3 Free Utilities that Increase Productivity – Evernote

3 Free Utilities that Increase Productivity – Evernote

Image of Evernote Homepage

Evernote Homepage

This is Part Two of a Three Part Series.

Free is one of my favorite four letter F words. Often, when I hear the word free, I would think of something being less than stellar or having fewer features because it is free. You know the adage, “you get what you pay for,” more often than not holds true. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

I have found three awesome utilities that have changed the way I work and have made me more productive. In this three part series, I’m going to discuss LastPassEvernote, and Workflowy and how they’ve helped me be more productive.

I talked about LastPass in the first post. Today, I’m tackling Evernote.


There are tons of note taking applications available, ranging in price from free to $100 with prices falling everywhere in between. What’s truly magical is finding an app that not only is free, but has a variety of features that separates it from the competition. I discovered Evernote a couple of years ago and it has solidified its place as one of the few apps I use several times a day and lives up to its slogan of allowing me to “remember everything.”

A sample screen of Evernote

A sample screen of Evernote

Evernote is a cross-platform (Apple, iOS, Android, Windows, etc.) note taking application that syncs your notes to the cloud, allowing them to be accessed via the web, your smartphone, or your computer. Evernote allows you to create notebooks that you can use to place individual notes. The notes can be tagged in a way to allow you to find them according to their relevance. Another thing that really separates Evernote is its search capabilities. You can search for notes via tag, notebook, keyword, and more. Yet another great thing that Evernote does is that it uses OCR technology to convert text in images (JPG, GIF, etc.), allowing that text to be searchable. PDF search is available as part of the Premium upgrade, which is discussed a little later in this post.

One of the best things about Evernote is its web clipper, allowing me to capture websites, highlighted text, images, etc., and saving the selected item(s) directly to a notebook of my choosing. Before doing the clipping, I can select the entire page, or certain parts, making it really convenient. I can also assign tags for easier searching before sending the clip off to the cloud.

From a productivity standpoint, Evernote is always there. I can access it from anywhere, which makes it highly convenient. If I have an idea, I can quickly open the app on my phone and jot it down. Or, I could make a voice memo or even take a picture, giving me the ultimate in flexibility. I really enjoy the fact that I can email a note to a dedicated Evernote email address, and have that item put into a specific notebook or apply special tags. You can also tweet items for Evernote to capture. As I said earlier, it’s always there and it’s everywhere.

Evernote is one of those apps that once you use it and keep using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Within the desktop client, I can drag and drop notes to notebooks. I can create links to notes and I can even share individual notes and notebooks with people who don’t have Evernote installed. Click this link to see a sample of a shared note. Yes, that’s what I send my friends and family when the holiday season rolls around. That way if I see something I want, I can add it to the note without having to resend a mass email.

So what else do I use it for? There are thousands of ideas on how to use it. Personally, I use it for researching blog post ideas; keeping track of product manuals; storing receipts and other important documents; clipping recipes I find online; storing my software serial numbers (encrypted), as well as many other things.

Evernote is an incredibly robust program, with lots of awesome features. If you’re new to Evernote, I highly recommend Brett Kelly’s “Evernote Essentials“, which is basically the missing manual for Evernote. Brett details the ins and outs of the program and helps you maximize your productivity using it. The e-book is also a great way to get up to speed quickly and is well worth the modest investment.

Evernote is one of those apps that once you use it and keep using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. While Evernote offers a basic free service, they do offer a premium service that loosens the limits that are in place for free accounts and gives you even more options including the ability to search uploaded PDFs. For $5 per month, or $45 for the year, the premium service offered by Evernote delivers amazing value.

Either way, whether you go free or go pro, you’ll find that Evernote helps improve your productivity and will be a valuable resource to add to your personal productivity toolbox.



Disclosure of Material Connection

Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a modest commission from the sale. These links help support the maintenance of this website.

Please be advised that I only recommend products or services that I have used or tried personally and believe will add value to my readers' lives. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”