My office frequently either drapes across my shoulder in a bag or fits in my shirt pocket. For years, the nature of my work has kept me mobile so I’ve learned to turn hotels, airplanes, taxis, picnic tables, boats, hammocks, and Panera’s into my office.
I have not even needed a file cabinet, although I do use one for the most important documents. It’s not because I don’t like file cabinets, it’s just that when I need an important document, I’m as likely to be in an airport or hotel room as I am sitting at a desk in an office.
Therefore, I’ve tried a variety of organizational software through the years to help me keep track and I’ve settled on two that I simply could not live without: Evernote and Dropbox, both of which you can get lite versions for free. Both use cloud technology which means you can access your information from any digital device that can connect to the internet.
Evernote: Think of Evernote as your digital secretary that’s keeping track of the things you do for your work as well as your recreation.
Dropbox: Think of Dropbox as a huge room full of file cabinets where you want to store information that you – and others whom you choose -can access photos, files, recordings, and any digital information you want and access it from any where in the world.
Here are some of the key features of Evernote that make it so helpful:
- Anywhere: You can load it on any of your digital devices and have access to it from your computer, tablet, or cell phone. It automatically syncs any and all of your devices you have registered. I can take notes on my iPhone and then later read them on my computer without having to manually transfer them.
- Information Capture:
- Note Taking – You can label each note, insert tags so you can find it later, and create separate notebooks for topics of your choice. I have notebooks for work, for recreation, and for hobbies.
- Camera – I use this a lot when I’m in meetings where information is captured on whiteboards or flip chart. That becomes a part of whatever notebook I choose.
- Voice Recorder – I frequently do voice memos as I drive down the road or use the voice recorder in meetings where I can’t take notes fast enough.
- Free Add-ons
- Web Clipper- I love this! As I come across something interesting on the internet, or a file someone sends me, I can go to the top of my browser bar and click on the Evernote icon (an elephant head) and clip that article to my Evernote.
- Hello- This is a business card capturing device that allows me to take a photo of a business card, then it reads all the information and loads it up in my Evernote files.
I’ll write more about Dropbox the next time, but in the meantime, go to: www.evernote.com and download a free version and start playing around with it. It’s a great way to keep the clutter off your desk.