Evernote and GTD (3): Collecting with the iPhone

In this third post in the series on Evernote and GTD I will discuss how I use the Evernote client for iPhone. I find myself using the iPhone client primarily for collecting information.

Over time I still find new ways to use one of the four options for entering information on the iPhone. When I am doing a weekly review I use the new text note to just enter new tasks to pop up during the time I reserve every week. But also when I am on the phone with someone it is quite easy to quickly add tasks that way. It takes some time to make it a habit to enter every single task or item that pops up during the day. Also I have found some resistance in entering some small detail like get new batteries for emergency light. But it is now a natural thing to do.

The Snapshot Note option has proven to be a very convenient way to be more productive and ahead of things. I use it for business cards, clippings from magazines and newspapers, price tags in shops, location of my car in the car park and numerous other ways. Basically all things that I need to remember or want to remember is entered through this option.

The Saved Photo Note is ideal if you want to add photo’s you have taken into a note, for instance when you are writing about a trip you have made.

I use the Voice Note option a lot in the car. When I want to brainstorm on a subject or when summarize a meeting I was in I create a new voice note. The quality of the audio is great. Sometimes I just listen to the audio note and then process the tasks that are in the recording. Other times I just keep the recording for later use.

But there are also other ways I have found the iPhone to be of great help in collecting. I use Google Reader as my newsreader and with the handy option of emailing items right from the mobile browser interface I email items of interest to my Evernote email address. Sometimes there is an action involved in an item and just emailing them keeps my head clear because I later process the items when I review the inbox notebook in Evernote.

A lot of people miss the copy/paste option on the iPhone. I use the screenshot option on the iPhone to make screenshot from a lot of apps on the iPhone. Not only webpages but also screens from applications like contacts, Google Maps, TwitterFon, the SMS app, Calendar and others as well. When I am looking at my tweets in Twitterfon and there is something in a tweet that needs my action I just press the power button and the home button to take a screenshot of that page. With the Saved Photo Note I then add the screenshot to Evernote. The possibilities are endless.

Clarifi case

I really think the iPhone camera is of good quality for the day to day use as I need it. If I want to take quality pictures I take my digital camera. But in one area the camera of the iPhone good be better and that is when taking shots of text. The Clarifi case has a built-in sliding lens that makes close-up photos incredibly clear. Together with the text recognition feature of Evernote there is no need for typing in business cards addresses because with Evernote you can search for that name or address on the card. I have found out about the Clarifi case on the Evernote blog. I immediately bought the case and I must say it is a must for serious collecting with the iPhone client.

In later posts I will write about the ways of the iPhone client for reviewing information and taking action. For now I close with again a call to your readers to add your own tips and suggestions by commenting on this post.

This is a post in a series on GTD with Evernote:

Part 1: Evernote and GTD
Part 2: Collecting
Part 3: Collecting with the iPhone
Part 4: Tags, Saved Searches and Premium
Part 5: Revisited

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Raj

    I’ve been using Evernote for GTD myself and have found it incredibly useful. It’s so quick to launch the iPhone app and add a note quickly. I too use the e-mail feature.

    I also use the iPhone app for accessing reference files quite a bit – I stored phone numbers and menus for local restaurants. That way if we want to make a quick reservation or are with friends who are unsure of what they want, I can just pull up the menu to help them pick.

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  • http://www.sainthoodandsurrender.com Todd Lemieux

    Thanks for this series. I want you to know that I was using Evernote but not with the clarity that you describe here. I am certainly going to be using it much more and more effectively.

    Thanks again!

    Real quick, do you find the need to enter business cards into Address Book in OSX?

  • http://newgadgetworld.com/this-weeks-twitter-design-news-roundup-n-24 Florine Jewel

    The processor is tagged as a little bit newer model number but it and also the GPU are most likely the same speed as the 3GS. The old Contact with the similar CPU and GPU as the 3G was faster. Apart from having the clock speed turned up higher the Contact has much less software programs to run since it is not a phone. It should do more than any iPhone to this day in overall performance.

  • http://getiphone.info Jack Gochett

    The iPhone functions as an iPod, media player, net, camera phone, has a multi-touch screen

  • http://www.zahngold-verkaufen.info gold

    Gut zu Wissen. Kommt hier noch ein weiterer Beitrag? Würde gern einiges mehr darüber erfahren. Könntest du mir per E-Mail weiterhelfen?

  • http://www.yourfreeiphone.co.uk Free iPhone 4G

    Just seen this on twitter cheers for the info.

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  • Joel

    You can also use Siri to collect notes and reminders.

    Add the previously mentioned Evernote mailto address to Contacts. Que up Siri, tell her, “Mail to Evernote” She’ll respond with a query asking what you want the subject to be. This is the name of your note, for example “Finish TPS report by monday.” (She then askes for what you want the body to say, I usually reply with none, since, for the way I use Evernote, the subject line holds the data I need).


  • Fokke

    Thanks for this tip! I don’t have a Siri enabled iPhone but this tip is a smart way to combine things.