Using Evernote to Automate your Real Estate Business

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To keep this organized I’m going to do a series of post on organizing and automating your real estate activity.

The vast majority of real estate investors and other real estate professionals are still using paper and checks in their business, so I know there is plenty to talk about here.

Full Disclosure: Don’t go off on me in the comments about using the word automation.

YOU WILL STILL HAVE TO WORK TO GET THINGS DONE.

My goal here is to help you work more effeciently.

I’m writing this at 6:00 a.m. which is when I usually start my day, so please understand I’m not trying to portray that I only work 4-hours a day and manage to juggle 2.5 jobs in less than 30 hours a week!

Ok, now let’s get down to business.

The first thing you need to understand is to organize and automate your real estate activity (note, I’m using activity because this can be used for agents, investors, wholesellers, etc) is that you have to go as paperless as possible and you need a dynamic central content managemenet system that will be with you online and offline.

Do What?  Dynamic Content Management System?

In plain English, you need something that is paperless that you can edit and change on the go.  It shouldn’t matter if you have internet or not at the time.

Related: How Outsourcing & Automation Can Grow Your Real Estate Investing Business Like A Weed

The solution: Evernote

I’ll be honest, Evernote was a little overwhelming and when I first signed-up I opened up the application and never used it.  There was too much going on and I didn’t feel like learning a new application.

Fast forward a couple of years and now it’s a critical piece of software that runs several parts of my real estate business without me.  The best part…IT’S FREE!

They have a paid version that I highly recommend, but just starting out, go ahead with the free version.

I’m going to give you two uses of Evernote that I personally and am using the application for.  One case is professional and another is personal.

Property.

After you have an Evernote account, you start creates notes.

You can neatly organize all your notes in separate notebooks.  For me, all of my properties have separate notebooks.  If I own a property with another investor I can then just share that particular notebook with that particular business partner.

Additionally, if a document needs to get added to that notebook, the partner can just email it to the notebook and I don’t have to do anything.  This works for property managers as well.

I personally love Evernote for my to-do list.  I keep my general monthly to-do list in Evernote, but I also keep a to-do list for each property in Evernote.  That way when a property manager is there they can open that property’s notebook (on their phone) and see everything I want done.

Trip to Argentina

I live to work and work to play!

Currently, I’m planning a trip to Argentina and possibly Chile.  First off I have a notebook labeled Argentina.  Then I have a notebook with a bunch of random things I want to do (mainly evolving around eating steak and drinking wine).

Maps, flights details, car rental information, hotel information.  It’s all stored in this one notebook.  This way I don’t ever have to go looking through emails trying to find stuff when I’m at the airport or at the hotel.

Ok, so the two use cases above are pretty simple.  I’m sure at this point you guys are really wanting to know how to AUTOMATE something! Right?

Automation with BiggerPockets.com and Evernote

 Using Evernote to Automate your Real Estate Business

This will be blog post 2, but I am going to show you how I use BiggerPockets with Evernote to automate some of my real estate activity.

First you need to go to IFTTT.com and get an account.  Don’t worry…it’s free.

Now keep reading.

Related: 5 Simple Strategies For Real Estate Acquisition Domination! (You are Going to LOVE #5!)

There are some post that I absolutely love on the BiggerPockets blog.  Since the BiggerPockets blog is so huge I don’t want to go search for these particular post that I’m going to use as resources later.

I’m one of those weird people who still use an RSS reader.  It’s a very efficient way to comb through 100 blogs in about 10 minutes a day.  Anyway, for the post that I love that I want to use as a resource for my real estate investing I will save it for later in feedly.

I have created a recipe in IFTTT that automatically sends blog post that I have marked “saved for later” to Evernote.

Now, some of the post that I want to reference later can be found offline or online for me in Evernote.

Hope all of this helps!

Do you guy’s use Evernote for your personal and/or business activity?

Let me know how in the comments!

Photo Credit: joe.ross via Compfight cc

 

 

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About Author

Jimmy Moncrief is a bank underwriter and real estate investor. He blogs at RealEstateFinanceHQ.com where he talks about all things real estate. He also is the creater of free evernote templates for BiggerPockets members to learn how to better organize and automate their real estate investing.

14 Comments

  1. Jordan Thibodeau on

    Great post.

    Have you tried using Asana? What I enjoy about Asana is that I can assign tasks to my contractor with due dates. Once he completes the work, he posts pictures of his work, and the invoice so I have a record for what has transpired.

    • Jordan

      Thanks for the AWESOME comment! That’s a great way to use Asana!

      I have used it, but to be honest it just wasn’t intuitive to me. I couldn’t figure out when I clicked something what would happen. At the end of the day, Evernote is just a much more robust tool.

      BUT – I love how you are using asana.

      • Jordan Thibodeau on

        True! There’s a bit of a learning curve. Evernote is extremely intuitive.

        Thanks again for the post!

  2. John Elmenhe on

    Awesome post Jimmy! Yea, I think a few weeks ago you and I actually talked about how cool evernote is for a wide variety of tasks in REI & life. I’m actually planning a vacation this summer with the family and I have a TON of things I want to do. The picture note function really helps when I’m trying to remember things.

    Have you read Getting Things Done by David Allen? It’s the book that inspired the Evernote software, and I think it’s just fantastic!

  3. John

    I haven’t read the book – BUT EVERYBODY – keeps telling me to read it – so I better get on it.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Have fun on your vacation! Where are you going?

    • John Elmenhe on

      Nothing too exciting… I’m going up to New England where I’ll be vacationing with some members of my family in the Boston area.

      And yea! Read that book Jimmy! Now you’ve committed in front of hundreds if not thousands of blog readers…

  4. Tom McCombs on

    I use it regularly, and am finding new uses for it almost daily. It is now my go-to site for important saved information and pictures. Sometimes it is a little slow to open, but I think that is because I often have very slow internet service even tho I have it thru Verizon.

  5. Sharon Tzib on

    How come you don’t just use Evernote’s webclipper extension to bookmark or save links and blogs? It’s free also.

    • Sharon Tzib on

      Yes, so is management. Unfortunately most blogs have 2-5 typos in them. It’s depressing BP can’t find a good proofreader.

  6. Very interesting article.
    I’ve never used it but have been looking into things to help me run my business (and life) more efficiently.
    I’ll have to take a look at this one, especially after hearing it was inspired by Getting Things Done.
    (2nd that you have to read it, great book. Just finished listening to the audiobook for at least 4-5th time in the car the other day)

  7. Jeri O'Mahoney on

    Great post! Thanks! Just curious, what devices do/can you use evermore on. Laptop and desktop computer, I’m assuming. You mentioned smartphones. Do you use it on a tablet at all?

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