Tips for Using Evernote at Home
Last week I wrote about how Evernote makes it easy to take, store, and access notes at work, but Evernote is also great for keeping things in your personal life organized! Here’s a quick refresher about how Evernote works:
The uses for Evernote are endless, but I want to share some of my favorites with you:
This was one of my BEST parenting ideas ever! Whenever we are shopping and the kids see something they like, I whip out my phone, open up my Evernote app, and search for their note in my "Gifts" notebook. I just type in the name of the store we are at and then insert a photo of the item they like (I try to include the price in the photo if possible.) This takes less than a minute, but saves me SO much time — time spent listening to kid-whining and time spent trying to make up a Christmas or Birthday list for grandparents!
I keep a note for each person in my family and for close friends as well as a general one for other friends. If I’m online and see a cool gift idea, I sometimes paste the URL in my note. I also keep a note like this for myself — just in case my husband ever needs a good gift idea for me!
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time remembering specifics about products I like especially if they are items I don’t buy very often. I used to have to guess what color of makeup I wore, what fabric softener scent I liked, and what type of cat litter worked best whenever it was time to restock.
I created a note for each shopping category with a picture of the product including any details like color, scent, size, type, etc. For example, I added a "Makeup" note with a photo of the type of pressed powder I like. I have a photo of the front and back so I can see the product name and the color information. In this note I have a picture or pictures of every type of makeup I like — eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, concealer, foundation, powder, lip color — I also may include the name of the best store to find each item and even record what a good price is.
Another note is titled "Cleaning/Household Products" where I include things that my family has a certain brand preference about like laundry detergent. I also have a note called "Clothes" where I record current sizes for each family member (my kids’ feet grow so fast, I can never remember the sizes.)
When you are shopping for home improvement projects, Evernote is very handy to store options so you can easily compare items that are at different stores all in one spot. Another great tip is to snap a photo of the measurements you wrote down so that when you’re at the store, you can make sure the item you want to purchase will fit in your space. When we were remodeling our kitchen, I must have counted how many of each type of cabinet handle we needed 20 times and then couldn’t remember when I was at the store. I finally got smart and took a picture of it, and put it in Evernote so it was easy to locate and accessible to me when I was ready for it. Keeping photos like these in Evernote is better than just in your phone’s photo app because Evernote is searchable.
Keeping track of all the details of every family members’ activities is no small feat, so I use Evernote as a cheat sheet! Many of you probably take photos of sports schedules or school field trip info, but how easy is it to find when you need it? Insert those photos into an Evernote note and you can easily find what you need when you need it! If the school emails you a PDF document, you can even insert that into a note. The things I access most in this category are the school calendar and sports schedules.
I also have a note that lists the times that my kids have lunch at school, so if I ever happen to be home and free during that time and want to go have lunch with them, I don’t have to call the school to find out what time they eat. I save the monthly school lunch menu in a note instead of printing it out or having to look it up on the website or in my email every time the kids want to know what’s for lunch.
Documents and Records
When you’re on the go, sometimes you are asked for information that you don’t typically carry with you or have memorized. For example, one time I rented a car and had the company pick me up, but when I got to their office to rent the vehicle, they required my car insurance information. Of course my insurance card was safely in my glove box in my car which wasn’t with me! After that experience, I took a picture of both of our vehicle’s insurance information that I can access anywhere I have an internet or cell phone connection.
I do the same thing for health insurance cards in case I’m in a situation where someone in the family needs medical care and I don’t have the insurance information with me. I also keep a "Medical" note with copies of vision prescriptions, names of medicines we take, things I want to talk to the doctor about at the next visit. I created a note to log my blood pressure for several days so that it was very easy to find the next time I went to the doctor. Let's face it, we are rarely without our phones these days, so having an app with critical information makes life easier.
I think it’s helpful to keep records of household purchases in case you need to know how old something is, where you purchased an item, or what style or color you used last time. You can take pictures of receipts, labels, or item numbers. Think about how easy that would make it to purchase matching paint or siding for your next big project!
When you’re working on a home improvement project, make a note or notebook for any pertinent information. Keep the business card information and estimate from the contractor in a note so it’s easy to find next time you need to refer to it.
I prefer to keep my work and personal Evernote accounts separate, but if you would like to have them in the same account, you could easily create a "Work" and a "Personal" stack and have several notebooks in each to keep them separate.
What I’ve shared likely just scratches the surface of what you could use Evernote for. It’s such a flexible tool, and the basic features are FREE! The possibilities are endless, and when you use a combination of the desktop, online and mobile app version, you can access your notes anywhere!
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