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Get Organized!

DR. FRANK BUCK: Evernote Home and what it can do for you

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If you use Evernote, a significant new feature is rolling out over the next few weeks. If you have an Evernote account but don’t know how to use it, this may be a good time to blow off the dust. If you have no idea what Evernote is, there’s no better time like the present to learn.

What’s the big deal about Evernote?

We live in an “information age.” But your information is only as good as your ability to put your hands on it when you need it. Evernote excels at being able to save information from any device. I especially like the ability to hit the mic button on my phone and dictate into Evernote, watching my words turn into text. On my desktop computer, I pull up the same note and edit it with 10 fingers. This article began as a note in Evernote on my phone before being fine-tuned in Word on my computer.

Evernote is even better at retrieving information. Suppose you saw a recipe on the side of a soup can in the grocery store. Snap a picture of it in Evernote. Later, search for a term and Evernote will even find the text in that picture. The old mantra in the office was, “a misfiled piece of paper is a lost piece of paper.” With Evernote, nothing entered is ever lost.

So, what’s Evernote Home?

When you open your browser, wouldn’t it be great to see helpful information immediately?  That’s been the idea behind “personalized start pages” for our browsers for well over a decade. I’ve used iGoogle, igHome and most recently, Netvibes.

Evernote Home is like a personalized dashboard you see when you open Evernote. I’m now greeted with a message that says, “Good morning, Dr. Buck!” along with the current date and seven widgets, all displayed on top of a beautiful, customizable background.

How often do you find the information you need right now is the same information you also used very recently? Evernote leverages that idea. One widget shows me the notes I used most recently. Another displays the most recently captured web clips, images, documents, audio and email.

You know how valuable a memo pad by the phone can be, right? But if the information you need to grab is digital, wouldn’t it be quicker to copy and paste into a digital version of that trusty tool? Evernote puts a memo pad widget on Evernote Home for exactly that reason. If the quickly-captured information turns out to be something you want to save, clicking the three dots in the corner of the widget converts it to an Evernote note and saves it. 

Everybody gets the three widgets just mentioned. Because I am a premium (paid) Evernote user, my Evernote Home has four more. They piggyback on that idea that our work today tends to focus around information we used recently. One widget displays the notebooks used most recently, another the most frequently-used tags used, and another my “shortcuts.” Those shortcuts are links to the handful of notes I want to have front-and-center at all times. Everything on those three widgets is a click away. No scrolling or searching is required. 

The final widget is a single “pinned” note. The executive who takes that one page of reference information and slips it under the glass on her desk will understand the value of the "pinned" note. For me, it's a list of common bookmarks. In the blog post which parallels this article, I list those links for you. You can see those for yourself here: FrankBuck.org/evernote-home. You’ll also see an expanded version of this article.

I hope you find Evernote Home to be a treat each time you open the software. If you’re brand new, you can get started today and do it for free. For a shortened link, you can use: https://bit.ly/buckevernote.

Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders. "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019 and 2020. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.

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