Get Creative With Evernote: 10 Unique Uses You Haven’t Thought Of

Nancy Messieh 12-01-2013

how to use evernoteEvernote is one of the ultimate tools in productivity, and with a wide variety of multiplatform apps, there’s no limit to the way that you can use the service. We’re big fans of Evernote here at MakeUseOf, for lots of reasons 5 Cool Features That Prove Evernote Is Still A Kick-Ass Service With all the hoopla surrounding Google Drive, and everyone going nuts over Dropbox, I think one other service is being sorely neglected - Evernote. Our Evernote coverage has been rather sketchy of late, and I... Read More , so we’ve written a list of 10 unique ways how to use Evernote – with some tips and tricks you might not have thought of.


Whether it’s taking advantage of Evernote’s checklist feature, or the fact that you can save photos in the app on the go, using the mobile app, don’t be afraid to get creative with your Evernote use. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download our Evernote Manual How to Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual Learning how to use Evernote on your own takes a long time. This is why we've put together this guide to show you how to take full advantage of the most important Evernote features. Read More for free.

Save Classified Listings Before They Expire

How many times have you bookmarked a Craigslist listing only to find that the post has expired next time you go to check it out? With Evernote, you can save the entire listing, with all of the information, contact information and photos by using Evernote’s Web Clipper. This feature can come in handy on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or just about any online classified site you can think of.

how to use evernote

Take Notes While Reading a Book

If you’ve already made the switch to eBooks, making digital notes while you’re reading is nothing new, but if you’re still attached to reading books, and don’t want to put your notes in the margin, why not use Evernote? Create an individual notebook for each book, take photos of the page you want to jot a note down about with your phone, and type in the note with the image.

By using Evernote, you have a digitized and easy to search database of your notes – just make sure to include the page number in your typed up notes.


Keep Measurements, Sizes, etc. Handy When Shopping

Whether it’s measurements for your furniture, clothes sizes or even your printer’s ink type, you can take that kind of information with you everywhere you go. That way, next time you’re at the store, you’ll always have that information handy if you happen to find something that you want to buy.

Create Lists Of Everything From Goals To Groceries

Because Evernote allows you to create checklists, there’s no end to the kinds of lists you can create using the app. Whether it’s for day-to-day tasks like groceries, to life-long goals that are on your bucket list, or even just a list of movies you want to watch, you can take your checklists with you everywhere using the mobile Evernote app.

evernote ideas

Record Your Prescriptions

If you have a lot of prescriptions, you can keep them organized using Evernote. Take photos of the doctor’s prescription, of the pill box or bottle, and even how each individual pill looks. Keep track of how often you take them, and how often you need to refill the prescription.


Save Photos Of Your Takeout Menus

Rather than keep a drawerful of messy takeout menus, why not take photos of the menus and save them to Evernote. Create one notebook for all of your takeout menus, and use one note per restaurant. While the images aren’t searchable, you can at least put in relevant tags making it easy to look up all the menus for certain types of cuisine, or better yet, searching for specific restaurants by name.

Save Your Favorite Meals At Restaurants

While it does require an additional Evernote app, in this case Evernote Food, you can keep track of your favorite meals, drinks and more while you’re out and about. Recently updated to add an awesome set of features and iPad support, Evernote Food can be the ultimate alternative to Instagramming your food.

Rather than share it with others, using Evernote Food is all about making it easy to remember which restaurant serves your favorite salad and where to go to get the best cup of coffee.

how to use evernote


Save Important Documents: Warranties, Contracts, Birth Certificates, etc.

Any kind of important document that you want to keep track of, you can simply save in Evernote. Whether it’s an important contract, your birth or marriage certificate, or any other important papers, take photos of them, or save them as PDFs and save them to Evernote. That way you have important information handy with you no matter where you go.

Create a Virtual Library Of Your DVD, Video Game Collections, etc.

If you have a large collection of DVDs, video games, books, or anything else, you can take photos of each item, add notes about them, and even make a note of when you lend them out and who you’ve lent them to, and you can keep track of your personal belongings. Nothing is more annoying than lending a book to a friend and forgetting who you gave it to, so why not let Evernote help you remember?

Use Evernote As a Rolodex

While there are a lot of great apps that make it easy to exchange contact information simply by touching phones, the traditional business card is far from dead. Rather than keep a messy box of business cards, take photos of the individual business cards and save the note with the contact’s name.

