Let me introduce you Evernote for fitness
In theory, Evernote is a dynamic workspace that boosts your productivity. It´s a cloud note-taking app that makes very easy keeping track of pretty much everything. You can use Evernote for blogging, doing research, writing a book, planning your vacation, write your ideas on the go, etc.
As a personal trainer, I use Evernote for fitness, keeping track of my client´s workouts, meals, etc. Traditionally, trainers have encouraged their trainees to keep a training diary. You may use Evernote as a brand new digital version of the training journals.
Since 2014, I´ve been delivering personalized workouts and meal plans to my clients through Evernote. Results have been pretty amazing. I´ll give you some ideas on how you can use Evernote, making of it the best training diary!
Saving your old workouts
The first thing you should do is to save all your old workouts and diets. This way, you´ll prevent future losses.
Evernote allows you to save all kind of files (pics, docs, pdf, etc) so you can turn Evernote into your fitness command center.
The first feature that caught my eye was photo capture. All you have to do is grab your old papers, your phone, and click on the camera icon.
Automatically, Evernote will capture your papers.
You can save as many pics as you want in a single note, or you can make a note with each pic. Of course, you can reorganize and edit all your notes anytime later.
This time, let´s save a single pic as a single note. Click “V” and chose a title for your note (Dark red). Then, click on the notebook icon to pick the notebook you want to save the note (Light red).
Click “V” again to save your new note.
You can also add any file from your phone or pc. If you want to add files from your phone, click “+” to add a new note, and select the clip icon.
I have some recent workouts in my phone memory for this occasion. I´m part of the Jordan Breakfast Club and Jordan uses Facebook Messenger to deliver the workouts. I prefer to save them in Evernote because it´s much easier to find a workout than scrolling and scrolling the conversation in Messenger until I find what I want. I save each pic (workout) as a note.
Later, I check my new notes on my pc, and I realize that there are too many. How do I fix this?
Select multiple notes, holding “Ctrl” and clicking on the notes you want. You´ll see your selection on the right side of your screen and some options. One of them is “Merge”.
You´ll get a single note with all workouts. A 30-day challenge in a single note. Easy, right?
You can do the same thing with any Pdf, excel files, docs saved on your p.? Press Ctrl + N to create a new note. Then click on the clip button, and add your files. When you finish, you have all your workouts on all your devices, anytime.
Use the Evernote Web Clipper
The Evernote Web Clipper is available for almost any browser and it´s the easiest way to collect anything from the web.
Once installed, you´ll see the elephant´s head next to the title bar. The browser context menu will also get an Evernote Web Clipper item. To use this option, right-click the mouse while browsing.
There are 5 modes of saving a note via the web clipper.
The extension can show the page as it is (“Article”)
or bring a simplified version (“Simplified Article”).
The “Full Page” option, stores the whole web page on your Evernote account. Later you can edit the contents of these saved pages. I do not recommend this option because you´ll save all the ads and crap showed in that page.
The “Bookmark” option saves the URL along with a pic and a short description.
To annotate a webpage’s contents, the screenshot option can be handy. Take a screenshot using the extension and use its rich set of annotating tools.
As you can see, you can save any exercise or workout you like or plan to do in the future in Evernote.
Track your workouts
To track your current workout, I recommend you to create a new notebook, like “My workouts”. Then, create a new note for each day (Tip: Use the date in the title so it´ll be easier to find it later). Make sure to write any information you may need. For example, today is your first day and you may want to take a selfie to review your progress a month from now. Just take the picture and add it to your new note. I ask my clients to do this so we can see the progress every month. This is one of my clients the first day of training.
I encourage you to explore the toolbar and find what fits better with you and your workouts: tables, checkbox, etc.
For this example, I would like to try something tough, a giant drop set. Four, actually. Have you ever been able to log a giant drop set in any other app? Me neither.
After each set, you can easily write how much you´ve just lifted. Also, adding any comment on the go is really easy.
If this is not enough for you, enrich your workout with links and take it to a new level. Let´s say you´ve saved some new exercises you want to include in your routine, but you need to refresh your memory on how to do it. In this case, lateral raises. Right-click on the note where the description is at, and select “Copy Note Link”.
Go back to your workout note, select exercise´s name and press “Ctrl + K” to open a dialog box like this.
“Ctrl + V” to paste the link and then, ok. Video and description are just one click away, while our workout note is still clean.
You can also save your data automatically from your tracking devices into Evernote. See how to do it, here.
Organizing your workouts with tags
Organizing is a very personal thing and you have to find which way works best for you.
These are some differences between notebooks and tags you should know:
- Notebooks are limited to 250 per personal account, but you can have up to 100,000 tags per account.
