If you’re like most solopreneurs, you don’t have your best ideas when you’re at your computer. Creative ideas for your online business usually come when you least expect them… when you’re shopping, chatting with a friend over coffee, taking a shower, commuting to work, and so on.
And isn’t it infuriating when you later remember that you had a brilliant idea for blogging or marketing your website while running errands, but you just cannot remember the details?
Get into the habit of always recording an idea as soon as you possibly can. Grab it while it’s hot!
Not sure how to organize your business ideas effectively? There are many solutions available to record your ideas on the spot, wherever you are.
One of the most popular is Evernote. It’s an app that combines note taking, scheduling, bookmarking, and other features into a digital notebook you can access from anywhere.
Not only is Evernote available for all imaginable platforms, but notes that you create and collect automatically sync between your devices. Snap a picture on your phone and access it on your computer when you return to the office.
Evernote offers three versions…
- Basic (free)
- Premium ($7.99/month)
- Business ($14.99/user/month — minimum 2 users)
The free version should be sufficient for most users. The paid versions allow for more upload space, offline access and several additional functions. You can start out with the free version and upgrade at any time.
To create your free account, sign up here at the Evernote Registration page.
Using Evernote’s Web Interface
While not the most convenient way to create and access your notes, the advantage of the web interface is that it’s available on any computer in any browser connected to the internet. To sign into your account, go here.
In addition to allowing you to create and manage your notes, the web interface also provides links to all other available applications.
Using Evernote’s Windows and Mac Applications
For larger and complex notes that you create while in front of your computer, use the Windows or Mac application. Get the Mac application by searching for Evernote in the App Store. The Windows application is available here.
The Mac and PC applications offer the richest functionality of all the Evernote apps, especially for searching, tagging, and organizing your notes, as well as creating large and complex notes.
This is where you will most likely reap the results of your information sleuthing.
Tag your notes, organize them into notebooks, and search their content. Evernote even indexes text in images, so if you snap a picture of a page of text, it becomes searchable.
To illustrate, I took a photo of my newspaper and searched for a word on the front page. Not only does Evernote find the photo note, it even highlights where on the page the word is used…
Using Evernote’s Browser Extensions
Download Evernote’s Web Clipper as an extension in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. The Web Clipper allows you to quickly create notes while browsing the Web.
Evernote for Smart Phones
An Evernote app is available for iOS and Android devices. Take notes on the go, snap a picture, record a voice memo. Allow your phone to auto-tag the note with your location. Then access it later from your computer.
Let’s say you’re writing a review of a new restaurant that you discovered…
Take a picture of your dish then snap a photo of the menu (the text of which will be digitized by Evernote). Add a few notes and allow your phone to tag the note.
When you return home to write the review, access all that information from the Evernote application.
Evernote Business Templates
Looking for small business organization ideas? Try Evernote’s business templates. There’s a prefab template for just about anything you need for your small business, including (but not limited to):
- Meeting notes
- Sales contracts
- Meeting agendas
- Project overviews
- Project budget planning
- Marketing Plans
Other Options for Adding Notes
Evernote offers more quick and easy options to add a note…
A friend sent you an email that sparked an idea? Forward it to your Evernote email address (you’ll find it in your account settings) with a couple of comments.
You can even send Evernote a Tweet or a text message (SMS) to create a brief note.
Evernote: An Easier Way to Keep Track of Ideas
Use Evernote as the single “bucket” to collect all your notes and ideas, wherever you have them.
With a waterproof smartphone, you can even catch them in the shower!
How are you using Evernote? Please share your productivity tools and tips for working from home in the comments.
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