Interview with Evernote: Technology is giving back our lives

Lilian Güntsche 10. October 2015

In my recent interview with Cristina Riesen, General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Evernote, which was first published on mobile zeitgeist, the topic of mindfulness was raised in our conversation. Mindfulness, which I describe as the state of being conscious and present in the moment and fully aware of yourself and your surroundings, has become a topic which is more and more gaining importance in the modern world. Why? Because the Technology revolution has kicked in and people find it harder than ever to concentrate, focus, think and actually to sometimes even just look up from their screens for a few hours a day. Things have become so quick in development and transformation, that it gets harder to take a moment to restore and recharge, be creative or simply just to think to form an opinion. On the other hand, technology of course provides efficient ways to deliver answers or to increase work processes. So why bother..?!

In my personal opinion, Technology is here to make our lives better and easier, not to control us. At the end of the day it is all about the people. The main focus should always be on the user or on the person in front of you, not on the device, network or screen. That is why The Dignified Self  follows the human-first approach, instead of a technology-first focus only. This does not mean that Technology is bad, it just means that it needs to be balanced right buy generic doxycycline. I call this regaining the focus back to yourself – to your own Dignified Self.

When I spoke with Cristina about this topic, she liked the idea and mission behind The Dignified Self, bringing more mindfulness into the technology age, and simply replied: “We need that!” Also she was kind enough to extend my interview to post it on The Dignified Self and shared some personal stories and insights.

Technology is giving back our lives. It is here to make our lives better and smarter.

Cristina told me that one reason why she enjoys working with Evernote is that Evernote is very focussed on the user and the person. One of the ideas Evernote was conceptionally built upon is the belief that technology is here to make our life better, but that the human mind is the real value that needs to be protected and supported.

“People think. They are the knowledge. People have become knowledge workers. Creative thinking. Decision making. Learning something new. That is what really matters.” (Cristina Riesen, Evernote) 

Evernote wants to empower employees to balance higher productivity and efficiency. “Give them the right tools and empower people with technology,” Cristina says. When we have an idea, something we want to remember, a realization, a genious thought, or see a great article we want to keep, we should be easily able to secure it. The Evernote app (for iOS und Android) delivers exactly that. It provides a technical solution to save notes and ideas seaminglessly across all devices – be it written or dictated text, a picture, film or other content. This note can then – in work environments – easily be shared with colleagues too to make relevant thoughts, revelations or information travel quicker to the target groups, this information might be valuable and important for.

We have a major change in modern work space

Cristina believes that technology has helped us to create a more happy work space – the independency of time and location offers immense opportunities – at least if the company is ready for it. In our interview she shared a memory of how it used to be and how she improved her life. She used to have very stressful mornings, getting everything squeezed in her morning hours. Meetings starting at 9 am but before you have to get ready, run errands, do your exercise, maybe even bring your kids to school. This again meant that she needed to rise very early and always got way too little sleep, which of course was not good for her health. With Evernote, she says, her life has changed for the better. Now it is rather irrelevant where you are and when you do things as long as you do it. What really counts is the result and the quality. This has created more happiness and health in her life, plus a job that she enjoys.

“Don’t check your phone every 5 minutes.” – Cristina Riesen advises.

Regarding messaging storms and email management, Cristina remembered in our interview how it used to be..In the past she would always react directly to every email incoming, today she put herself back in the driver’s seat and reacts upon her own time – when she is in her personal best place and state to do so. She explained that she set up rules with her employees and team, that no emails are to be read or responded to during certain hours, because the idea is not to always be connected and check your phone every 5 minutes. Their rule in the team is: If anything urgent happens, call!

One of Cristina’s favorite apps for every day mindfulness practices is Headspace. It provides little meditations to-go (about 10 min. each), that quickly reconnect you with yourself and into the present moment and help you destress. An other great example of technology that helps to improve peace of mind with mindfulness. “The app headspace has changed my life. Its only 10 minutes a day.” – Cristina says. 

The digital transformation has put new challenges on companies and the work space. More and more companies are searching for solutions and new concepts here, which we of cause are happy to support with.  Also first companies are including mindfulness practices into their work environment, such as Google or SAP with the Search Inside Yourself program, which I was honored to attend early this year.

Last I would like to say, that it is especially great to see examples like Cristina, who is in a management position with Evernote and has found a way to combine being a workaholic with still finding her peace and happiness. Inspiring lady and an honor to interview her. Especially since the interview was only supposed to be about the Technology and turned out to become much more about “human connection”. Ironic isn’t it ?!

Cristina Riesen, GM Evernote

Cristina Riesen, GM Evernote

This interview took place at NOAH Conference, Berlin. The first part of the interview was published on mobile zeitgeist. Learn more about Evernote and their vision here.

Evernote apps and products create a modern workspace that gives people the tools they need to achieve more every
day. A privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, California, Evernote has offices in 11 countries and more than 150 million users worldwide. For more information about Evernote and its products, visit www.evernote.com.




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