How-to: Set up your team’s Evernote Business workspace
Set up your team’s Evernote Business Workspace
Spend some time now thinking through the setup of your Evernote Business workspace. Creating structures now for the way you’ll create, name, store and tag work saves time in the long run while setting your team up for maximum productivity.
Get started by assigning a minimum of two people as administrators for your company’s account. Having multiple administrators ensures continuity even as teams change or people leave the company. An administrator may be an officer of your company, an IT staffer, a manager, or someone in a similar position. You can add administrators to your company’s Evernote Business account in the admin console.
Next, think about your organizational structure, including what content will be kept in Evernote Business and who will have access to it. Ask a few key questions to get you started:
What’s your goal for Evernote Business?
Evernote Business can help your team do its best work, and your company’s goals for using Evernote should inform your setup from the start. For instance, if you’re using Evernote Business to help centralize key information for cross-company access, start by creating notebooks by theme so employees can easily find the information they need. If you’re not sure what your company’s goals are for using Evernote Business, this is a good opportunity to connect with the individual(s) who’ll be using Evernote Business the most.
Who in your organization made the decision to move forward with Evernote Business? They probably have some expectations for how the team is going to benefit from Evernote Business. Make sure to ask them about their ideas so you can set up the team’s workspace accordingly.
What types of information are you sharing with Evernote?
How you structure your notebooks will depending on the types of information that will be shared and with whom. Some notebooks will contain information with a broad audience--vacation policies, quarterly performance reports. These can be published company-wide. Other notebooks that are team or project-specific or contain sensitive information should be created and shared individually.
What does each individual contributor need?
Each person on your team likely works differently than the person sitting next to them, and Evernote Business can be adapted to meet each person’s needs. So each employee can make the most of their Evernote experience, make sure to train your team on how to use the built-in customization options like shortcuts, notebook stacks, and saved searches.
Tools for organizing your workspace
Evernote Business has several methods to keep your team’s information organized, including notebooks, tags, and notes.
Notebooks are ideal for gathering related notes together that are intended to be shared as collection with team members. Notebooks come in two flavors - business and personal.
Business notebooks are owned by the company, and they remain with the company when someone on your team leaves. Business notebooks can be shared across the entire business, selectively with relevant individuals or they can also be kept private so only the individual who created them and your company’s admins can access them.
Personal notebooks are owned by each individual, and when they leave your company, the contents of their personal notebooks will leave with them. Personal notebooks cannot be shared with your entire business.
Tags are for filtering the contents of a notebook. For instance, within a “Customers” notebook you could use the tag “Jane Smith” to indicate notes related to that particular customer. You can filter by multiple tags as well (e.g., by customer and year, or project and person assigned).
Business tags are owned by the company. As you add tags to a note that’s in a business notebook, any tags you create will automatically be business tags. Anyone who has access to a business notebook will automatically have access to the business tags used within that notebook.
Personal tags, like personal notebooks, are owned by each individual. If you add tags to a note that is in a personal notebook, any tags that get created will be personal tags. You cannot use business tags in a personal notebook, or vice-versa.
As team members are creating notebooks and tags for your company, encourage them to create business notebooks and business tags instead of personal notebooks and personal tags. For an example of how a business may set up their Evernote Business workspace, view a sample organizational structure.
Notes should also be considered as you’re setting up your workspace. A single note can be used as a reference document for a notebook. For example, in a collaborative notebook, it’s helpful to have a “How to use this notebook” note so the purpose of the notebook and how to collaborate within is obvious to all. If there are several reference notes in a single notebook, consider creating a Table of Contents by selecting the target notes and using the built-in table of contents feature.
Create note-naming conventions to make sure everyone on your team titles their notes consistently. Doing so will make it easier for team members to locate the note they need when they are searching or browsing.
Make sure that each note’s title contains essential information about the content, the author, and relevant date-related information. The idea is to make it crystal-clear exactly what the note is just from looking at its title.
A note naming convention could look like this:
YYYY-MM-DD - CONTEXT/CONTENT - CREATOR INITIALS
CONTEXT/CONTENT - CREATOR INITIALS - VERSION NUMBER - YYYY-MM-DD
So your project plan might look something like this:
2015-06-12 - Office Move Project Plan - JZ
Office Move Project Plan - JZ - V1 - 2015-06-12
Strategies for setting up your workspace
Use your existing structures
If you already have a paper or electronic file structure that is working well for you, you're ahead of the game. Adapting some of your existing file structure (e.g. folder names, subfolder content) can be a great place to start. If your electronic file structure relies heavily on subfolders, you’ll want to flatten that structure a bit using business notebooks and business tags in Evernote.
For example, your company may have had a folder for sales tools and collateral that contained a number of subfolders for PDFs, whitepapers, and other material. Maybe it looked something like this:
- Print Docs
In Evernote Business, your new structure could look something like this:
- Sales: Collateral - PDF
- Sales: Collateral - Print
- Sales: Scripts & Talking Points
In this example, you’d only need to navigate to one notebook for all the sales tools you need. Then, you could filter by tag to find just the PDFs that you are looking for.
Build a new structure
If you’re not happy with your existing file structure, use setting up your Evernote Business workspace as an opportunity for a fresh start. To begin, think about the departments, roles, and projects that are happening at your company. Most businesses have key departmental functions and projects - administrative, human resources, marketing, sales, production, client service, finance, etc., and you can use these areas to begin building out your notebook structure. The Evernote Business administrator in your company should consult with key stakeholders in each department to help determine what needs to be created.
Fill with starter content
Once you’ve chosen a structure and have built out some business notebooks and business tags, spend some time seeding your empty notebooks with content. Having some relevant notes (and associated tags, if you’re using them), already in notebooks can very helpful as team members join and start collaborating. This initial legwork of creating notebooks, tags, and seeding content during setup will give your users a solid idea of how to work most effectively with Evernote Business right from the start.
Once you’ve planned your new Evernote Business workspace, share your new structure with your team in a reference notebook. That way, they can refer back to what’s been created and how they are expected to use it.
- Template - Evernote Business Organizational Structure
- Sample Evernote Business Organizational Structure