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Evernote, actually saving time

I’m a bit slow with new technology.  At one point in 2002, I was one of the few people in NYC without a cell phone. (But I could use a pay phone at any time:)

Last week a co-worker announced he was leaving to work at Evernote.  I looked up the company, thinking, oh, this is just an old idea, a variation on Mirror Worlds.  But then I downloaded Evernote and this weekend experimented with using it for a (non-programming) side project.  It was fantastic!

The information on the walls pictured below (as well as hundreds of digital files) are making their way to Evernote.   Information included journal articles*, transcripts, photos, a handwritten diagram, and a note on the back of an ATM receipt**.

I was able to organize and synthesize large and small chunks of information in a non-linear way.  The software considerably cut down the time it was taking to find information–letting me focus on my project.

I’ll use Evernote a little longer and then I’ll probably start using it for work projects.  So far Evernote hasn’t gotten in the way and I’m consciously not becoming crazy and trying to catalog everything.

(More importantly: the faster those papers are taken off the wall, the less I’ll be in trouble at home:)

*I’m also using Mendeley for research articles–now if someone could combine Evernote and Mendeley tagging:)

** This year I’m trying to get by without making notes on the back of the ATM receipts.  It’s my default organization method: jot down a quick note, put it in pocket, put the pants (including note), through the washing machine…

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Notes while working in a large academic organization.