New Orleans House Project

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Personal Quilt Inspiration Index?

A portion of the quilt book collection
Being a quilter for almost 25 years, I've accumulated lots of quilt-related ephemera.  Books, patterns, magazines, pages clipped from magazines - all those creative sparks I feel compelled to save.  I've got sheet protectors, notebooks, files, file cabinets, magazine holders, bookshelves - all dedicated to keeping my quilt inspiration organized.  What I'd really love to have is my own personal quilt inspiration index, complete with illustrations, so I could find everything immediately!

When I discovered Pinterest earlier this year, I thought it was a great way to clip and save lots of digital quilt images and websites, so I could easily refer back to them at a later date.  I spent lots of time surfing Pinterest and the web, adding quilt info to my bulletin boards.  One drawback:  I hated the Pinterest interface for iPad, which meant I wouldn't like using it on my smart phone, either.

What I really wanted was a way to save digital quilt information and be able to access it from any location.
What I found is a great free app called Evernote.  The app is available for most types of computer: PC or Mac, iPad, and smart phone.  It's very easy to use and will sync your information across all your digital devices.  The Evernote smart phone and iPad interface is just as clear and easy to use as the the computer version*.  Once you're up and running with Evernote, you can access your info and/or add to your info from almost anywhere!  (*disclaimer:  I'm a Mac user and I have an Android phone, so I can't speak to the PC or iPhone versions of Evernote.)

Screenshot of Evernote interface
Evernote allows you to create notebooks to help keep things organized.  For example, I have a notebook for quilts I've made.  I use that notebook to store info about finished quilts and quilt tops in various stages of finishing.  I make notes concerning the size of the quilt, the name of the pattern, etc.  If I need to purchase batting and backing for a top, I make notes to remind myself what is needed.

The app is very easy to learn and easy to use.  Create a notebook, create a note, add your info (pictures, web address, even notes you type) and save it.  Notes can be moved from notebook to notebook.  If your smart phone has a camera, you can take a picture through Evernote and save it to Evernote.

So far, I haven't found any digital content I'm not able to save in Evernote.  If I'm saving from the web, I just right click, copy and paste.  If needed, I'll take a screenshot and save it.  Evernote has an app called Web Clipper, which is supposed to facilitate clipping digital info, but I haven't tried it.

Although Evernote is free, there are data storage limits.  I have yet to surpass the monthly limit, but if you have huge storage needs, there's a Premium membership for $5/month or $45/year that allows for greater data storage.

I have no affiliation with Evernote, I'm just a happy user.  Barb, of Fun with Barb, brought up the topic of quilt inspiration organization the other day, which is what inspired me to share my Evernote experiences.

Now, if I just had the time, I'd start scanning all those quilt pictures and patterns I have marked with Post-It notes in my quilt books and magazines.  Into Evernote they'd go, and I'd have the beginnings of my own personal quilt inspiration index!