About a year ago I started using a program called Evernote. One year later, I’m hooked. It’s infused into every device in my life, and so much of the content that I work on everyday touches Evernote in some way or another. Although, I use it for many things relating to work, I do have some photograph-specific things I do with it that I thought I’d share.
What Is Evernote?
Evernote is simple. It’s a place where you capture everything. I mean everything. Links, articles, pictures, to-do’s, reminders, lists… you name it. It’s got an easy search function, so you’re really just a few clicks away from the info that you need. It’s available on just about any device you can think of. Plus, it syncs between all of them so everything is always up to date.
How’s It Work?
It’s really simple. You create things called Notes. A note is exactly what you think it is. It’s like a post-it note, but digital. You organize Notes in Notebooks. So you could have a Notebook called “Photo Locations”. Inside that Notebook would be Notes like, “San Francisco”, “Chicago”, “Moab”, “Yellowstone” etc… Each of these notes would have locations in those areas that you’d like to photograph. Pretty simple eh?
How Can Photographers Use It?
Aside from the work/business uses, Evernote has for managing lists, to-do’s, projects, and all that, I’ve found a few ways to use it for photography.
1. Photo Locations or Photo Shoot Wish Lists: The example I mentioned above is definitely my favorite. This is by far my biggest Notebook in Evernote. As an outdoor and landscape photographer, much of what I like to shoot is location based. I constantly come across killer locations and, before Evernote, I had them floating all over the place on my computer or pieces of paper. Now, I’ve created a Notebook called Photography Locations. In it, I keep a Note for just about every state. And sometimes, if there’s lots of places to shoot in a certain state (like California), I go even deeper to Notes like LA, San Diego, San Francisco and so on. It’s perfect. Not only is it well organized, but I can even save images to the Note as references. Plus, it syncs to all of my devices so I have those locations with me everywhere.
But it goes one level deeper. As photographers we’re familiar with keywords. Well, Evernote has something called Tags (just another name for keyword). As you create notes you add tags. So let’s take my example from above with photography locations. As I type in locations, I make sure I add tags. Maybe one of those tags (for certain locations) is “beach”. Well, now when I decide I want to shoot at a beach or find out which locations are beaches, I just do a search on “beach”.
2. The Web Clipper: Evernote has a web clipper. So, as I’m browsing the web and I find a cool piece of gear that I want to look into more, or perhaps purchase one day, I clip it and eventually store it in a Gear note.
3. Tutorials and Training: I find tutorials and training that I like all over the web. Rather than saving bookmarks in my browser, I save them to a Tutorials Notebook. In that Notebook are Notes called Photography, Lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom, Design, Illustrator, etc… I put each link into the Notes and even add keywords. Now they’re completely searchable and available with me no matter where I am because I can get to them on any device.
4. Shot Lists: Evernote let’s you add little checkboxes to your notes (as well other lots of other formatting). So I can create a shot list on my laptop, and then see it on my phone as I’m doing the shoot. As I finish a shot, I can check it off the list.
5. Blogging and Social Media: Lots of photographers are blogging and using social media. I have a Blog notebook and a Social Media notebook. Here, I store notes of all ideas I have for the blog or to post on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
6. Expense Reports: I keep all the info for my expense reports in there as well. Now, this really isn’t just a “photography” thing, but anyone who has an expense report can use it this way.
7. Writing: I actually write all of my articles and tutorials in Evernote. Again, this one is really specific to my job as a writer but I’m hoping that you can glean something from it. Basically, I write my tutorials and articles in it for a couple of reasons: 1) They’re automatically backed up to the Evernote server. 2) They’re available to me anywhere. So if I have my iPad with me and I’m, say, getting a haircut, I can pull up my current article and keep working on it. So if you write anything for your job or personal life, this can really come in handy.
There’s probably a ton of things I’m forgetting. And honestly, I find new ways to use it every day. But I figured I’d at least share what works for me, in hopes that maybe you’re able to use some of it.
How Much Does It Cost?
That’s the best thing about it. Evernote is free. They do have a Premium membership but I haven’t purchased it yet. Truth be told, even though the premium features aren’t necessarily things I feel I need, I’ll probably go premium soon just because I feel they’ve given me $45 worth of value over the last year.
Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good one!