Are you looking for a better way to organize your blog ideas?
I’ve always been an organizing freak. This doesn’t mean I’m uber-organized, but writing things down makes me feel like I’m organized, that I have a little control over life. I make lists of lists, and if they all color coordinate, so much the better.
Lists and notes help me, especially now that I seem to be experiencing a bit of forgetfulness. Peri-menopause fog makes you feel kind of like Pigpen from the Charlie Brown comics, only without the smell (I hope). Anyway, it’s important for me to grab a thought when it shows up, because it can disappear just as fast as it came. I get a lot of writing and blogging ideas that show up this way, too, so that’s why my writing space looks like a blizzard of Post-It notes.
When I discover a better, stronger, faster way to stay organized (I watched too much ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ as a kid) I like to share it with everyone. That’s what I think about Evernote. It’s the Six Million Dollar Man of capturing blog ideas.
And you don’t have to pay six million dollars to get it. In fact it’s free. (But you can always pay for a neato upgrade.) Evernote is not brand new, but it’s new to me. I haven’t discovered all its capabilities yet but it’s already helping immensely with my productivity. I’ll share a few of the ways I use it, and maybe it will inspire you to check it out.
Evernote is a web-based program that has files called ‘notebooks’ where you can store ‘notes’ with the information you need. You can tag each note like a blog post for easy search capability, and there are nifty tools to capture media, internet links and entire articles from the web into one handy-dandy note. You can even sort your ‘notes’ into a notecard view. Its interface is very user-friendly.
To give you some examples of Evernote’s abilities, here’s part of how I use it for my process:
When I think of a blogging idea, I throw it in an Evernote ‘note’. The note goes into one of my blog category ‘notebooks’ which I have for each of the categories I focus on for my blog. Then when I’m ready to write a post, I cut and paste my ultimate blog template that is stored in a note, along with the information gathered for this specific post and work on it.
I can curate links, photos and snippets of ideas off the internet for research and stick them in the note. I can tag my notes so I can find all the similar information when crafting the blog post.
There’s also the option of capturing information on the go with my Evernote app on my iphone. I’m not really much of a mobile girl yet but I love this free phone app. I can make a note from a photo I snap from my phone. There are also audio notes. My mobile device and my computer sync up on Evernote so everything’s up to date and in one place.
You can make a notebook in Evernote for almost anything. I also have a cookbook notebook, a writing submission opportunities notebook, a notebook with a list of all the books I’ve read, and a notebook of all the books I want to read. Right now there are over 100 notes in my Evernote notebooks. That would be a lot of Posts-Its sticking everywhere.
That’s only scratching the surface. You could make storyboards or inspiration boards by sorting in notecard view. You can make as many different notebooks as you need. You can send tweets into your Evernote account. You can also clip articles off the internet for research with the web clipper, an Evernote tool in your computer’s toolbar. You could make a master ‘to-do’ list and add or subtract as needed. And there’s more you can do if you upgrade.
I haven’t taken that step yet but I’m thinking about it. Can you tell I’m having a passionate love affair with Evernote right now? If you’re looking for a new way to get organized, I encourage you to check out Evernote. If you’re still mostly old school like I am, you can’t go cold turkey on the Post-Its but Evernote may be a great supplement to gather blogging and writing ideas.
I wouldn’t be good at making a tutorial since I’m still uncovering all Evernote’s uses, but here are some links from people who have kindly shared their Evernote expertise:
- How To Use Evernote As A Blogger (a lot of posts on Evernote uses gathered in one post) by Michael Hyatt
- How To Use Evernote – Set of 9 YouTube tutorial videos by Extraordinary Videos
- Evernote’s YouTube Channel
- How I Blog With Evernote by Christopher S. Penn
(Note: No money or goods changed hands to endorse Evernote – they don’t even know I exist – I just like it a lot and think it can be helpful to other bloggers and writers.)