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How To Access Your Nonprofit Client Info From Anywhere

How To Access Your Nonprofit Client Info From Anywhere.

Have you found Evernote yet? (www.evernote.com) When I mention it to people, I often get the reply “Oh yeah, I downloaded that, but really haven’t used it.” (and BTW, Evernote isn’t paying me for this. Too bad!)

Now is the time.

Evernote is a cloud-based document storage and retrieval program that works across multiple platforms (like your PC, tablet, phone, etc.). Any document, screenshot, scribble or scanned items (and more) you put into Evernote is retrievable as long as you have a device on which you have an Evernote copy.

It’s more than just an electronic file cabinet (although it’s great for that). You can set up reminders, use it as an e-reader for pdf’s, use it as a notepad for meetings, maintain client records and more.

The feature that brings so much power to this tool is the “tags.” Let me explain. I have more than 5000 “notes” in Evernote. A good number were documents scanned from a file cabinet I used to have. (Note: USED TO HAVE.) Let’s say I had a paper on why annual fund donors are great planned giving prospects. In my file cabinet, I had a choice: annual fund, planned giving, or copy it and do both (and a bigger file cabinet!) Now that the document is scanned, I can tag the one copy as “annual fund” and “planned giving.” When I do a search for either, it comes up.
More than that, Evernote scans what you have so if the article also had a section on “major gifts” and I searched my documents for everything on major gifts, it would come up then, too.

As a tool for consulting, it’s an essential. If nothing else, you can use it as an e-file cabinet and open up some room in your office (plus make finding the material easier.) Think about all of the articles and papers you saved and clipped over the years that you don’t use because you forgot you had them. They could be great resources for you as you work with clients. Evernote makes getting to those much easier.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Did you see something on the web that you wanted to send to a client? “Clip” it using the browser app and you can send it right along.

Besides that, you can set up a tag for a client so you can easily file everything for a specific job. Do you do the same kind of work for multiple clients (like campaign plan template?)? Now you can tag that document with the name of each client you use it for and better track your work.

It can be a business operations tool, too. Evernote promotes itself as an easy way to handle your expenses by tagging receipts with their respective expense categories. I’m sure there’s more to be had for this purpose, too.

For all of this, you’d think Evernote was expensive. It isn’t. There’s a free version, and a $5.00 per month rate that allows you to upload more per month. It’s a great deal. Plus, if you want to get out, simply export all you saved. I bought a ScanScap 1300 scanner to complete my system, which I paid a couple of hundred dollars for. It came “Evernote ready.”

Are there competitors? Yes. For receipts, NeatReceipts has a hold in the finance area. Microsoft’s “One Note” comes with a lot of the same functionality as Evernote. If you put “Evernote competitors” in any search engine a number come up.

So your next step? Download Evernote, clip this posting, tag it with “do now” and start scanning!


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Published by

Matt Hugg

Matt Hugg is the president of Nonprofit.Courses.

See his bio here.