With the impending changes in our industry, whether regulatory or technology driven, it is more important than ever to be connected as a company—important to be connected in a way that makes it easy to share and collaborate. Email and it’s “back and forth” nature is not effective enough. A simple, secure. cloud based tool is required. Evernote fits the bill perfectly.
Evernote has been around since 2008. I first explored Evernote in 2010. Like many others, I had a start, stop, start again, stop again relationship with the green elephant. I felt like I was “forcing” myself to use Evernote because it was cool. I didn’t see the value of conquering the learning curve for a simple note taking app.
A dance with cancer in 2012 opened my eyes to the power of Evernote. Every single scan, report, EOB, appointment reminder, etc. is still in my account in a notebook labeled “C.”
I share my story because it resonates with many people that have the same love/hate relationship with Evernote. You are not alone. My mission is to explain the features that are useful in our industry as well one’s personal productivity.
Evernote’s motto is “Remember Everything.” It is excels at that. In the last year or so, there has been a diligent effort at Evernote to build a business tool that redefines how employees collaborate. Evernote is striving to create “one work space” instead of the multiple programs we currently navigate. Evernote Business is the latest iteration, and I will cover that in part two.
Evernote makes it drop dead simple to gather data into “notes” which are further organized into “notebooks” within the program. There are numerous ways to get information into a note. These include typing, recording audio, dictating, clipping from the web, taking photos, dragging files, emailing and even tweeting. Notes are shared via email or social networks from any device. Notes are assigned to a notebook and can be further identified with “tags.” The final level of organization is the Note Stack, which are a collection of notebooks. The organization within Evernote may seem limited to long-time Outlook users that have folders nested within folders that are nested within folders that are ... well, you know what I mean. Evernote relies on a superb search feature to help users find content.
Search in Evernote is powerful. In the free version of Evernote, search scans all text and text within images added to notes. So, a photo of a broker sign can be found by searching for the name of the company found on the sign. In the example below, searching through my business card notebook for Jeremy, you can see how Evernote search works.
Let’s discuss the types of Evernote accounts. There is a free version, and it is powerful enough for a new user. The free account allows 60 MB of data uploaded/month and a maximum note size of 25 MB. The premium version costs $5/month or $45/year. At this level, the upload per month is 4GB/month, and maximum note size is 100MB. Each version allows 100,000 notes and 250 notebooks. One big advantage for premium is upgraded search. This allows for searches within pdf’s. Evernote Business is the last level. $10/user/month gets you even more upload capability, corporate data ownership, centralized user management and SalesForce integration.
Uses for Evernote in the title industry vary from clipping industry content from the web using the Evernote Web Clipper to recording a meeting with a potential customer.
INSERT Evernote Web Clipper
I also have all of our marketing flyers in a business account notebook, and they can be easily viewed and shared by the entire team. Travel confirmations, meeting agendas and conference schedules are easily accessed on the run. Evernote is not a tool for secure escrow/title file information storage, but it is outstanding for storing and sharing non-secure information with team members/customers.
Many smaller agents do not use an expensive CRM solution for the sales operation. Evernote is an inexpensive alternative for sharing information amongst the Sales/Marketing/Admin teams that is accessible via every platform. Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, even Blackberry’s have an Evernote solution. The Evernote Premium account is required to make this effective. Premium allows Note and Notebook sharing, and the content is editable.
If you found this blog informative, don’t miss Part two, which will focus on specific uses Evernote Business provides for our industry, especially smaller agencies looking for an online, collaborative solution.
Bill Risser is vice president of new media and education for Chicago Title Agency. He can be reached at 602-667-1000 or email@example.com. Risser will speak at ALTA’s 2015 Social Media Summit, March 18 in Philadelphia, on how to manage your online reputation.