Evernote tip 9: Index the physical
Like a lot of people I rely on Evernote as my external brain, but my use of Evernote extends beyond the digital realm to the physical realm too.
But first, a quick quiz. Can you identify this?
No? You know what? Neither can I. But somehow this weird piece of plastic turned up in my home office one day, and I was left with a dilemma with which I am sure you too are familiar.
Throw it away?
On the one hand, I could throw it away. The thing is, if I did that, then you can be absolutely sure that within a week or so, it will turn out that that piece of plastic was absolutely vital to the functioning of a critical piece of household equipment.
On the other hand, I could decide to "file" it in that drawer I have. You don't know which drawer I mean? Oh yes you do, it’s the same one you have, filled with cables for phones you no longer have, remote controls , batteries that may or may not be charged, and yes, nameless pieces of plastic.
If I decided to put it in that drawer then I can be equally sure I would never need it, and the only time I might touch it again is when I move house, although even that isn't a sure thing. There is a fair chance it might follow me to my grave...
Evernote to the rescue
So what do I do? I choose the second option, BUT before I "file" it in that drawer or box, I also file it in Evernote by taking a photo and putting it in Evernote, and tag it to say where it is. This means that whenever I find out that I need that piece of plastic, all I need to do is scan through my "real world" notes and I can quickly and easily retrieve it.
Of course this use of Evernote isn't restricted to anonymous pieces of plastic. I also use it to file other small objects that I can't quite bring myself to recycle, but which I know I won't be needing in the near future: