How To Use Evernote To Increase Your Blogging Productivity


Old Memories – Longbeach, Canterbury by H. Bullock Webster, public domain

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.

Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? photo public domain

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.

screen shot of an Evernote ‘note’ with internet clips, audio clips and photos

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.

image courtesy Ramesh NG, Creative Commons

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:

(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.)

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Question: How do you capture writing and blogging ideas? Are you a techno-rockstar or do you do it old school pen and paper?

17 thoughts on “How To Use Evernote To Increase Your Blogging Productivity

  1. This appeals to the organization nut in me, but my fear is that I would spend too much time organizing (read avoiding) and too little time writing. Has that happened to you? Nevertheless, it looks interesting and I will check it out. Thanks!

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  2. Actually, I feel like it has cut down on my perpetual organizing because I don’t have to keep coming up with ‘systems’ for myself and re-writing everything, which is what I do with lists and Post-Its and notes on my WIP in the past, almost to a pathological degree. 🙂 You can change up whether you want to sort your items by date created, or alphabetically, or whatever with a click of a button and be done with it.

    When an idea that I had comes to mind that I want to work on, I don’t have to wade through a pile of notes and such to find it, just put the tag word in search and voila, then I can get right to work on it. So in those ways I would say it cuts down organizing time, that’s been my experience, but if you’ve never worked with a program like this, it may take a little learning curve time. Not much, though, very user-friendly. If I can figure it out, anybody can. 🙂

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      • I’ve had it for a while, and wasn’t using it, but I realized lately that it’s a better way of taking notes and managing my bookmarks, and I can use it on my iPhone as well as the desktop. We escape the house a couple of times a week, and I get ideas when I’m out. Up until recently, I’d send myself an email to remember what I was thinking about. Springpad is a better way, because the emails aren’t queueing up waiting for me to do something about them. I’m also a great one for cut-and-paste and for making a lot of little Post-It type notes for myself; this gives me a place to put all of those where I can get at them. I don’t forget where I left the note then.

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  3. I, um, am not organized AT ALL. I get an idea. I blog about it right away. Unless I get that idea as I’m falling asleep. Then evernote wouldn’t do me a bit of good.

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  4. I started using this yesterday and it’s amazing. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with us. I know I needed it. The links are wonderful, too. I’m still a paper and pen girl, but this helps me organize my notes so I’m not flipping back and forth in my journal. I plan to use it not only for blogging but my novel(s), too. I actually prefer this to Scrivener. It’s simple, straightforward, and it’s green. Heh.

    Thanks so much for being my blogging guru. I need to get you a hat. And a wand. And a magic carpet. Maybe just a doormat…

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  5. I also love Evernote! i use it for everything! Capturing writing and blogging ideas, recipes, research, etc. I love that I can save to it wherever I am, and I use the webclipper several times a day to save stuff I find on the Internet.

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  7. This is lovely, Kristin! Great tech post. 🙂

    Being a PC girl, I use OneNote for this in my books. For my blogs, I actually use my WordPress’ dashboard. I start a post as a draft and just add to it as the pictures and thoughts come. That means when it’s time to sit down and finish it, it takes 20-30 minutes instead of hours.

    My fear for using EverNote or OneNote for blogging is that I’m a “throw it in there and forget about it” kind of girl. With my WordPress drafts, I see them in my Dashboard whenever I go in and the posts already have basic titles and are separated.

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    • Thanks Jenny!

      WordPress drafts seem like a good way to organize, too. My problem is I get overloaded with ideas, and whether I use them or not, I have to get them out of my head. Paper, Evernote, somewhere besides my overcrowded head! 😉 I can’t focus unless I do, and then I don’t want to lose any ideas, even if they are bad ones, until I figure out if the idea is viable. Maybe my Evernote will be a curation of what NOT to use for blogging. lol

      I might try the WordPress draft route and see if that helps me capture more good ideas. I like the idea of not taking hours for a blog post. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. I’ve had Evernote for a while, but never really got into it. I saved a couple of recipes or other things I needed to make sure I had (eg. scans of marriage certificate and passports). However, reading your post has sort of rekindled my interest in it. I need to learn more about how the organizing works.

    I also have Springpad on my iPhone, but the only thing I use it for is creating checklist shopping lists. I don’t think Evernote can create checklists. When I’m in the store, I just check off each item from my list. Then the next time we have to go, I clear the checks of the things I need, and check them off again when I add them to my cart.

    I think each app is really good for different things. No reason to not have both!

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  9. I love Evernote, too! I use it every day, several times a day from both my iphone and my laptop. I am sure I have only scratched the surface of possibilities, but I am certain Evernote is revolutionary for me and my scribbles. 😉

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