Evernote — A Bloggiesta Fall 2012 Mini-Challenge

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Update, 3-21-2013: As far as I know, this information is still a good starting point for Evernote. Let me know if you see any problems or have any questions by commenting on this post: Bloggiesta Spring 2013.

Welcome to the Evernote Mini-Challenge of Bloggiesta Fall 2012!

If this is the first you’re hearing of Bloggiesta, learn about this fun event for spiffing up your blog at Bloggiesta: Participants, Welcome! Lets Get Signed Up!

If you’re here to participate in the Evernote Mini-Challenge, let’s get started!

Evernote Defined

Evernote logoEvernote is note-taking software. I think of it as a bunch of spiral notebooks, but with the following advantages:

  • I can type in them for faster and neater notes than in physical notebooks.
  • I can search all of my notes, or the notes in just one notebook.
  • I can move pages around and copy template pages from one notebook into another.

The advantage of Evernote over files on my computer is that, as they claim, “Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone, and mobile device out there.” It certainly works with all of mine. So, I can write itinerary ideas with addresses in Evernote on my computer in St. Louis and synch to my tablet so the information is available in my hotel room in Dublin even without the Internet. Shopping lists are typed on the computer, but accessed on my phone. When I’m out and about, I use the voice entry feature on my phone to make notes in Evernote that I can correct and organize later on my computer. If you have both home and work computers, Evernote is an excellent way to keep important notes synched between the two parts of your life.

Evernote is the foundation of my day, where I keep daily checklists, a log/journal, templates for my online activities, and notes on every topic of interest (and I have lots of interests).

Evernote for Readers

I still use Goodreads for my master To Be Read list, but Evernote could work for that and has one terrific advantage. You can use the Evernote web clipper to clip a book review from a blog and have the whole post available in Evernote with a link back to the original post in one easy button. That way, you know who recommended the book and why it appealed to you. To do that in Goodreads, I have to cut and paste the link in the Private notes and then remember to look at that field when I’m writing up my review to give appropriate credit.

I use Evernote as a companion to Goodreads by making themed lists of books I might read, but haven’t committed to any particular title. All year, I keep a running list of books that might be good for the Diversity Book Club. Those are the books I requested from the library so that I have them for our annual book selection meeting and pot luck supper this Thursday.

Of course, Evernote is an excellent place to keep notes while you’re reading before they are ready to turn into a blog post.

Evernote for Bloggers

Here are some ways I use Evernote to support my blogging:

  • I keep the html code of my blog link so that I can cut and paste it into comment blocks that don’t have a place to enter my URL.
  • I store the Twitter handles of Readers’ Workouts participants so I can inform them on Tuesday morning that the new linky is ready.
  • I maintain a running list of tasks to do during the next Bloggiesta.
  • I jot down ideas for future posts and projects.

Other bloggers use Evernote to draft and format their posts. Michael Hyatt has a terrific post about how he does that: How to Use Evernote as a Blogger.

Evernote for Getting Things Done

The Secret Weapon and GTDGetting Things Done, or GTD, is a book and method by David Allen for, well, getting things done. It’s wildly popular on the Internet, with many ways of implementing it. I love the approach called The Secret Weapon that uses Evernote. There’s a terrific introductory video to both GTD and The Secret Weapon on YouTube: The Secret Weapon animation. If you like it, there are screencasts of how to implement the system in Evernote at The Secret Weapon.

Evernote: The Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Let’s give Evernote a try. You can start with a very small commitment, by setting up an account and using the web version of Evernote. To complete the Evernote Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge, do the following:

  • Create an account at Evernote.
  • Make a note (the big green button in the middle top), give it a title, and hit the Done button to complete it.
  • Make a notebook (the little down arrow to the right of Notebooks).
  • Drag and drop your note into the notebook.
  • Make a comment to this post to let me know you’ve completed the challenge and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to a mutually agreeable online or physical bookstore. I’m willing to work with an international winner, so sign up no matter where you are. (ETA: contest closed)

Woohoo! You’ve completed the mini-challenge.

