Every now and then, a reader suggests a topic for these posts and when it is a good idea and makes sense, I try to comply. You can thank Amy Durfey Vander Vorste for the suggestion for this week’s post, which, as it sounds, list some ways that I use Skitch with Evernote1.
For those who don’t know, Skitch is an Evernote product that allows you to capture and annotate images. These images are then synced to a notebook in Evernote so you can access them anywhere. Skitch is available for most platforms. I typically use it on my iMac, my Windows laptop, and my iPad, but there are other versions available. Here are some ways that I use Skitch in my effort to go paperless.
1. Digitizing my house for easy reference
When I first started using Skitch, it occurred to me that, in conjunction with Evernote, it had some really useful possibilities. At the time, I was in the process of digitizing my house. I found that in addition to putting together floor plans of my house, I could take pictures of rooms and then use Skitch to annotate those pictures with various measurements. These images, with their annotations, are stored in Evernote so that they are available anywhere. Here is one example:
When I am at the hardware store (or some other store) and need to know the size of something I need to buy–or whether it will fit through a certain space in the house–I can easily call up one of these annotated images and instantly have the measurements I need.
2. Capturing how quickly my kids grow up (literally!)
More recently, I’ve taken to creating a digital version of pencil marks indicating how much my little boy has grown. Rather than marking up the wall, I do the following:
- Take a picture of my little boy standing by a door threshold.
- Measure how tall he is.
- Import the image into Skitch
- Add an annotation indicating how tall he is.
I add these images to my timeline notebook on the day they are taken so I have a complete history of his growth. This history is good no matter where we live or where the picture is taken. It’s a cool way of using Skitch to capture moments in my little boys life that might otherwise be lost in various moves.
3. Managing images on my blog
Skitch has become an invaluable tool for editing and managing images that I post here on the blog. There are four things that I find incredibly useful in this respect:
First, it is incredibly easy to capture images and have them wherever I need them. Because I move from machine to machine and device to device, once I’ve captured the image in Skitch, I have it anywhere I go.
Second, it is very easy to make annotations to those images, if annotations are required.
Third, I can easily crop or resize images as needed from inside Skitch.
Fourth, and particularly useful, I love the “pixelating” feature which allows you to blur out aspects of an image. I use this quite a bit, for instance, when I posted the picture of my new license plate holder that my folks got me for the holidays:
4. Capturing and annotating screenshots everywhere
I use Skitch in my day job quite a bit. In that capacity, I am an application developer and much of what I do involves design work, capturing screenshots, story-boarding, etc. and that often involves quite a bit of annotation. I’ve used Skitch for putting together entire storyboards for application interfaces. I also use it for capturing screenshots when things go wrong so I have a good visual record of errors that I’ve encountered.
5. Annotating maps!
I’ve used Skitch to capture and annotate all kinds of maps. For instance, I have a map that I can send to friends and family visiting our house that is completed annotated so that they can find our place with a minimum of difficulty. I also use it to capture maps of trips we take and making notes on the route along the way. For instance, we drove down to Florida last week, and took 3 days to make the drive. I captured some Google Maps in Skitch and then added some annotations about the hotels we planned to stay. Here is the annotated map from the first day of our trip:
Those are some of the ways that I use Skitch on a daily basis. It has quickly become my favorite tool for capturing and annotating images and it is hard to imagine working as I do without it. How about everyone else? What creative uses have you found for Skitch? I’d be interested to learn these, and I’m sure Amy Durfey Vander Vorste would be interested as well. Happy holidays everyone!
- Apologies for the delay on getting this post out this week. I’m on vacation and forgot to pre-schedule this post. Remember also that next week, I won’t be doing a new post I’m taking the week off. I’ll likely post a rerun. But I’ll be back with a new Going Paperless post on January 1st. ↩