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Submitted by jameshervey on


 I got turned on to Manager Tools and Career Tools in November by a friend and can I say that after three months of avidly consuming as many casts as I can, my whole approach to my career and work has changed.

I had a question for everyone - 

After listening to several of the career tools casts and reading Love is the Killer App at Mark and Mike's suggestion in the Building Your Network cast, I've started to read business books again.  I'm also taking notes like crazy, following TIm Sanders' advice in LITKA.

I was wondering what people's thoughts on using something like Evernote to take notes while reading is?  i find myself reading in cars and airplanes a lot, and frankly, using Evernote makes note taking much easier, especially when I am reading on my iPad, which is most of the time.

Am I losing most of the mental benefit of note-taking doing this?




jclishe's picture

I personally prefer OneNote as I find it works better for me, but to your point I prefer the concept of an electronic cloud-based note taking app. I follow the GTD "inbox" principle and the one thing I can 100% gaurantee to have with me at all times is my phone, therefore I can always jot notesinto the same repository and access them from my phone, tablet, or PC.


tpedrick's picture

I am a fan of Evernote also.  Much of my reading is done using an iPad and being able to save notes and articles and such to Evernote is so convenient however, I am an avid writer and use a pen and paper for my everyday note taking (including reading of some material).  I am old-fashioned in that I keep a commonplace book on the important pasasges and notes of the books I read.  Peter Drucker has his own section in it, lol. 

I think digital is useful and convenient but, for the "real important" material I want it on paper.  It is too easy to delete a document from a PC but, a notebook is a different story.  I have kept notebooks for the past 15 years and couldn't imagine not being able to go back and pull information out of them. 

Something else to think about, technology advances rapidly.  If, Evernote goes by the wayside and nothing is created to transfer the information you have stored in Evernote will you be able to retrieve your notes a year, 5 years 20 years later?  That goes with any program.  Technologies change and compatibility becomes a concern.

As far as losing the "mental benefit" JEHERV, there is something to be said for actually putting for the effort of handwriting notes.  I remember more of what I write by and vs. type and far more than what I save to Evernote.  Hand writing reinforces my thoughts and enables me to store them in my mind for easier recollection in the future.



jameshervey's picture
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Thanks guys.  The point about losing the notes is a good one.  

I do find that typing on a table and moving between apps is a lot of work and seems to tax my brain the same way writing does.  I also agree that writing things down is extremely beneficial and since I have become a Career and Manager tools devotee, I have stopped taking any meeting notes electronically, reverting back to the old pen and paper.

The next book I am going to read is a Drucker book I found in hardcover at a used bookstore, so I think I am going to take some handwritten notes for that book and compare and contrast.

FWIW - I like Remember the Milk as an app for inboxing tasks.




J_Lemaire's picture

 Hi James,

just wanted to give a positive shout-out for using Evernote for "note-taking" while reading.

I'd say it comes down to personal preference.

Here is what works for me:

  • read hardcover or on Kindle
  • take snapshots with my iPhone in the Evernote app of a passage I find note-worthy and worthy to remember, tagged with the book title (works with iPad, too, would work with most android devices, too)
  • once I'm done with a book, I can merge all the notes with that title-tag into one big note
  • later on, when I remember something in a conversation, I can search Evernote for the words that I remember to find the exact quote, title, author, and share part or all of my collection of snapshots with some personal notes with my conversation partner
  • I like that I have all info available across devices
  • downside: info is in the cloud, and forward-compatibility is a question, with a service as big as  Evernote, one can be rather sure that some way of migrating info out of Evernote into something else will be available at end-of-life

I've also recently read Love is the Killer App :) -- really liked it.


AdGuyRich's picture

Just piping in here, I use Evernote all the time. For me, I never know when an idea will hit me. As you know it's a wiki, which means i can tap into a previous note/thought anywhere on any device. Searchable txt and images as mentioned above, it's great.