- A note can only exist in one Notebook at a time, but a note may have multiple tags.
- Notebooks can be stacked but not nested. In essence, this means you can only create a hierarchy that is one level deep: a stack with a group of notebooks. On the other hand, tags can be nested into multiple hierarchies.
Applied to your fitness notes, you have at least two options to organize them:
- Create multiple notebooks for different topics: Exercises, Recipes, Tips, Motivation, My workout, etc.
- Create a single notebook to store all your fitness notes. Instead of placing a note into a specific notebook, create a tag and assign that tag to the note. For example, instead of a notebook called “My workouts” create a tag and assign it to all your workouts. The advantage is that you can add other tags as well, like “Weightloss”, “Hypertrophy”, etc. so you´ll know what´s the goal of each workout.
Here is how you can quickly add a tag to notes in Evernote:
- Open the note you wish to tag.
- Open the tags editor.
- Type to add your tags. Tag suggestions based on previous tags in Evernote will appear as you type.
- Press Return to add a tag
- To delete a tag, backspace over the tag text.
Tags can be nested into hierarchies according to whatever makes sense for you. Keep in mind that they will display alphabetically, so you can use symbols like periods, hashtags, or numbers to force your tags into the order you want.
We´ve seen how to get your data into Evernote but, how do you find your notes when you need them? Evernote provides a set of tools for finding almost anything, easily and on-demand.
If you don´t have a lot of notes, the first and easiest way to find your notes is by clicking on a notebook or tag in the left side panel and visually scan the notes.
This is probably the least advanced method there is, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you know exactly where you want to go, and have organized your notes effectively, simply going to the notebook or tag that the note is categorized by is a great option. As you add more notes, it becomes increasingly difficult.
Next option is the search box. It´s where all the magic happens.
It works the same way like a search engine, start typing whatever you’re looking for and Evernote will begin narrowing down the results in real time.
If you click on a notebook or tag first, Evernote will limit the search results to those within that notebook or tag group. Also, the search automatically filters out common words like “a”, “and”, “the”, “these”, as well as others, by default. The default method will only display notes containing every word in your search query, but not necessarily in the same order as they are in the search box.
Every note that you create within Evernote has a lot of properties related to it such as what media attachments are included in the note, how it was uploaded and when it was created.
Below are a few of the search operators you can use to narrow down your search:
tag: this operator can be used to find notes with specific tags.
-tag: will search for notes excluding that specific tag.
any: this operator can be used to make a difference between “and” and “or” when you perform a search with two or more words. For example, if you search for shoulder exercises the results will be notes that contain only the words: shoulder exercises. However, if you add the “any” operator before (any: shoulder exercises) the results will be notes containing shoulder OR exercises.
notebook: this operator will specify the search to a specific notebook.
intitle: this operator will search for the specified words in the titles of your notes.
source: this allows you to search via the source you added the note. source:mobile will show you all notes that were created using Evernote on a mobile application.
created: this allows you to search for notes created over a specific time period. created:20140816, searches for all notes created on August 16, 2014.
updated: Searches for notes updated on or after the date specified. If a note hasn’t been updated since the date it was created, the ‘updated’ date will be the same as the ‘created’ date. updated:20140626, searches for all notes updated on June 26, 2014.
todo: Searches for notes containing one or more checkboxes. todo:true, surfaces all notes that contain a checkbox that is checked. todo:false, surfaces all notes that contain a checkbox that is not checked. todo:*, surfaces notes that contain a checkbox, if it’s checked or not.
encryption: Searches for notes that include text that has been encrypted with Evernote’s built-in encryption system.
latitude: longitude: altitude: Searches for notes that were created at or near the specified coordinates.
Use the + or – to include or exclude certain words. Example: weightloss -diet +exercise will display all notes with the words weightloss and exercise, but not diet. Note that these also work with other search operators, such as tag.
The asterisk can be put at the end of anything and will give you the results of the search term before it. For instance, if you can remember how to spell an exercise, but remember part of it, type what you can remember and add the * at the end, Evernote will take care of the rest. This is especially helpful in cases where you’re searching for the base word, but want to include other variations of it, like plural forms.
You might already use quotations to get an exact phrase. However, you only need one quotation (“) at the beginning of your phase.
You can combine search operators to improve and narrow results. Using the Boolean techniques in combination with search operators is yet another way to improve results.
Eventually, you can create a “Saved Search” and re-use it whenever you need it. To do this, just search and select File | New Saved Search. Name your search in the first field (this is solely for your use, so name it whatever you feel will make it easy to recognize). To see your saved search, just clear the search bar and click on it. A list of recent and saved searches will appear.
I think you have now an idea how to use Evernote for fitness. Let me know if you have any questions. I´ll be glad to help you!