If you’re planning on writing a book or an extensive blog series, you’ve probably already realized that you’ll need some help capturing and organizing your thoughts and content. Enter stage left: Evernote (referral link).
Evernote is an excellent tool for writers. Keep reading to learn why.
5 Reasons Evernote is an Excellent Tool for Writers
I’m an Evernote Certified Consultant and I love using Evernote — especially for writing. In fact, this post — and all posts I write — are first started in Evernote before I move them over to WordPress or send them off as guest posts.
I have grown to like Evernote’s minimalist interface as it helps me stay focused on writing. That’s just one reason Evernote is an excellent tool for writers. Here are five more:
1. Capture your ideas
Think of Evernote as your extended brain. One that doesn’t forget or lose information as quickly as they come in. So, don’t let your best ideas get lost in your head. Instead, dump them in Evernote so that you can actually find them when you need them. Psst! Scroll down to read how tags can help you do just that.
Let’s say you’ve wanted to write a book and have tons of ideas for topics. Before you even begin writing, you might first start a notebook called “Book Topics and Ideas.” Throw all your thoughts in that notebook so that when they float away from your brain, you can still find them.
As you flesh things out a bit and select a topic or story to tell, you may want to include possible book titles in your note. Then, once you have a solid title, you can:
- Start a new notebook with the name of your book as the title of your note. Do this if you want to keep your musings and ideas to look back on or for future use. You can then stack the two related notebooks together.
- Rename “Book Topics and Ideas” with the title of your book. Do this if you don’t want to keep your ideas brain dump.
Have I mentioned that you can include audio notes and photos in your Evernote? If you’re not in the typing mood, take a pic or create an audio note instead. Easy peasy!
Want the Mac version of this video? Go here.
2. Stay on track with Evernote writing templates
You may want start writing straight away or if you’re like me, you might want to do a bit of planning first. There are Evernote writing templates that will help keep you on track and focused on finishing that book.
The templates are often generated by Evernote users who then share them with the rest of us to make our lives easier. Sometimes, the nice folks at Evernote create them, too. Forrest Bryant recently created 12 (yes, 12!) writing templates, including:
Check out all 12 writing templates here.
3. Collect research with the Web Clipper
One of the most helpful Evernote tools is the Web Clipper. While on your Internet research travels, you will come across data, facts, and stats that are crucial to your book or post. Use the Web Clipper to save them to Evernote. Collect all your findings in the “research” note for your book or blog post.
It’s as simple and easy as that.
4. Organize your content
When I’m writing a blog post in Evernote, I use a specific process that helps me quickly find what I want and figure out my next step.
- Naming convention. If the post is for my own blog, I use [DAL Blog Post] as the preface to the title. If it’s a guest post, I create a 3- or 4-character prefix to identify the publishing website.
- Tags: Content. I use tags to organize my content. If the post is about apps, I use “apps” as my tag. If it’s about getting things done, the tag will likely be “productivity.” Btw, my tags usually correspond to the categories on my blog. Psst! There are only 8 categories on my blog. Wanna know why? Ask me!
- Tags: Process. Each new post is also tagged as “draft.” When the post is finally published, “draft” is replaced by — you guessed it — “published.”
As you can see, my system is not profound or complicated. It’s simple and easy for me to keep up with. So, the system you come up with for your writing project should be easy for you as well.
Btw, if you’re the sort who likes to research before writing anything, you could use the tag “research” along with any others that identify your chapter or topic.
Want the Mac version of this video? Go here.
5. Write from any location
Did your brain spark while you’re away from your desk and flood your mind with new plot twists or ideas to include in your book or blog post? The good news is that whether you’re on your feet, a park bench, plane, train, or automobile (as the passenger, of course), you won’t lose those ideas.
Fire up the Evernote app on your tablet or smartphone and get all that those juicy details out of your head. That way, when your brain slows down a bit, Evernote will be your back up brain. All those important tidbits will be waiting for you when it’s time to get back to writing — no matter where you are.
Do you use Evernote or another tech tool for writing? What’s your process? Please share in the comments!