Feb 122012
 

One thing that most people will say about me is that I hate paper. It’s inflexible to organize, impossible to search, and leads to clutter. I really do not like clutter. I had known of Evernote’s existence for quite some time but I hadn’t figured out exactly how to use until I was looking for a way of digitizing grocery lists.

Evernote is a note synching service. You can type notes on your computer, cell phone, or tablet computer and view them on any other one of those devices. Typing on mobile devices can be cumbersome so I was really attracted to this because you didn’t have to type your notes up on them.

At the time, I had been leaning toward this type of grocery list┬ábut I knew that I was never going to print it out weekly. My first step was to digitize it and turn it into a Google Doc. In addition to this, I was able to meal plan on the same document. This worked for a while but it wasn’t ideal to view the list on my phone while I was shopping. Perhaps I could have formatted it differently but I wasn’t pleased enough with the current results to play with it anymore. This is when I began using Evernote.

Every week, I would sit down with my computer, meal plan, and type up a complete grocery list. When I was shopping, I would just delete the items off the list as I put them in the cart. I loved this solution because Evernote was easy to use, fast, and above all, paper free. A few weeks later, I created a second list for CostCo. This was working but it was taking longer than it needed to. Every week we would buy a gallon of milk so why was I removing it from the list every week?

This is when I switched my list to one that contains a static list of grocery items and has a check box next to each item. Instead of organizing the list alphabetically or by category (produce, proteins, dairy, etc), I organize the list by the route that I walk through the store. Now when I go grocery shopping, it’s fast and I never forget anything that I need.

This is an example of my CostCo list:

CostCo Shopping List

CostCo Shopping List

Today, I use Evernote primarily for lists. I store account information, grocery lists, todo lists, and my daily workouts with Evernote. It has greatly improved my productivity and organization.

Evernote does have a few issues. Occasionally I experience a sync issue where my lists are duplicated 2 or 3 times. It’s not a terrible inconvenience but it is annoying. When this happens, I clean up the duplicates from my computer. The other issue I’ve encountered is that it can be difficult to format these lists. Fonts will occasionally vary from the one I’ve selected or a random blank line will appear within my list that I didn’t put there. Again, this stuff is easily cleaned up from a desktop computer.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Reduces Clutter
  • Increases Organization
  • Increases Productivity
  • Convenient

Cons:

  • Occasional Sync Issues
  • Occasional Formatting Errors

Evernote Rating: 4/5