Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beading Organization by Evernote

Beading is such a creative enterprise but I spend much time on organization - not just organizing my bead stash but organizing projects. This includes documentation for past projects so I remember the materials, patterns and inspiration and ideas for future projects. And after spending several years in this pursuit, I find myself frustrated with the existing methods. I don't save most old issues of BeadAndButton or Beadwork but I do pull out patterns and keep them in various files marked "have materials" and "need materials". I have a humungo binder of projects I have completed but it doesn't have any separators so every time I want to find an old pattern I end up paging through the entire binder and the pattern I am seeking is invariably in the back. But I hate the paper and can't imagine the size of the files as time progresses.

Thus enters the Evernote application. If you are not familiar with it, you should definitely check it out. (No, I am not receiving any remuneration for this recommendation.) It allows you to sync your computer with iPad and iPhone and makes capturing and categorizing ideas and paper super-easy and even fun. I first signed up for Evernote when I got my iPad two years ago. There is a free version and a premium version and, so far, I have used the free version and think it's great. I used it off and on but have really started to get obsessed with it when I discovered its power in helping me organize my beading life. The visual aspects make it a bit like a private Pinterest, which is good when you are working on top-secret things! The desk-top application allows you to easily clip a web page and populate it into a note which is then synced across all your devices. The cameras on the iPad and iPhone applications allow you to take a snapshot of a pattern or notes you may have scribbled by hand so you can organize them when you have time. You can even do voice notes!
Evernote Screenshot

Now, when I read a beading magazine (which I still prefer in paper form) and come across a pattern I want to make, I snap a picture of it or scan a copy to my computer. If I am reading an electronic magazine, I just snap a screen shot of the pattern pages I want.  Once scanned, I can save the patterns to my computer, Google docs or Goodreader and hyperlink in Evernoote so I can easily access it. Below is a sample screen shot of how a pattern snap appears in Evernote.

I have a notebook for Christmas ideas that I add to throughout the year so going Christmas shopping is as easy as opening the notebook, accessing the web sites I have saved and placing orders (assuming money is in the account for payment!)

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