Get your business organised with Evernote

Do you have trouble trying to keep on top of your site notes, invoices, job photos and have client emails and project files scattered all over the place? If so, you’ll know how difficult it is to manage all of the information associated for yourself, let alone sharing it with your colleagues, suppliers and clients.

Evernote is a great tool for builders and tradies, as well as being really useful in your personal life too.

In this blog post we’re going to show you how Evernote can become a central part of your daily routine, and as a result, give you an easy to use and centralised place to manage all your project assets. If you’ve downloaded and never gotten around to using Evernote, this post is going to inspire you to give it another go.

So what is Evernote?

Evernote exists so that you will never forget or lose something ever again. That’s why their logo is an Elephant, because they never forget (clever eh?). Anything you add into Evernote can be easily searched for, found and then retrieved quickly.

It’s a free and premium productivity tool that works across all mobile, tablet and desktop devices: Windows, Mac, Apple, Android, Chrome and more.

At the time of writing, Evernote comes in 3 pricing plans ranging from Free to roughly USD$60 per year. There is plenty of features on the Free plan so there is very little commitment to getting started other than your time.

The range of things you can store on Evernote is staggering: documents, PDF’s, sound files, emails, photos, hand drawn illustrations – and all of it can be easily searched for. Even the words inside photos and your hand drawn notes can be searched for and found. Crazy!

Never forget or lose something again.

Evernote does four things really well.

  1. Storing all of your important notes and documents up in the Cloud (which is just a fancy way of saying “computers that store files on the Internet”). It then automatically synchronises all of these notes to all your devices, such as your laptop, office computer, mobile and tablet, meaning all of your stuff is available to you everywhere you are.
  2. Capturing your notes and documents in super-convenient ways. For example, you can capture site photos on your phone, forward supplier emails and have it linked to a specific project, record audio conversations, add text clippings from your web browser or just type your notes directly into any of the Evernote apps.
  3. Searching and finding your notes is where Evernote is really powerful. When you capture any image, be it a photo from a job site, a photo of your hand drawn notes or a scan from your printer, Evernote will automagically apply Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which converts the picture of text into searchable text. This means you can search for words that appear on a blueprint or business card and Evernote will be able to find them. You can even get a plugin for your web browser that shows you your Evernote files alongside your Google Searches. This powerful search will save you a lot of time.
  4. Sharing and Collaborating allows you to quickly get your stuff back out of Evernote in lots of practical ways. At its simplest you can send a link to an online version of your with anyone you want. On the paid plans you can even collaborate with other people and allow them to edit and contribute to your notes.

Why it’s brilliant for builders and tradies

If you are a builder or tradesperson, your mobile has become your portable office, but you also rely on having access to everything on your desktop computer as well as a need to share important documents with your team and suppliers. Evernote is a perfect way to centralise all of your documentation so that you can easily capture, store and collaborate more easily.

Use case: Let’s say you’re on site to prepare a quote and getting a faster quote to your client could win you the work. You could use your phone to take photos of the site and then hand scribble the dimensions directly into the app. Add notes on the products you want to use, open up CSR connect to access your pricing, add up your costs and margins then share a link to the note directly with your customer. They’ll be impressed and you’ll have saved you or your team from having to pull it all together later on.
Use Evernote for capturing job site information, ideas and inspiration, keep abreast of new products and pricing, collect and store receipts, expenses, contracts, quotes and important contact information.
I use it for scanning in business cards and even for writing up this blog post.


Using tools like Evernote and CSR Connect are a great way to reduce the amount of paper and double handling that can occur on your jobs. Plus, the convenience of having everything in one place, and having access exactly when you need it can make your life a whole lot easier.

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Bonus resources 

It’s astonishing what you can do with Evernote if you really want to get serious with it. Here are a couple of extra sites and videos that we found that will take your Evernote usage to a whole other level:


Using Evernote for Construction Project Management

Keith Bloemendaal is a popular US-based builder, photographer and blogger. In this post he describes how he relied on Evernote to manage up to 40 building projects at time.

I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing.

If you’re still not convinced, you should check out this article which charts the transition from Evernote skeptic to convert.

What is Evernote (animated infographic)

This fun introductory video shows how a reporter could use Evernote to collaborate with colleagues.

Mod’s five tips to get more out of Evernote.

While some of these tips may seem a little obvious at first, these five tips just go to show that a tool is only as good as how often you use it.
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