On any given day, you sort through dozens of emails, stacks of paper, and pull up hundreds of websites. Businesses today rely on large amounts of information. You find yourself juggling client files, documents, correspondence, financial reports, stacks of research, notes, and more. The sheer amount of data you process each day is staggering.
In order to keep everything manageable, you must rely on organizational programs and apps. Nowadays everyone carries multiple devices, so you also must have the ability to sync data and save files in the cloud.
There are so many programs available that making the choice between them becomes overwhelming. Do you look for job specific applications or are you better off using an all-encompassing tool such as Evernote?
In an effort to answer this question, we compare the features of Evernote against some of the most popular applications out there.
One of the most popular task managers available is Any.do. Available as a mobile or pc application, this handy little program can manage several lists at one time. Multiple lists allow for easy separation of personal and business tasks. For collaborative projects, lists can be shared and updated between large groups of people.
Associates you connect with through Any.do, can request to add items to your “To Do” list. You have the option of accepting or declining. Notes can be attached to those tasks, clarifying the request.
With a bit of tweaking, Evernote performs all the functions of Any.do. First, you need to create a master “To Do” list. Evernote even includes a convenient checkbox feature, that makes your list look nice and official. At the beginning of the week, open the master file, copy it and customize for the week ahead. You can have as many lists as you wish, thus separating home and business.
You have the ability to share your files with anyone using Evernote, thus duplicating the shared feature of Any.do. Annotations and files can be attached using Evernote, the same as the other program.
As a task manager, Any.do seems less cumbersome than Evernote. It’s a simpler and more straightforward program for this application; however, Evernote will get the job done and coupled with its other functions, may make it a better choice for your needs.
Organizing and Sharing Files
Dropbox is a cloud storage system that allows you to share files easily with others. Once you upload the file, anyone with a link can access the information. You can choose which files you wish to share and which you want to keep private.
All of your files can be organized in folders, similar to the classic file system found on your PC. You have the option of sharing a folder, or sub-folder, along with single files.
Organizing files in Evernote requires the use of notebooks and stacks. For example, you might assign each of your clients their own stack of notebooks. Within that stack, create a master notebook with pertinent information, such as client information, a picture of their business card, a link to their website, and contact notes. Each of your client’s projects should also be assigned a notebook. Within each notebook, you can file all sorts of related files. Like Dropbox, you can share files with other users.
Evernote and Dropbox both allow you to link files together using tags. By assigning these keywords, you can search through “piles” of information quickly. Since it is sometimes difficult to remember where you filed a bit of information, this feature makes both programs very desirable as file management tools.
Neither program seems to excel over the other when it comes to managing files. The difference between the two, is that Dropbox only functions as a file-management system, while Evernote brings a lot more to the table.
Microsoft’s OneNote appears to be king of the note-taking apps. This program has tools for drawing, the ability to record both sound and video, and the ability to embed spreadsheets. The options for note-taking with OneNote far outshine the note-taking capabilities of Evernote.
OneNote, like Evernote, allows you to organize your data in a logical manner with multiple file tiers.
Where OneNote fails to measure up against Evernote or even the popular app, Pocket, is as a web clipper. If what you are looking for is a file management system with superb note-taking ability, then OneNote is for you, but if you desire more, then you best take a good look at Evernote.
Web clipping tools are becoming more and more popular. In case you haven’t made the most of this handy tool, here are some ways you can use a web-clipper:
- Keep track of confirmation numbers
- Ad-Free Reading
- Organize Research
- Read Online Material Offline
No longer is there a need to print every confirmation page generated as you shop your way across the Internet. Evernote’s Web Clipper allows you to take a screenshot of your confirmation page and save it to a “Stack” of folders, which you might label “Confirmations.” Within that stack, you can create notebooks for “Business,” “Personal,” and “Travel.” Each screenshot goes to its appropriate place, and not only keeps track of your orders, and confirmations, but doubles as a receipt. Evernote allows you to annotate the picture, so you can add notes if you like.
Pocket, a dedicated web-clipping tool, does something similar, but instead of saving your “clips” to folders, you assign them tags. Tags allow you to search through information quickly, and are more versatile than folders, because you can tag with multiple phrases, making it easy to find items that apply to multiple projects.
Evernote also allows tagging, in addition to its folder system. For small applications, Pocket seems faster, and easier to navigate, but for involved projects and long-term storage, the more detailed filing system of Evernote handles large amounts of data more efficiently.
Both programs save web-clippings as simplified articles, stripping them of ads and pictures. This means smaller files, and less “junk” to sift through.
It’s interesting to note that Pocket allows you to send information directly to Evernote. Since pocket only works as a clipper, it seems that the programmers realized that even though it is a very handy tool, Evernote still commands greater respect as a more versatile program.
Comparing Evernote to the Competition
The answer to the question How Does Evernote Compare to the Competition? basically, has two answers. As a task specific program, it cannot claim to be the best task manager, note taker, nor does it blow away the competition as a file management system. The only area where Evernote shows itself superior to all others is as a web-clipper; however, it definitely performs all the mentioned tasks well, if not as well as the task-specific programs, and that web-clipping application pretty much cinches it.
While it may not be the best at most things, it is definitely the best for everything.
Ready to create the changes that will help you move towards living the life you REALLY want? Now is the time to take control of your personal development by eliminating self-doubt. Give your confidence a boost so you can value the life as well as the business you have dreamed of. Contact Kim Hughes when you are ready to Bring Clarity, Balance, and Confidence to your business. Visit KimHughesCoaching.com for details!
Image courtesy of Ian Lamont/Flickr.com