Forever Evernote, iPad Edition, Part 2: Skitch

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Skitch for Evernote

Today we are taking an in depth look at Skitch, which is an app that I use with Evernote. It’s made by the same people who make Evernote, so the integration is pretty much flawless. Skitch goes everywhere that Evernote goes, so let’s take a look!

This is going to be a photo-intensive post, so you should know that clicking on a photo will bring up a larger version of that photo.

Skitching with iPad

One of the biggest advantages of Evernote is the ability to use it on my iPad, and Skitch is a big part of helping me take photographic notes. It is downloadable at the app store, for free.

OK, I Got it, Now What? 

First, go to the skitch app and open it up:

Photo_Skitch_Document

Select the type of file you want from the main menu: 

This is the main screen. Just like Evernote, if you want to add a new skitch item, you click the plus button. If you want to discard an item, you click the little trashcan and an image like the one directly below will pop up and you hit the little “x” to delete it.

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The photo directly below this is the main menu. You can:  1. take a photo with your iPad; 2. choose a picture from your iPad or photo stream; 3. draw something on a map (the map is in Skitch); 4. start with a blank canvas; or 5. take a screen grab from a website. Let’s take each of them in turn.

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TAKE A PHOTO

This option is pretty self explanatory. Once you hit this button, it opens up into a camera app and you just snap a photo. The remainder of this type of file is identical to the “choose a photo” option, so scroll on down for more on that.

CHOOSE A PHOTO

For choose a photo, you are going to get an option about where to get the photo:

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You have to select the photo either from the camera roll (the photos that you have actually taken with your iPad) or your photo stream (all of your photos across all devices that support iPhoto or compatible apps like Social Folders). I selected Photo Stream:

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Now, you just select a picture and get to work!

You can make a blurry area for sensitive information that you don’t want someone else to see (or a stray ink mark on your wrist):

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You can draw arrows on your photos and choose the color of elements you want to add:

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You can crop photos:

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You can add highlighting and put it all together:

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DRAW ON A MAP

This is a hand little feature that lets you do the same features as the photos, but on an in-app map:

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START WITH BLANK

Another great feature if you are only looking for drawing tools:

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CAPTURE FROM WEB

I have used this handy tool during depositions when I have been doing internet research on something that has been mentioned. I can capture a screen grab of the website and highlight anything that’s relevant. Here is an example from a newspaper’s website:

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Now let’s see how it works in Evernote: 

Go open up Evernote from your main screen:

Photo_Skitch_Document

Select the “Skitch” notebook. You will get this notebook when you open a skitch account and link it to your Evernote account.

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THis is the view of the skitch notebook. I never re-titled the pictures I took for this post, so they all have the same name. But, ideally, you would give your photos unique names to use that search feature later.

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This is a note opened up:

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Because this is Evernote, you can share anything you create in Skitch with someone else, by either creating a public link to email or post, etc., or by emailing someone individually who has an Evernote account and letting them share the note in their own notebook.

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So that’s it! Now you are a Skitch Pro and hopefully it will help you get more out of Evernote. 

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts talking about the apps I use with Evernote to get the most out of it.

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Forever Evernote, iPad Edition, Part 1

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:

-Work PC

-Home PC

-Macbook

-iPad

-iPhone

-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? 

Notebooks

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:

notebooks

Stacks:

Stacks are a group of notebooks that are all related. In the picture above, they are the notebooks with the white bands around them.

Organizing

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).

Example:

Here is a picture of my Ellison v. Lesher stack opened up to see all of the notebooks:

skitch

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:

notes in stack

 

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.

Search

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:

evernote search function

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.

Evernote Security

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.