If you are not familiar with Evernote, it is a clean and easy note taking software (Learn More). It is a great way to capture and organize ideas, web pages, audio, and more. It is a web app, desktop app (syncs beautifully), it is available for Mac and PC and most handheld devices. But this is not a commercial for Evernote (which is FREE). I wanted to share a few of the way I am using it that might spark ideas for you in your ministry context.
In Evernote you can create different “notebooks” to work from and store things in. I have “notebooks” with ideas, links to youtube clips I might want to use in a lesson, series ideas. I find this to be much better than having several documents on my computer (which are not synced with an online source) or a bunch of scattered documents in Google Docs. It is one location to do a mind dump, and that helps me sleep at night. (Another place to do a great mind dump is “OmniFocus” but that is a different post for another time).
One of my folders is called “CODES.” I use have tons of serial numbers for software and did not know how to keep track of them. Now they are all in one place. I guess I could use a word doc but Evernote is searchable so I can search the word “Burning Monkey Solitaire” and the note with that serial I entered will pop up. I cannot lock it so I guess I am a little exposed but no one uses my computer but me and to access it online you need my user name and password.
This is my favorite use for Evernote. Back in the day my youth ministry professor challenged us to take time and write out stories from our lives. Write down what ever we could remember…the funny, dramatic, edgy, capturing stories that have happened in our lives. So I wrote. I took a word document and started writing bullet points and then went back to fill in details. I would carve out time in my schedule to remember and write. If I would be reminded of a personal story throughout the day or while others were teaching I would jot it down and add it to this list. This Word doc with dozens of stories was hard to sift through but I would go through this list as I planned messages. Then came Evernote! Evernote allows you to “tag” notes within notebooks. So I created a notebook called “Stories” and I added each story as a note and then tagged the note according to topics that would fit in different messages. So I have one notebook with dozens of notes that are easily searchable by topic (through tags) and searchable by content (meaning words in the story).
For example, if I were teaching on dating, I click on my notebook and search “date” or “girls” or “purity” and all stories that I tagged with those words pop up. This has been a great asset for my teaching and planning.
Are you using Evernote differently? Post a comment and share any of your ideas