Get Organized With Evernote and Healthy With Lose It!

Every January, it’s the same New Years resolutions:  get organized and get fit.  But with no specific plan, these ideas are forgotten by February.  This year, I did things differently.  For organization, I leaned on the help of my organized wife.  For getting fit, I hired a personal trainer at the YMCA.  But I wasn’t finished.  Since my iPhone has basically become a my third arm, I decided to put it to good use.  Below are the two apps that have really improved my organization and health:

Evernote (free)

This app lets you take notes.  Sounds simple right?  Well, it really is.  The company calls it your “external brain” which really means an external storage device for everything you can’t seem to remember.  The beauty of Evernote is in three major features:  how you take notes, how you search for them, and how you retrieve them.  Evernote is on multiple platforms:  mobile, desktop, and browser.  The nice part is that if you create a note on one of the platforms, it automatically syncs with the others.  So when you bookmark a website with the Evernote desktop application, you can go to any other computer with a web browser and retrieve it.  You can also retrieve the same note from your cellphone.  Evernote uses the “cloud” model where it uploads all your notes to their servers and lets you retrieve them from any device.  As an former techie, I remember when the term “cloud” meant “mainframe”…but I digress.  The mobile app lets you take a picture, typed note, or voice recording of your note.  The picture feature is really cool because it has OCR software that lets you search for words inside of a photo.  I used it to take a picture of a wine bottle at Christmas and I could then search by the name of the wine on the picture of the label.  Nice.  One thing that you really want to do is add a tag to your notes.  I use tags like tech, books, sports, etc.  Tagging makes it really easy to search for a note later on.

There are lot of uses for Evernote that I’m still exploring but it’s a fantastic app that really helps you remember things.  You can even link it with your Twitter account so any tweet you write gets saved to your Evernote account.  I used Evernote at an educational technology conference by creating a new note for each session I attended.  It was really easy to find my notes and post them to my blog later on.  Now if I could only work up the nerve to use Evernote at faculty meetings for taking notes without it looking like I’m texting….

Lose It! (free)

When it comes to exercising, I am NOT self-motivated.  I need everybody else getting onto me and pushing.  So besides hiring a personal trainer, I started using Lose It!  This app has you enter in your  current bodily attributes and goals.  It then calculates your daily caloric intake and has you log your food and exercise.  At first, entering all the food  you eat is a real pain.  But Lose It! remembers the foods you put in and it’s easy to enter them in again.  To help me  remember, I have it set to remind me to enter my food an hour after every meal.  The same screen also lets you enter any exercise you did during the day.  Since I’m the type who needs tons of feedback, I set my account up to post to Facebook and Twitter whenever I exercise.  I do the same thing when I weigh in to check my progress.  My Twitter and Facebook friends probably hate me for doing this but I do get motivational feedback which helps me continue.  Losei It! will show you your daily, weekly, and monthly progress and how close you are to your goal.  There are more features if you go to the web site as well.

I find it hard to believe this application is totally free but it’s definitely earned a place on the front page of my iPhone.  I’ve been using it for a few weeks and you can really see when you are going over your daily limit of calories.  My only issue is that I wish the nutrient tracking was a little bit better but it’s a small complaint.

So there you have it:  organization and health in two free applications.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


  1. chris

    So far I have found absolutely no info on how to open Evernote to retrieve notes. I’m still searching. I managed to save one note to it, but that’s all.

  2. chris

    P.S. it sounds great! I’ve been opening a Word Doc and clipping all my notes to it, but retrieval is nightmarish, so this should work better. But I KNOW how to open a Word Doc. Don’t have a clue how to open Evernote.

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