Evernote is the love of my life: 5 tips for using the best writing app ever created
This is a guest post by Matthew Turner
I fricking love Evernote!
Sorry for my blasphemy, but my adoration for Evernote is high—and no, I don't work for them. I'm merely very passionate about what they do and how they help poor writers like myself stay on top.
As you may already know, writing is tough. There are so many words to choose from, yet we're expected to choose the right ones each and every time. It's lovely, but tricky, especially when you're tired and sleepy-eyed.
I'm not saying Evernote will turn you into Stephen King, but it can calm the ocean that is your hectic mind.
If you don't know what Evernote is, here's a handy little guide to get you started. Otherwise, let me share five rules I suggest everyone begins with:
The 5 Evernote rules
Research, marketing, interviews, reviews, ideas, publishing, and events are just a few things on your ever-growing list. Evernote can calm the chaos, but I urge you to approach with caution. Without proper address it will become just another chaotic platform to add to your other chaotic platforms. These five rules are here to help:
1. Utilize notes to outline
Your first step is to create a note for everything!
Twitter, Facebook, videos, advertising, scenes, future book ideas…the list is endless. I have well over 100 notes in my Evernote account—ranging from those dedicated to a particular book launch, to chapter breakdowns within books, and to-do lists that get me through my daily routine.
Creating a note is easy and allows you to funnel all relevant ideas into the right location. A few weeks down the line, this will help rather than hinder.
2. Use folders to structure
Once you have a host of notes flying around your Evernote screen, you need to create some notebooks that hold them all in one place.
For example, let's say you have a separate note for each chapter in your upcoming novel. You might like to create a notebook called “New Book Chapters”. This may seem redundant, but trust me—things can get hectic rather quickly, especially when you sync your accounts to phones and tablets.
Any structure that allows you quick and easy access will save a great deal of heartache.
3. Create an ideas page
You may have one or you may have ten, but I strongly advise an ideas page or two. Simply create a new note and fill it with all those ideas you get at the most inappropriate times. You know which ones I mean. It might be related to your book, a potential theme for a video, or a new campaign to get you noticed. If it's inspiration in its truest form, get it down and worry about where it goes later.
Whatever you do, make sure this note is clearly labeled and quick to access. This is the new pen and paper that rests next to your bed at night. I've woken up numerous times at silly-o'clock, reached for my phone, opened up Evernote, and marked down some nonsense. You never know when that perfect idea will strike.
4. Capture research in style
Most books require research. These days research can come in many forms. It might be a link to a website, an online image, a real image, a chapter from a book, or a doodle. Evernote allows you to capture all of this in one single space.
For Beyond Parallel I had a separate note stating: Beyond Parallel Research (creative, right?). Every time I came across something, I placed it in here. Sometimes it was text, sometimes entire documents. Evernote allows you to link, attach, and scan content of every kind. Your research will never be the same again.
5. Sync your world
We live in an ever-expanding world. We have laptops, tablets, and phones. Life is great and crazy all in one go. Evernote allows you to stay on top by linking your devices together, which for most people is invaluable.
Life in the cloud is efficient. You may start a note at home (with your laptop), continue your thoughts on the bus (using your phone), and finish it off at work (via your iPad). This can all be achieved with the same account, the same notebook, and the same note. Everything is linked, synced, and pretty.
Evernote can change your world
There are numerous to-do list apps out there, but none, in my experience, live up to the overall awesomeness that is Evernote. It's so much more than a to-do list tool, rather your life in one single place.
Most of what you will use it for is free, although certain features do require payment. However, even if you have to pay, it's pretty darn affordable. Seriously, I couldn't exist without Evernote anymore.
Staying on top is key. Being a writer is tough. We can quickly spiral out of control and lose all sense. Don't let this happen. Be a modern day writer who stays on top of their world. Evernote can help, trust me.
Do you use Evernote? What's your favorite aspect?
I'd love to hear what you love and hate about the love of my life 🙂
About this post’s author:
Matthew Turner is a writer from Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, Beyond Parallel, is OUT NOW, and if you like coming-of-age tales, it's the perfect book for you. In the same mould as Sliding Doors, Beyond Parallel flips between two parallel tales. Grab yourself a copy and be part of an emotional rollercoaster that everyone can relate to.
Great post, Matthew. I’ve downloaded Evernote on my iPad but have never really used it. An app my husband adores for organizing his writing thoughts is “Paper.” Thanks for the amazing informative run-down. I may have to give Evernote a second look.