In Productivity

Finding ways to accomplish more tasks in a shorter amount of time is the goal of every time-crunched professional. The article below shares how Evernote can increase productivity and add more available time to your scheduled. CK

Article written by Pamela Rosen originally appeared on on April 10, 2017.

Have you ever wished you could ask Evernote experts to unlock their top tips for business productivity? That’s exactly what happened in Australia and Singapore last month as a few of our local Evernote Certified Consultants (ECCs), along with Joshua Zerkel, Evernote’s Director of Global Community and Training, held live events to talk about productivity and work on the go.

Sponsored by global tech education company General Assembly, these events were attended by hundreds of people. They gathered to ask these highly-trained consultants about the secrets of their trade, and how to use Evernote to supercharge their business processes. The ECCs on the panels had a wide variety of expertise in small business, sales, IT, creative services, start-ups, and education. But all of them shared a passion for teaching people how to be more productive with Evernote. Here’s a recap of the stories and tips the ECCs shared, both “down under” and in Singapore.

ECC Helen Crozier and Kim Jones

ECC Helen Crozier takes the Sydney stage with her client,  Kim Jones of Crybaby Productions

 “Stop writing things down. You don’t have time for that.”

Helen Crozier, a productivity-based technology coach catering to Australian small businesses, is a busy woman. Her clients need to get organized and get moving—fast. As a business person herself, Helen gets that. That’s why she advises her clients to automate your most used office tasks. “I use IFTTT to add buttons to business owners’ home screens as widgets,” she explained. “You can set up these buttons to get reminders and or add ideas in Evernote quickly, and the IFTTT recipe can even put them in the right notebook,” she said. “With one button, your ideas or reminders or actions get automatically tagged, and you don’t have to write things down. You don’t have time for that. You can even use Siri to speak your idea right into Evernote for later.” Another app that offers such integrations is Zapier, which gives you even more flexibility.

Singapore Event

A full house in Singapore

But when writing makes a better impression…

ECC Stephen Dolan specializes in sales productivity, and he knows that customer interactions and impressions matter the most. Sometimes typing on an open laptop or phone during a sales meeting can put a barrier between salesperson and client. “It’s distracting to type notes in sales meetings,” he said. “I encourage people to write notes by hand, and then scan them with the Evernote camera or Scannable later.” Sure, it’s discreet and it makes a better impression, but how do you make sense of all those scanned notes? Steven introduced the audience to Cloze, an app he depends upon to manage business and personal relationships. “Cloze presents the information that you need in a timeline,” Stephen explained. “Evernote connects with Cloze, so your notes appear in that timeline, and all your to-dos, contacts, and notes appear on it. It’s essential for relationship management.”

Calendars are so “last year”

“I get nervous if I don’t have my phone with me,” said WanFadzil WanSidik, an ECC with 20 years’ experience as a productivity consultant. Confessing that he doesn’t even try to remember the details of his complicated life, he depends on Evernote as an “indispensable tool” to keep it all together. He organizes Evernote differently than some of the other ECCs, and his ingenious system creates a running agenda for him. “I organize by year, month, date, and time,” he said. “If I sort this way, then I don’t have to do anything to set my schedule for the day. I just look at Evernote, and it’s already there. There was a point when I stopped using calendars altogether. Just let Evernote tags automatically generate a calendar for you.”

Person Taking Note at one of the Events

An event attendee diligently takes notes at the event at Inspire9, Melbourne

Tags vs. Notebooks: It’s an argument that never needs to happen

In the battle of tags or notebooksCharlynn Miller doesn’t take sides. She’s an ECC who is transitioning from teaching in Melbourne’s vibrant academic culture to full-time consulting, specializes in the IT and Education market, and uses tags and notebooks equally to enhance her organization. “I have a business notebook, and each project also has its own notebook,” she said. That’s how I do expenses and bills, and my bookkeeper loves me for it,” she added. “All my business content is only going to grow over time. I tag everything I do inside of notebooks so I can find things any way I want.”

