Use Evernote to Organize Your Life

Evernote logo and Complete Idiot's Guide book

We’ve talked about using Evernote to organize your email, but by utilizing more of Evernote’s built-in features you can organize just about everything in your life.

Check out the examples below that show you how to organize everything from Web pages to in-store and online purchases.

Organize Bookmarks

Writing notes on bookmarked URLs in Evernote

Most people use the bookmarks feature in their browser to keep bookmarks. That’s fine for those commonly visited sites, but the major feature you lose is searchability. What about sites that you might visit once every six months when you need a piece of information?

This is where Evernote comes in handy.

First, make a notebook called something like “Website URLs” and make a new note for every URL you want to save. Next, on the page under the URL list all the reasons you go to that site.

Now, when you need to do a task or find a piece of information but you forget the site’s name or address, just do a search for WHY you need the site, and it’ll pop up!

Save Pages for Later

Saving Web page with Evernote Web Clipper

While you should always visit a website for the most up-to-date information available, there are times you just need to save a page of reference material.

Let’s say you’re looking for a new car and you want the information you find to be easily available. Instead of copying and pasting from each site, you can use the Evernote Web Clipper.

This add-on for just about every browser automatically saves parts of Web pages or entire pages and makes them instantly searchable.

Just make a new notebook and call it whatever you’re working on. For this example it would be “New Car 2013.” Now you can make a clipping for each site you go to. Add tags for the make and model of the car, as well as year if you’re looking at used cars.

Want to see all the Toyotas you’ve clipped? Just search for the tag “Toyota” and there they are. Search for “Safety” and you’ll find all the articles that mention safety.

This could be applied to searching for a new computer, phone, or even landscaping your house. How easy would it be to find a company to give you a quote for your business if you could save their information this way?

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Organize Your Kitchen and Grocery Shopping Like a Champ

Garlic bulbs and bowl of olive oil

Make a new notebook named “Recipes” and make a new note for each recipe. List the ingredients and instructions in the note, then tag the note with the style of food and difficulty level. Now you can search by difficulty, style, or even ingredients!

You can even make a notebook for food items in your house.

Make a new note for each area food is stored. For example, make a note for “Pantry” and list everything that is in the pantry. Update the note before you go shopping and you’ll instantly know what you have and don’t have. Make another note for “Refrigerator” and list the expiration dates of things like eggs and milk next to each.

Make a notebook with all your kitchen utensils and where they’re stored, making a new note for each storage location. Now when Thanksgiving rolls around you don’t have to go hunting for that gravy boat. Just search for it and you’re set!

Organize Your Purchases

Box full of receipts

We’ve all been there. You buy something – a set of headphones, a new HD TV – and a few months later it breaks. Now you have to start the epic hunt for the receipt so you can take it back. With Evernote, this turns into a simple search.

Make a notebook named “Receipts and Purchases” and name a new note for each item you buy. Type out the specific make and model number for each item and list the serial number if possible.

Take one more step and add the tech support or customer care numbers for each item. When you need help, just search Evernote by the item, and there’s the number.

For receipts, make a new note, list the store and date, and take a picture of the receipt. If you’re an Evernote Pro user, you’ll even get OCR (optical character recognition) on the receipt, making that searchable, too.

Keep Track of Your Media

Books in a bookstore

Even though just about everything is going digital, you probably still have plenty of video games, books, and DVDs that you need to keep track of. Instead of scanning bookshelves and hunting through boxes for that one book or movie, let Evernote find it for you.

Make a notebook named “Storage” and a note for each type of media: “Books,” “DVDs,” “Video Games,” etc. Now list each item in its appropriate note, making sure to list author and title for each book and other signifying pieces of information for the other media.

If you lend an item out, list the person’s name next to the item and when you search for it later, you’ll see who has it!

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