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How I use Evernote and the iPad for business

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#1 Philosofy

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 10:42 PM

I've finally settled on a 'system' for using my iPad for business, and Evernote is the keystone for it.

I'm in sales, and I'm a distributor, which means I sell a lot of different products. Too many for me to know all the details of, and I have too much literature to lug around on each sales call. Since I sell so many products, I couldn't always prepare for each call. I might expect to talk to a customer about a product from Company A, but then find out he needs something from Company B. Evernote solves that problem for me, because I've set up a notebook for each company I sell for. In those notebooks, I have tags for product names, training presentations, electronic literature, price lists, etc. The real neat thing about Evernote is that I can tag and annotate notes and the files in the notes. For instance, many of the training presentations I have are not named very descriptively. It might be called "Training 2009". Not much help when I'm trying to find a particular topic. But with Evernote, I drop it in the notebook of the company that wrote it (and I tag it with that company name as well.) Then I tag it with "Presentation." But I don't stop there. Many of these power points can be 100 slides long. Above the file in the note, I do a quick synopsis of the presentation, who wrote it, where I got it, etc. So I know before I open it up that slide 55 starts a good section on widgets, and slide 80 has a good competitive cross reference.

Other documents I file in Evernote are cheat sheets, sales reports, competitive literature, tech data sheets, material safety data sheets, etc. I can present these to customers on my iPad, and email them the documents right there. Very cool!

But wait, there's more!!!
I thought I would never get away from taking notes on paper with a pen. But, with the SpeedTextHD app, which integrates with Evernote, I've ditched the paper and pen. SpeedText HD is a great writing app. You can reposition the writing area so your hand isn't resting on the screen, and you write rather large. After you wait a fraction of a second (and the wait time is adjustable), that text shrinks and appears at the end of the line at the top of the page. Its a very nice app, and you should check it out. Besides being the best note taking app, its integration with Evernote is very useful. Besides being able to write, you can drop several icon shapes into your note. I put a nice star beside my action items in a note, so I know I have something to follow up on after the call. But SpeedText HD also lets me assign icons to tags! So, I have one shape that assigns the tag to "Call Notes", another shape "Needs action items", another for "Customer", and another for "Needs Call Report". So now Evernote can pull up the notes I need to take action on (and after I take them, I delete the tag from the note.) And it lets me pull up my notes to write a call report. Of course, I also store the call reports in Evernote as well. And since Evernote is so good at OCR, my hand written call notes can now be searched!

The only hassle I have is that I can't figure out how to re-name notes in SpeedText HD: it names notes with a time and date stamp. I have change that manually after the note gets exported to Evernote. I would also like a feature to have different apps export into Evernote in different applications. For example, I would like SpeedText HD to go to my Call Notes notebook, but my web clippings to go to a different notebook.

So, the iPad and Evernote allow me to be more efficient on my sales calls, pulling up and displaying literature and training material. It allows me to take notes that can then be searched. The only thing I can't do is have my call reports written in Evernote!

Does anyone have any hints or suggestions? Do you do things differently?

#2 engberg

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:20 AM

Thanks, that's a great description. I'm passing this along to some other folks at Evernote.

- Dave Engberg (Evernote)


#3 snsok

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:07 PM

Nice post. I tumbled to the same system using SpeedText HD with EN after trying 5other note taking apps. The ease of using the input box and the abiki to create a label with an symbol on speedtext were the deciding factors.

I wish EN could enabler ink notes on the iPad, possibly by doing an "in-app" implementation of SpeedText or something other program. The one weakness of our system is the inability to edit such notes on Evernote beyond removing tags.


I would like to be able to remove the star icon (I use the same one!) from the note in EN when I have done the to-do.

stan

#4 jfwarrior

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:31 PM

Philosophy - I think a great idea for your setup would be, if possible, to convert the whole presentation into a PDF, and then convert the PDF into JPEG files. (Or you could keep the PDF as it is and move it into Evernote, but I've heard that image-files is the most optimal format for text-recognition.)

