Bram’s toolbox: Evernote

Let’s kick off this relaunch of my blog with a series: Bram’s toolbox. It’s a simple concept: I introduce a tool/application that I’ve been using for a while and that makes me happy while I use it.

Today’s tool of choice: Evernote – an application to manage notes.

When I started using this application a few months ago, I instantly liked it. I’ve been using it ever since, stockpiling notes like a maniac. I’ve used a lot of other approaches for managing my notes in the past, and they all sucked. But this just feels right.

My evernote account currently holds more than 500 notes. This is a massive amount of information that would be hard to manage with most other tools. Can you imagine working with 500+ word docs organized in folders?

Some of the stuff I store in it:

  • Interesting things I read about programming. And that’s a lot of content!
  • Interesting articles about various subjects (news, history, health, lifehacking,…)
  • Guides to games I play
  • Guitar tabs
  • Some really funny pictures
  • Recipes
  • My own ‘sysadmin’ notes about configuring  PCs, smartphones and networks
  • Some blogpost drafts
  • Small code snippets
  • Inspirational stuff, like interior designs and website designs
  • My own notes about programming, e.g. libraries I used, tricks, procedures,…
  • Memories of nice moments (picture + quick notes)
  • Interesting tweets
  • General notes about… Anything
  • Inspirational/funny quotes

What I really like about evernote:

  • The web clipper. So much better than bookmarks, because… It saves the html and images for eternity.
  • The free account, which I use, is good enough. I’ve never hit any limits so far.
  • It just works
  • Store massive amounts of information without thinking about ‘files’
  • Easy searching, tagging etc.
  • Organize stuff YOUR way. The application doesn’t get in your way
  • Don’t waste time creating ‘documents’ with a ‘layout’ in a ‘folder’ when all you want to do is dump text and hit ctrl + s

Things I don’t do in evernote:

  • Everything that involves dates (that stuff gets messy fast, and belongs on my google calendar)
  • Overviews of stuff I’m currently working on, todo lists, goals I need to keep track off etc => those things go in Trello, which is another great app that I will feature in this series.
  • Links to websites I visit regularly. That’s what bookmarks are for.

Anyway, hopefully this post helps someone. I personally know some chaotic bookmark-hoarders who would certainly benefit from using Evernote. 🙂

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any tools I promote in this series. I don’t get any money or perks.