Evernote has several products to choose from but the two I use regularly are the Web Clipper and Skitch.
The Evernote Web Clipper makes it easy to save and store useful information without leaving your internet browser. After you download the browser extension, a new icon appears on your browser's menu bar. Clicking the icon reveals an assortment of options for how you can save the page’s content, including highlighting portions of the text, saving the full article or a simplified version, and taking (and annotating) a screenshot.
Here’s how I use the Web Clipper to help organize my design business:
1. Save Articles for Later
When I’m browsing the internet, I almost always stumble upon a useful tutorial or article that I realize may come in handy someday. Instead of bookmarking it in my browser, I’ll use the Web Clipper to file the article into Evernote. If I already know which notebook it should go in (like a Code notebook in my Business stack) then I'll select that right away, if I’m not sure where it’s going to go yet then I clip the article to my .inbox to file or read later.
2. Screenshots with Annotations
If I want to remind myself of how I did something, I’ll use the Web Clipper to take a quick screenshot of the page I’m working on. After you take the screenshot, a set of annotation tools will appear and you can make additional marks before saving the note to the appropriate notebook.
3. Saving Facebook Posts
It’s widely known that the search feature within Facebook Groups is faulty at best. So many times when I’m having a problem, I’ll remember that someone else had that question months ago—but not be able to find the original post.
Enter Web Clipper.
Now when I find a post valuable, I will click on the date/time of the post to open it in a new window. Then I’ll use the Web Clipper to snag the conversation and place it in Evernote. Evernote’s rockin’ search features make it super easy to find later.
Check out my #designscope: How I Use the Evernote Web Clipper to Stay Organized Online!
Similar to the Web Clipper, Skitch is an Evernote add-on app for your desktop or mobile device. Skitch allows you to take screenshots of your device and then annotate them, share them, automatically save them to Evernote, and/or export them.
When you first install Skitch, be sure to go into Preferences and set the default notebook that you want your screenshots to be saved to. I have a notebook called Skitch set up in my zArchive stack.
The image above was snapped and annotated with Skitch. How very meta. Checkout Evernote’s Guide to Skitch for your operating system to see the complete feature list.
Here’s how I use Skitch in my design business:
1. Quick Tutorials for Clients
Skitch makes it easy to take a snapshot of your client’s WP Dashboard and then annotate it with instructions. You can use arrows, highlight text, and write instructions on the screenshot. By clicking the “Share” button you can generate a URL to the screenshot that’s easy to paste into a reply to your client.
2. Helping Other Designers
I love helping other designers solve their CSS issues. It feels like solving a beautiful puzzle. Often I will fix a piece of code in Google’s Inspector for a designer friend and then take a Skitch screenshot of the page. After annotating the page, I’ll grab the share URL and enter that into a Facebook comment or forum post.
Why not just use the Web Clipper instead of Skitch for these screenshots?
I use Skitch anytime I want to generate a quick sharing URL. The Evernote Web Clipper is great for filing away screenshots, and you can generate sharing URLs to your notes, but it’s an extra step to then open Evernote and generate the sharing URL. With Skitch it’s one fluid workflow.
Your tasks are to:
- Download the Web Clipper for your favorite browser and give it a whirl!
- Download Skitch.
- Set up your default Preferences.
- Take a screenshot, annotate it, and generate a sharing link.
This is the sixth post in the Designer Guide to Evernote series.
Check back next week, when I’ll be sharing my tips for success for using Evernote in your design business.