.

I'm getting ready to go back to work and spent some time last week in technology workshops. I love technology but only if it streamlines my life. Sometimes a piece of paper and a pen is much faster.

But lately I've been using Evernote to organize my ideas. It's like Pinterest but it's private. So it's in the CLOUD (not stored on my own computer but out there in cyberspace); I have an app on my phone and the program on my laptop. 

What I like about Evernote is how I can use it for sewing and quilting. I love the visual aspect of Pinterest but I don't want to share all of my pins and notes and I don't want to get sued for pinning things that the owner doesn't want pinned. There are many ways I use Evernote, but my two favorite are: (1) storing pictures and (2) storing websites/pictures.

My first foray into Evernote was creating a digital record of ideas. I'm an idea collector and I have bits of paper everywhere - pictures I've torn from magazines and catalogs....in piles, on bulletin boards, on tables, in drawers...and as much as I would like to create a system that works, I've tried and can't seem to stick with anything. But if there is one constant in my life I'd have to say it's this: I am online. Yes, I think I finally found my system!

(1) Pictures - With Evernote, I snap a picture (with my phone), type in some notes, and upload it to Evernote. I have folders on Evernote that help me categorize my ideas. Some include Bernina Feet, Easy Quilts, Sewing Techniques, Home Dec - that kind of thing. When I'm on my laptop and have some time, I go into Evernote and move the picture to the correct file - then I type in some personal notes. For example, I recently saw a picture of a pillow in a catalog and thought, "Freemotion couching foot!" I snapped a picture of it and uploaded the picture to Evernote. It's now in my Bernina Foot folder. 

You can also take pictures of projects and upload them to Evernote. See a cool quilt? Take a picture (always ask for permission!), type in some notes, and upload. Today I was watching Sewing With Nancy and loved what they were doing with machine felting, so I snapped a picture of the tv screen (which, BTW, is 14 years old!), typed in some notes, and uploaded the picture/note. Now when I think, "where did I see that idea about machine felting?" I can search Evernote.

(2) Websites/Pictures - Secondly, with Evernote on my laptop, I can right-click on a webpage and select "Add to Evernote" from the popup screen. I usually select "clip image" to save the image. The URL gets added automatically -- it's at the top of the note. The image and link go in the appropriate folder. I then type in any notes that I want to make. For example, when I see a free quilt pattern online and immediately think of a gift idea or fabric I'd use, I add it to Evernote and write, "perfect for Maria's Christmas present." And when I wonder, "what was that quilt I wanted to make for Maria?" I just search, "Maria" and there it is.

I'm just beginning to explore Evernote. Like anything that's free, just remember that it can go away at any time and it's not totally secure. Want Evernote? Just head on over to their website!

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