I’m a bit of an Evernote fanboy. I’ll freely admit that. But every now and again, someone will ask me how I use Evernote on a day-to-day basis.
It’s kind of a tough question for me, because it’s a bit like asking someone how they use a computer. “I dunno, I do a bunch of different stuff, and it’s good…?” I never have any good examples to draw on.
But this morning, I started the hunt for some new artwork to hang in my apartment, and it gave me the perfect chance to write up my goings-on in Evernote. This is partly for you, dear reader, but it’s also partly for me. Next time I get asked that question, I’m pointing them straight to this post.
It started on my Windows PC this morning. I set up a new blank notebook, which I creatively called ‘Art for the apartment.’
I’m acutely aware that I have a very beginner’s level knowledge of art. I don’t really know what artists I like (Dali? Banksy? Anyone who does a stern-looking portrait of French royalty?), where to buy stuff from, or even if I should get prints vs. knockoffs vs. originals. Maybe a bit of everything! It’s a total blank slate at this moment.
I decide to begin with artists. So I’m looking for artists that I already like, but also stuff that’s similar by artists I am not aware of.
I did some googling for art sites. I have to say, Google sucks for this. It took me quite a while to find a site that provided a bank of artworks and artists, listed by genre and work.
My first successful port of call for this was Artsy, where I signed up for an account.
Once I found Artsy, I didn’t want to lose it. So I saved it using the Web Clipper to my newly-created notebook.
So, where’s a good place to go to get recommendations for art, that’s not the internet? Here’s an idea I had while browsing Artsy — Lifeline stores.
I shit you not. They have lots and lots of art books for cheap.
Also, art magazines. They sell old magazines with artist profiles –chock full of ideas– for next to nothing. Perfect.
So I jumped on my bike and rode down to the local Lifeline store. They weren’t open yet, so I grabbed a coffee and waited for 10am. Curse you, elderly volunteer ladies and your late starts! (just kidding, you’re great)
While I was waiting, I used Evernote on my phone to get back to Artsy. I kept browsing through — the suggestions that come up in that site are pretty impressive!
I tweeted out: “hey this artsy.net site is pretty good!”
Friend of the site Pete Dillon replied to me with a recommendation.
He’s a smart dude, so I saved that tweet into my notebook, using the share sheet in iOS, straight from Tweetbot.
The Lifeline store opened at 10am. I checked in there with Swarm. Incidentally, I have an IFTTT recipe that takes my Foursquare/Swarm check-ins, and turns them into events in my calendar — this is important in a sec.
I found a couple good suggestions in some art books (The Expressionists by Wolf-Dieter Dube, and Surrealist Art by Sarane Alexandrian), so I took a couple of photos.
I created a new note in my ‘Art for the apartment’ notebook, and added both of those pics to it.
I annotated these images in the Evernote app to highlight the name, so I could find them again later. I have heard that name before —Kandinsky— so I’ll spend some time later looking up his other works.
Oh, and the note’s title: –at Lifeline (4sq.com/[redacted]) 30/11/2014– was already created for me, because if you’ve got events in your calendar, it will auto-populate the event’s title as your note’s title. Handy.
I also found a few old copies of Yen Magazine, and a copy of Fallen magazine. Not sure what I’ll find in them, but they were only $3.50 each.
I got home, pulled out the books I bought (3 books and 3 magazines for $45, thanks Lifeline!) and piled them up on my table, then fired up the Macbook Pro. All the notes I already made are there, ‘cos Evernote syncs everything. Cool.
So far, I have 3 notes in my notebook.
I checked out Pete’s recommendation of Society6, and there’s some interesting original art there. Nice! I saved that to my notebook using the web clipper as well.
Now I’m going to spend the next hour or so browsing through these books, going back to Artsy, and going through Society6. For the online stuff, I’ll be saving links and articles using the web clipper. For the books and magazines, I’ll be taking photos with my phone and making annotations.
Here’s one from Yen Magazine Issue 61.
All of this stuff I will be adding to my collection.
I’m not even up to the stage of buying, I’m more just trying to work out who I like, and what kind of work I want. Eventually, I’ll find sellers, print-selling sites, or local art galleries. All of them will go into the notebook.
And that’s how I use Evernote.
Ps. Here’s a little bit of meta — I wrote this article in Evernote, and made a separate notebook called “Reckoner – Making of ‘Art in the Apartment’. All of the images were taken with Skitch and saved in there.
Notes within notes, maaaaan!