In my head, I’m a very organised and methodical person. In reality I’m not!
Actually, that’s not entirely fair. I do put things in piles labelled ‘to action’, ‘to file’, ‘to put away’ and I have even been known to put things in boxes but there remains an ongoing issue with finding things!
My precious sewing patterns, new and old, are safely
filed put away in boxes. I love to get them out and look through them every now and then, just for that warm fuzzy feeling. And sometimes I even put them to work. But with the ever growing tower of pattern boxes it is true to say that I often forget what I’ve got.
But last week I discovered Evernote! I cannot claim to be the authority on this app because, by all accounts, it does so much. However, I can tell you how it has revolutionised the organisation of my sewing pattern collection.
How Evernote works for me
- Firstly, it’s on my phone which means when I find myself in a fabric shop, I can instantly find out how much fabric/what notions I need, or if a particular fabric is suitable for the job just by scrolling through my instantly available files.
- Equally if I’m in a charity shop and there’s an amazing remnant of fabric shouting out I can see if it matches up to the requirements.
- I can instantly check to see if I already own the pattern or not – Despite my tower of patterns equalling my own height, I still get a little buzz from an Ebay bargain!
- You can share your ‘notes’ on social networks or via message or Email which will be a handy way of me creating a new pinboard on Pinterest or consulting fellow sewists via Twitter or Facebook.
- You can also print straight from your device. Assuming you’d need a wireless system for that though.
- You can tag the patterns making for a brilliant search system. I generally tag mine with: size, bust-size, era, garment style, pattern name/number and exact date of publication if I can find it.
- You can also stack notebooks. So for instance:
1 ‘note’ effectively consists of front and back of pattern envelope plus any notes I’ve made from previous experience.
‘Notes’ are grouped together to form a ‘notebook’, for instance one ‘notebook’ could be titled Vintage another could be Modern.
‘Notebooks’ can then be stacked under a title of Sewing patterns.
I am currently just putting all ‘notes’ (individual patterns) in one ‘notebook’ called Sewing patterns and tagging them for easy searching. I like being able to scroll down a long list.
- You can view each pattern as a thumbnail with it’s title alongside. It’s a little bit diddy, even on a larger than average phone screen but it syncs perfectly online and I find this is an easier way of viewing and editing from the comfort of a desk and the luxury of a larger screen.
And the best thing about Evernote?
- It’s absolutely FREE! I haven’t felt the need to upgrade to a premium version yet. The benefits of which include: more space allocation, an offline editing option, multiple author permission, and pdf search facility. But even if and when I feel I’m ready to upgrade, its only about £35 per year!
Evernote is so easy to use
To upload a pattern I simply take a photo of the cover using the inbuilt camera and then take a ‘document’ shot of the back cover text. This text can be enlarged for perfect readability even on a tiny screen. I then give it a title: The pattern company and number reference. And then I tag it so It can be searched for. I currently only have the one notebook titled, Sewing Patterns and I make sure they live in there but if you had other notebooks you’d just have to check it’s in the right place.
Teething problems with Evernote
I have only come up against a couple of teething problems. No biggies but worth bearing in mind to save you from pulling out your hair!
I did get excited when I saw the ‘Location’ entry box. But longitude and latitude won’t help me to find where the actual pattern is so I guess I will have to add the location to the file name (ie box 1 etc)
For a short while I didn’t understand how Evernote randomly selected an image to use as the cover thumbnail. It doesn’t select them according to first in the list, moreover the largest image.
So just make sure that the cover image is larger than the back cover document image. I do this by taking a close up of the pictorial cover and holding the camera a bit further away when I shoot the back cover. When using the document shooting facility it will naturally crop into the document text area and automatically exclude external background content, which keeps it smaller.
Using Evernote to catalogue fabric mountain
Once I’ve finished cataloguing my sewing patterns, I’m thinking of filing my fabric stash too. By taking a photo of the fabric and adding some notes and searchable tags relating to size, fabric content and potential usage. But one thing at a time, hey?!
Has anybody else tried Evernote? Are there any features I’ve missed? Or do you use another filing system?
For anyone interested in getting this app, you can either download it from the App Store or let me know, and I’ll Email you a link. Another great feature is that if you recommend a friend you earn points to upgrade for free! So once you are signed up for the free app don’t forget to recommend Evernote to your friends too.
Footnote: This is not a sponsored post, despite my enthusiasm. It is an honest review of a product that works very well for me and my purposes.