Evernote Community Consultants

Learn even more from Evernote Community Consultants. Watch this extended interview with Sydney-based ECCs and get even more tips and tricks.

Playing Tag with Templates

Jess Padbury is a systems strategist for the creative professions. Living on a farm in southern Australia, Jess also serves as a volunteer firefighter, so she knows a lot about the importance of always being ready to go. “I never have to say ‘sorry, I left that back in the office’ Jess told the audience. “I can have everything I need with me in Evernote, and talk to everything else.”

Josh Zerkel with other ECCs

Josh consults with ECC presenters prior to the Melbourne event

For her consulting practice, she’s launching a podcast, and she’s using Evernote templates to create and manage her content calendar. It’s a strategy she shared with her creative clients, like Elle Lynn, Creative Director of JuJu Creative Hub. Jess helped Elle organize her content creation using Evernote, and introduced her to Evernote’s team collaboration capabilities. “We put all our content for publication into templates for consistency, and we use Evernote tags to identify where we are in the process of getting it done and out the door,” Elle said. “We have tags for drafts, copy that’s ready to be edited, something that’s just an idea, or if something is ready for publishing. If you click on the tags, you can batch similar content by what needs to be done, and work on just those things.”

Interview with Melbourne ECCs

Melbourne ECCs had even more to say offstage. Watch Josh’s interview to pick up even more pro tips.

How Evernote stacks up

Organizing a business in Evernote is Michael Laing’s expertise. He gets into the nuts and bolts of working with gigantic quantities of content and keeping it well-managed and available across teams. Organizing groups of notebooks into stacks is one of Michael’s favorite tips, arranging them library-style, so anyone on a team can find exactly what they need immediately.  He then makes each notebook easy to navigate by providing a table of contents note at the start of each one. “Start the week by organizing your work in your notebooks,” he said. “If there is some content that doesn’t fit well into Evernote, such as a long spreadsheet, put it into a relevant note as a link.” He often provides detailed instructions to clients in Evernote, and he “makes them come alive” with annotations and pertinent links.

Chi-Kai Huang Presenting in Singapore

ECC Chi-Kai Huang presents in Singapore

Bring Your Own App: The latest in the BYO series

A power user of Evernote since 2010, ECC Chi-Kai Huangwho goes by Kai, now specializes in working with early stage startups. “Everybody is always traveling,” he said, “We don’t have the luxury of making sure we’re all on the same page with our projects anymore.” He pointed out that with everyone “bringing their own apps” to work, it’s a challenge to find things easily. “Capturing and saving things is easiest in Evernote,” he said. “You can use Google Drive, you can use Dropbox, whatever you like, but as long as you share the link to Evernote, everybody can see what everyone else is doing.”

Interview with Evernote Professionals

Want to learn more? Check out this in-depth interview with Evernote professionals in Singapore.

Want to uplevel your productivity? Change your mindset

ECC Subramanian Narayan brings his clients to Evernote with a caveat: they’re only going to get as much out of it as they put in. That goes not only for the notes and notebooks themselves but for the mindset that believes software should be free. “We may live in a world of ‘free,’ he said, “but if you want to make Evernote work really well, there has to be some investment.” He’s talking about more than a willingness to upgrade to an Evernote Business or Premium account. “Evernote integrates with so many apps, and each one makes Evernote more powerful,” Subramanian observed. “You have to take advantage of integrations to extend Evernote’s power.”

Get a list of ECC-recommended apps that integrate with Evernote for power productivity for business

Josh and the panelists talked to over 600 people live, and the greatest takeaway from all of these events was the opportunity for Evernote enthusiasts to meet each other. Everyone has a favorite tip that others might not know. Some who swear by templates learned about the different ways to organize content in Evernote, others who manage customer lists discovered checklists or using Evernote as a website, a content management system, or as an inventory manager. The more you learn about Evernote, the more you can do with it. Be sure to check out the Evernote Community pages Events Calendar for news about live events near you.  Josh will be bringing more ECCs to productivity events in Chicago, London, and Berlin next month—watch the Evernote Events Calendar for more details and to reserve your seat.

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