Software

Use Evernote for your information intensive IT projects

Will Kelly explains how to use Evernote for your IT projects natively or by integrating the app with Nozbe or Refinder.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) is helping the popular note-taking solution Evernote get more attention inside corporations. Some say Evernote isn't for project managers, but I think Evernote is useful for projects and teams that are swimming in information. The app can also add a level of secure information sharing to such projects. Here are some ways you can use Evernote natively and how to integrate it with Nozbe and Refinder.

Go native with Evernote

Collaborative note-taking

I am not a fan of taking minutes during meetings. The task usually falls to one person, and the minutes are usually filed somewhere and never referred to again.

With the advent of Evernote Business (which is due to launch in December 2012) or a more relaxed environment for personal cloud apps, project managers and their teams can take notes in Evernote that deal with their segments of the meeting. Team members can then share their notes with the rest of the team at the end of the project meeting.

Share notes and notebooks

Sharing notes and notebooks is a way for sharing project information securely. It also does away with the need for paper notes and helps centralize project notes and your brainstorming.

To share notes, follow these steps:

  1. Click Send. A drop-down menu appears.
  2. In the drop-down menu that appears, click one of the following: a. Email to email a link to the selected note to a recipient. Optionally, you can add a short note.b. Link to create a link to the note. You can then cut and paste the link into an email or instant message.

If you establish a notebook for a project, you might want to share the entire notebook. Here's how:

  1. Right-click the notebook you want to share.
  2. In the drop-down list that appears, select Share Notebook.
  3. In the Sharing dialog box that appears (Figure A), perform one of these options:

a. Click Invite Individuals. Fill out the email address and permissions you want to grant an individual. Click Invite.

b. Click Create A Public Link. The public URL of the selected notebook appears. Click Invite Individuals. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. Set access permissions in the Individuals who join can drop-down list. Click Invite.

Figure A

Sharing dialog box in Evernote. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Create task lists

You can create task lists in Evernote via the Web interface or through the Mac and Windows applications. Follow these steps to create a task list:

  1. Open Evernote.
  2. Click New Note.
  3. Click the Insert To-do Checkbox.

Evernote creates a bare-bones checklist; there is no facility to put in dates, and Evernote doesn't even cross out a completed task. You can share task lists just as you can any other note.

Integrate Evernote with third-party apps

Evernote integration with Nozbe

Nozbe is perhaps best known as a Getting Things Done (GTD) organizational system, though it is also a capable task management system for individuals and teams available in the cloud, PC desktop, or iOS app. I've used Nozbe to manage small projects, and the option to include Evernote notes in my Nozbe projects has given me a centralized view into my project research.

To integrate Evernote with Nozbe, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Nozbe project.
  2. Under More Content, click Evernote Notes.
  3. Click Connect Nozbe to Evernote.
  4. When the Allow Access: Nozbe page appears, click Authorize.
From within Evernote, you need to tag any project-related notes with the name of your Nozbe project in order for the Evernote notes to show up in Nozbe. Figure B shows Evernote notes as they appear in the Nozbe cloud app. Figure B

Evernote notes in Nozbe. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Evernote integration with Refinder

Refinder is cloud-based project management application and a recent Evernote Devcup winner. Its integration with Evernote fits into where I see Evernote integration into a cloud-based application. In Refinder, you can add entire Evernote notebooks and add single notes by tags.

Here's how to add Evernote notebooks to a Refinder collection:

  1. Create a Collection.
  2. Connect Evernote.
  3. Click Start Authentication.
  4. Click Authorize.
  5. Select the Notebook you want to import.
  6. Select the tags you want to import.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click Continue.
Figure C shows Evernote notes as seen in a Refinder collection. Figure C

An example of how you can access Evernote notes from Refinder. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Team members can add: comments and tags to the information; their own Evernote accounts to Refinder; and Dropbox folders, Google Drive, and Twitter feeds.

Evernote as project management tool

Evernote's aggressive client app updates, impending release of Evernote Business, and third-party integrations are helping it gain more of a foothold inside corporate enterprises and increasing its availability to project managers. You should see whether Evernote can help you manage your IT projects.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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