7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Evernote in Your Small Business
Evernote is just one of many productivity apps that should be in your small business arsenal. By now, you've probably heard that it can help you "remember everything" and be more productive. And, that's true.
Evernote is also time saver. It has a very powerful search feature, so all you need to do is come up with simple, and easy to remember tags (or keywords) that you will help you quickly find what you want when you want it.
Another nice thing about Evernote is that it's the cool kid on the block that everyone wants to hang out with. Basically, there's no shortage of apps that it integrates with. So, your favorite app paired with Evernote will likely make your life that much easier and help you get more done.
But, that's not all it can do for you. Check out these seven reasons why you should be using Evernote right now.
7 Reasons Why You Should be Using Evernote in Your Small Business
When you think of Evernote, consider the "3 Ps" that it can help you manage: Paper, Productivity, and People. This versatile app can help you reduce your reliance on paper, allow you to collaborate with others, and boost your ability to get things done.
1. Go Paperless
Paper can infiltrate your office if you don't consistently sort, purge, and file them. So, why not go paperless? Of course, it's not likely that you won't ever need a printed copy of a document, but you can reduce the number of papers you have to handle on a regular basis.
Let Evernote do a bit of the heavy lifting for you. Simply scan (i.e., snap a picture of your document) and attach it to a notebook of your choice. Then, shred or recycle the hard copy (if you really don't need it). By keeping your documents in Evernote, you won't have to take unnecessary time to create a folder structure (like you would with your paper files).
Remember those tags I mentioned earlier? This is where they come in. Type in your keyword to quickly and easily recall the file you're looking for -- even if you have everything saved in one notebook.
Consider saving these papers in Evernote:
- Business cards
- Business receipts
- Sheet music
2. Save Important Documents
So, now that you know you can reduce your reliance on paper, it's time to start thinking about saving important documents in Evernote. For example, you can store and access your business policy documents. With Evernote Business, not only can you save needed information, but you can also collaborate with members of your team, even if it's just you and your virtual assistant (for now).
Did you know that you can also save signed contracts in Evernote? If you use Adobe Echosign or DocuSign, any contract that is digitally signed can be sent automatically to Evernote to be stored. Once you adjust your settings, you'll have a "back up" of your signed client contracts right at your fingertips.
These are just two types of documents that you can save. Here are a few more:
- Mission and vision statements
- Business plan
- Quarterly and annual reports
- Meeting minutes
- Partnership agreements
- E-mails (yep, you can clip e-mails using the Web Clipper!)
- Data sheets and charts
3. Create Blog Posts
Evernote is a great repository for collecting blog ideas and fleshing out those ideas. If you come across resources and articles that support your posts, you can clip them to a specific note or to your "Blog Ideas" notebook.
You can also complete the writing process in Evernote (in fact, this entire post was written in Evernote). One of the nice things about writing posts in Evernote is that you have the same formatting tools that you're already familiar with, like text styling (bold, italics, underline), creating bulleted lists, inserting tables, dragging and dropping, and more.
Remember those important documents I asked you to think about storing in Evernote? Why not store your evergreen content there as well? They'll be easy to find so you can reshare them across your social networks again and again.
Best of all, Evernote is portable. No matter where your office ends up being (like at the airport or local coffee shop), you'll always have access to the app -- even when you don't have your laptop with you. All you have to do is fire up the mobile app on your smartphone or tablet and start typing that post.
4. Create Templates
Evernote is great place for "dumping your brain" and for taking notes at a conference, but it's even better for storing and retrieving templates that you use often.
For example, I keep the script for my monthly teleclass in Evernote in its own notebook. The structure of the class is usually always the same, so having a template that's ready for me to update means that I don't have to start from scratch every month.
Here are other types of templates might you create:
- Podcast introduction and outline
- Show notes
- Presentation outline
- E-mail replies (canned responses)
- Consulting agreement
- New client intake form
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Task list
Creating and storing templates in Evernote will save you time so you can get on with the business of getting stuff done. And, one way to make sure you're productive is to ...
5. Create Checklists and Reminders
If you find yourself always writing on slips of paper or sticky notes, Evernote can rescue you from a system that will probably fail. The chances of losing those scraps of paper are likely to be high, but when you create your task list in Evernote, you'll have your projects and to do's with you no matter where you go.
Simply click on the "Insert to-do" button to generate checkboxes (as many as you'd like) that you can actually click each time you complete a task.
You can create any type of list:
- To do's (business or personal)
- Done (accomplishments)
- Stop doing (distractions)
- Project planning
- Project tasks
- HTML (the code you always need but can never seem to remember!)
- Business reading
And, if you need to remind yourself to get something done by a specific deadline, set a reminder. Slips of paper can't do that for you, but Evernote can.
6. Collaborate With Your Virtual Assistant
One of the most helpful features of Evernote is that you can share your notebooks. This means you can collaborate with business partners, colleagues, or your virtual assistant without having to send a mountain of e-mails to each other.
Oh, and this post? Not only was it written entirely in Evernote, I also shared it with Mike when I was finished writing so that he could review it, ask any questions, and then finally upload. See? Super easy.
7. Save Your Favorite Tweets
I've already mentioned that Evernote plays nice with several other apps. If This Then That (IFTTT) is one of those apps. How would you use them together?
If you're like me and want to go back and read articles that someone you follow on Twitter shared, you probably "favorite" those tweets.
Finding your favorited tweets after the fact can be a nightmare. If you've ever tried searching the Twitterverse for that one article or link, you know that you can end up in an all-consuming rathole. But, you can use IFTTT to save those tweets to an IFTTT notebook in Evernote.
This again is a huge time saver. And, once you've read the article, you can fire off a "thank you" tweet (or a question) to the person who shared it. Grab the IFTTT recipe to test it out (you'll you need to sign up first).
These are just a few of the compelling reasons why Evernote should be a tool in your business toolbox. But, I'm sure there are many more. What's your favorite feature about Evernote? Please share in the comments.
By Deb Lee
Deb Lee is a Certified Professional Organizer® and productivity specialist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Deb also loves technology and, with her newest venture, SOHO Tech Training, helps small office and home office (SOHO) entrepreneurs learn about social media, blogging, and apps that can help them get stuff done. Some of her best advice has been featured in USA Today, on WUSA9 television, and Evernote.com.
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