In my previous post on Collection for tracking your goals in Evernote, I started bringing together all my clutter and also setting up the bare bones of a Getting things done (GTD) system to organize and review your goals in Evernote. In today’s post we’re going to look at the best ways to capture all the information you’re going to be using into Evernote.
At a high level there a few different capture methods for Evernote:
The Evernote Web site
Fully featured webspace that allows you to capture and organize your notes, images pdf’s and most anything else you can think of in Evernote.
The Evernote Desktop application
This app gives you all the power of the web application but allows you to use it offline. In addition to this the desktop app comes with a screenshot application that allows you to select the area you’d like to capture at the time of capture.
Log in to Evernote on your mobile phone and get access to all of your notes on the go. You’ll also be able to capture text notes from your phone to your Evernote notebooks.
Evernote mobile apps
There are mobile apps for windows mobile and the iPhone that give you access to the power of the Evernote desktop application on your phone.
Evernote on Twitter
Set up twitter on your Evernote Profile and then send a tweet to @myen and the tweet will be added to your evernote notes.
Evernote Via Email
Send an email to your evernote email address found in your account settings and the email will be added to your notes.
Now with all of this in mind, how do we get all of the information that we’re going to be using to achieve and track our goals into evernote? Be creative. The beauty of Evernote for me is how open ended it is to use. Getting the information in is up to you and your preferences.
So if you you’ve been with me since my collection post, you’ll have a nice meaty pile of:
- Magazines and Articles
- Blogs and websites
Not all of these are going to fit neatly in Evernote so let’s look at some creative ways of storing all our stuff in one convenient place.
Scanning a book into Evernote is well, I would imagine, painful. If you absolutely want to keep that book in Evernote though here’s what I suggest.
- Buy the Ebook
- That pretty much explains itself go forth buy it and stick it evernote as a note in pdf format
- There are also lots of great free writing resources in Project Gutenberg
- Scan or take a picture of the contents
- Evernote’s OCR means that text in pictures is searchable so take a picture of the contents page and when you search for information in your notebooks it will search the text in your contents page picture and voila you’ll know what book to go look in at a high level.
- Scan or take pictures of the important bits
- Some books are more useful than others and often there are only a few useful parts to a book. Scan or take a picture of those and save them as a note in Evernote
- Write Chapter summaries
- This involves some work on your part, but will solidify your memory and understanding of the book while you read it and makes a great reference which you can save in evernote. This will help you find the information you need quickly without having to go through lots of different sources.
Magazines are tricky too, one of my other hobbies is digital art. As result I have about 2 tons of digital art magazines lying around the house. Now when I want to draw a hand, and remember that I saw a great tutorial on that, well I have a bit of a problem. If I’m lucky It’ll be on the cover of the magazine, otherwise I’ll be paging through every magazine I think it might be in.
My suggestions are similar to those for books:
- Find it electronically
- Magazines are slowly becoming available online it might be a good idea to check if your favourite magazine has an online version
- Scan it
- Scanning one of the thinner magazines may not be too daunting a task and could save you hours in the long run, still I wouldn’t reccomend it in every instance
- A good compromise may be to only scan the tutorials or the features or whatever content will become a reference for you.
- Scan or Take a picture of the contents
- Evernote’s OCR means that text in pictures is searchable so take a picture of the contents page and when you search for information in your notebooks it will search the text in your contents page picture and there you go, you’ll know what magazine to look in.
Went on a course got some great notes, scan it and stick it in Evernote. If the notes are very comprehensive break it up into chapters, it’ll make managing the information easier. Use tags to make the information meaningful.
Blogs and websites
Ok blogs are in your feed reader. It’s pretty easy to just favourite them, and go pull them out when you need it. Problem with that? Well I (very) often can’t remember where I read something. I mean I know I want to know about character development and I know I read something great about it. I have no clue whether I read it on a blog, in a book a magazine or on a normal website. This is ultimately why storing all your information in one place is so valuable. It gives you that peace of mind when you search, there’s no need to have to remember anything if it’s all in your system of collection. So start saving anything you might need in the future to Evernote and make sure to use the tags, to help keep similar items together.
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