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You probably use Trello for task management, Slack for communication, PowerPoint for presentations, and Google Drive for writing and collaboration. But you can actually do much of that successfully in one place using Evernote.
We’ll show you the best productivity features you never knew were hidden in Evernote.
1. Save Your Research, Writing, and Thoughts
Evernote serves as an online vault for your writing and research, making it ideal for managing projects and organizing your life. Create a notebook for each project where you can save your notes, drafts, and web clippings. If your work is published online, you can also save the final published product in the same notebook putting it all in one place.
Opting for Evernote over a local folder on your computer gives you access to your work from anywhere, and makes it easy to share with others. And while cloud-based solutions like Google Docs are great for saving notes and writing, Evernote’s ability to clip entire articles or PDFs to save them in one folder gives you a much more centralized experience. Simply put, Evernote stores everything in one place.
In addition to written notes, you can also save audio notes to Evernote. In a work setting, you can use this to save reminders on the go using the mobile app or to record your meetings using the mobile or desktop app.
Free Evernote users are limited to audio notes of up to 25 MB at the most. Plus users get 50 MB per note and Premium users get 200 MB per note.
2. Replace Slack and Quick Emails
Collaboration is key to almost everything we do today. Evernote’s Work Chat lets you communicate with other users, but also with people who don’t use Evernote yet. You can start a new chat independent of any of your files or you can exchange feedback while sharing a note or notebook.
Unlike Google Doc’s chat feature, Work Chats are saved just like notes and notebooks, and you can access your chats on the web, desktop, and mobile apps.
Unfortunately, Work Chat is a feature that is still sorely lacking. If you are trying to reduce the amount of services and apps you have to check, Evernote Chat is not as robust as alternatives like Slack, and is certainly no replacement for email. It does make it easy to chat with other users quickly, without having to leave the window you’re on, but it’s not a fully functioning alternative. It’s a little too basic, it becomes difficult to keep track of various conversations, and you can’t tell if someone else is online, unless you are looking at the same document.
3. PowerPoint Alternative
Evernote’s Presentation Mode, available on the desktop app for Premium users, is an ideal replacement for PowerPoint.
Evernote offers rich text formatting and you can add images using drag-and-drop. This makes it easy to include more than just basic text in your presentations. Nevertheless, Evernote encourages a clean and simple presentation.
You can add content to your presentations in real-time while presenting.
While presenting, you can use your mouse instead of a laser pointer since your mouse is visible in presentation mode. And in order to go from section to section in your presentation, you can hit the spacebar and Evernote will jump to the next section. To insert screen breaks in your notes, you have to switch to presentation mode. Go to Note > Present and select Presentation Layout (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L). You can then insert and remove screen breaks with the blue plus and minus buttons.
4. Take Collaborative Notes
If you’re not the one giving the presentation in a meeting, you can use Evernote to take notes during meetings. Better yet, rather than depend on one person to take meeting minutes, participants can collaborate in one note to get a complete overview of key takeaways from the meeting.
If you prefer to have one person take the notes during the meeting, they can easily share that note with other team members after the meeting. Either way, Evernote makes it easy to manage meetings and keep everyone on the same page.
5. Scan Post-it Notes and Business Cards
It doesn’t look like paper business cards will be going away anytime soon. Rather than keep them in a Rolodex circa 1982, you can use Evernote to scan the cards. This is an intelligent feature available only to Premium users using the iOS or Android mobile apps.
When you scan a business card, Evernote will automatically extract the contact information and save it as a contact note in Evernote. In the settings, if you choose to, you can also let Evernote automatically save that contact to your phone’s contacts.
Free and paid users alike will appreciate Evernote’s support for Post-it Notes. When you take a photo of a Post-it Note, Evernote will render it to look exactly like it was scanned. You can then save it as a Post-it Note, as opposed to saving it as a document.
Whatever way you choose to save it, with Evernote’s robust search function, handwritten notes are fully searchable and won’t get lost in the ether.
The Post-it Note feature will work with any bright Post-it Note. You don’t have to buy the Evernote-optimized Post-its, but there are some advantages to doing that. Using the optimized notes (which cost about $10 for a pack of four on Amazon) gives you automated organization.
6. Search Your Saved Files
Organization will make your life easier. Evernote’s search function means you can easily find what you’re looking for.
Evernote can search the content of saved PDF files. If you’ve taken an image of text using the Evernote app, that content is searchable too. Coupled with Evernote’s tagging system and its ability to search within individual notebooks, it should be relatively easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Evernote has an extremely robust tagging system. The easiest way to tag your content is to connect it to an automation service like IFTTT and automatically save and tag content from a variety of services, including Gmail, Trello, Twitter, and more.
7. Annotate PDFs
Evernote Premium users can also annotate PDFs in the desktop or mobile apps. Annotations let you add text, shapes, and arrows, and you can also highlight text. This is a great tool for providing feedback and edits on documents without having to print them out, or open up the PDF in another program to annotate it.
To see the feature in action, check out the video below:
Evernote Lets You Be More Productive
Evernote is a robust service that is great as a standalone product, and also works well with other online services you may already depend on.
With Evernote, you can save your writing and research, easily search it, share it with peers, provide and receive feedback, and give presentations, all within the cross-platform service. Some of this will come at a cost, requiring a premium account, but in a corporate or even startup environment, the cost could easily be justified. Placing all of these various bits and pieces in one place will make it infinitely easier to find what you’re looking for, and save you time and hassle in the process.
How do you use Evernote to manage projects, assignments, or your work? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Vdovichenko Denis via Shutterstock.com