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Using Evernote to optimise your novel writing

Before you read this article, I want you to know that I’m in no way being forced to promote Evernote. Nor am I being paid to do so. Thankfully, Evernote is free to use, but will give you some extras should you decide to pay for its wonderful services.

Good, now that we’ve got the disclaimer part of this article out of the way. Let’s get down to business. I’m Jeffrey and I’m a heavy Evernote user. In fact, I use it on a daily basis. If there were such a thing as an AA group for Evernote, I’d probably be a member. And I’d tell everyone how great it feels to use it. If you’re not already an Evernote user, you’re probably wondering why I’m so enthusiastic about it. So, without further ado, here’s a list of reasons to use it!

1. Evernote helps you to organise your notes

One of the key features of Evernote is that it helps you to organise any type of note on the story you’re working on. You can create stacks of notebooks of the same type. It took me some time to find a good way to do this, but here is an example of what the stacks look like for my published novel, “The Fall of Netherea”. And also for the sequels!

organized stacks of notes.PNG

As you can see, I’ve decided to make several stacks. The most important is probably the one that contains every chapter of the story. The others, in which I kept track of everything else are “Locations”, “Persons of Note” and “Species”. These function as a codex and I keep notes of those key elements of the story there. There is also one named “Ideas and notes”. I keep notes with brilliant (but mostly stupid) ideas, like plot twists or other random thoughts there.

The other stacks I use for anything that is more related to publishing and feedback. This way I’ll always be able to find what I need.

2. Evernote has a word processor

It may sound logical, but Evernote also has a fully functional word processor. If you don’t have access to Word, or any other word processor Evernote will have your back!

word processor.PNG

It offers everything you need, from choosing fonts to formatting words in bold, italic, etc. One other wonderful feature of the word processor is that it allows you to insert checkboxes. I use those to make to-do-lists and keep track of the things I’ve done. You can also add alarms to notes. In that case Evernote will alert you at the set time. This is ideal if you’re setting deadlines for yourself and keep track of your planning.

3. Tagging your notes

You can add tags to your notes, so you can find them faster when you’re searching. Even though Evernote’s search function is perfect (it even searches within notes), you can add specific tags. For instance, I have a tag named “writing tips” that I use to find all useful tips I nabbed from the web and dumped into Evernote for later reference.

Tags.PNG

4. Evernote is accessible on nearly every device

There are many ways to access your notes in Evernote. You can install the app on your mobile phone, or tablet, install the desktop version on your PC, or access the web version. I’m using Evernote everywhere I go. If I need to make a quick note, I’ll just do it on the go on my phone. You can even take pictures with your mobile and add them to Evernote, such as Post-its, business cards or just plain pictures.

evernote-android.jpg

You can also use your phone to make voice recordings! Very handy if you’re one of those types of writers who likes to record a quick idea and work it out later, when you have more time.

5. Your work is safe

Evernote is a perfect way to ensure you always have a back-up of your work! I use Evernote as one of the repositories for my work, besides using it to manage the chaos I create. I’ve been using it for about four years now and I’ve never had any trouble with any of my notes. If for some reason there seems to be a conflict with the notes, Evernote will alert you and give you both versions of that note.

As you can see I’m extremely happy with my Evernote account. If you have any questions about it, especially if you’re also a writer who’s struggling to create order in the mess you’ve created, let me know! I’ll happily answer any questions.

Happy writing!

-Jeffrey

3 replies »

    • It’s a tool I can’t do without anymore. I didn’t mention it in the article, but it also includes a webclipper, which allows you to clip articles from the web and save them for later reference! This is something that might be of use to you as well 🙂 Like saving recipes from the web and saving them in Evernote so you’ll have a cookbook handy 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jefffrey, Webclipper! — Clipping articles!!! This is great! I do this all the time for myself & just like so much on Evernote it just makes it easier to do that what we struggle along to do the old fashioned way by our own work & energy! Super! Phil

    Like

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