This Post Was Created In Partnership With Evernote.
My business has evolved SO MUCH over the past couple of years. I went from being a one- woman-show that I ran out of my living room, to moving into a proper office, and this year, hiring my first salaried employees. It was a (very!) big leap. Today, my one-woman show, has grown into a real-live business that has three different ‘branches’: the blog / content creation arm, the design studio arm and the online shop. Each of these branches involve a handful of different skills, tools and people to keep them running well. But, with a small team (there are four or five of us here on most days) one thing is certain — organization and communication are the keys to making everything run smoothly — especially when I’m on the road (which lately is pretty often).
In all candor, organization is not my forte. Blame it on my artist brain, or sheer laziness, but my lack of organization is probably one of my worst traits — especially as a business-owner. For example, I have 18,724 unread emails in my email inbox right now. (I’m not kidding.) When I meet other business-owners that have achieved (and maintain!) ’inbox zero’ I am truly in awe. Like I have NO IDEA how they do that. So I am always on the look out for tools that I can integrate into my daily work-flow that help me to be more organized in a un-cumbersome way. If it’s slightly difficult or annoying to set up or use I won’t use it. It has to be seamless.
Since I started to use Evernote it has saved me time, money and headaches. I’m excited to share some of the ways that I use the app to help my work flow and help me and my team get (and STAY!) more organized as we scale our business and things get even crazier.
I first started using the app as a simple note-taking app. I am often in weird places (middle of the night, on a plane) when I’m struck with inspiration and ideas, so I used the app simply as a way to help me remember, keep track of and record all my random ideas. I used to have piles of little notebooks and sticky notes everywhere — now I have digital note books that are collated and tagged so that I can easily go back to an old idea or doodle to prep for a meeting or presentation. It has helped so much with our brainstorming sessions as well.
If I have 18,000 unread emails, you may not be surprised to discover that I have 37,100 photos stored on my phone (and don’t get me started on my desktop!!) Maybe it’s an idea for our home remodel, for a blog post or for a new collection but I take and save thousands of pictures every week. Before I started using Evernote these photos were simply swimming in a sea of tens of thousands of images that I had to scroll to (which was never chic while trying to show something to a potential partner or client). Now, with Evernote Premium, I’ve started collating and tagging images for easy access when I’m switching from one project to another and want to see (or show) ideas to clients and partners.
Besides taking notes — the other function I probably use most is the scan feature. I’ve started to use Evernote to store and organize both business cards and receipts and saves me both time and money.
During a trade show I can simply scan in a business card and Evernote auto-populates the info so it’s all right there. How many times have you been to a conference or a trade show, and come back with a stack of business cards but can’t really remember which person you met goes with which card? Or you can’t even find the card?? This type of thing used to happen to me all the time, so having the ability to scan the card and then add a photo, tag or add it to a specific notebook to help remember relevant info is a total game-changer.
Same is true for scanning receipts. I am able to expense most of my business trips with companies that I’m partnering up with. For so long (I’m talking years!) I would lose receipts, or not expense meals or a taxi ride because maybe it was just $10 here or there and so I’d let it slide, but not anymore! Ten bucks here and there can add up!! Evernote allows me to scan a receipt quickly and easily and then add them to my “Expense” notebook, and then I tag the receipts with the trip name. I even forward digital receipts to Evernote. When I get home I’m able to easily share everything with our office manager who then get our reimbursements.
Evernote is quickly changing the way our office communicates. We’ve begun using the business chat feature. We share files and keep them organized that way. Getting totally digitally organized is a big business goal for me this year and so far I feel like I’m on a positive path. I can already feel my brain feeling more free of clutter, random sticky notes and crumpled receipts. It’s pretty awesome.