So, I’m obsessed with Evernote, if you weren’t aware, and it has become integral to my workflow. There are three very specific reasons why:
- It’s cloud-synced and I have apps on all of my devices so I can access my notes from anywhere
- It can organize everything into notes, notebooks, and groups of notebooks. Not to mention the tags I can use to further coordinate notes between notebooks.
- Powerful searching function. It can search my freaking handwriting. I can scan in pictures of my notes using the app itself and my hand-written notes become searchable. It blows my mind every time.
It’s for those reasons that Evernote has become my go-to for pretty much anything. I’m sitting at 142 notebooks as of writing this. But what exactly do I use it for? Well, the short answer is a lot of things. Here are seven of the big ones.
Evernote has this super useful checkbox function you can use to easily make lists. I make to-do lists all the time when I get overwhelmed and need to break a project down into steps, or when I have a lot to do and I need to make some sort of game plan. I also use it to make packing lists and shopping lists to make sure I don’t forget anything, and the fact that I can pull it up on my phone makes it really handy.
I used to carry around a little notebook that would be a receptacle for all of my ideas, but there was no index, no colour coding, nothing to discern one idea from another. It was a literal dumping ground for my thoughts, and it was incredibly disorganized. Using tags and notes and notebooks makes it really easy to jump into a new note and keep all of them organized. And again, the fact that its an app means I can add to it whenever I want.
Creating a Story or Series Bible
I’ve tried dozens of different ways to keep all of my story notes in order, and the only one that I’ve stuck with has been Evernote. I’ve tried Word, OneNote, a binder with printed notes and a hand-written notebook. In the end I always go back to Evernote. I love being able to use tags, and link to the various pages. It’s just easy for me to find everything I need. And when I can’t find it, I search for it.
I don’t use it nearly as much for drafting as I used to now that I’ve discovered Google Docs, but I still use it fairly often, especially for drafting shorter stuff, like short stories or blog posts. Being able to work on a draft on my phone while I’m standing at the bus stop is pretty awesome, and really helps you get work done when you would otherwise be unable.
It’s always important to keep backups. In my case, I am so paranoid I keep backups of my backups. I’ve got duplicate files everywhere just in case something happens. One of those places is Evernote. I keep backups for every version of the draft with all of my story notes. I also keep backups of all of my blog posts. And of course, I also have a ‘back up’ of my bullet journal – I’ve even written a blog post about how and why I used Evernote to digitize it.
Game Guides & Research
I don’t know when I started doing this, but for the games I frequently play (Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and Stardew Valley to name a few), I began accumulating tips and guides so it would be easy for me to find later. For some of them I’ve accumulated so many notes, they should really be getting their own notebook. And of course, the nerd that I am, I like to do research. If it doesn’t have something to do with a story I’m writing it gets filed away in a separate notebook for me to browse later or read for inspiration.
This is something I don’t do very often, but when I do, it is usually when I am on the go and away from my computer. I find it really hard to write in a notebook while I’m on the move, whether I’m walking somewhere or on the bus. But when I do feel the need to process my thoughts, I open up a note on my phone, give it a date, and start journaling.
I’m sure as I keep using it and the feature list expands, I’ll find more uses for this awesome program. If you’ve never used it before, I highly recommend giving it a try. You can make a free account, and while I’ll admit there might be something of a learning curve, it is pretty intuitive and there is plenty of helpful guides out there!
Have you used Evernote before? What do you use it for? Do you like it? Not like it? What programs do you habitually use? Let me know down below!