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Grow Your Business Technology

5 Hidden Evernote Features to Boost your Business

5 Hidden Evernote Features to Boost your Business
Evernote is more than just a digital scratch pad. / Credit: Evernote

Evernote is more than just a digital scratch pad. Sure, the app lets you jot down notes and create to-do-lists on the fly. But for business users, it has tons of hidden functionalities that can make both you and your employees more productive every day.

Evernote is available for a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Mac and PC. The app lets you dictate or manually enter notes, snap photos, create to-do lists and more. It automatically indexes your notes and makes them searchable from any device, so you can capture — and recall — your next great business idea from wherever you are.

To help you make the most of Evernote, read on for five features you may not know about.

1. Go paperless

Forget about sorting through huge stacks of paper each year. If you let Evernote manage your receipts, tax season can be a lot less of a headache. Because Evernote lets you easily store and organize images, you can scan in your receipts and then trash them. And because the app can identify printed text, it's easy to search for a specific receipt. There are a few ways to get your receipts into Evernote. First, there's the pricey ScanSnap scanner, made by the Evernote developer, that lets you scan in high-quality images directly and automatically uploads them to your Evernote account. For a cheaper solution, try the DocScanner app for iOS and Android, which lets you "scan" in receipts by snapping a photo with your smartphone or tablet.

2. Share office notebooks

Evernote isn't just for personal notes. With a subscription to Evernote Business, it can become a versatile collaboration tool for your entire office. Among the premium features is the ability to create shared "notebooks," which can be shared with individuals or the entire organization. Unlike personal notebooks, which can only be viewed and edited by the creator, shared notebooks can still be accessed long after the creator leaves the company. It's easy to designate which users can view and edit each notebook, and Evernote's built-in notification system will keep you up-to-date on any edits or updates made to company notebooks. Try using the feature for project planning and idea generation.

3. Advanced search

Thanks to Evernote's deep search features, you never have to worry about losing a note. The app features text identification, which can recognize and index printed — and even handwritten — text. That means you can search for specific words, whether they're in a PDF, a typed memo or a photographed note scrawled on a scrap of paper. There are even tools to automate the search process so your notes are always at your fingerprints. For example, by installing the Evernote Webclipper app, related notes from your Evernote account will be displayed in a sidebar alongside a Google search in your Web browser.

4. Offline access

A Premium- or Business-level Evernote account gives you the ability to access your notes offline. That means you can read and edit your important notes and files, even when an Internet connection isn't available. Business users can really take advantage of this feature during business trips; when you're flying and temporarily without a connection, you'll still be able to view and edit all of your Evernote files. The feature will also come in handy any time you want to use Evernote on your laptop when away from the office. When you regain an Internet connection, all edits will be synced across your computers and mobile devices. That means you can stay productive anytime, anywhere.

5. Presentations

Presentation Mode, included as part of the Evernote Premium and Business packages, gives you the tools to quickly show off your ideas from directly within the app. Just launch your presentation, and tap the spacebar to advance through your notes one page at a time. A simulated laser pointer lets you direct your audience's attention to a specific line or image in your notes. If you already use Evernote to take business notes, Presentation Mode can save you time and effort by eliminating the need to port your notes over to a dedicated presentation program such as PowerPoint.

Brett Nuckles

A former Ohio newspaper man, Brett Nuckles fled the Midwest in 2013. He now lives in Seattle, where he spends his days tinkering with smartphones, tablets and computers. He loves to think about the intersection of technology and productivity, and how to get the most out of new gadgets and apps. He's also a big fan of vegetarian food and digital painting. In his off hours he spends most of his time drawing and painting sci-fi/fantasy scenes on his PC with his trusty Wacom stylus in hand.