For many people, nothing says Spring like Spring cleaning– breathing new life into our homes by shining things up, organizing and just generally getting ready to enjoy those long, lazy days of summer. This year I thought I’d share some tips on how I use Evernote to organize and simplify Spring cleaning both in my home and office.
I became an Evernote Certified Consultant a few years ago because I am such a huge fan of this platform. Apparently I am not alone in my appreciation for this app and as of last year 5 billion notes had been saved in the platform from 220 million registered users (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Evernote, it’s a super versatile, feature-packed, multi-platform application that allows you to create a personized “digital filing cabinet” to store whatever you want saved to access at a later time. You can collect information via the web, email, image capture, dictation or direct written input. It stores audio files, documents and images and is a great place to keep anything whether it is a recipe, invoice, drivers licence or wine that you love. The beauty of this program is that it can serve your personal and business needs alike.
Tim Ferriss, lifestyle guru and best selling author, calls Evernote his external brain and uses it daily for saving webpages, for offline reading, decluttering paper from the house, and keeping a to-do list. His admiration for the platform has led him to claim that it’s like a Swiss Army Knife that can be used for tracking and organizing almost anything. I have to admit, I agree with him. Evernote is an important tool for helping me with all aspects of my personal and work life so I’ve put together a list of ideas on how I use Evernote to keep me organized as I embark upon my Spring cleaning tasks.
Even for the most diehard advocates of going paperless, paper still seems to accumulate. The problem is that although I may be going paperless, much of the rest of the world still runs on paper. My office team and I do our best to stay current but spring is the annual time for us to scan in paper that we may have either ignored or no longer need to retain in hard copy. Scanning and storing your documents in Evernote will keep your paperwork impeccably organized and accessible whenever you need them, which just makes life easier.
Saving Owner Manuals
I used to have a shelf in my closet that was full of bulky, rarely used user manuals, but those days are gone. Now when we purchase a new appliance, we go online and download the product manual and care instructions– saving them in an Evernote folder means they’re available at the touch of a button, and I have more shelf space in my closet.
Nothing is more useful for spring cleaning than having a detailed checklist. With Evernote, you can develop and save a cleaning and maintenance checklist that can be used year-round. The best part is that you can also set reminders on the Evernote Calendar so scheduling tasks into the future is quick and easy.
How often have you come across and article either in a newspaper or online that contains some brilliant tip on how to clean, care for or protect something you own? While you may not have an immediate need for the information, you know you will in the future–for example the next time you stain your favorite dress, you’ll kick yourself for not saving that article on how to remove stains from anything. With Evernote at your fingertips, you can save it all! It’s the ideal place to either send a link to an online article or website or to scan a page from a magazine directly from your phone using the Scannable app. This way, all those juicy tidbits of information are saved in your Evernote account for future reference.
Setting Reminders for Infrequent Tasks
In every household there are certain tasks that we only need to do once or twice per year, and there can be a tendency to forget details such as that great process we used last time or things that didn’t work out so well for us.
I’ve tackled this by setting up a ‘How to’ notebook in Evernote to remind myself and others in my household how I like specific things to be stored and cared for. For example, wardrobes and household items may need to be repositioned and seasonally relocated, as well as treated annually or seasonally. Photos or video clips of how you want things done can simply be sent to your Evernote account for easy retrieval to ensure consistency and standardization from year to year.
One of the best things about Evernote is the fact that it integrates seamlessly with so many other platforms. For example, since Evernote is the perfect place to jot down reminders and Google Calendar helps me keep track of my schedule, I set up a Zapier integration that will create a Google Calendar event whenever I set up a reminder with a due date in Evernote.
This helps me to ensure that everything is right there in my Google calendar, so I never miss a detail. Another “Zap” (as they are called), is linking Pinterest to Evernote – which I use to help find tips on an endless list of subjects like decorating, entertaining, cleaning or organizing.
There’s so much great information out there on the Internet, and once you come across ideas that you really love, you want to hang onto it. Connecting your Pinterest and Evernote accounts allows you to save the contents of a new pin directly into Evernote.
One of the best things about Evernote is also the ability to format your notes in ways that make it easy to stay organized– for example, embedding checklists or spreadsheets into a written document and adding additional notes or comments into files containing saved documents.
The search functionality and text recognition on the platform is also amazing– you can actually search through filed PDFs and Evernote will scan them all for the specific search words you typed in – This is a feature that isn’t available on many other platforms!
So if you’re looking for the ultimate program to help keep your life organized during spring cleaning and beyond, it’s definitely worth giving Evernote a try. Setting up an account is quick and easy with their intuitive sign-up form, and using the app is so simple – the UI design is a dream. To get started, just go to Evernote, sign up for free or if you’re ready, select a more robust membership to best suits your needs and check it out. Let us know in the comments how you do!
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