How I Use Evernote

I think Evernote should be in everyone's toolkit. Sometimes people just need to know how a product can work for them. With Evernote's flexibility it can fill a role in almost any situation. Here's how I use it:

Illustrations

Evernote is the speaker’s [preacher’s, minister’s, storyteller’s] friend. As soon as I started using Evernote, I was tipped off on the idea of using it to remember stories and illustrations.


Anytime I think of a story, be it from my childhood or about a friend, I open Evernote and write it down. It doesn’t have to be the story word for word, just enough to jog my memory of it the next time I see it. How much needs to be written will vary person to person.

Sometimes, I just email these illustrations to Evernote depending on where I am. The accessibility makes it great.

In the app, whether on my phone or mac, I can tag the illustration with relevant keywords and place it in my “Illustrations” notebook. If I don’t want to overwhelm my note with tags, I can just add words to the end of the note that are relevant and search for them later. Yes, every word in Evernote is searchable. So whether I tag it, or just write the “tag” in the note, I’ll be able to find it by searching.

Other places my illustrations come from:

Online: I can use the “Clip to Evernote” bookmarklet.

Hearing other people speak: I’ve been known to pull out my phone during sermons to jot down a good story.

Watching movies: movies are stories themselves and are great for getting your point across.

Life: The best illustrations come from my own life and watching/learning from others. Sometimes I do things that trigger certain memories and I try to take note of these.

After compiling these in Evernote, it allows me to access them quickly. When I know what topic I’m speaking on, I can run a search in Evernote or just scroll through my illustrations and find that perfect story to drive my point home.

Lessons

Believe it or not, I keep a digital copy of all the classes, lessons, sermons I teach. Alright, so it’s not that hard to believe this day and age.

I started out using Google Docsexclusively for all of this. While Google Docs has improved as of late, I got frustrated with not being able to find things as easily and quickly as I wanted.

This is where Evernote came in.


I now keep all of my lessons in Evernote. It’s great for compiling notes on topics and combining the information to teach.

My favorite part is that the text in pictures can be searched. Sometimes I write a lesson on paper. It’s time consuming to then retype these lessons so that I can have a digital copy. Instead of retyping them, I simply take a picture and email it to Evernote. From there I can tag it just like my illustrations and put it in the “Lessons” notebook.

On top of all this, I run across great ideas online perusing the blogosphere. When I see lessons and games, I highlight the text that I want in Evernote and then click on the bookmarklet. What’s great about this is that Evernote automatically takes note of the source. This way, down the road, I can see where I got the game or lesson from and give credit where credit is due.

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