Are you looking for more ways to get the most out of Evernote? Check out 3 more ideas here Do You Need More Evernote Use Ideas? Here Are 3 Ways I Use It Evernote is, without a doubt, a multi-faceted tool that can help you accomplish a lot, but when you have that kind of breadth in options and input channels, there’s a chance you could get overwhelmed.... Read More .


Related topics: Evernote, Note-Taking Apps.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. RedRockSA
    January 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    aahhmmm........mmmmm.....I don't quite know how to describe the depth of my disappointment........!?

  2. AP
    January 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Don't you think putting all the data at one place is complete nerd's act.

  3. Birrell Walsh
    January 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Checklists! You can add a check box with "shift-control-c" in windows. When I am interviewing people, I make a set of questions and keep it as a template at the top of the "interviews about..." network. Then I copy it into each interview to make sure I do not omit any question...

  4. Stathis Magerakis
    January 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for the tip!

  5. Debaprasad Mandal
    January 17, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for the tips. Very useful :)

  6. Norman Prather
    January 17, 2013 at 2:22 am

    I don't use a networked phone, even so many of these are great. I also use it for backing up important documents.

  7. Neil Crick
    January 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Love the idea, but I wonder if they can create an anti-procrastination app to make sure I use it :-)

    • Mara Averick
      January 17, 2013 at 2:41 am

      No, but there are a lot of ways to automate some of the storage possibilities (like scan to Evernote), and also set up 'recipes' to streamline records/items from a number of web services you use into Evernote. I use (stands for If This Then That) and highly recommend it

  8. Phúc Ng?c
    January 16, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Powerful tips :x Love the ideas.

  9. Anonymous
    January 16, 2013 at 1:08 am

    I love evernote. Been using it for a while and I take notes for everything.

  10. Charles Babb
    January 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I love Evernote, but I have never used it like this. I'm going to think of some other creative uses with Evernote.

  11. Jaqui Miles
    January 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Love this app!!! So many uses.

  12. Vaska Chobanova
    January 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Any other great ways to use Evernote?

  13. Aaron Clifford
    January 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I have actually used Evernote for quite a few of these! I especially love it for the OCR feature. Being able to take a picture and have the text searchable is brilliant.

  14. Kshitij Verma
    January 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    "Save Important Documents:" - Thanks but no thanks.
    2 reasons why
    -> You cannot trust the cloud. At least not for now. When technologies become better and there is a lesser chance of users loosing their data in the cloud due to technical failures.
    -> I tend on forgetting my passwords a lot and I won't write them down as anyone can misuse them. :P

  15. Henry Le
    January 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    You can also use it to keep track of on-sale items for future references if you miss a sale on an item and can wait for the item to go on sale again next time. (Eg. Daily necessities)

  16. Wendy Drew
    January 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I use Evernote, but didn't know I could do some of these things. I want to thank everyone for the extra tips and tricks to make Evernote even better than ever for me!

  17. Peter Bryenton
    January 14, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for the checklist tip.

    I photograph the fuel pump display after filling up on the forecourt. The OCR function allows me to search for figures and cross reference receipts & bank statements.

    • badgernadgers
      April 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm


  18. Lewis LaLanne
    January 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I think my favorite Idea I've gotten here is the comments section below - "Replace your bookmarks bar completely!"

    I hate that my bookmarks bar is tethered to my machine. This suggestion makes your pages available wherever you can log into Evernote. LOVE IT!

  19. Bobby Lasley
    January 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    what happens if you loose your i phone,or its stolen ?be careful of what you put in there.

  20. Nohl Lyons
    January 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I already do most of this stuff. i use it to keep school rosters/phone lists for my kids and client notes from phone calls with time and date stamps

  21. Jordan Collier
    January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I use Evernote for all of my book notes. Here's a post about how and why I import my Kindle notes directly to Evernote. Amazon has changed the Kindle notes page slightly, but these tips will still help you import your notes for quick referencing.

  22. infmom
    January 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Not to quibble too much, but if you have a lot of prescriptions you should be wearing a MedicAlert tag. Anyone who finds you can call a toll free number and find out about all your medical conditions, prescriptions, emergency contact numbers and so forth. I don't think emergency responders are going to be interested in trying to find Evernote on your phone.

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Of course - the suggestion was not in order for other people to look up your prescriptions - it was in order for you to keep yourself organized and not lose track of your own prescriptions.

