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Apr 5, 2013

How I Use Evernote For My Web Design Business

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Today I was having a conversation with a colleague and the opportunity to pass along a referral came up, but then I realized I did not have the persons contact info on me at the time. See, my leads group sends out a spreadsheet with everyones info on it and most people print it out and keep it in their wallet. But I am constantly battling against my George Costanza size wallet already, so to add one more piece of paper to it does not suit me.

Then I remembered my new friend and office partner, Evernote.

When I got home I was able to email myself the list directly into my personal notebook and now I have a paper-free list on me all times. Now I have had an Evernote account for about 2 years, but never paid it much mind. It wasn’t until I found myself using Google Docs more often to store information that I decided to give Evernote another try. My first step was to transfer all my “docs” from Google Drive which mainly consisted of code modifications I had made to clients websites and various reminders about accounts.  Evernote made this super easy with their Notebook System. The cool thing I love is that notebooks can be stacked so that I am not overwhelmed with all sorts of notebooks all over the place. So I created a new notebook for each of my clients and then simply created a new note and did copy/paste from Google Docs into the new note. After I was finished I had over 30 notebooks, so I created one more titled Client Stack and dropped the other notebooks inside. Piece of cake!

Using Evernote

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Later that night I found a Fuji ScanSnap mobile scanner that scans documents and business cards right into Evernote! This powerful combination has turned my once cluttered desk into a Post-It note free workstation that anyone would be proud to call their own. Soon after I found myself scanning everything into the program including signed contracts and initial consultation notes. There are so many features that it can get overwhelming at first, so I am going to outline how I utilize Evernote in my daily workflow.

  1. After I meet with client for initial consult, I create a notebook for them and scan in the written notes
  2. Then I create another note and use the simple checkboxes that allow me to create a To Do list from the tasks I documented in the meeting (so cool)
  3. Then I go online and do some research to gather any ideas and inspiration I would like to use for the clients new website. I use Evernote Web Clipper, a browser add-on available on most browsers, to clip the page or url and save it in the appropriate notebook
  4. If I am out of the office and have an idea, I use the mobile app to email myself a note to my Evernote email account which they provide for free. Using @[notebook name] at the end of the subject line sends the note directly into that notebook. If I have some text Id like to include in the note I just put +  at the end subject line and Evernote will add the body of the email as well!
  5. Finally, I use Skitch to annotate design mockups and wireframes between my designers. I used to use Adobe Acrobat for this, but why when Evernote keeps a Skitch notebook for you automatically.
Using Skitch

That is the beauty of Evernote, I have everything that pertains to a project or wed design client in one place, accessible at any time from a computer, my phone, and iPad. I even opted for the business plan which allows more storage and offline notes, although the free plan offers plenty of storage for the average user.

How do you use Evernote? Let us know in the comments!