Evernote is one of my favorite tools for writing. Evernote is a service that let’s you store notes on the web. Since it’s not saved on your computer, it can’t be lost if your computer dies. And you can reach your notes from anywhere with internet access. Or you can install the computer program or phone app and have a local version on your device as well.
And how long do they hold onto your stuff? Try forever. You will never lose anything again.
It’s not just text notes, either. Pretty much anything you could want to keep can go in a note – text, pictures, webpages, PDFs, and voice recordings for starters. The phone app even has a plugin that let’s you scan documents and books with your phone camera.
If it sounds pretty great, it is. A basic account is free. A paid account will give you a higher storage limit and more features.
So how can you use Evernote? Some people actually write in Evernote. I use Scrivener for my writing and Evernote for research and planning. Evernote keeps me organized by giving me one place to store all the information I need to write, such as:
- Keep a list of books you want to read. When a friend recommends a book, I make a note. If I’m browsing the library or the bookstore and find a book I want to read later, I make a note.
- Keep track of story ideas. I have folders for book ideas, blog post ideas, and magazine article ideas. Currently, I started a note to store all my ideas from Storystorm 2017.
- Research. You can directly save articles off the web and upload PDFs. If I want to save a passage from a book, I just take a photo with the Evernote app. I follow many scientific organizations. When I see an interesting piece I save it to Evernote, even if I’m not sure how I might use it. More than once, this has helped me track down a piece later when I needed it later.
- Fiction writing. No more having to track down a document. You’ll know exactly where it is. Character sketches, plot outlines, research, and timelines can all go in one place.
- Nonfiction writing. Now those piles and piles of research notes can all go neatly in one place. Research, outlines, references lists, notes, interview transcripts, comparable titles, and more.
- Agents and editors. Researching agents and editors for submission can be time consuming. I keep a running file on each person so I’m not repeating the effort. I copy down notes and include links to relevant information – interviews they did, their webpage, submission requirements, a list of books they have worked on, etc.
No more piles of papers cluttering your desk. No more trying to remember where you put that printout. No more losing everything to a computer breakdown. Evernote will make you a more organized writer. Often that’s half the battle.
[NOTE: I’m getting no compensation from Evernote to write this. I doubt they even know who I am. I just really like Evernote and want to help fellow writers out.]