      • dragonmouth
        January 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        Here's a novel idea. If you have a lot of prescriptions, make photocopies and keep them in a loose leaf binder. While very low-tech and very legacy, it does offer privacy, security and pretty quick access. Of course, if your house burns down or Earth gets hit by an asteroid.............................. :)

  23. Laurie Gienapp
    January 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I used to keep everything on OneNote... but I find that Evernote is easier to use, more flexible, and of course the fact that it automatically syncs.. between iPad and desktop and laptop (ie, I don't have to go through Dropbox)... is the final straw, in a whole list of benefits!

  24. Liveforfood
    January 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    you still haven't really told us what this Evernote thing is, what it does, how it works or where to find it.

  25. Daniel Huss
    January 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Maybe it's just me, but I find I have a hard time getting myself to use any note taking application even though I "want" to. I'm one of those people that has a hard time taking notes on a good day, but I'm also one of those people that if I don't write something down I tend to forget it. any advice/tips to incorporate Evernote/OneNote into daily use?

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      January 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      I'm the same as you. After trying out many note-taking apps, I decide Evernote/Onenote don't fit into my style-they're huge and (depending on your needs) too overwhelming. Stick to simple notetaking apps, like Flashnote/Notelens. Both are good, can be summoned with a hotkey (so you can type right away once inspiration strikes. They're lean and fast, and you can still use tagging. Notelens can only save your notes to My Documents, however (but set a symlink to your Dropbox folder and you can access your note anywhere you are). But both use simple RTF so your notes aren't locked to the apps. If I'm not mistaken Flashnote has portable version.
      This way you don't need any learning curve-just type the notes down, retrieve them later. After you establish the habit of reaching the hotkey when you have to remember anything, you'll find yourself using the software naturally instead of forcing to incorporate it to your daily use. For cloud-based solution you can try Fetchnote.
      I now use Wiki on a Stick for articles/random trivias, and Clipcube for clipboard,links,bookmarks, and scratchpad (because it's easier than using separate softwares)
      On the go, I keep my pen and paper.

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I felt the same way about online note taking in general, but I feel like Evernote goes so far beyond that. I think the only real tip to using Evernote is thinking about how it can improve your own personal work flow. Think about what your needs are and you could probably find a way to adapt Evernote to fit your personal needs. I really think that is Evernote's strength - each person can use it differently.

    • Ken E Baker
      January 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I thought so too - until I started using Evernote to clip the web pages that I was reading for later use. You can use Google to search those notes and I realised that I am becoming more and more confident in using Evernote. Recorded my first audio note today - was too busy to type - and I am going to see if I can brave the sound of my voice, ha ha.

  26. Mark O'Neill
    January 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I already do the menus one! It's very handy when I am out and about, and I can summon the menus on my iPad, if I am close to the restaurant :-)

    I wouldn't put my birth certificate or anything sensitive online though. It would be uploaded to the Evernote servers and that would unnerve me.

  27. dragonmouth
    January 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I'm with Joe.
    "Use Evernote as a Rolodex", "Record Your Prescriptions", "Save Important Documents". You might as well publish your most private information on the front page of Washington Post. There is a name for people who trust their private information to the cloud - victim (of identity theft). The cloud should be only used for impersonal, innocuous data that one does not really care about.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      January 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      It'd be nice if Evernote isn't exclusively online. I'd prefer saving such data in my computer, encrypted.

      • Nancy Messieh
        January 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        When creating a new notebook - just select the 'local notebook' option and it is saved on your computer only - it doesn't go to Evernote's servers.

      • dragonmouth
        January 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm

        After what Instagram/Facebook tried to do with users' photos, I don't trust the cloud even more.

        • Ken E Baker
          January 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

          I feel more confident in Evernote's ethical management of my data than Zuckerburg. That said, you're correct - if you want to preserve important documents, the cloud is not the most secure option. But if your house burns down, neither is that :) (I use dropbox, and an encrypted folder, by the by).

        • dragonmouth
          January 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

          "I feel more confident in Evernote’s ethical management of my data than Zuckerburg."
          While I agree with you, that is only a matter of degree. :)

          "But if your house burns down"
          If Earth gets hit by an asteroid, we won't have to worry about ANY of this. :)

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      You can create a new notebook that saves the content locally only - that way it doesn't end up on Evernote's servers.

    • Andy1385
      January 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Sure would be nice if the "Evernote people" fixed the TABLE option. It is the most primitive design I have ever seen. It's time to fix it guys.