You would then be able to search through all your presentations in Evernote without having to manually tag the notes with the presentations yourself. You could even set up a batch script (Or an Automator script if you are on a Mac.) to automate the process for you.

#5 Wayner

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:02 AM

Pilosofy:

Interesting setup and thanks for sharing.

I do a lot of sales and marketing work as well, and try to electrify as many many processes as possible. Won't hijack your thread, or add too much, but here are three items for you related to task management that should compliment your existing system.

This area (task management) is important to me because like you, I was trying to use EN for *EVERYTHING*, and, although its great for info, EN a tough beast to tame for task management over the long run. Simple lists/notebooks work for a while, but without a due-date or calendar tie-in, it is challenging to keep using EN for task management.

1.) Toodledo for task management
You can setup a free account at toodledo[dot]com and have access to a great and free task system.

2.) GTD for sales
If your haven't heard about David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system, you should look into it. Too lengthy a subject for now, but it adapts well for use in a sales environment and Toodledo is 100% GTD ready.

3.) Task apps for the Ipad/Iphone
A) Toodledo app - ok, but not as good as #2
:D Appigo Todo app. Great task manager, and synchs perfectly with your Toodledo account. It's also 100% GTD ready.
C) Pocket Informant. Calendar and Task management together at last on the Iphone/Ipad! Synch to your Toodledo account and is also 100% GTD ready. Only limitation is related to the Ipad version. The app calendar is tricky to synch with an Exchange server (Iphone version is ok). But, this should be resolved soon, when they release IOS 4.2 for the Ipad.

*Note - none of the above mentioned apps are free - but they're not very expensive.

--------------------------------------------------
Interested in hearing more as your system evolves. Keep us all updated.

W.

#6 jfwarrior

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:37 AM

Pilosofy:

Interesting setup and thanks for sharing.

I do a lot of sales and marketing work as well, and try to electrify as many many processes as possible. Won't hijack your thread, or add too much, but here are three items for you related to task management that should compliment your existing system.

This area (task management) is important to me because like you, I was trying to use EN for *EVERYTHING*, and, although its great for info, EN a tough beast to tame for task management over the long run. Simple lists/notebooks work for a while, but without a due-date or calendar tie-in, it is challenging to keep using EN for task management.

1.) Toodledo for task management
You can setup a free account at toodledo[dot]com and have access to a great and free task system.

2.) GTD for sales
If your haven't heard about David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system, you should look into it. Too lengthy a subject for now, but it adapts well for use in a sales environment and Toodledo is 100% GTD ready.

3.) Task apps for the Ipad/Iphone
A) Toodledo app - ok, but not as good as #2
:D Appigo Todo app. Great task manager, and synchs perfectly with your Toodledo account. It's also 100% GTD ready.
C) Pocket Informant. Calendar and Task management together at last on the Iphone/Ipad! Synch to your Toodledo account and is also 100% GTD ready. Only limitation is related to the Ipad version. The app calendar is tricky to synch with an Exchange server (Iphone version is ok). But, this should be resolved soon, when they release IOS 4.2 for the Ipad.

*Note - none of the above mentioned apps are free - but they're not very expensive.

--------------------------------------------------
Interested in hearing more as your system evolves. Keep us all updated.

W.


Very interesting setup, Wayner. About having a calendar integrated into Evernote - I think it would be detrimental to the user experience of Evernote if it was integrated into it. If you want calendar integration with task management, you could try Journler for Mac.

#7 Philosofy

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:03 AM

Philosophy - I think a great idea for your setup would be, if possible, to convert the whole presentation into a PDF, and then convert the PDF into JPEG files. (Or you could keep the PDF as it is and move it into Evernote, but I've heard that image-files is the most optimal format for text-recognition.)

You would then be able to search through all your presentations in Evernote without having to manually tag the notes with the presentations yourself. You could even set up a batch script (Or an Automator script if you are on a Mac.) to automate the process for you.

Jf

I'm a premium user, so I can already search. I tag and add descriptions because a simple search would have too many hits.

