For a long long time I’ve scribbled ideas and thoughts in my trusty Moleskine, even going as far as numbering the pages and keeping an ‘index of ideas’ on the inside back page. These days however, my iPhone is my new Moleskine, but it wasn’t really until a very good friend introduced me to Evernote did I realise it’s true potential in the creative field.
If you have truly caught the photography bug (some call it a disease), then throughout the day you might get a constant flow of ideas and thoughts about your creative passion. Because my ideas always happened in such a spontaneous manner, usually triggered by my surroundings at the time, I always found that by the end of the day, unless I recorded them immediately, I would only retain only 50% or less.
I needed a way to harness my creative process! So, I went out and bought myself a Moleskine notebook which, with it’s practical design and arty history almost coaxed you to use it……, plus it was the perfect size to fit in my jacket pocket right next to my nerdy pen holder and ink stain.
I felt liberated! Now I was able to scribble my thoughts and observations at will yet still having them all in the same place, always available for further reference, and even indexed for speedy retrieval. The hardcover little black book was not to leave my side for many years.
My Evernote Desktop
I still have the original notebooks full of ideas and inspirations although these days they’re quietly sitting on my desk in a neat pile awaiting their eventual transfer into Evernote. I haven’t given up using them just yet but certainly feel that their days are very much numbered. Working in such a visually intensive field I realised that I wanted to be able to do more than just writing or sketching down my thoughts.
The first thing that jumped out at me about Evernote was the fact that it was a cross platform application. I could install it on all the studio Mac’s and the last remaining PC and keep everything syncronized and accessible from every part of the studio.
The next big plus for me was that Evernote also came complete with a native iPhone App ‘Evernote’ for my shiny new 3G, as well as apps for Palm and Blackberry users…… and things just got better! All the devices stay syncronized via a FREE Evernote account which also acts as your storage portal for all your clippings, so no matter where you are, you can log in to your account and view any of your clippings at any time from any internet browser.
Now I can, and regularly do, grab a quick snap shot of a potential location (complete with it’s GPS coordinates) I might stumble across, jot down an idea, record a voice memo or clip a web page and then have it almost instantly appear on all my machines and devises, then as I continue my research on the web I can clip the pages along with their URL’s straight into their respective job folders using the browser clipping plugin.
To keep things organised I normally create an individual folder for each job, project or subject, and a default ‘go to’ folder for miscelaneous clippings to be filed at a later date. The ability to keep ALL the information for each project in the one place has proved invaluable in shoot preparation and execution, especially when I’m away on location. It has also come in handy for everything from buying a car, to preparing the grocery list and compiling ideas and information for Foto Priority.
The whole Evernote experience is very organic which takes no time to master, and yes, it’s definitely VERY complementary to the creative process. Best of all, to get going costs you nothing, although you do need to set up an account which gives you plenty of clipping room. The Palm, Blackberry & iPhone apps are also free.
Once you start using it for remembering almost everything, upgrading to Premium gives you a much bigger upload capacity, supports more file types, and offers enhanced security. Plus, you get PDF searching, faster image recognition, and no ads. That will set you back US$45.00 p/year which, based on how much I use it, is very fair indeed. Happy clipping!!
by Daniel Linnet