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From Scannable to Sunrise, HGTV personality and business owner Anthony Carrino relies on Evernote to organize his work and effectively manage his career as a builder, designer, business owner and television personality.

Anthony took some time to detail how his Evernote workflow helps fuel productivity in all aspects of running a business.

Anthony is known as one half of The Cousins on HGTV from shows such as Kitchen Cousins, Cousins On Call, Cousins Undercover, as well as the web series Chill & Grill on ULive.com. He is now on to his next big adventure with his cousin John Colaneri in the 2015 debut of Most Desperate Kitchens on HGTV. 

As a real estate developer, builder, designer, and TV personality my life is nonstop.

Travel is constant, projects are detail-heavy, and clients are demanding. I have developed a workflow over the past few years that not only works for me, but actually gives me piece of mind while away from my many job sites.

The linchpin of this workflow is Evernote.

It gives me the ability to work and organize the way my mind works, so I don’t have to fit its mold, it fits mine, and yours, and his, and hers.

I have notebooks for everything from my next tattoo ideas and a shared work chat with my girlfriend on our never-ending list of restaurants and vacation ideas, to a design stack for each of my design clients, development stacks for future potential projects and those that are in process, and a stack for each TV episode. Knowing that everything has a home, I can grab it from any device, collaborate on any note at any time allows for a ton of efficiency, which is paramount to the dwindling free hours of my day.

Aside from being a great way to dump design ideas on a constant basis and send them to the appropriate client’s notebook, the most important feature for me is the ability to annotate PDFs—especially with the Smart Stickers. I have literally marked up a full size 20-page plan on a flight from New York to Los Angeles on my iPad mini.

Here’s how my typical process will look for a private client:

1. I have an initial meeting with a design/build client in their space. We talk, take photos and understand their goals, which all goes into my initial note. I email this to each of the architects we meet in advance of our meeting for their pre-prep.

2. Create another notebook for client image dump, and I tell them to dump any and everything they love visually here for our collective review. I will dump images here as well.

3. Meet with the architect and create another note for space planning specifics to make sure they don’t miss anything and I remember what to look for when reviewing the initial set of drawings.

4. Design meeting with client as initial architectural set is in progress and we review and refine their pulls and mine. We annotate images they like so we know what elements within the image are of interest to us. And then pull all the important images into one note that has all our likes and wants to work from.

5. During the first plan iteration markup, if the architect sends this over or dumps them in Dropbox as separate PDFs I open each file in Notability to combine them into one file. If the plans are a disaster (meaning a ton of changes) I will sketch over it in Notability with their free form tools and then export to Evernote to add my stickers which draw immediate attention. The process is iterative so each set of plans is a new dated note so we can compare from set to set.

Once we have our design plan and construction documents in order we start the physical transformation. There is one tool and one tool only for running a job site efficiently and that is FieldLens. It allows me to collaborate with all subs and the architect on the job, send RFIs, punch items and assign them to the correct sub, etc. Plus it is a great accountability tool for holding all trades to the project schedule.

I create another note to share with the client for progress photos throughout the process. An additional note guides us along each walkthrough with comments, concerns, and changes.

A beautiful Sunrise

Another beautiful thing is that Evernote works with Sunrise, my preferred calendar app. When I schedule a meeting and select Evernote as the calendar it automatically creates a note for me with the title of my meeting. Tap on the meeting in Sunrise and it opens the note in Evernote. No searching needed. Conversely, if you set a note reminder for an Evernote note it automatically appears on your Sunrise calendar at the time and date you specified. This all equals less taps and less searching.

The process for designing TV episodes is substantially different both in process and speed, but Evernote is just as efficient. It all comes down to breaking up notebooks and stacks in a way that makes inherent sense. From there the app is so robust I am able to accomplish all of the design write ups and plan markups I need. Along with the other apps I have mentioned I am a true mobile workhorse. And through it all the biggest smile comes when I get a push notification that a new restaurant has been added to the list.

Apps that make my world run

Evernote – the epicenter
Scannable – the newest from Evernote allows me to create a PDF out of any paper doc. Small file sizes and ready to share
Skitch – quick photo markup
Dropbox – all files anywhere I am, anytime I need them
FieldLens – job site collaboration plus accountability at its finest
Sunrise – best calendar layout I have experienced and Evernote integration makes it next level*
Notability – combining multiple single page PDFs to one cohesive document with heavy duty free form sketching and highlighting tools
SignEasy – signing contracts*

* – Available in the Evernote App Center