I have recently started to get addicted to this app/online web tool called Evernote. I decided it was finally time to consolidate some of my files stored on Dropbox, Google Drive, my personal file server, and local HD on my laptop. We have so many options these days when it comes to digital tools, we start to become overwhelmed with choices and our saved information (our photos, documents, notes, etc.) become time-consuming to actually find. You don’t know where to find your files, because we don’t actually even know where to start looking.

I have since started to organize things once again. I had gone down the route of using Google+ to have a free online backup of my 60,000+ photos, and when I found that their service had absolutely no tools to manage your photos (no sort feature, search by dimension/file size, etc.), I decided to move away from the service and simply keep the files on a local hard drive with an offline backup HD of the files. I find this works best. With the cheap cost of HDs these days, you can easily store all your files and then periodically take a backup of all your files to another HD and then store that device disconnected from your network and PC.

You should always keep your data encrypted on these drives as well, in case the drives are ever stolen. Truecrypt (although now an abandoned project) was a great tool to encrypt entire disk partitions, keeping your data safe and protected. Windows has BitLocker and there are other tools out there. Be sure to use one of them.

So I have decided to consolidate all of the files that I do not need access to daily/weekly/monthly from the various cloud services to my hard drive storage. There is no need to keep files in the cloud unless you need to access to them 24/7 and often. So I guess you can think of services like Dropbox and Google just storing documents that I am currently working on or will use in the near future and then trash.

Now here is where Evernote comes into the picture. Evernote is not only a fantastic note taking application which syncs across your account on multiple devices, but it can do so much more. For example, you can take audio notes, easily drag and drop images and files to your notes, you can even take FaceTime Video messages for yourself. Doesn’t that sound very 2020-ish. Hah!

Even more awesome, with their premium service (which you are really going to want), you can search within attached documents and scanned images. So basically take a photo of something (a written document, etc.) and drop it into your note and later when you are searching for that file or image, your Evernote search results should bring it up. It really helps you to quickly and easily find the information you are searching for. Evernote also has a really cool app called Scannable. In fact, Scannable is what got me back into using Evernote after I initially signed up several years ago.

So the first thing I wanted to do was digitize some of the documents I had stored in my filing cabinet. I had a lot of paper documents that I had been storing for quite some time. In the past 5 years, I don’t think I ever looked at them, however, I wanted to keep them for reference. With the Scannable app, I was easily able to scan in all my documents and have them immediately accessible through any Evernote connected device.

The other nice thing about Evernote is you can use it to store small bits of information. For example, I can create a note about something, tag it with “Check out Later” and then I can easily bring up these note files with a quick search. You can also easily share notes with others. I share notes all the time with my wife. Such as a To Do list, a shopping list, or when we plan the activities we will do on our next holiday. There are all kinds of possibilities, be creative and figure out how Evernote can make your life easier!

Backup your data, digitize it, so it’s searchable, and enjoy the freedom of having that data accessible just about anytime, anywhere.

If you enjoyed this article, please click here to use my referral code to register for an Evernote account.