Evernote is my go-to tool for managing and organizing just about everything in my life, work, and business.
When you consider what it takes to be a good husband or father, it’s easy to only consider the relational side of things: spending time with your family, providing for them, setting a good example, and showing unconditional love. But technology can also play an important role in helping you manage our family life.
My go-to tool for managing and organizing just about everything in my life, work, and business is Evernote. This is the one app I can’t live without. It’s literally my digital brain, and I use it dozens of time every single day. In fact, I consider Evernote such a vital tool that I teach all my college students how to use it, and even wrote a book for church leaders on using Evernote. (I also have quite a few Evernote tutorials on my YouTube channel.)
In this article, I’ll share a number of ideas for using Evernote in your personal and family life.
1. Scan as much paper as possible. Scan your paper bills, receipts, invoices, insurance information, health records, and other documents into Evernote. This had two advantages: getting rid of paper, and the ability to search your documents.
2. Scan the kids’ school papers. We have a notebook named “Ben” (for our son) where I keep copies of his school schedule, grades, lunch menu, safety patrol schedule, and other items.
3. Store current bills. I have a notebook called “Bills” where I forward all of the bills we receive over email: trash and water, electricity, mortgage, cell phones, internet, etc. I always pay these toward the end of the month, and it’s very handy to have them all in one place.
4. Scan recipes. Have an old box full of handwritten recipes? Scan these in and use your phone/iPad in the kitchen. Tag the notes with food items, or keep them in different notebooks. It’s much handier to have recipes in a searchable format rather than crammed into a little recipe box.
5. Scan articles from paper magazines you want to keep. Have a stack of magazines you haven’t read? Tear out the articles you want and scan them in. They are searchable and accessible.
6. Scan equipment or software manuals. Most manuals are available online these days, but if you have older paper manuals, scan them into Evernote. Last summer I had the repair the carburetor on my lawn mower and was able to pull up the 10-year-old manual on my phone in the garage because I had scanned it in a couple of years earlier.
7. Keep gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays, and special occasions. I keep a running list of gift ideas throughout the year in a notebook called “Gifts.” Whenever I come across something I think my wife or son would like, I make a note. When Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries roll around, I have a personalized, ready-made list of gift ideas I’ve recorded throughout the year.
8. Keep grocery store lists. If I’m going to the grocery store for more than a couple of items, I’ll make a list so I don’t forget anything. Plus, I know when I get to the store my wife will inevitably text me with one or two additional items, so I can quickly add those to the list since it’s on my phone already.
9. Keep a scrapbook of special memories. Whenever you participate in a party, reunion, or other celebration, store any special memories or pictures in Evernote.
10. Plan events. Use shared notebooks to work with others and plan events such as birthday parties or other occasions.
11. Maintain lists for home and auto repair. I keep running lists of things to fix and supplies that I need for our home. I also keep a list of car repairs we need so I don’t forget anything when I speak to the mechanic.
12. Plan vacations. We use Evernote to keep hotel and travel info, reservation numbers, places to visit, or things to do.
I encourage you to select a few of these and try them out over the next few days. Then as you get more comfortable with Evernote, try a few more. They key here is to take action by doing. Don’t wait until you know everything about Evernote to start using it.
Photo: Denise Krebs
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