Evernote is the cornerstone of a simple, effective personal ideation system. Here’s why.
If you are a knowledge worker or a creative person, ideas are the lifeblood of your day-to-day work. Your ability to manage them efficiently is critically important. That’s why you need to take great care in selecting the tools you will use to generate, capture and manage them.
I have been searching for over 20 years for the ideal idea capture and management tool. Today, I’m pleased to say that Evernote is my tool of choice, enabling me to brainstorm, capture ideas, evaluate them and take action on them. It enables me to be amazingly creative – creating content and information products for two blogs well also holding down a full-time job.
One of the common themes of my work over the years has been finding and sharing excellent tools with my readers, and helping them to understand why they matter and how to get the most out of them. Accordingly, here are 10 reasons why I believe Evernote should be the cornerstone of your creative work system:
1. Evernote is available for every computing platform – It truly enables you to capture your ideas – any time, anywhere. That’s critical, because most of my best ideas come to me when I’m not at a desk.
2. It’s information agnostic – Which means you can easily capture words, images, audio recordings, annotated images, files, part or all of web pages and much more.
3. It’s easy to set up a process in Evernote – Notebooks and tags enable you to set up a process for reviewing, evaluating and implementing more of your ideas.
4. Collaboration – You can share notes and notebooks with others, making it an excellent tool for small teams to brainstorm and capture ideas.
5. Capture the fruits of your research – As you gather research on a creative challenge, you can easily capture it (and share it) in Evernote.
6. Store brainstorming techniques and stimuli in Evernote, which you can copy and use for any time, anywhere brainstorming.
7. Employ templates for ideation, idea capture and evaluation within Evernote, to help you generate more value from your ideas.
8. Serendipity – Powerful search and filtering capabilities enable you to find related ideas, ABO Friday or combination an improvement, and serendipity.
9. Notes as idea attractors – When you transmute an idea from your brain into a note, you make it tangible. It can then start to attract additional information and related ideas. You can keep returning to it over a period of time, adding new insights, results from online research, links to articles you have uncovered and more. It’s much harder to do that in the pages of a notebook, where you are limited to the size of a page.
10. Support for emergent structure – When you create a note in Evernote, you don’t need to have a specific purpose for it. You can simply create it to capture an idea that popped into your head, a turn of phrase that you thought was particularly clever or the name of the product you may decide to buy one day. It doesn’t matter. Evernote takes it all in and allows you to figure out what it means later.
I have written a new book that explains how to set up Evernote to support a simple end-to-end creative process – from problem definition and ideation to evaluation and action. With the templates I provide, you can start leveraging more value from your ideas in a matter of minutes.