Yesterday I did a review of Xmarks, a terrific way for synching your bookmarks across multiple computers and/or browsers. Another way you could technically sync “bookmarks” is by saving bookmark links in Evernote. I frequently do this. But there are some uses where traditional bookmarking is better, and some when Evernote may be best. How do you know which to use? Today I will give you a simple way to figure that out. Plus, some handy-dandy Evernote tricks I’ve recently learned.
When to use Evernote vs. Bookmarking
Bookmarking is designed to make it easy for you to access sites you visit frequently. Evernote is a “filing” system for tucking away information that you need to get at every now and then. So, the simple way to determine when it’s best to use one vs. the other is ask yourself this question: will I frequently be accessing this site, and how easy do I want to access it? Sites you access very often and/or need quick access to like Gmail, Google Calendar, your project management system, ShootQ, etc., are all sites that fall into this category. They should be bookmarked in your browser.
Web pages you come across that have information you’d like to save, but don’t plan to access that often, are good for Evernote. This could include a long blog post you want to read later, web pages you need for research, “how to” articles, etc. A good metaphor is this: think of bookmarks as your physical desktop and Evernote as your filing cabinet.
Evernote Tips and Tricks
For months I had Evernote on my computer and barely used it. I knew and heard it was great, but I wasn’t taking advantage of it. All that has changed. I literally use it every day. A few weeks ago I wrote about 7 ways creatives can use Evernote. Here are a few additional tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Clipping sections of sites. When you save a web page to Evernote, it’s called “clipping.” I used to clip just the URL (i.e. use it as a bookmark). But you can also clip the URL and the whole page (images and everything). You can clip just the written article on a page (i.e. not all the other graphics, ads, and links. See the images below). If you have the Evernote plugin installed in your browser, you can even highlight a block of text on a page, right or control-click, then clip directly to Evernote.
Encrypt Blocks of Text. One of the concerns of Evernote users may be that personal info is contained in it. This is understandable. I’ve started using it to save tax related info. For that reason I’ve made sure my Evernote password is very complicated. But, besides that, you can even encrypt individual blocks of text within Evernote. Just highlight the text, right or control-click, then select “Encrypt Selected text…” This will allow you to add a password to that highlight string of text. If you want, Evernote can even remember that password so that if you encrypt additional blocks of text, it just automatically remembers the one you entered before.
Print PDF Directly to Evernote. For Mac users, you can save a PDF directly to Evernote from the print menu. This is great if you don’t want multiple copies of a PDF on your computer. (When you drag a PDF into Evernote, it essentially copies that file to your Evernote system).
I owe a lot of my recent Evernote discoveries to Michael Hyatt. He blogs daily about leadership and Evernote is a popular topic of his. This blog post of his has links to all of his Evernote articles. Check ’em out.
Do you have any cool Evernote tips and tricks to share?