#8 Philosofy

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:09 AM

Pilosofy:

Interesting setup and thanks for sharing.

I do a lot of sales and marketing work as well, and try to electrify as many many processes as possible. Won't hijack your thread, or add too much, but here are three items for you related to task management that should compliment your existing system.

This area (task management) is important to me because like you, I was trying to use EN for *EVERYTHING*, and, although its great for info, EN a tough beast to tame for task management over the long run. Simple lists/notebooks work for a while, but without a due-date or calendar tie-in, it is challenging to keep using EN for task management.

1.) Toodledo for task management
You can setup a free account at toodledo[dot]com and have access to a great and free task system.

2.) GTD for sales
If your haven't heard about David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system, you should look into it. Too lengthy a subject for now, but it adapts well for use in a sales environment and Toodledo is 100% GTD ready.

3.) Task apps for the Ipad/Iphone
A) Toodledo app - ok, but not as good as #2
:D Appigo Todo app. Great task manager, and synchs perfectly with your Toodledo account. It's also 100% GTD ready.
C) Pocket Informant. Calendar and Task management together at last on the Iphone/Ipad! Synch to your Toodledo account and is also 100% GTD ready. Only limitation is related to the Ipad version. The app calendar is tricky to synch with an Exchange server (Iphone version is ok). But, this should be resolved soon, when they release IOS 4.2 for the Ipad.

*Note - none of the above mentioned apps are free - but they're not very expensive.

--------------------------------------------------
Interested in hearing more as your system evolves. Keep us all updated.

W.

Thanks! I've heard others talk about GTD. I'm downloading the book right now.
You've confused me, though. Does 2 conflict with 3A?
My company doesn't use Echange. In fact, I'm kind of on my own for computers. I have an old PowePC Mac laptop, an iPhone, and an iPad. I'll look into Pocket Informant and Appigo.

#9 jfwarrior

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 09:21 AM

Philosophy - I think a great idea for your setup would be, if possible, to convert the whole presentation into a PDF, and then convert the PDF into JPEG files. (Or you could keep the PDF as it is and move it into Evernote, but I've heard that image-files is the most optimal format for text-recognition.)

You would then be able to search through all your presentations in Evernote without having to manually tag the notes with the presentations yourself. You could even set up a batch script (Or an Automator script if you are on a Mac.) to automate the process for you.

Jf

I'm a premium user, so I can already search. I tag and add descriptions because a simple search would have too many hits.


Yes, but by converting whole presentations in to become a PDF, it can search everything inside the presentation.

#10 JMUnderwood11

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:48 PM

Yes, but by converting whole presentations in to become a PDF, it can search everything inside the presentation.

So do you end up maintaining two copies of all presentations, one in PPT and the other in PDF?
Do you then store them both in EN as your primary storage?
Best Regards,
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#11 jfwarrior

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:26 AM

Yes, but by converting whole presentations in to become a PDF, it can search everything inside the presentation.

So do you end up maintaining two copies of all presentations, one in PPT and the other in PDF?
Do you then store them both in EN as your primary storage?


It would be best if this happened - PPT for the original file, PDF for search and reference.

#12 Wayner

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 03:50 PM

Philosofy:

Thanks! I've heard others talk about GTD. I'm downloading the book right now.
You've confused me, though. Does 2 conflict with 3A?
My company doesn't use Echange. In fact, I'm kind of on my own for computers. I have an old PowePC Mac laptop, an iPhone, and an iPad. I'll look into Pocket Informant and Appigo.


Honestly, I thought the actual GTD book was a dense and tough intro to Allen's innovative ideas. And, I don't have better comments on his 3rd book on the subject because it seemed like a redo of his initial work. I have no regrets on supporting it's continued development buy buying the books (and recommend you do the same), but there are better resources for you to learn about GTD on the web (Google searches). As you will see, GTD has become a cult. Youtube has a few videos worth watching about how folks have adapted GTD into work and personal usage.
---------------------

As for your actual question ... no conflicts between anything, but there will be confusion at first because everything works in either freestyle mode, or GTD mode. By freestyle, I mean there are no rules and you can use the task options at Tooddledo and/or the apps I listed in/for whatever method you choose. On the other hand, when you get ready to try GTD, Toodledo and the listed apps all have the GTD stuff built-in and waiting for you to use (i.e. collecting, contexts, actions, projects, etc.).

