Evernote: How do you use it? Talk amongst yourselves.

EvernoteParenting stretches one's ability to keep track of details, especially in this data-heavy age. With paper calendars, sticky notes and address books straining under the pressure, an ongoing stream of Web- and mobile apps have stepped in to take up the slack.

In Parenthacker circles, Evernote gets mentioned quite a bit as exceptionally useful, easy, and flexible (and free). Evernote has been around for quite a while, is trusted by millions of users, and is available on just about every platform imaginable, including the iPad 2's nifty smart cover.

Evernote lets you take notes, or clip digital files, then save them in collections called "notebooks," which you can annotate, tag, and search, and then access anywhere. There's more to it, but that's the gist. It's one of those apps that lends itself to so many different uses it's difficult to pigeonhole.

I thought it would be fun to find out how Parenthackers are using Evernote, given your collective intelligence and problem-solving creativity.

I use Evernote to clip Web-based crochet patterns so I can tag and search them, then access them on my phone. The Evernote blog profiles a bunch of interesting uses.

If you're an Evernote user, leave a comment telling us how you use it. I'm sure there are plenty of ideas the rest of us hadn't considered.

If you don't use Evernote, which notetaking apps do you use?

Related:  Keep medical- and health details accessible with Evernote


  1. says

    I keep a notebook for each of my boys (who are currently 4 and 7). Whenever something noteworthy happens to one of them, I make a new note about it in their notebook. I started doing this a little over 2 years ago, and I currently have 397 notes for one boy and 411 for the other, so I guess I average about one note every second day for each boy.

    I write about all kinds of things, letting intuition be my guide. If I see that they’re really happy about something (no matter how simple – there are notes about having a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and going to the corner store for a Kit Kat), I’ll note it. If we go somewhere fun for the day, I’ll note it. If someone has to go to the hospital to get stitches, I’ll note it. There are a lot of “firsts” in the notes, too – like today’s entry for my 4 year old: “I went to school on the bus this morning!” Sometimes I’ll attach pictures to the notes, too (like the picture of said 4 year old waving from the bus window this morning).

    I’ve recently started trying to keep track of gifts with a Gift Ideas notebook. The idea is, if someone asks for something or I think of something that would make a good gift, I’ll either take a picture of it or write a text note about it, then tag the note with the kid’s name. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, so I haven’t had a chance to see how useful it is, but I’m hoping that it will end up coming in handy for birthdays, Christmas, etc.

  2. says

    I keep lists of things we have so I (and our families) don’t buy more – Lego sets, books, Wii/DS games, etc. I also keep lists of things the boys have asked for as presents.

    I share these notebooks with my parents so they can check for themselves while birthday shopping without having to get ahold of me.

    For myself I keep recipes and crochet patterns from the web, lists & photos of the nail polish I own & names of polish I want, as well as grocery lists, wish lists, craft ideas, gift ideas, measurements of things I need fabric for, or need framed, so I am never caught thinking “Oh, they have red yarn on sale, how much did I need for that ornament craft again?”

  3. says

    Just saw your FB post about difficulty with comments here. Anyone else having a hard time posting a comment? If so let me know via email (or FB or Twitter): asha at parenthacks, @parenthacks, facebook.com/parenthacks

  4. Mike says

    Like many others here, I have migrated a lot of my recipe collection to Evernote. The recipes are kept in a “Recipes” notebook in the app, and each recipe is tagged with primary ingredient or type of dish (.e.g “chicken”, “side dish”). We previously had binders of recipes sitting on our kitchen counter, but that was of no help when we were traveling. Now we have access anywhere we are to all of our top recipes.

    Also, I have begun using a single note in Evernote as my preliminary grocery list. Any time we run out of something, my husband or I type the item into the grocery list on Evernote. Once items are purchased, they get pulled off. Again, it’s made it easy to know what I need to buy if I happen to be at the grocery store — because I no longer rely upon that handwritten list that used to be stored in the kitchen cupboard.

  5. says

    A couple years ago, I took the time to scan our families cards, certificates, passports… basically anything in our wallets.

    A few weeks ago my inlaws took my son away on vacation (they live 8 hours away). When he came back, he got really sick and we had to call an ambulance. At that point we realized that his health card and birth certificate where still up north.

    Thankfully, I was able to show the EMS & hospital crew scans of all his records on my iPad.

    I’m sure I could have easily just had printed copies on hand, but the convenience of Evernote is what draws me to the service.



  6. says

    I use it for everything. Family documents (birth certificates, etc…), report cards, artwork, notes.

    I use it a ton for recipes.
    I also use it for vacation planning and have just started using it to collect college info for my daughter who is a H.S. junior.

  7. says

    I use it to store recipes, story ideas and research for the novel I’m writing, vacation ideas, Christmas gift ideas year round so I don’t have to think about it very hard come November, craft projects I want to try out, notes of the names of hair products/cosmetics I see in a magazine I want to remember (often I take a photo with my iPhone and save it that way), lists of music I want to listen to again properly/play or I hear someone mention that sounds interesting, wine journal, garden planning, blog post ideas.

    When we go in holiday, I’ll have a specific notebook with all the email correspondence, e-tickets, hotel reservations, etc.

    I have a paid Evernote account that syncs my notes across all devices because I can’t bear to be without any of my information.

  8. says

    Wow, this is some very useful information. I never heard of or thought of Evernote. It seems you have some very good ideas to help me keep track of my day to day business. Great suggestions!

  9. says

    First, I put the kids in front of the TV. Nothing else keeps them in one spot like the television.

    Next, I turn on every room light. Once all the lights are on, I do a thorough room-by-room search for a stuff.

    When a room is clear, I turn out the light and close the door.

    Once all the lights are out and doors are closed, I know I’ve hit every space. Now, if something doesn’t make it home with us, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

    If your kids are old enough, I would add a step before the room-by-room inspection: have them pack their suitcases, or at least gather their stuff into a single corner. My motto: “always better when several brains work on a problem.”

    Do you have a system for packing up at the end of a vacation?