I spent the past year researching my new book Bring Your Worth: Level Up Your Creative Power, Value & Service to the World. When it comes to books, your inspiration and information can come from websites, social media, online books and, yes, even physical books.

The problem is keeping track of it all.

I found a new iPhone hack that makes it easier to take notes in physical and online media. It has saved me hours of research and duplication.

It's already in your photo app

Take a picture of something you want to document. For instance, I wanted to cite Seth Godin's excellent book This is Marketing, so I took a picture of the page. You can also take a picture of digital books or online media by tapping the power button (on the right-hand side) and the home button (at the bottom front) at the same time.

Next, pull up the iPhone photo app and tap on the Edit option. Lastly, look for the icon that looks like a marker. It is called Markup. Depending on your phone, you may need to tap the ellipses icon to reveal the Markup option.

Markup gives a half dozen or so ways to modify the picture. I usually use the first option, marker, to circle the important book package. I can then use another option, pencil, to write in the page number directly on the photo.  The iPhone then saves the photo with the modifications and I have a permanent record of my note.

Why it is useful

There are a ton of apps that do the markup setup better like Evernote. The iPhone photo update makes more sense for a few reasons:

  • It is a one-stop shop: You are already taking photos with your iPhone. The markup tool allows you to modify without opening yet another app.
  • It is central: Research can pile up quickly. The single-location allows easier access and management of the pictures.
  • It is free: You already have the software with your phone.

The iPhone markup tool definitely helped the final research for Bring Your Worth. I only wish I had discovered it sooner.