The keystone to the solution is Toodledo because it forms the base of your ability to wirelessly sync to your mobile device. Without something storing the data in the cloud, everything would either reside on your device, or a desktop, independent of each other. Or, you'd have to have a utility running on the desktop at all times constantly syncing your desktop data with your mobile device - which would result in your computer running 24/7/356. Toodledo solves this issue for tasks, the same way a Gmail email account provides wireless Calendar syncing.

I pay for two premium Evernote and Toodledo accounts for my wife and myself and feel it's a worthwhile investment. But, the free accounts have a lot to offer and will let you see how things work before spending any money (more than you've already sunk into the Ipad!).
---------------------------------------

You didn't mention how you access mail/data on the Ipad when you're on the road. FYI - here's what we do ... for comparison. Although we only have WiFi Ipads, when on the road, we get web/mail access on the Ipads via MyWi/tethering on our Iphones. It turns the Iphones into small Wifi spots with the press of a single icon. We each have 5GB of data/month on our phone plans, so we're reasonably safe in terms of avoiding expensive overages. When we purchased the Ipads in July/2010, the initial data plans for the 3G models were offering 500MB data packages for $50/month - which seemed expensive. Since we rarely exceeded 1GB of data per month on our already existing phones plans, it made sense to maximize the underused resource, rather than picking up another monthly bill.

P.S. IOS 4.2 rocks on the Ipad - did it last night. Too bad I lost my Jailbreak though. No worries ... I'll get it back.

W.

#13 Philosofy

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:58 AM

First, I didn't realize Evernote doesn't search the text of Powerpoints! Most of my presentations are in pdf, though.

Thanks for the comments on GTD. I'm on page 63, and I'll slog through it. Its just up my alley right now.

#14 jfwarrior

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:46 PM

The keystone to the solution is Toodledo because it forms the base of your ability to wirelessly sync to your mobile device. Without something storing the data in the cloud, everything would either reside on your device, or a desktop, independent of each other. Or, you'd have to have a utility running on the desktop at all times constantly syncing your desktop data with your mobile device - which would result in your computer running 24/7/356. Toodledo solves this issue for tasks, the same way a Gmail email account provides wireless Calendar syncing.

---------------------------------------
P.S. IOS 4.2 rocks on the Ipad - did it last night. Too bad I lost my Jailbreak though. No worries ... I'll get it back.

W.


It's quite interesting on how you use Toodledo as a taskmanager. I've taken a look at it at the screenshot of the interface on the web as well as iOS, and I'm not sure what is so attractive about it. There are so much more better alternatives - RememberTheMilk (Which also has a local iPhone app), Ta-Da Lists, GTD Agenda, Tasks2Gather, ... I personally use RTM because of the lovely minimalistic interface and the excellent keyboard commands that make task-managing so much easier.

@Jailbreaking: ... I thought installing a new legit OS over the jailbroken OS would result in a bricked device. :shock: Did you get your 'free' apps back though, or are they temporarily gone until you regain your jailbreak status? And I'm quite bemused about this - Why jailbreak when all the features of the iPad are unlocked, unlike the iPhone?

#15 Wayner

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:19 PM

The keystone to the solution is Toodledo because it forms the base of your ability to wirelessly sync to your mobile device. Without something storing the data in the cloud, everything would either reside on your device, or a desktop, independent of each other. Or, you'd have to have a utility running on the desktop at all times constantly syncing your desktop data with your mobile device - which would result in your computer running 24/7/356. Toodledo solves this issue for tasks, the same way a Gmail email account provides wireless Calendar syncing.

---------------------------------------
P.S. IOS 4.2 rocks on the Ipad - did it last night. Too bad I lost my Jailbreak though. No worries ... I'll get it back.