Evernote beyond the Challenge

The next step is to take advantage of the multiple device capability of Evernote. Download it on the computer that you use the most and on any devices that will be convenient. I find the Windows interface easier and more feature-laden than the web version.

After that, learn about the web clipper for grabbing pages of interest on the Internet and storing them in a notebook: Evernote Web Clipper.

Then, learn about forwarding or sending email to a notebook in Evernote: Adding content to Evernote using email. I keep emails that are for long-term reference in Evernote. I’ve also sometimes used this feature to email a note to myself that I know I ultimately want in Evernote.

If you consider yourself a foodie, check out Evernote Food.

Evernote Questions, Ideas, Thoughts

What do you think of Evernote? Do you have any questions that I or the community of commenters might be able to answer? How do you think you’ll use Evernote?

If you’re already an Evernote user, tell us how you use Evernote, and I’ll enter you into the drawing for the $20 gift card, too. (ETA: contest closed)

I’ll do my drawing on Monday morning — be sure to fill out the email in the comment form correctly so I can get hold of the winner.

Thanks for playing along with this challenge and thanks to Suey at It’s All About Books and Danielle at There’s a Book for hosting Bloggiesta!

Fine print for the drawing:
By clicking on the Post Comment button to enter the giveaway, each entrant agrees to the following terms and conditions:

  • I am 18 years old or older.
  • I understand my email and other information will not be shared or sold to a third party.
  • I understand my entry may be removed if I can not be reached by email within 24 hours of the drawing.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • No purchase is necessary to win.
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.
  • Prize Value: $20
  • This giveaway is sponsored by Joy Weese Moll. Joy Weese Moll is responsible for the delivery of prizes.

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About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books
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45 Responses to Evernote — A Bloggiesta Fall 2012 Mini-Challenge

  1. Belle Wong says:

    I love your ideas for using Evernote, Joy! I’ve been using Evernote for a while, but mainly to store links for fun learning projects for homeschooling, and also for recipes – I usually upload the entire recipe along with the link. My recipe folder is shared with my husband, who does most of the cooking and is always wanting new ideas to try out.

    Your idea for saving the link of the review where you first heard of a book is wonderful – I’ve tried cutting and pasting links at Goodreads but it’s something I’m just not very consistent about doing. Clipping to Evernote makes it all so much easier.

    And my library’s website doesn’t have a wishlist feature, so I often end up putting too many holds on books – your idea about making a themed list would work perfectly for this. I can easily clip a book my library has to Evernote, to be requested at a later date when I’m lower on reading materials! Thank you!

    • Joy Weese Moll / @joyweesemoll says:

      I like your idea of clipping from the library catalog. I have a problem of hitting the limit of books I can put on hold, too. Clipping would be an easy way to keep track of books I wanted but couldn’t request right then.

  2. Hillary says:

    I use evernote to store post ideas for my blog. I often find that I get ideas when i am up and about and putting it in evernote makes sure I dont forget. I like your idea about keeping a book list in evernote. I never thought of that I will have to give it a try.

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  4. I use Evernote in SO many ways I have to open it to check it out. I keep several wishlists (books, dvd’s, home, kitchen appliances, clothes, etc), lists of recipe-ideas, recipes to try, recipes to blog. Other blogging and vlogging ideas go in as well. Books to read, movies to watch. (I can save it on the go at any moment with the app!)
    I have a notebook for creative stuff, knitting, crocheting. Put in what supplies I have around the house. Again, ideas and things to try. Gift-ideas. Notebooks for seasonal festivities, birthdayparties. Gardening plans. Plans for ‘family-extension’ (which is mainly: NAMES AND CLOTHES AND STUFF THAT IS CUTE!)
    I have yoga poses and series, links to yoga videos. I organize my assignments and ‘vocabulary’ for my studie japanese, collect pictures with text I can translate so I can get used to different Japanese fonts. Other studies are in there as well.

    But mostly, my Evernote gets used for ‘Getting things done’. I have tags for the days of the week, and since an update a while ago they are the tabs on the top of my screen.
    There is so much in my evernote that I get horrified by the idea that at one point it might stop existing, for some unforeseen reason. Now that I mention it, I should back it up!

