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Evernote for Economic Development

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I have found Evernote to be a fantastic tool for economic development projects and events. Building a relationship with a perspective company is crucial in economic development world and therefore, Evernote is invaluable when trying to keep our notes organized in one place we can all access at any given time.

I work from Europe with the Airport Authority in Mobile, Alabama and we work very closely with the local Chamber of Commerce on various prospects looking to locate their operations in our area. I keep a Notebook for every prospect/economic development project that visits us. The notebook includes copies of RFIs (request for information), copies of presentations presented to the prospect, images of business cards of people we've met, aerial images and maps of proposed sites & buildings, proposed site & building specs, any prospect pre-visit and post-visit correspondence, notes from various meetings, so that we can always go back and review how far we've got with building a relationship with each prospect. Naturally, with Evernote Premium, I share all relevant notebooks with my coworkers/supervisors as well as my colleagues at the Chamber. I set up notebooks so that they can modify them as well.

We also find Evernote extremely helpful when traveling abroad to various trade shows and prospect visits. All our itineraries, travel plans, meeting details and other information are included in shared notebooks, available to all to modify if needed. Each meeting with a prospect is a separate note. It includes an audio file of voice-recorded meeting, or just quick voice notes made right after we leave the meeting, so that we remember how to follow up with the prospect after returning back to the office. If we take additional notes during the meeting, we take a snapshot of the notes and attach them to the note. The note also includes photos of business cards of the meeting participants and copies of follow-up letters we mail to the prospects. We all use the iPhone 4S and the ability to dictate text to Evernote while we are on the go are extremely helpful. We can still be on business in Europe, but our assistants back in the US retrieve the notes from Evernote, draft up follow-up letters and mail them out to our prospects before we even return to the office and copies of the letters are already stored on Evernote.

During our travels, we also host several social events. We keep PDFs of the official invitations on Evernote, so that if we run into a promising prospect at the last minute, we can email him/her the invitation straight from Evernote.

In combination with Skitch, we are able to make quick marks on trade show plans and maps to make it easier for us to find the right booth in each exhibit hall.

Evernote has been an invaluable partner in our economic development projects. The only ting we are still missing is the ability to take the shared notebooks offline. When I get my director ready for a long trip and upload all the info about his trip into Evernote, I'd like him to be able to take the notebook I share with him offline, so that he can read through all the notes while on a 9-hour flight to Europe. I hope that can be solved in the near future.

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