As a small business, your primary focus is getting as much done as possible with limited resources. You’re challenged with team members wearing multiple hats on multiple projects, travel schedules requiring remote meetings, and keeping track of the incessant thoughts and ideas that pop up when least expected.
Sophisticated project management tools may help your plight, but they can also overcomplicate simpler tasks. If you need a middle of the road, low maintenance, travel with you system, you should take Evernote for a spin.
The web, desktop, and mobile application can be repurposed for just about any task, used to collaborate with team members, and a great way to ensure that the chaotic thoughts in your brain make their way into digitally recoverable assets.
At its core, Evernote is just a note taking application. When getting started with the service, think of it as a replacement mechanism for capturing any and all notes, experiences, and passing thoughts.
Use one of the mobile applications to record audio notes while driving, use Evernote mobile to take a picture of a whiteboard exercise from a meeting, or simply write out your notes as you normally would electronically, or by hand (and snap a photo of that).
With any of your audio, text, and photo notes, you can tag them, save them to notebooks, edit them later, access them from any end point, and use the full-text search, which even comes equipped with handwriting recognition and digital ink technology, to scan the entire text within your photos and quickly find those notes again.
Pick a Platform
Evernote applications are available for your browser, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Windows Mobile devices. The beauty is that with your Evernote account you can sync your notes and notebooks across all the platforms you're using.
You can use the desktop application for sophisticated note-taking while at work or home (you can even drag and drop a myriad of file types into the app), the web notebook to peruse and jot down notes when you’re on another computer, the web clipper to grab photos and text from articles on the web to save as notes, and a mobile app to take photo and audio location-aware notes on the run. All your notes, regardless of what device you use, are synced to your account for unlimited note access via any end point.
If collaboration is key, you can publish specific notebooks to the web and share them with team members, who you can grant with read and/or write privileges. This means that should you be working to build a research notebook around a client project, you can then publish that notebook, and share it with colleagues who don't have Evernote accounts.
Shared notebooks are living entities, so any edits you make to your notes are synced with the shared notebook, and all parties will have access to the latest version at all times.
Evernote's feature set is extensive, and this post barely scratches the surface of what you can use the application to accomplish. You can, however, use these examples of Evernote for your everyday business life to inspire your own creative ideas, and achieve a more organized work life.
The Board Meeting: Forget trying to draw what you see on the whiteboard, that's a waste of your time. Whiteboarding sessions can be captured for eternity by using your mobile device to snap and save a photo to Evernote's mobile application. Don't worry; all that doodling on the whiteboard is 100% searchable.
Travel Itineraries: Your flight, meeting, and travel itineraries may get lost in your email inbox, but if you forward them to Evernote (using your custom Evernote email address), and save them to their own notebook, you'll have a convenient compartment for quick access while on the run. Plus, if something pops up, use the mobile app to record an audio reminder, tag it, and save it to your travel notebook.
Electronic Business Cards: There are a myriad of ways that you can exchange your business information electronically, but most of the time those you meet and greet just want to hand you their business card. Snap a photo of it with your mobile device, save it to the Evernote app, and recycle that card.
Universal Access to PDFs: All Evernote clients can display PDFs, which means you can travel with your PDFs instantly accessible and viewable from any Evernote application.
For more uses of Evernote, Guy Kawasaki offers his tips in his article.