13 Evernote tips for businesspeople

A baker's dozen of cool, offbeat and just-plain-useful Evernote productivity hacks.

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Evernote Tips, Tricks and Hacks

You can use the popular note-taking service Evernote to plan a film shoot, keep track of job candidates or build your own stock image library, among other things. Evernote and its apps sync across multiple devices and integrate with lots of other third-party software. In other words, the possibilities with Evernote are limited only by your imagination. Here are 13 cool, offbeat and just-plain-useful Evernote productivity hacks, all of which are recommended by a set of businesspeople that regularly use them to increase their personal productivity.

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Use Evernote to Track Job Candidates

Harold Mann, president of Mann Consulting, uses Evernote to keep track of job candidates. When considering applicants, Mann says he adds information and pictures from their LinkedIn profiles to Evernote, which makes it easy to tell who's who during the hiring process. Mann also adds notes to candidates' Evernote entries. He does have one complaint: The "copy to Evernote" feature isn't ubiquitous, and it sometimes requires manual entry, though Mann says the ability to email information directly to your Evernote account is "very cool."

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Keep a Record of Where You Go With Evernote

Dan Nainan, a comedian, actor and voiceover artist, connects the iOS PlaceMe app to Evernote to automatically track his travels and create a record of his whereabouts in an Evernote notebook. Nainan frequently travels internationally for work, and he says it's helpful to have that record in case "there's any question that comes up about a flight I took;" in case he needs proof to receive frequent flyer mileage credit; or if he "was in a particular place at a particular time and was incorrectly charged for a toll in a rental car." Nainan also writes down all his jokes in Evernote so they're accessible wherever he has Internet access.

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Use Evernote to Clean Out Your Inbox

Evernote is "the only way I can slay the mythical 'inbox zero' dragon," says Doyle Albee, president of Metzger Albee Public Relations. "Instead of leaving email sitting in my inbox, I answer it, delete it or put it in Evernote with a reminder for the appropriate day to take action. Since Evernote takes all the attachments, too, it's easy to remember what to do several days later. Plus, my email inbox doesn't get full and push messages down to the point where they're forgotten or overlooked." Albee says he's been using Evernote in this way for about a year and is pleased with the results. Gmail also has some great plug-ins for email management, according to Albee, though he uses EverMail for Apple's Mac OS X Mail app.

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Keep an Eye on the Competition With Evernote

Ryan Fahey, inbound marketing specialist with InfoSec Institute, tracks and archives email from competitors in Evernote. Fahey creates a Gmail account specifically for each competitor he wants to track and uses that email address to subscribe to a competitor's mailing list. From there, he sets up Gmail filters to automatically archive incoming messages and mark them as read. He also uses a "recipe" from the Web service If This Then That (IFTTT) to automatically generate a new Evernote note in a designated notebook for each archived message. "This allows me to track what our competitors are doing in terms of email marketing and adjust our strategy accordingly," Fahey says.

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Use Evernote to Log Phone Calls

Nik Kumar, cofounder of Tribeca Mobile, says his company developed a mobile app that integrates with Evernote, called CallSmart. During, or right after, a phone call, the app displays a small window that gives users the option to take notes about a call and quickly capture thoughts on what was said, as well as create task lists and reminders. CallSmart notes are automatically saved to Evernote.

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Manage a Film Shoot With Evernote

C.J. Johnson, a filmmaker and head of marketing for Buddytruk, used Evernote in all of the production phases in his short science-fiction film "Genesis". "Because of our small budget, Evernote was perfect to use for planning," Johnson says. "From reading scripts to drafting storyboards to creating checklists of items needed for production, I used every aspect of Evernote for my film." Evernote helped Johnson keep his ideas and notes organized and gave him access to shot lists and script notes using his iOS devices. "I didn't have to use Excel, Word or any other program," he says. "I could keep everything in one place."

