When I first tried Evernote years ago, I totally didn't get what all the fuss was about. I had folders on my computer, notebooks on my desk, post-it notes stuck to my monitor, why did I need with one more place to record things?
After a few starts and stops, I finally started to “get it”, Evernote isn't just another tool to record things, it's actually kind of THE tool. What ended up making the difference between indifference and indispensable was that I actually started to put information into it. Only once you really put it to use, does Evernote start to shine.
Even thought I feel like I've only really scratched the surface of what Evernote can do, I thought I'd share some ways you can use the tool in your regular blogging routine to hopefully save you some time and inspire your own great ideas.
14 ways Evernote can make blogging easier
1. THE WEB CLIPPER
A blogger's best friend, this handy browser extension let's you grab articles, pdf's or screenshots of things you see online and store them in Evernote without ever leaving your browser. This is great for saving posts for weekly round ups, newsletters or other content curation in social media.
This single feature of Evernote has saved me from falling down countless internet rabbit holes. Instead of clicking and reading, clicking and reading (then looking up hours later!) I just clip and save until my weekly review time and get back to what I was supposed to be doing.
Get the Web Clipper.
A free screen shot and markup software that syncs with Evernote and files every screenshot you take into Evernote so you won't clutter up your computer.
Use Skitch to grab shots of email optin forms you like, capture social media testimonials to use on your blog or even just take a good old how-to screenshot for a blog post.
3. SHARED NOTES & NOTEBOOKS
As you move along in your blogging journey you'll likely get to a place where you start to work on projects with other bloggers from time to time. While this is a great way to grow your site and your audience, but it can be challenging organizing documents and collaborative to-do lists with another person.
Using Evernote's “shared” notebooks feature allows you both to view all the projects documents, any join to-do lists or any other materials needed to make the project a success.
Learn more about shared notebooks.
4. WORK CHAT
In conjunction with shared notebooks, you can use Evernote's internal chat function, “work chat” to keep discussions with your blogging partners out of email and easy to find. This is a great substitute for things like Slack or Hipchat since you can keep the app's you use down to a minimum and truly keep everything, files and communication – all together.
Learn more about Work Chat.
5. EMAILING TO EVERNOTE
I don't know about you but the more time I can spend out of my email the more I get done.
Each Evernote account comes with it's own email address (located in the account summary section) that allows you to send emails directly into Evernote or to forward them there as needed.
I love the email feature especially for receipts, travel itineraries, invoices and any of that email that doesn't need a response but needs to get saved. This was a life saver come tax time and can help you get your blogging finances a lot more organized.
Although I haven't done this one myself, I know a few folks who use their Evernote email to sign up for newsletters so they keep their inbox clean while storing their favorite newsletters long term.
Discover more ways to use Evernote's email function.
6. USE IT AS A READ LATER APP
Although Pocket and Instapaper are great apps, Evernote does the exact same thing plus it lets you cut down on the app clutter in your life!
I use a “read later” tag if I find an interesting article and use the web clipper to file it away or if I come across something in Feedly, I'll tag it there and have IFTTT (see #9 below) send it to Evernote with the right tags.
Set Evernote to remind you of important events or remind you of to-do's that need doing.
My favorite aspect of reminders is that you can set a reminder related to a specific note. That way the reminder pops up as well as the actual info or to-do list you need to be working on!
Find out more about Evernote reminders.
An iPhone app that directly uploads scans into Evernote? Yes please!
Scannable is one of the best scanners I've used – period.
Although I find this app more useful in my personal life with bills, scanning my daughter's many art projects and all the paper that finds it's way into our home, I also love it for scanning notes from client or mastermind meetings.
No matter how “digital” I get, I still write better notes by hand.
When I'm actively listening to people I can take great notes but I used to struggle to get those into a place that was accessible anywhere without typing them out. This app lets me take notes the way I prefer AND gets them off my desk with a clear scan.
Evernote can search your handwriting too so it's easier to find these notes later than if they were left in a pile on your desk!
9. IFTTT (IF THAT, THEN THIS)
IFTTT is a free online service that connects the services you use everyday with cause and effect type “recipes.”
For example, you could set up a recipe that saves a tweet to Evernote every time you favourite something on Twitter or maybe you want a record of all your new followers added to Evernote so you can follow up and say hi.
IFTTT supports actions for nearly every major social network plus a whole lot more so how you use this tool is only limited by your imagination.
Check out IFTTT recipes for Evernote.
10. CAPTURING POST IDEAS
How many amazing post ideas have you had in the shower? While 4 miles out on an 8 mile run?
Post ideas usually pop into your head when your mind is focused on places other than blogging – but that means a computer isn't usually handy either.
Evernote's audio note feature is a life saver for those spur of the moment post ideas when you just want to record something quick and then get on with your day.
Since Evernote also syncs with all device and operating systems, you'll also have one central place to find your post ideas when you need them – no more hunting for lost post-it notes or scraps of looseleaf!
Learn more about creating audio notes in Evernote.
11. TEMPLATES, CHECKLIST & WORKFLOWS
One of the best productivity practices that I've implemented over the years has been the use of templates and workflows for repeated tasks.
For example, I have a post writing template that I use when writing, I have a weekly schedule template that helps guide my time, a launch template for selling programs, even my design processes are templated so that for each project I follow the same set of tasks and adapt it as needed for each individual client.
All my templates are stored in Evernote and then I can just copy/paste them where ever they need to go.
12. STORE IMAGES
I have a nasty habit of taking pictures on my phone that I want to refer back to but honestly, I just let them pile up and forget.
Whether it's a white board of brainstormed ideas or a quote on a bathroom wall, Evernote has helped me to not just store the images I take, but to use them!
13. ORGANIZE ALL THOSE PDF'S
You know all those optin pdf's and ebooks you've signed up for? Have you read any of them?
That was my problem too until I started to save them directly to Evernote (via the Web Clipper) and then tagged them with my “read later” tag. That way, not only are they centrally stored with the actual text of the pdf searchable but I'm promoted to actually read them during my weekly review of “read later” items.
Learn more about using the Web Clipper for PDF's.
14. MANAGING LARGE PROJECTS
Maintaining a consistent blogging routine takes a lot of time, especially when you add in things like social media and updating your blog with all the coolest plugins.
What often happens is that there's no time left to work on big projects like a redesign, finally building your list, or creating your first product.
Evernote can help you get big projects done by creating checklists to break those huge projects down into manageable, smaller steps.
Learn how to add checklists to Evernote.
Now it's Your Turn
How do you use Evernote in your blogging routine? Any tips or tricks for the rest of us?