  28. Alan Wade
    January 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    It is a sad fact many tech writers assume they know every reader! Far too many articles include the words: "You Haven’t Thought Of" or "You Dont Know" or even worse "We All Know That...."
    Isnt it time to stop thinking everybody "does, dosnt or hasnt thought of"?
    If writer just left these words out of the title then we the under-estimated readers can decide for ourselves if we "do, dont or havnt thought of" for ourselves.

    • Wally
      January 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Hmmm, that's a good point. I hadn't thought of that.

      • Alan Wade
        January 13, 2013 at 12:34 am

        Its so true on many sites Wally, I believe one of the greatest "put-downers" out there. I mean who apart from my wife knows what I do know or dont know?

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          January 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

          You're right. No, I don't believe no one else but yourself actually know what you know or don't know. Not even your closest one.

        • Alan Wade
          January 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm

          Oh yes Lisa, even my closest one! She knows what I'm thinking before I do.....

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment Alan. It genuinely wasn't meant that way but I appreciate your point of view and will definitely keep it in mind.

  29. Joe
    January 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    The "Save Important Documents" suggestion should be carefully considered before uploading items such as a birth certificate. No cloud site is 100% secure and although the risk of someone hacking in to your account is very is not zero risk. Do you really need a copy of your birth certificate online?

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Actually - when creating a new notebook you can choose to save its content locally only - if you save it to just one machine locally, choosing not to sync the content to other devices, it doesn't go to Evernote's servers. So you can at least have that content saved in one place on one machine.

    • Andy1385
      January 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Uploaded credit card images, passport images but encrypted them before uploading. Safe???

    • Mara Averick
      January 17, 2013 at 2:36 am

      while I don't do birth certificate or anything of that ilk I do do the titles to my bikes (motorcycles), registration documents, insurance forms etc.- nothing with an SSN but stuff that I figure the cost/benefit for hassle (and likelihood) of my losing it vs. real threat to my (or my assets' security) seems to fall in the 'go for it' zone

  30. Nick Read
    January 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    What makes you think images aren't searchable?
    Evernote user OCR when you add an image to make it searchable, be it menus or scanned in documents, and it works very effectively.

    • Nancy Messieh
      January 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the tip Nick - I was unaware of that.

      • Nick Read
        January 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        No problem! Even handwritten notes are scanned with OCR and indexed as long as your handwriting isn't too bad!
        Also worth mentioning Skitch, an Evernote product, that makes annotating images and scanned in docs extremely easy, and it all fully syncs up with Evernote.

        • Ken E Baker
          January 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

          Would be nice if Skitch was built into the Evernote desktop app though :)

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      January 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, but it's a food photo, and I'm sure it doesn't have any searchable text.

      • Tony Karakashian
        January 14, 2013 at 10:55 pm

        If you use Skitch to take the photo, you can add text to it. Or, as you're saving it to Evernote, just type the text in the note.

  31. Ken E Baker
    January 12, 2013 at 11:04 am

    11. Replace your bookmarks bar completely!
    12. Save websites for later reading on your phone or tablet.
    13. Photograph and keep track of minutes of meetings or diagrams from workshops.
    14. Link it to Google and use Google to search the internet and your notes at the same time.

    • Harshit Jain
      January 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      15. Use like throw anything dustbin.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        January 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm

        Have you read 'problem with anything-bucket'? (Articles telling how these softwares are actually making us lazier in classifying and making use of our data as we use it as virtual dustbin+drawer+library

        • Ken E Baker
          January 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

          I think you are right in a sense. We become more reliant on an external something to do our processing for us. Kinda like calculators - although I am hoping that the time Evernote saves for me that I can use to improve the other aspects of my life.

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          January 15, 2013 at 3:43 am

          Yeah. I don't doubt it'd be very useful if used properly,but most often we'd just dump everything there.It's jack of all trades but master of none.
          Wish you best of luck with your life. Here's some articles I find best describing this problem:

          That, plus putting all eggs in one basket is prone to trouble.

        • Tony Karakashian
          January 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

          I've also read articles that 9 out of 10 men prefer the taste of Coke to Pepsi, but that doesn't make me more inclined to like either of them.

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          January 15, 2013 at 3:36 am

          I'm afraid I don't understand what you're trying to say, sir.

  32. Shane Harris
    January 12, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I apologize. I have already thought of all these.