Time Management

Why you should be using Evernote. Really.

April 15, 2015

Back in August of 2013, I wrote a post about why you should be using Evernote. Well, I’m here to say it again. If you’ve not yet discovered Evernote and how it can help you organize everything – professional and personal – it’s time you did. When Evernote first came out a few years back, I downloaded it right away. Then, I proceeded not to use it. Oh, I created a notebook or two, but I found it to be cumbersome and confusing. So, I forgot about Evernote.

Then I was looking for a way to organize notes for a book I’m writing. Serendipity or dumb luck led me back to Evernote. OK, I’ll admit it, apparently I never did cancel my Premium subscription – which is only $5 a month. And after I rediscovered Evernote, I knew that $5 would be money well-spent.  But you don’t need to spend a dime to get started with Evernote. A regular subscription is free. I guarantee you that once you start using Evernote, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.  My friends will tell you that I’m given to hyperbole, but I think I’m spot on with this prediction.

I can’t tell you everything about why Evernote is so great in this post. So instead, I’ll give you some instructions on getting started and a few ideas to get you going. At the bottom of this post are links to some excellent blog posts about how lawyers are using Evernote in their practices.

What can Evernote do?
Rather than me trying to tell you, here’s a 50-second video.

Get Started

  • Go to www.evernote.com and download Evernote for your computer: Windows, Windows 7 or Mac.
  • Next, get the Evernote app for all your mobile devices.  Evernote works on iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows Phone, Blackberry and HP WebOS.

Get Going

  • Create a notebook.
  • Start putting stuff in it. When you download Evernote for your computer, you’ll be able to clip web pages and save emails right to your notebooks. I know this sounds ridiculously simple, and it is. Evernote is really intuitive. Unlike me a few years ago, you’ll get it very quickly.

How can you use Evernote for your practice?
Here are few things you can do to manage your practice with Evernote:

  • Create your monthly marketing plans and save them to a marketing notebook. You can track your progress and update your plans from anywhere.
  • If you blog, Evernote is a great place to capture blog post ideas and resources. Just set up a blogging notebook and start saving your ideas. (The idea for this post is in my Evernote Blog Post Ideas notebook.)
  • You can organize all your travel stuff in one place: airline and rental car confirmations, maps, restaurant reservations.

Get Scannable!
And definitely check out Scannable. I think it’s the best mobile scanning app out there. It links to Evernote, and it’s free.

How are other lawyers using Evernote?
Here are just a few blog posts (and an E-Book) about how lawyers are using Evernote.

How Lawyers Use Evernote

Cloud Planet – A Lawyer’s Guide to Evernote E-Book (From our friends at RocketMatter)

Day 15 To A Better Law Firm -Reduce Clutter with Evernote

How to Use Evernote for Depositions

Using Master Checklists in Evernote to be a More Productive Lawyer

Evernote gives lawyers a valuable archive for their legal research

You might also want to check out the Kindle book Evernote for Lawyers: A Guide to Getting Organized & Increasing Productivity (Productivity for Lawyers and Law Firms), by David M. Ward.

Evernote is a powerful productivity tool for your practice and your life. It lets you get everything out of your head and into your new, online brain.  Once you love Evernote, you may want to look into Evernote for Business, but for now just jump in and get started.

If you’re already using Evernote, I’d love to hear how you’re using it for your practice.



  1. Tom Stirewalt says:

    What about “security”.
    Many attorneys have material they would like to store in, say, a trial notebook in evernote, but part of the contents are medical records that are covered by HIPAA.
    So once in the notebook, and notebook is then up in the cloud on the Evernote servers — WHO, exactly, besides the attorney, can read the data while it is up on the Evernote servers? The techs who hover around the servers to keep them running? Is the data encrypted on the actual server media there at the Evernote data storage facility, and at that point WHO HAS THE KEY?
    And, Heaven forbid, someone subpoenas Evernote, are they handing over un-encrypted, readable data?
    Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE Evernote and use it, but not for anything Client that I need to keep away from non-authorized people.
    What say you? What say Evernote?

  2. Nora Riva Bergman says:

    Tom, you raise some valid issues around security. Some – or all – of which are relevant to all cloud-based solutions. Jurisdictions have different rules and guidelines around storing client data in the cloud. The Florida Bar has some rather stringent guidelines; however, it includes the Evernote app in a list of “Top iPad Apps for Lawyers.” That being said, storing sensitive client data that is subject to other laws is probably not the best way to go. In my post, I suggest using Evernote to create and track marketing plans and blog post ideas. I’d add to that list – organizing legal research, contacts, and non-sensitive data. I find it’s also an excellent place to capture and organize ideas of all kinds. Thanks for weighing in.

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