Great Finds: Evernote

evernoteBatman is my favorite super hero.  I pretty much love all versions of the Dark Knight, but there is a special place in my heart for the Batman of the 1960’s TV series played by Adam West.  There is a scene in the 1966 movie when Batman is hanging from a rope ladder attached to the Batcopter with a shark dangling from his leg.  I was not afraid when I first watched this development on my television because I knew that the Caped Crusader was always prepared for any danger.  After a small struggle Batman calls out to Robin to bring down the “Shark Repellent Bat Spray” to use on the vicious creature.  Whew, crisis averted.

A great super hero like Batman has resources at his immediate disposal, like a utility belt, to aid him in his mission. Great library leaders also have resources we turn to all the time to either help us out of a “shark attack” or to get us through the day.  Library Lost & Found wants to highlight the best to equip in your utility belt with a series of posts called Great Finds.  Today we feature the super powerful organizational app Evernote.

Evernote gives the user the ability to capture notes in a well organized program that can be synced and accessed from multiple devices.  I primarily use Evernote to take notes at meetings, which I then organize into Notebooks.  Users can easily attach tags, photos or voice memos to the document to allow for a more complete note taking experience.  I can even attach a meeting agenda sent to me as a PDF or Word document to refer to during the meeting.  Since Evernote is on my laptop, desktop, iPhone and iPad, I can view all my notes anywhere and anytime.  If I jot down a note on my iPhone, I know it will be accessible on my laptop as soon as I sit down at my desk.  What makes Evernote stand out from similar products is the “Search” function.  I can type anything into the search box and Evernote will seek out all references in my notes, even attached documents and PDFs!  The power to be able to record, store, search and access information instantly has allowed me to be a more organized manager.

When people ask me about essential apps Evernote is always on the list.  Although it has yet to be used to ward off sharks, I rely on Evernote to help keep the craziness of managing from taking a bite out of my life.

Praise You Like I Should

I crave praise at my job. When a colleague or peer acknowledges my good work, I want to do even better for the group or organization. This idea that people excel when given proper praise for succeeding is not a new discovery.  Great leaders have discovered that a healthy dose of praise equals productivity and happiness at work.  I have also discovered that if I am consistent in my praise, it makes it easier to assist an employee during rough times.  So why do I find it so hard to remember to dish out praise?  This has been a leadership weakness of mine for years. I have tried many different methods to try and remember to sing about the successes of my staff with varied results. After climbing a mountain of failed attempts, I have turned to the Oracle of Jobs for help.  I use the Reminders app on the iPhone and iPad to nudge me that the staff needs to be held up. Each week I set my electronic devices to remind me to send a Thank You note or an email to a direct report praising them for contributing to the betterment of the library.  Another benefit of using the app is that you will have a compiled list of the individuals receiving the gesture.  This small action can not only change the course of someone’s day, but also spread throughout your library so everyone benefits.

If one man praises you, a thousand will repeat the praise. – Japanese Proverb