Evernote is a simple yet powerful tool that you can use to organise your business. There are many complex – and costly – tools out there that you can use to do the same things that you can do with Evernote for free, or at much better value with their premium plan.
I love Evernote, and could gush about it for ages. I have been using Evernote for both personal and business since 2008. Here are some ideas you can use to utilise Evernote in your small business.
Evernote In Business
Evernote is a great tool for organising information, and later searching for that information. You can access it on most devices, from the web, to dedicated software for windows and mac, as well as versions for tablets and mobile phones. It is easy to save webpages, pdfs, and images, for example, and your account syncs so no matter where you are or what device you have with you, you will always have your information.
Let’s explore some of the ways I personally have used Evernote in my business.
Keeping Track Of Accounts
There are many tools to keep track of your accounts, but I personally love using Evernote for this purpose.
I scan in my receipts and keep them in a notebook. You can take a photo of receipts to make them searchable within free accounts (pdf are only searchable with premium accounts). Personally I like to scan in my receipts, as I don’t have many purchases within my business that are from brick and mortar stores that produce paper receipts. I put my receipts in a (physical) folder which I then take out about once a week to scan them into my computer.
Use Shoeboxed to scan in receipts, bills, business cards and more. It’ll save you time scanning things yourself.
However, if I was to grow my business larger, or just increase my purchases, I would consider getting a Shoeboxed account – this service scans in the receipts for you, and it can also automatically send the scanned documents to your Evernote account.
Shoeboxed also can send them to your accounting package (we use Xero) – but this isn’t about Shoeboxed. Just make a mental note for the rest of this article – if the thought of scanning sends you bonkers, combine Shoeboxed and Evernote for the ultimate super awesome combination.
Back on topic – I also forward electronic receipts from my email, and attach pdf receipts from online purchases.
You can also save bills into Evernote. I find it easy to see what bills need to be paid when. When I have paid them, I save in the receipt from my online banking to show that it has been paid.
- Save receipts in Evernote.
- Save bills in Evernote.
Contact Logs & Networking
If you have a bad memory, or if communicating with people is a part of your business (and in which business is it not?), use Evernote to track your communications.
One way to do this is to create a new note for every person you interact with in your business. You could have a scanned in business card, so whenever you need their contact details you can search for their name. You can make a note of when and where you met, and any other little details you wish to record – what you discussed for instance. Or perhaps note down that John Smith has a daughter who is five years old – so when you next talk to John, he will be impressed you remember the little details and will be more likely to have a favourable impression of you. (And for visual people – add a photo of the person to jog your memory of who they are!)
You can also create a communication log in each profile you create. In Evernote you can create tables easily.
Apart from jogging your memory, communication logs can be a valuable process in your company to evaluate your procedures. How long do you spend communicating with people? Can you make it more efficient? Are your communication methods converting potential clients?
Communication logs can also be valuable in solving disputes, so try to keep a thorough record of your interactions.
You can forward emails from people into your Evernote account. You could create a tag for that person, or you could merge notes together to have all the person’s information in one note. To merge, use the control key and click to select the notes you wish to merge, then click on the “merge” button that appears.
Evernote makes it easy to search through emails and other correspondence so you can see at a glance your interactions with everyone.
- Create profiles for people important to your business
- Save business cards into Evernote.
- Create a communication log
- Forward emails
Business Ideas and Inspiration
Are you always writing ideas down on scraps of paper, and then losing that piece of paper? Or maybe you are researching something for your business but have no easy way to organise your research.
Evernote makes it easy for you to organise your ideas and inspirations. I have a notebook called “Inspiration” where I take a screen shot of websites that I like elements of. (Handy hint – Skitch is a free program that does screen capture, is easy to add notations, and then can upload automatically to Evernote.)
I have other notebooks where I save ideas for my business, and how-tos from other websites of things I would like to implement.
Don’t forget to take photos of your paper scraps and post it notes to send directly to Evernote – remember images are searchable!
- Take photos of paper notes
- Create a notebook for your inspirations
Task and Project Management
From right within Evernote you can create your own to do lists and other checklists.
For projects, you can create Notebooks dedicated to each project, or use tags. You are able to share whole notebooks or just share individual notes.
For project meetings, take a photo of the whiteboard and save that to Evernote, so you don’t have to add extra notes yourself. Remember, text in photos are searchable within Evernote.
- Create checklists
- Share project notebooks
- Take photos of whiteboards
Save your contracts, terms and conditions, your business templates, etc etc – and because Evernote timestamps creation, you can see when you entered that document into Evernote. Make a new note and save your revisions. That way if you need to, you can see past versions of your documents.
Another thing you can do is save the serial numbers and model numbers of your equipment and software. That way, when you have the repair guy on the phone you don’t have to go hunting around to see what the model of your air conditioner is.
- Save templates and documents related to your business
- Serial & model no.s of equipment and software
Evernote For Personal Use
Here is a bonus section with some ways I use Evernote in my personal life – after all if you are organised in your personal life you are more likely to be organised in your professional life as well!
- Creating Shopping Lists
- Travel Plans
- Home Improvement inspiration and DIY instructions
- Pets – records of shots and vet visits
Get Evernote Now!
I hope I have provided some ideas of how to use Evernote in business. If you don’t have Evernote yet, you can get it from Evernote.com. If you would like more ideas on how you can improve your business with online tools, check out our digital strategies of our blog, or contact us for solutions specific to your business.
Let me know in the comments below how you use Evernote!