Evernote: You Can Have it Everywhere
Today, I thought I would share a little bit about how I keep all of my information together across various platforms and locations. My main system is Evernote. Evernote is my work BAF (best app forever).
Where I have Evernote:
-two turntables and a microphone
Why it is Better Than One Note
I actually love OneNote. I wish the people at Microsoft would quit being such big babies and put out a Mac edition, but they haven’t. I do have Outline for Mac, which I will probably cover later, but, for now at least, Outline does not have two-way usage. I can only use it to read OneNote, which doesn’t help if you are a super mobile, jet-setting* attorney like me and you find yourself in need of actually inputting information somewhere away from a PC.
Evernoting with iPad
One of the biggest advantages of Evernote is the ability to use it on my iPad. I can do research at the doctor’s office, completely handle multiple days worth of depositions, and figure out what’s for dinner all from my iPad. So let’s dive in, shall we?
How Do I Get Evernote on My iPad?
You go to the app store and download it.
How much does it cost?
A basic Evernote account is free (as is the app).
I started with a free account to try it out, which is what I recommend doing. Because I use Evernote so much, I purchased a premium Evernote account. It’s less than $50 per year and pretty much essential if you are really going to use Evernote heavily for work. Premium allows you to work offline, search all of your attachments, etc., so it’s pretty key.
How do I download the Evernote App?
Why do you have an iPad if you don’t know how to download an app? You should find someone else and just give them your iPad because you are wasting yours and the rest of this is going to be waaay too complicated for you.
OK, I Got it, Now What?
The first thing you want to do is create a notebook. This is where you are going to put everything.
1. Creating a Notebook: the upper left-hand button with the plus symbol lets you add a notebook.
2. Deleting a Notebook: the bottom right hand trashcan button lets you delete a notebook.
3. Accessing Notebooks: all of your notebooks are pictures on the main page. Here is a picture of my current notebooks:
Stacks are a group of notebooks that are all related. In the picture above, they are the notebooks with the white bands around them.
The way you organize your notebooks is up to you. Here is my current system:
1. Every case I’m working on has its own notebook (at least one).
2. Large, active cases have more than one notebook, which are piled into a stack. I’m currently only working on one big case in Evernote (my other big cases are with attorneys who use dropbox, One Note, or just my work server, so I store the information for those cases there).
Here is a picture of my Ellison v. Lesher stack opened up to see all of the notebooks:
So you can see that I have a separate notebook for 4 depositions and also a general case notebook. I use the general case notebook to stick loose notes into until I can organize them into a notebook.
Within a deposition notebook, I have individual notes:
The first note is a voice-recorded memo to myself that I created directly in Evernote.
The next four notes are picture of exhibits that I took with the camera on my iPad at the deposition. Taking pictures meant that I didn’t have to keep up with the actual exhibits.
The last note is just a text note that I copied and pasted from a Word document. These were the questions that I actually ended up asking at the deposition.
Searching is the key to the Evernote system. You can search within a notebook or within all notebooks. Here is the result of a search for “depo” within one notebook:
You can see that it searches the title and file itself. I try to be smart about how I title my notes. The title needs to make sense when I’m searching for an exhibit later.
One of the biggest concerns for attorneys is the security of our documents. We often have sensitive client information stored in our massive files and it would be terrible if our clients couldn’t trust us with their documents.
Evernote has one-way encryption, which means that user passwords are all scrambled to bits in their server, making them pretty much useless to anyone who is able to access them. Additionally, you can encrypt the data in a note yourself, but remember that Evernote can not retrieve this data for you if you lose it on your end.
Evernote provided the following steps to ensure that your data in Evernote and other sites is secure:
- Avoid using simple passwords based on words found in a dictionary.
- Never use the same password on multiple sites or services.
- Never click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails – instead go directly to the service by typing the address into a browser address bar or using a bookmark.
Finally, make sure your iPad itself is secure. I have mine set to lock if I’m away from it for a minute and it requires a four digit pin to unlock. Additionally, I have the settings to remotely erase the data on my iPad enabled, for worst case-scenario situations.
Stay tuned for some upcoming posts talking about the apps I use with Evernote to get the most out of it.
*Can I call attending depositions at the Municipal League jet-setting? Let’s go with yes.