Evernote for busy mums

I have Evernote on my iPad and iPhone, and it has completely replaced my filofax. I’ve had the same filofax for 11 years, and as a diehard paper fan, I was sad to see it go. My first editor gave it to me, a furry Givenchy filofax in black. It had the year’s planner (one week on two pages), address book and spare sheets for notes, with pockets to keep business cards. Over the years, I got used to the weight of it in my bag. But since having children, kids’ stuff started filling up my bag and the extra weight of the filofax got tiresome and cumbersome. Could I go without one? Definitely not, what with work meetings, deadlines, kids’ parties and half-term dates to remember.

Three months ago, I decided to give the digital lifestyle a go. Phone in pocket – sometimes iPad in bag – I have a mini office on the go. One of the first apps I downloaded was Evernote. I must admit, I’d signed up for an account when it was still in beta, but very quickly abandoned it as I retreated back to the safety of my filofax. This time round, I still had no idea how to use it but made a firm committed to fill it up with notes. As my note multiplied, Evernote came into its own.

1. Manage multiple projects
I’ve created stacks – groups of notebooks. One for Liberty (whom I work for), freelance writing, home & family and The Daily Mum. Notebooks within each stack are assigned a title. For example, expenses accumulated from my freelance writing. The web clipper tool is also essential for collecting URLs that are relevant to each project.
2. To-do list
You can create a list with checkboxes. But you can’t file away completed tasks. Earlier this week, I found Nozbe, which seems to answer all my needs of a to-do list. It syncs to Evernote, but there seems to be a bug in the app as it doesn’t pull through the Evernote notes. More on Nozbe another time.
3. Expenses tracking
I take pictures of my receipts and assign them to a notebook. Before, I used to keep my receipts in my purse. Pieces of paper everywhere; what a nightmare.
4. Visual notebook
When I want to keep hold of a beautiful (print) magazine layout for work reasons, I take a picture of it instead of ripping out the pages or saving the magazine. No more piles of old magazines that I only half want. Disclaimer here: I do still collect whole issues which have blown me away.
5. Take notes on the go
‘Nuff said. I do still use a Moleskine graph paper notebook for jotting things down and I have a Liberty diary. There’s nothing like the sensation of writing on paper. it’s good to keep some things analogue.
6. Evernote hello
iPhone only, photograph business cards and store them in Evernote. No need for a rolodex (although I am partial to them).
7. Zite
Zite is one of the platforms I use for reading up on news, lifestyle, digital culture and everything else. If I want to reference one of the features for my projects, then I can save it to an Evernote notebook.

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