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Evernote is a useful productivity software suite we’ve talked about before. Here are some of its benefits.

What is it?

Evernote allows you to save notes, photos, e-mails, audio files, PDFs, documents, attachments and Web pages. When you come across useful articles online, click one button and the software catalogues the page in its library—complete with graphs, charts and pictures.

Evernote lets you edit, reformat and save material in your library. You can file everything in customized Notebooks or just tag stories for reference. This is far superior to bookmarking pages, since websites frequently move (or remove) articles, or protect sites with passwords. Plus, saving a bookmark doesn’t let you search that page later.

Accsssible everywhere

You can add to, and access, an Evernote library from your office and home computers, tablet, BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Windows phone. The Evernote clipper plug-in works on Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers.

You can also type or attach notes directly in the Evernote interface, or set up an e-mail address that forwards material directly to your library.

Say you read an article on a rising Malaysian stock while at your desk. If you clip it to Evernote, you can show your millionaire prospect the article at lunch using the Evernote app on your phone.

If lunch gets cancelled, you can share that article—and anything you’ve saved via Evernote—through e-mail or as a publicly available link.

Ever expanding

Evernote recently introduced a browser plug-in called Evernote Clearly. It strips away ads and banners from online articles, leaving you with only text and graphics. Clearly can also reformat the article using the font, colour scheme, and margins you prefer.

How I use Evernote

  • For an article summarizing 2012 budget changes: I used Clearly to reformat it, then clipped it to my Evernote account and put it in my Income Tax notebook. Then, I highlighted specific text, added in some notes, and saved it.
  • For an e-mail about a fund manager change: I didn’t have time to read it, so I forwarded the e-mail to my Evernote address, using the subject line “Manager Change @2012 Fund Mail.” That stored it in the 2012 Fund Mail notebook.
  • For my regular e-mail: I clip and delete all messages from the investment and insurance firms to keep them from cluttering my inbox.
  • For my local charity board: I’ve set up a Shared Notebook with all directors. When anyone reads an article or site of interest, we save it there to share with everyone.
  • At a roadshow: I liked the wine, so I snapped a picture of the label with my phone and uploaded it to Evernote. Later, I searched ‘merlot’ and the picture came up.

Kevin Cork, CFP, is President of TheAbsoluteGroup.com and a best-selling author.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge