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"Slush Folders" and Online Notebooks; How to Store Information with Evernote

Have you ever felt as if you we're on a very long quest to find the just right tools or workflows for processing information? You are on the net, and you come across a great idea you want to remember, be it a new plot idea for a story or the perfect statistic for a financial report you happen to be writing at work. Where do you store this new nugget of gold?

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The Problem

If you are like me and have tried a few thousand ways to keep notes, you might have tried things like:

  • A moleskin Ruled Notebook you carry in your pocket or bag.
  • A spiral notebook, kept in the same back (takes me back to high school)
  • A voice recorder
  • Email yourself the note or info
  • Write on the back of your hand (which REALLY takes me back to high school)

With the tremendous amount of information we now have to take in and process, it's a good thing we have computers. Yet, we still have to process the information after we shuffle it around. Trust me, I've tried all the tricks and some I liked, loved, and loathed. The Moleskin in the pocket was one of the better ways to keep track of info, but you still have to put it in where you can easily look it up, shuffling through pages of a little notebook was not the best method for that.

The Solution

This is why I now sing the praises of Evernote. When it first arrived on the scene as a Beta, I grabbed it up and gave it a shot. It has never left my side since. Its even proven to improve and grow with me. Initially, what was a platform across my desktop and laptop, then my iPhone, and iPad; became the single most useful took I had ever found.

Lets say you find a great plot idea that you want to save for later, but you want to be able to find it later. Even if you have no way of knowing how you might look it up when you need it. In comes Evernote.

The How-To

The program allows you to put a button on the toolbar of your browser, click it and you open a new note centered around that web page. Add some tags or keywords about the bit of info and close the note. Maybe you didn't have the toolbar button, just open Evernote and click New Note and either type the info or cut/paste the info into the text field. Add your tags and it's done. Simple!

For Blogging

The key is your tags or keywords, which if you pick them off the top of your head, the theory goes you will search for the same tag when you want to find that or similar bit of info. For example, if I found some info on the web and I wanted to remember it as a possible blog post for later, I might tag or keyword the note as: postidea, businesszenblog, notetaking, privacyissues. Now let's say I am sitting at my computer and wanted to find ideas for posting this week, I simply click the postidea tag from my list in the left column of the Evernote program. Theres my list of all the ideas I came up with for posts since, whatever time I started doing it.

Since I have several blogs I write, I will tag for each idea to a specific blog. This way if I'm about to write for one blog, I can filter by using postideas and businesszenblog, so I get only the ideas that I had which we're centered around that blog.

For Creative Writing

Want to keep track of all those great plot ideas you find why walking through life? Put it in a note and tag it: plotidea. Now the next time you sit down to weave a new plot for your next best seller, just look through everything you tagged as a plotidea.

Pretty neat concept, no?

You can even do a site search for keywords and find those words in the body of your notes; just in case you didn't tag something well enough for it to pop up first.

For Business

On the business side of things I love Evernote because when I come across something I want to try at work or find something that matters to a project I'm working on, I just create a note in Evernote. I have two notebooks in Evernote, one for blogging and one for business, this way I know my business running ideas are in one and what I want to write are in another. Doesnt have to be this way but it works for me.

Other tags or keywords I use: workflow, wep (for keeping track of all the wifi keys I need), plot, philosophy, finance, mistakes (yes, mine, never to be repeated again), how-to (for things like How To Make an HTML Email Signature in Mac Mail, aren't you glad I linked it), and of course many more.

Easy to Use

The sweetest part is how it synchs across my desktops, laptops, iPhone, and iPad. No matter where I am I can create a note and find it later. One big tip for Evernote, centers around where you put your car when you parked it at the airport parking lot. Take a photo of the sign that says where you parked and upload it instantly to Evernote through your phone. When you return home, just search for whatever you tagged it, I tag my parking reminders as: parking.

We aren't talking about rocket science here but because I have Evernote, I have a way to store and search for my notes on rocket scientists for that next great writing piece I'll be doing. Even if I took a photo of one with my cell phone, just to show I know what one looks like.

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Special Thanks

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Posted in Landscaping Post Date 01/03/2020


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