Over at Simply Convivial I’m in the thick of a series about using Evernote for homeschooling, and I thought I’d make a companion post here at Simplified Organization about household records and plans with Evernote.
Evernote is awesome. It is my digital filing cabinet. Instead of lugging around a heavy binder, or filing reams of paper, it all goes into Evernote. Not only does Evernote save my documents in an organized way, it even recognizes text – printed and handwritten – in images, pdfs, and scans saved there. This means I can search for documents when I need them instead of going through and looking in the right folder. I can type “Costco receipt” and up comes all the Costco receipts I’ve saved, whether they’re in the same notebook or note.
With such quick retrieval, a huge database of saved records and notes is no longer daunting and useless to flip through.
Though I use other programs for my shopping lists and task lists, Evernote has replaced my binder and my filing cabinet as the place where I save things: home things, school things, business things, personal things – they’re all in Evernote, and I can actually find them when I need them.
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Here are the top 4 ways I use Evernote for homemaking.
1. Yearly plans and goals
In December I go over my personal goals and plans, tweaking my vocation statements, setting new goals, thinking through the upcoming year.
In March or April, then, I go over our homeschool yearly plans and goals as we enter our last term and I start buying books for the next year.
Though I often use paper in the brainstorming stage, as I finalize those goals and plans, I type them into Evernote in a notebook called AD 2015 (or whatever the current year is). These stay in the shortcut area of my sidebar for easy review, because lists actually have to be seen to be useful – this is my startling organizational insight.
2. Menu plan and dinner ideas
Simplified Dinners encapsulates my menu planning method, and I keep Simplified Dinners in Evernote for quick reference.
Up in the search bar, I can simply type “pasta” and up pops my note with the pasta dishes I make. “Pizza” brings up my pizza dough recipe. It’s much faster than pulling it off the shelf and flipping to the right page.
3. Book and conference notes
I like to copy out quotes while I’m reading a good book, and I want to be able to find that quote again in the future without flipping through notebook upon notebook. So, while I’m reading, I copy out any favorite passages, make chapter summaries, keep a running book list, or take notes. Later, I go through my notebook and scan those notes into Evernote.
The Evernote servers scan images for text and can make even handwritten notes searchable. So, even though my note was written out by hand and scanned into pdf, Evernote can still see (most) words and let me find what I’m looking for with a quick search.
4. Family References
Clothes & shoe sizes, immunization records, and packing lists are all things I save in Evernote. If I might need to know it on the fly sometime, into Evernote it goes.
Insurance statements and other paperwork from the doctor or dentist or whatever else also get scanned and saved into Evernote so I can forget about it yet still have the information at my fingertips if I need it.
I do have a whole ebook about setting up not only Evernote, but also a task management app, digital calendar, as well as instructions for streamlining your email routines. Paperless Home Organization will help you move from binders and file cabinets and notebooks to digital planning routines.