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Use Evernote to Share One-on-One Meeting Notes

Evernote is an ideal tool for creating, organizing and sharing notes related to weekly one-on-one meetings with team members, according to Jay Goldman, managing director, Klick Health and Sensei Labs, and coauthor, The Decoded Company. Goldman created a shared notebook for team members, which includes a note template. The template has a bulleted list of meeting discussion topics, such as updates from the past week, what's on tap for the current week, potential roadblocks or obstacles, goals, issues and feedback. Each week, Goldman and team members create new notes based on the template for each of their individual one-on-one meetings. The meeting-note idea was eventually integrated into the company's Intranet, which was ranked one of the world's top Intranets by Nielsen Norman Group.

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Organize a 'Fire Hose of Information' With Evernote

Jonathon Knepper, account manager, Greenlane Search Marketing, uses Evernote to organize "a fire hose of information" that's particular to his clients. Knepper forwards alerts, notifications, RSS feed updates, tweets, Help-a-Reporter-Out queries, social media analytics (from Talkwalker) and other content to the appropriate Evernote notebooks using Greenlane's Evernote email address or through an IFTTT recipe. Having all this information in one central location makes it easy to aggregate and share relevant updates with clients, Knepper says, though initial setup can be time consuming.

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Use Evernote to Create Stock Image Libraries

Usable Tech Co. CEO Lindsey C. Holmes, an Evernote Business Certified Consultant, frequently uses images in her digital marketing work. Thanks to Evernote, Holmes has amassed a large collection of stock images, audio files, photos and other content. Holmes tagged each element with keywords so they're easy to find and shares the content with team members, so they can easily add them to collateral they're creating for clients. Holmes also uses Expensify, which integrates with Evernote, to organize receipts and expense reports, and Evernote's recently added Work Chat feature, to communicate with clients about shared notebooks.

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Access Frequently Needed Notes With Evernote

Scott J. Peterson, cofounder of The Velo Project and an Evernote Business Certified Consultant, leads a board of directors. Peterson says he often needs to access five or six of the same documents, which include a list of committee assignments, a calendar, a roster and other content. To quickly access those documents, he created an Evernote Table of Contents, which sits atop his Evernote account, making linked notes easily available "instead of having to scroll" for them.

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Use Evernote to Organize Information at Events

In the past, while attending tradeshows, Hillary Feder, president of Hillary's, used to type notes from meetings and conversations, and take pictures of products on display using a variety of iPad apps. As a result, her information was scattered and difficult to access. Today, Feder uses Evernote to take pictures of products and write notes about them, scan business cards, make voice recordings, and organize it all in one place. Feder says it took a while to warm to Evernote's interface, which she describes as "overwhelming" and "unintuitive." However, the investment was worth it, because the ability to quickly gather information at tradeshows is crucial to her business, she says.

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Write a Blog With Evernote

Moe Arora, principal, ASV Labs, uses both Evernote and Blogo, a Mac app, to write a blog. "You start a new blog post using the Blogo app," Arora says. "Then you can work on it using your phone's Evernote app and publish the post when you're back at your Mac. It's a really useful tool."

Arora also recommends Postach.io, a blog and website tool that integrates with Evernote. "You can write, format and add images however you want in Evernote, then simply tag the note 'Published,' and you'll have a new published blog post. These tools make amazing use of Evernote as a fully synchronized database that's accessible on countless platforms."

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Use Evernote to Brainstorm With Post-it Notes

Kristi Willis, author of Untethered With Evernote and an Evernote Business Certified Consultant, often facilitates planning and brainstorming sessions for clients. During the sessions, participants jot down ideas on Post-it Notes and then place them on a dry-erase board or flipchart. "It used to take me hours after each session to type up all the ideas," Willis says. "Now I take a picture of each Post-it note" using the Evernote Android and iOS app camera Note feature. Evernote converts handwritten notes to searchable text that's "easy to share with clients, so they have a record of the brainstorming ideas as well as the final plan we crafted," Willis says.