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Evernote & Knitting on the go

I’m a busy lady.  I often find myself putting in 14-hour work days, bringing 2 entire meals to work with me so that I can stick to my satisfyingly frugal food budget, and coming home just to trade out my Tupperwares and change my clothes.  

Adding in the fact that nearly my entire social circle lives within a 1.5-mile radius of the shop, and that I have the Small Business Unconventional Weekends to contend with, I don’t end up spending many of my workday evenings at home.

Which means that I am ever on the lookout for ways to make my knitting projects more portable, manageable, and organized — after all, I never know when I’m going to be knitting the next 21 rows of my cable tunic at Meridian‘s exquisitely late happy hour, or on my boyfriend’s couch while he cooks up a mean curry.

Here’s one of my recently favorite tools: Evernote.  Now I’m a pretty recent (and resistant) newcomer to the iPhone scene, so I’m still not 100% comfortable moving my organizational systems online, but Evernote does make it pretty dang appealing.  

At first glance, it’s just a glorified note app, with the added bonus of being able to add tags, pictures, and locations to your notes.  I started off just using it for my shopping lists, and keeping a log of books I want to read so I have a starting place when I find myself at Powell’s wanting to get a new book for my next trip.

But lately, I’ve been realizing that because the iPhone camera so high quality and easily zoom-able, it’s incredibly useful for compacting hard copy things into a digital form.

For example, if I’ve been taking notes by hand in a notebook at work, and want to have those notes with me for a meeting later, but just want to bike there in my vest and carry nothing but my phone, wallet, and keys, I’ll take a picture of that page, and voila — instantly accessible on my phone.

Also, just as a side note, let me say for all those Schedule C afficionados out there…receipts.  That is all.

So recently I had this dilemma.  I was going to a panel discussion after work one evening, and the knitting project I was planning on bringing was my Ivy Wrap Cardigan, which is accompanied by an unwieldy 3 double-sided pattern pages, folded 4 times and stuffed inside of the cone.  Not very practical for trying to be a polite member of the audience and giving us public knitters a good name by keeping the distraction level to a minimum.

A little phone in silent mode takes up way less space.

So here’s what I do instead: Start up a new note in Evernote (which is totally free, btw), that will be my go-to for everything I need to know about this pattern.

Then, I take a picture of the pattern, or whatever portion of that pattern I’ll need to have on hand for the next few sessions of knitting.

The touch screen makes it super easy to zoom in if I need to get a closer look at a particular line of directions.

I can add a tag to this note so that it will come up whenever I’m browsing through all my current knitting projects.

And because I no longer have the hard copy pattern to scribble my notes all over, I can take virtual notes about where I’m at, what I just did, and where to pick up again next time.

It all gets stored neatly in my “notebook,” with everything right there at a glance. (Oh, and bonus!  It synchronizes with your Evernote account online, so you can also access this from any othe computer or device that’s connected to the Internet.)

And, if I take a long hiatus from this project, so long that this note gets buried beneath all my more recent notes (which are organized chronologically for browsing purposes), I can just search for a word in the title that I know will bring it up.

What about you?  What’s your favorite method for keeping your WIPs organized?  What are the pros and cons?

2 Responses to Evernote & Knitting on the go

  1. Ok, years after it's debut, I'm finally almost itching for my own iPhone if only for this knitting-friendly use. I'm still in the photocopying/post-it note stage of my travel knitting.

  2. I have to say, it's pretty awesome. I held out for quite awhile; the iPod Touch was the gateway device for me. It was like everything I wanted, but only 80% of the time, when I was near wireless. They're so sneaky!

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