Sunday, 29 September 2019

Evernote - What is it?

For a few years now, I have been using Evernote. I started with the free basic version but soon decided it was so good that I would upgrade to Premium. Before I tell you more about any differences, let me, first of all, explain what Evernote is.

Evernote, as you might guess from the name, is a note-taking system but with many more powerful features added. You create a note which if you wish can store in a notebook that you create. It works on and offline. You can download to Mac or PC, and it has an excellent smartphone app. Evernote is currently doing a lot of work to make all the features work on the app as well as on computers. They are also working to make the user experience the same across all platforms.

Evernote an easy way to store notes online and more
Evernote as seen in Google Chrome

Each note can be tagged with words that you would like to use to search for the note in the future and also you can search through the notes with a word or phrase search. If you store .pdf files then very cleverly Evernote can search the text in these as well.

Within a note, you can store photos, pdf files, create an audio file, and you can scan documents directly to a note. You can also use a Gmail plugin to add an email to a note or forward an email to a note using the email address that Evernote gives you. There is still more than this though!

Evernote lets you use a tool, Web Clipper in your Google browser to clip web pages to a note. This can appear as it is or simplified to text only, bookmarked, in article form or a screenshot. There is so much versatility that this blog post will never do it justice.

Some other features worthy of note is the ability to use templates for notes, either to create your own or one that someone else has done so that you can have things such as tables already laid out for each new note. When you have a note that you would like to work on a set time, you can set a reminder to let you know when you need to give attention to it.

Here's a neat trick or two you can use on the app. You can set up a post-it notes scan. When you scan a post-it note of a certain colour, it will be stored in a particular notebook of your choice. Attach a notebook to each of the colours and each scan will be automatically stored in the correct notebook.

When someone gives you a business card, open the Evernote app, scan it and it will not only keep a copy of the card but extract the details from it such as the person's name, job title, business, phone number and address.

Something I haven't used is Presentation Mode where you can project notes to a screen, perfect for those of you that have to do such presentations. Notes can also be worked on with those who you share them with either just to view or edit. You can also share a note online creating a mini-website, although if you want to create a blog/website with Evernote do take a look at Postach.io.

I use Evernote for many things, storing receipts, invoices and statements for both home and business.
I store emails that I would like to keep away from my Inbox and work on later, photos of plants that I have bought with instructions on how to care for them. I write notes to prepare for podcasts and blog posts. It's easy to store researched items in a note for use later on including as mentioned earlier web pages. My list could go on and on, but I won't overburden you with ideas. You can use Evernote however you like.

Evernote comes in 3 options:

FREE - very basic features and notes
PREMIUM - all the features an individual will need - click the link below for a free trial.
BUSINESS - for those larger businesses that want teams to use all the features.

Disclaimer: I did not write this post to make any money from Evernote. If you would like to try Evernote here is a link to give you a free trial. If you purchase Evernote, I will receive a small payment. Try Evernote today!












Friday, 27 September 2019

Live-streaming - Connecting With The World

Periscope Mobile App Warminster Town Football Club
Periscope Mobile App
Technology, as we know, has improved massively over the last decade and particularly with the advancement of smartphones connected to social media.

The high-quality cameras found in smartphones along with mobile broadband has allowed live-streaming to be freely available to all using such apps as Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter and YouTube. Anyone can now broadcast live using such apps to potentially millions of viewers all around the world. This is wonderful news not just for businesses who can communicate with their customers but also for private individuals who have something to say or share their interests with others.

With forthcoming 5G this is only going to get even better.


A Word of Warning 
Of course, as in other parts of the online world, this technology can be used for good or bad. Terrorists, scammers, paedophiles, the weird and wacky can all avail themselves of this technology, and so caution needs to be exercised. If you have children be very careful, for one thing, it attracts paedophiles and secondly many of the online services used for live broadcasting can show an exact location too if the settings allow it.
Live-streaming can of course just be used for fun, education, news reports, sports events, promoting a business and much more. I use it for streaming football (soccer) matches for my team, Warminster Town Football Club. This has enabled supporters who can't get to games to be able to keep up to date with the match and enjoy the game on their screens. However, it has done much more than that. It has opened up the club to people that have never heard of the club before and has attracted individuals from all over the world. Some have made the journey to come to a game in Warminster. This is great for a lowly amateur football club.

The various platforms have varying quality of video stream and of course, your Internet connection will also make a difference. The best quality for me is YouTube but to broadcast live from a mobile device you must have 1000 subscribers. Facebook live is also good. Periscope and Twitter has a more limited bandwidth quality but for most broadcasts is adequate and can in my experience reach more people. Linkedin is good if you're a business to business company and you have to apply to Linkedin to livestream.

It's best to start using a platform that you are already using for social media as you will already have built an audience and of some of whom who will share your broadcasts. As a tip, when you are about to broadcast make sure the title contains good keywords and use hashtags so that others interested in your subject might find it. My live broadcasts are saved and can be viewed as replays and for most broadcasts I recommend that you set this as a standard. For my football club broadcasts over a short period of time more people watch the replay than the live match.

You can create anticipation for your live-stream by sharing a link to your platform in advance building an audience ahead of time. You can set up a message or email to be broadcast with say 15 minutes to go to remind people to be ready for you going live. If you intend to broadcast on a set day, then it would be good to stick to that day and time, making sure the time is suitable for the maximum viewing from your followers. This might take a little testing to get it right but it will be worth it.

On most broadcasts, you will be able to read comments from your viewers but be careful. I have watched some broadcasts where the host spends too much time deviating to say hello to viewers as they join the broadcast. When you start your livestream, by all means, take time to welcome guests but set a short period at the start to do this. Tell people you will welcome questions and answer them when you can. For new broadcasters, this isn't such a big issue until you start getting lots of viewers who start bonding with you and want to chat.

Before you start to broadcast test out your platform and get used to it. Most are very simple to operate with nothing more than your smartphone. The next level can include Bluetooth or radio microphones and lighting but start with the basics and work your way up. As long as the viewers can see and hear they are not too worried about anything else if the content you produce is interesting to them.

I look forward to hearing from you about your live-streams. You are welcome to tell me about them in the comments and add a link to your channel.

If you're a business, sports club, community group or charity I would recommend you learn how to make it work for you. It can make a huge difference in the results you hope for. If you have any questions or are looking for ideas feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the right.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions in the box below.