The best way to capture, record, & search data

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Most of my posts here on the blog are for pastors and small group leaders.

Occasionally, though, I venture outside of that. Today happens to be one of those days.

As you may know, I’m an Evernote fanboy. I’ve found all kinds of great ways to use it. From gathering ideas, to capturing meeting notes, to traveling, I’ve found Evernote to be one of the most helpful software programs around.

public evernote iPad wallpaper

Recently, it’s taken another step forward for me in my workflow.

For the past few months, I’ve worked out at a local Cross Fit gym.

They encourage you to buy a journal to log your workouts, times, max reps, and goals. There is a section to daily write in the details of your workout, and another space to write in your personal records. Which is not a bad system…for the 1950s.

Evernote does all of this, and more.

After every workout, I type in the details of the workout, the weight I used, and my time.

I also make sure to add in my max rep/weight. Know how I do that? I record it like this:

Max bench press: ___

Murph time: ____

I can do this on my phone or on my computer. In fact, I can even snap a picture of the white board before I leave, and import it in. (this image is searchable…Evernote recognizes your handwriting in the premium version)

The great part about this is that Evernote is searchable. So next time we’re doing bench press, I don’t have to try to wrack my brain to figure out what my last max weight/rep was. I just search Evernote, on my phone right before I work out…and voila…I’m reminded.

Some workouts are repeated, and it’s easy to search for a particular workout, or personal record (PR) for a movement.

And since it’s all searchable on my computer or my phone, it’s easy to quickly jog my memory, and keep a record in one place, syncing between my devices, forever.

No more accidentally forgetting a journal. No more paying money for another device to carry around. No more flipping between pages to figure out where to put the information. Evernote does it all.

Where else could this data capture work for you?

Using Evernote to capture data

  • Practicing for a sport
  • Recording test results for a class you’re taking
  • Recording travel mileage for tax purposes
  • Keeping up with sermon illustration ideas
  • Tagging your favorite Bible verses
  • Snapping pictures of receipts for use during tax season
  • Jotting down quotes from books you’re reading
  • Remembering web pages.
  • Keeping up with places you’ve traveled
  • Storing your thoughts from restaurants you’ve eaten
  • Keeping up with your medical/immunization records
  • Storing gift ideas
  • Remembering names of people you meet
  • Keeping up with your to-do lists

Any time you may need to capture, and later search for, information, Evernote does it.

For free.


Do you use Evernote?



Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jeremy Sarber

    I love Evernote. I’ve set up several great tasks using Evernote and For instance, when I star a post in Google Reader, it now automatically goes to Evernote.

    • Ben Reed

      Very cool. I haven’t used yet. I’ll have to dig in soon!

  • Lindsey Gardner Waugh

    Hey Ben! I just read all your Evernote blogs… I’m a bit of an Evernote junkie and love to see how other people are using it!

    • Ben Reed

      Awesome! What do you use it for, Lindsey?

  • Tyler Hess

    I just downloaded evernote over the weekend…looking to clear some time to “figure it out”

    • Ben Reed

      It’s worth the effort, Tyler!

  • Tim Baker

    I have been using Evernote to sync my prayer list to all my devices. I have a Notebook just for Prayer Requests and a bunch of notes under the names of people I pray for regularly. I add (and rarely ever remove) updates and answers. Since I have evernote on all my computers, phones, tablets, etc. It becomes very useful to keep up with wherever I am!

    • Ben Reed

      Love it, Tim. Great, great idea!

  • Jason Vana

    I know I’m not using Evernote to it’s full capacity, but I do use it to capture ideas, work out future blog posts and marketing products and mainly just to have a place to keep all those random thoughts I don’t know where to put someplace else.

  • ThatGuyKC

    I’m a big fan of Evernote, but I’m not using it in accordance with best practices. I’m tempted to buy one of the eBooks out there and carve out the 2-4 hours to get it setup for optimal efficiency.

    Despite my organizational challenges I find it to be a fantastic tool. The Hello and Food apps look cool, but I don’t meet enough new people or eat out often to warrant using them.

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