I am a big Evernote fan and definitely a power-user of the tool. Recently I wanted to enhance the way my executive assistant and I work together and decided that Evernote was the platform for the job.
I created an Evernote Notebook called “Virtual Assistant” and created 10 folders. Each folder has a specific purpose:
- 0 – Unfiled Note: I put all of my unfiled notes to be processed in this folder and this lets my assistant know what needs to be done. It also lets me know what still needs to be processed.
- 1 – Daily Updates: My assistant does 3 updates each day that includes what tasks have been completed, what is in process, and what is up next. This allows me to see the progress and eliminates a lot of calls I used to do to get a status. At the end of the day, she does a video update using Oovoo Video Message and puts a link in the folder. Since I am often tied up until after 8:00, this allows her to communicate with me even when I get back late.
- 2 – Communications: My assistant gets all of my phone messages and puts them in this folder. Even voice mail is transcribed and this allows me to easily review my messages even when I am in a meeting. When they come to me on my iPhone, I can just click on the number and it will dial for me. I can then attach a voice file to the note if I need her to do something for me.
- 3 – Business Cards: Whenever I get a business card, I take a picture of it with Evernote. My assistant takes the picture and uploads it to bizcard reader. It converts the card to an Outlook Contact and then hits Linked-In and pulls information from their Public Profile. If the card is for a lead, I tag it and she enters into the CRM.
- 4 – Meeting Notes: I use LiveScribe for all of my notes. Whenever I have a meeting that I want the notes managed, I use LiveScribe Connect to transfer the notes to Evernote. I draw a one inch line, right then left. I then write Evernote above the line. If I look at the pen display it will show Evernote. I click on the right arrow and it says point to each page you want to transfer. It beeps for each page. I click on the right arrow again and it allows me to select how I want to transfer the pages. I always choose automated Adobe Reader File. It will then transfer the page to Evernote the next time I dock the pen. I put a section called Actions and she converts all of these to Outlook Tasks.
- 5 – White Boards: Anytime I do a White Board, I take a picture of it and it goes into the system. I always put Actions in the lower right corner and she converts these to Outlook Tasks. I have just started using ZigZag and I am going to convert these to PDFs and send them in as well.
- 6 – Expenses: Whenever I have an expense, I take a picture of it front and back. I send these in and my assistant imports the pictures into Expensify. They are automatically scanned, converted to text, and put on my expense report.
- 7 – Audio Instructions: Whenever I need something special done, I create a voice note. As she progresses on the tasks, she puts it into the note and I can tell the status. This is really helpful.
- 8 – My Brain: If I have any lose piece of information that I need to remember, I either create a note, picture, or voice note. My assistant tags it and it goes into My Brain. I always do this with things I forget a lot.
This seems like a lot of work, but it actually only takes about an hour a day and often saves several hours a day. She likes it because it is easier to connect with me (I am often times at a remote location) and I like it because it gives me a great sense of control.
All these tools are evolving a lot and I am getting new tools every day. I can’t believe someone has not come up with an application for tightly integrating an executive assistant and the executive. I would love to hear other ideas about how to use Evernote, especially in working with your executive assistant.