In my Blogkeeping emails, I’m currently writing a 5-week mini e-course on blogging faster by creating processes. Last Sunday I talked about using Evernote to save ideas and drafts. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in my emails, and some people have asked how to use Evernote without going crazy from all the clutter. So today I’m sharing more on the blog about how I use Evernote!
Evernote and I have had an on-and-off relationship throughout the years. I started using it long before I started blogging. At the time, I saved everything, like a true information hoarder — which is why it’s been an on-and-off thing for me. It’s easy for things to get cluttered, and it’s frustrating when you can’t actually find the information you need. Over the years I’ve finally developed my own system to make sure things don’t get out of control.
1. Create an inbox.
Sometimes you just need to jot something down on the go. I use the iPhone app for that and store those notes in a notebook called Inbox so I can sort through them later.
2. Keep separate notebooks for your ideas, notes, and reference.
I used to keep notebooks based solely on topic, but now I keep notebooks based on the type of note as well. This means I have notebooks called Ideas: Blog Posts and Ideas: Business as well as Reference: Business. Idea notebooks are where I do my brainstorming, so it’s ok if things get messy in there. Notes are for actual planning, when I’m ready to make an idea a reality. Reference is really just a way for me to bookmark things I’m constantly looking up, like specific WordPress tricks.
3. More notebooks with fewer notes
If you couldn’t tell from the last tip, I have a lot of notebooks. I’d rather have ten notebooks with their own specific purpose than one that I have to sort through to find what I need. This, I’ve discovered, is the key to my sanity in using Evernote. Tags can also help organize your notes, but I usually find it easier to create a new notebook.
4. Use the tools
Evernote has so many tools to send notes to your account. I work on email and blog post drafts on the iPhone app when I’m at the dog park. I take notes at conferences on the iPad app. I forward email responses from Blogkeeping straight to my account. I use the web clipper when I’m browsing the Internet to save bookmarks or simplified articles (which strips web pages down to just the content).
Bonus: Create a Happy notebook
Ash suggested creating a Humans notebook to save emails, tweets, blog comments, etc. from your followers as inspiration for creating content, since people are telling you, in their words, what they need from you. As I started doing this, I came across emails that had made my day at the time, so I saved them to a Happy notebook as well. Now, whenever I need a little encouragement, I have a place to look!
Do you use Evernote? Share your tips in the comments!