Technology Tools and How I Use Them (Part 1)

There are a ton of tools that will help you track stuff, accomplish stuff, and organize stuff. But for most of us, tools mean nothing.

Tools have the potential to be helpful helpful, but it’s how you use them that really makes the difference. Said another way, the existence of tools doesn’t build anything. So with that as a backdrop, here are three of my primary technology tools that help me stay organized and get things done.

First up…Evernote.

Use Evernote to capture and save anything

I use Evernote to capture notes and ideas, and the free service keeps all of my notes in sync. Evernote lets you capture anything, access it anywhere, and find things fast. Evernote is my digital filing cabinet – I don’t use it for tasks but to save anything I find interesting. Here’s how I set it up and use it on a daily basis.

  1. I use Evernote on my computer and it syncs with all of my IOS devices. I can access and add info from anywhere.
  2. I have about 10 “notebooks” in Evernote – these are like folders. I have a folder for blog ideas and blog posts, a folder for work stuff, and a folder for Will You Give Me a Dollar. I have a folder for personal stuff as well.
  3. I created a notebook called !Inbox. (The ! keeps it at the top of the list.) Every new note goes into this notebook by default.
  4. Once a week, I go through everything I clipped into my Evernote Inbox, assign it a few tags and move it to the proper folder.
  5. I use keyboard shortcuts to get things into Evernote. If I read a blog post I want to save, I simply highlight the text and hit CMD-C to copy it. Then I hit CTRL-CMD-V to open up a new note and automatically paste the text.
  6. I pay $5 a month for the upgraded service, which allows me to save PDF and Word files in Evernote.
  7. When you set up Evernote, you can create a custom email address. Simply forward anything to this email address and it will appear in your Evernote inbox.
  8. I purchased a Doxie scanner and it scans documents (bills, invoices, and important papers) directly into Evernote. I even scan pictures and school assignments from my kids (before throwing them away….shhhh!)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  This resource from Brett Kelly is an absolute must read for Evernote users or if you’re thinking about making this part of your system.

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