I’m almost embarrassed to write this, but I am just recently discovering and using Evernote. If you are like me a few months ago and you have never heard of Evernote, then let me tell you a little bit about it. Basically, Evernote is your cloud based storage cabinet, rolodex, receipt manager, tax organizer, word processor, etc. According to Wikipedia, “Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving that can be had in a paid version or a more restricted, advertising supported, free version.” Evernote allows you to categorize and store countless notes and items for retrieval at a later date.
Over the past week, I have used it to declutter my desk. Yes, I still have a little bit left to do, but this is a drastic improvement over what it looked like before – the only unpapered spot on my desk was the approximate 18″ x 18″ work area immediately in front of my chair. So, here is how I have been using Evernote to declutter my life, and three ways I believe it can help you do the same for you in your real estate business.
1. Word Processing – Evernote allows users to write blog posts, notes from meetings with your broker or prospective buyers, etc. from any device. GoogleDocs doesn’t work well on mobile browsers, but Evernote does. Once you get to a stopping point with the document or you complete it, you can simply save the document and Evernote syncs that document with all of your devices, and your web account. Pretty cool stuff.
2. File Cabinet. I store all my monthly invoices on Evernote now. When a bill comes to me in the mail, I simply take a photo of the bill with my smartphone and send it to Evernote with a tag of the due date. When bill paying day rolls around, I just search for the month and year in Evernote and all of the invoices I have stored in my account are there for viewing and payment. I am also using Evernote as a rolodex to store an image of any business cards I receive now. Take a quick snapshot of the card, upload it to Evernote and give the card right back to the card’s owner. Some may think that is rude until you tell them politely that you are just trying to save them money, and the environment by using Evernote.
3. Receipt Manager. I used to save all of my receipts in a desk drawer until tax prep time when I would go through all of them to prepare information for my accountant. Once I was through with them, I would store them in an envelope inside a box for 3 years only to throw them away later. Not anymore, now I just take a picture of the receipt and upload it to Evernote, and then throw away the receipt. When tax time rolls around, I will just search in my receipts folder for receipts from this year. In addition to freeing up drawer space, I can easily search the tags I entered for a receipt that should I need to return to an item previously purchased.
These are just 3 of the countless ways to use Evernote in your real estate business. If you have another really cool way of using the service, then please leave that in the comments section below.