W.


It's quite interesting on how you use Toodledo as a taskmanager. I've taken a look at it at the screenshot of the interface on the web as well as iOS, and I'm not sure what is so attractive about it. There are so much more better alternatives - RememberTheMilk (Which also has a local iPhone app), Ta-Da Lists, GTD Agenda, Tasks2Gather, ... I personally use RTM because of the lovely minimalistic interface and the excellent keyboard commands that make task-managing so much easier.

@Jailbreaking: ... I thought installing a new legit OS over the jailbroken OS would result in a bricked device. :shock: Did you get your 'free' apps back though, or are they temporarily gone until you regain your jailbreak status? And I'm quite bemused about this - Why jailbreak when all the features of the iPad are unlocked, unlike the iPhone?


Hey JFWarrior:

Don't disagree that Toodledo ain't the best in terms of it's interface or feature list. But, it's well supported and accessible by other apps (Pocket informant, Todo, etc.), and that makes it extremely useful for me. To me, Pocket informant ties everything together and is the core of my Iphione/Ipad calendar and task management toolbox. Being able to see tasks and appointments on the same page is critical for me in terms of planning and performing. And, the added ability to use Outlook on the desktop and the web interface of Toodle do, means I can work on a real computer and know that everything is synced to my handheld when I walk out the door.

The whole jailbreaking process is a journey, not a destination! The ipad is as closed as the Iphone before being jailbroken. Only after jailbreaking can you install apps that access the file system in ways that Apple would never permit (i.e. ifile). Not 100% sure if my Cydia apps are gone, or just waiting for me under the hood. But, it doesn't matter ... taming the beast is more than half the fun. ANd, FYI, lots of the jailbroken apps are *not* free. Sure, there are cracked versions, but I usually pay for the stuff I like (admittedly I like to test drive things first).

Sorry, have to run,

W.

#16 BurgersNFries

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:32 PM

The whole jailbreaking process is a journey, not a destination! The ipad is as closed as the Iphone before being jailbroken. Only after jailbreaking can you install apps that access the file system in ways that Apple would never permit (i.e. ifile). Not 100% sure if my Cydia apps are gone, or just waiting for me under the hood. But, it doesn't matter ... taming the beast is more than half the fun. ANd, FYI, lots of the jailbroken apps are *not* free. Sure, there are cracked versions, but I usually pay for the stuff I like (admittedly I like to test drive things first).


IME with updating the OS of my jailbroken iPhone, you'd want to backup the Cydia apps. There are at least two backups I use (pkgbackup & app backup, I think the names are. Then you backup to iTunes. Then you do whatever the jailbrake your're using says to do to upgrade the OS & re-jailbreak. Then you can restore the Cydia apps using the restore from the backup you used.
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#17 Wayner

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 12:02 PM

Burgers and fries:

I had the Aptbackup utility installed. From what I was reading, it actually only creates a list of the apps (with pointers to the dwnoad locations) that you've installed. In the end, you end up re-installing everything. Also, lots of the Ipad stuff hasn't been updated for the new IOS, so even if I was jailbroken, it would be a cat/mouse game of installing, testing, crashing, and waiting for updates.

Only thing I really miss is Ifile to be able to move files around between apps folders and copy files directly from a USB stick. I usually try and avoid connecting the Ipad or Iphone to my PC cause I'm worried about Apple updates that may cause problems ... even though this hasn't ever happened.

Loving the subfolders ... way better than the 'categories' app from Cydia I was using. Got everything organized neatly on *ONE* page!

Later,

W.

#18 Philosofy

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:39 AM

I'm trying out Toodledo as my GTD program. I'm also lusting after Dial2Do for Evernote, but most of my voice notes I would want to become action items. Is there an elegant way to have Evernote send action items to Toodledo?

#19 MarkDavies10

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:23 PM

Hi folks

thought you may be interested in this related article I've just published: "Feature request: Evernote integration with a task manager (e.g. Toodledo)"

http://forum.evernot...hp?f=45&t=23228

Best regards
Mark





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