5 different ways to use Evernote on the road

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I’ve been using Evernote for a couple of years now, and it seems to be one of those applications that becomes more valuable with regular usage.  It took a while to get into the habit of using it, but has now become a key part of my daily routine.  It is a bit of a ‘Swiss Army knife’ app, with something for every occasion … and you don’t even need to remember to store it in your checked luggage.

Here are five ways that I use Evernote when I’m travelling.

 

Replacing a notepad

Easily my most regular use of the app, I take notes of some sort on it nearly every day.  With my phone always in my pocket it takes less time to start the app and start typing than it does to find a paper and pen. Everything from shopping lists to book recommendations, phone numbers to blog post ideas and a whole lot more, goes into a new or existing note.

I can get fancy with formatting – check boxes, headings, whatever – if I want to, but most of the time I just dash out a couple of lines of text to refer to later and carry on.  Invaluable.

 

Saving copies of travel documents

While I use Tripit to manage and view my bookings, a feature that app lacks is to attach copies of documentation.  Flight and train confirmations, event tickets, warranty information – the list is endless.  Instead I use Evernote.

Saving a PDF or other file couldn’t be simpler from either my phone or laptop, and using tools like ScanToPDF I can even scan (via my phone’s camera) a paper document like a passport or physical ticket.

Having these documents at my fingertips – even when I don’t have internet – has saved my skin more than once.

 

Taking screenshots of maps

Now that I can cache a section of Google Maps on my Android phone I don’t need to save map screenshots very often, but I used to do it all the time.  A screenshot of the area around my next guesthouse, the route from the bus station, the central city – whatever I thought I might need.

It’s no replacement for a real mapping application, but I’ve used it to find my way ‘home’ more times than I care to remember…

 

Clipping guesthouse info (and everything else)

I often travel without a guidebook these days, especially in regions like Europe or Southeast Asia that I know well.  Instead I turn to the internet, tracking down guesthouse, attraction and transport recommendations as I need them.

Of course a guidebook is not just the information it contains – it’s also a way of accessing it.  I replicate that with the Evernote Web Clipper.  By clicking the little green icon in my browser, the current web page is saved to the Evernote servers to be later synchronised with my phone.  It only takes a few seconds, and I can easily tag the page by type, country or anything else for filtering as required.

Once I started doing this it became second nature, and is now my primary way of storing the dozens of little pieces of information needed to make travel successful.

 

Keeping a list of my pack contents

As I was throwing stuff in my backpack before I boarded the plane six months ago, I took a few minutes to note down every item in Evernote.  How many pairs of socks, the contents of my first aid kit, a list of gadgets, whatever.  It was a bit of a hassle and I was dubious as to whether it would be useful, but it has turned out to be valuable in two ways.

Firstly, I can do a quick check that I have everything when getting my laundry back or checking out of a room.  I lose less stuff, because I know at a glance what I should have.  Secondly it has been very useful for replacing consumable items like the stuff in my first aid kit.  I just check the box beside each item I need to replace and then find a chemist store.  Couldn’t be easier.

 

What do you use for keeping track of your life on the road?

Image via Johan Larsson

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About the author

Dave Dean

Twitter Website

Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a wanderer for nearly 20 years and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.

12 Responses

  1. Ian Reide

    Inspired me to give en another go.

    Suggestion, how about a review of online accommodation review sites? e.g. wikitravel v agoda ?

    Reply
    • Dave

      That’s not a bad idea actually – thanks Ian! I’ll be travelling round quite a bit in Europe and the US in the next few months, so will definitely be using a bunch of different accommodation review sites!

      Reply
  2. Nailah

    This is great! I used Evernote at my office job for note taking in meetings, but never really gave it much thought after I loaded it on my iPhone. I quit that office job to travel (yay!), but glad I can still get some good use out of Evernote. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dave

      You’re more than welcome! It’s definitely one of those apps that is easy to forget about, but once you start using it regularly you wonder how you ever lived without it…

      Reply
  3. Dave

    Nice site guys. I recently started using Evernote on my Android – have found it invaluable for business and travel.

    Reply
  4. Lin

    Whilst I love Evernote, the need for a data connection/WIFI doesn’t make it the most convenient choice while travelling. Heck, I’ve even had issues trying to pull up my shopping list when I’m deep inside a supermarket at home and have no reception.

    I still use iOS’ Notes for note taking, camera/photos for any document “scanning” and same goes for screen shorting maps.

    There is still a place for offline apps.

    Reply
    • Dave Dean

      I find myself very rarely needing a data connection when using Evernote. If I create a note on my phone, it’s accessible without ever syncing. If I created or edit it somewhere else (my laptop, for instance), I sync my phone when I next have internet and it’s accessible without a connection from then on.

      Earlier versions of Evernote were a bit fussier (you had to mark specific items for local caching after syncing), but the current one – on Android, at least – has been seamless between online and offline for me. Most of the time I don’t have a data connection, but I keep using Evernote on my phone just fine.

      What problems were you having?

      Reply

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