The decision to move your business to Evernote is exciting to contemplate: it’s so easy to see the benefits and imagine the productivity gains. But I also think that it — as with any major business decision — doesn’t come without concerns as well.
It’s my job to field these questions and answer these concerns, and to see whether Evernote is a good fit for a client’s business. This puts me in the excellent position to put some of these worries to rest.
Here the Top 5 Worries I hear about Evernote — and my best answers and advice.
Worry #1: The learning curve is too steep.
Let me happily disabuse you of this one, right off the bat. Evernote is usable from the very first hour. Basic competency — the ability to use it and use it well enough to make a difference in your business — is there from the first afternoon. And that comes from using it and tooling around in it, NOT from needing to view training videos in order to make basic strides.
After that, people can discover features — and uses for the features they already knew about — all the time. This kind of organic discovery keeps the pressure off and lets you and your team progress in mastery at your own pace.
Worry #2: We don’t need another app that does “one thing” – no matter how popular it is!
Oh, I so hear you on this one. But here’s the reality with Evernote: it can replace gDocs, Word, Pinterest, Pocket, Instapaper, Dropbox, your filing cabinet, all your email folders/tags as important-document-storage, and possibly your task-management software as well.
So, NOT a one-hit wonder. I know small businesses that run their entire everything out of Evernote. I run my almost-everything out of Evernote (and here’s a glimpse why).
Worry #3: Evernote might not play well with our other apps.
This is probably my #1 question whenever I demo a new piece of software: How does it work with what I already have in place? Here, Evernote scores high. Formal integrations with project-management apps such as Redbooth and Azendoo, calendar apps such as Sunrise, or category-killers like Salesforce extend Evernote’s reach seamlessly into greater business productivity.
But for those apps without formal integrations, there is Zapier and IFTTT to automate information flow between nearly any app that’s out there & Evernote. The automation recipes between social media apps (Twitter, Instagram, etc) and Evernote actually make me fist-pump when I set them up for clients. So easy.
Worry #4: Our info will be “stuck” in Evernote, and our partners and clients don’t use it.
This is important. If Evernote is going to act as your main business hub – how can you continue to work with your partners and clients without extra steps that defeat the promise of increased productivity? Evernote has answers for that.
Sharing. It’s easy to share Evernote notes with others. Read-only sharing takes one click – and the content behind the link is dynamically updated – see an example here. (I use this all the time with clients.) You can also send a note via email, which shows up looking formatted & gorgeous.
You can share and collaborate on (by which I mean read AND write access) individual notes AND full notebooks inside Evernote, and your collaborating partner just needs the Basic/Free version of Evernote (and about 5 minutes’ training) to be up and running.
Also, there is the very real possibility you will convert them. I administer my entire Course Incubator exclusively via Evernote and can’t tell you the number of times these clients have converted to full-blown all-Evernote-all-the-time users. I still get thank-you notes and shout-outs from them.
Worry #5: It’ll be too much upfront work to migrate our work into Evernote.
Truth: the more of your work documents that sit in Evernote, the better. But just even THINKING about that can cause you to hesitate to jump on board: who wants to upload a ton of stuff (and who has the TIME?!). Turns out, the way I advise my clients to migrate to Evernote ALSO handles this issue with the sanest workload possible: Chunk it.
First, pick a couple current projects and work them exclusively in Evernote. This requires moving just those files that are in-play, and creating new files as you go. More than keeping the migration manageable, this is the BEST way to keep from being overwhelmed as you create new workflows and new ways of getting things done, as well as reality-testing your notebook/tags organization. Also, as new projects come up, work them exclusively in Evernote as well (this will seem easy & natural).
Then, when the timing makes sense, move additional projects (individually, or in small numbers) over to Evernote, as you did the first ones. Continue apace until all your “current” work is in Evernote. Note: I do not recommend trying to straddle things by working a project half-in and half-out of Evernote (whatever that means in your business). The inability to intuitively find things during the press-of-bussiness is frustrating and can be demoralizing.
What’s left are “legacy” docs — closed projects, old files, historical documents. Leave these for a slow holiday week, a summer intern, or a burst of momentum. This can be a big project, but it’s also less urgent and tends to be quite flexible for timing.
Is your chief worry listed here? Have I put you at ease? What other questions do you have? Let me know in the comments!