    It’s great to see this mini-challenge, Evernote makes life so much easier.

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  6. Rikki says:

    I love your Evernote challenge. I am using it already, but not for blogging. I’ll go through your ideas tonight and see what I can use for myself. Thanks for putting it together.

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  8. I love making lists, but I’m more of a write-everything-down-in-a-notebook-girl. This would have been very helpful if I would make lists on my computer. Thanks for sharing! :D

  9. I love this, I completed the challenge and an gonig to give it a shot

  10. Cass says:

    I love Evernote and have it on all of my things: phone, ipod, ipad, and the extension for Chrome. I used to email myself links and post ideas and such but I much prefer having everything in one place without cluttering my email and being able to use tags. I love how everything syncs across devices so I can easily access my stuff on whatever device I happen to be using.

    • Joy Weese Moll / @joyweesemoll says:

      Evernote has really helped me keep my email account cleaner. I like having emails sorted topically with website links and notes to myself. That makes everything more useful.

  11. Lauren says:

    Thanks so much for this challenge :) I have never heard of Evernote before this but I know that it will be a sanity-saver!

    I constantly have scraps of paper everwhere with lists, blog notes, everything… Half the time I lose the papers and I’m back to square one! The best part of this is that it syncs… so I can go between my computer(where I think of most things to go on my todo/to read lists) and my tablet(which I take everywhere and need the lists on!).

    Thanks again for introducing me :)

    • Joy Weese Moll / @joyweesemoll says:

      Evernote may change your life! It’s got to be better than scraps of paper every where! Although, I still use paper for some things — sometimes it’s just easier to think on paper. But then, if I can capture the result of that thinking in Evernote, I’m way better off having it there.

  12. Marina says:

    Wow–so many good ideas from the other commenters! I know that I underuse evernote, and these should give me some micro-challenges to work on.

  13. Audrey says:

    This is such a great guide. I had downloaded Evernote onto my iPod years ago and had no clue what to do with it. Then I settled for using AwesomeNote. I use that for school, reminders, and quick memos. But I think I will open up Evernote again for my books! Thanks for this post, it’s very helpful. :D

  14. Rikki says:

    I already use Evernote. After reading your suggestions I will create a new notebook referring to blogging to store post idas, events, dates etc. So I have everything in one place.
    Also I will read up on the web clipper. I am already using it, but sometimes it seems to have a mind of its own.
    Michael Hyatt’s ideas are all excellent, however, if you use Windows Live Writer, I find using Evernote on top of it is redundant. Sometimes you can make your life more complicated instead of easier by using multiple tools, :).
    Thanks for your ideas, Joy!

    • Joy Weese Moll / @joyweesemoll says:

      I’m not using Windows Live Writer, but it’s on my Bloggiesta list. I’m going to wait to see how it works for me — it seems like a better tool than Evernote for drafting posts to me. And Evernote is better when the post isn’t a post yet — just a thought or two that I don’t want to lose track of.

      • Rikki says:

        Actually I use Live Writer for that, too. I have a long list of posts in various draft states with sometimes only a link or a few words scribbled down. Or with just a bullet list of ideas to use for that post.
        For brainstorming and gathering ideas in general I will use Evernote from now on, but once I get to prepare a specific post nothing beats WLW.

  15. Kai Charles says:

    Great Ideas! I downloaded the app and signed up online, thanks for the ideas

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  17. Thanks for the fun mini-challenge, Joy! To be honest, I signed up for Evernote a long time ago but have never really used it. You’re definitely given me the motivation to try again, as I’ve heard so many positive things about it. I’m going to check out some of the links you’ve included here to figure out how to use it properly. And I made my new note about all the things I need to add to my Bloggiesta list that I’ve done but didn’t plan for! :)

  18. Uniflame says:

    I already have an evernote account. An evernote food account on my iPhone actually. I use it to make pictures of my meals with my phone and then attach a note. But now I opened the website I saw it was all linked up already :) (I never used evernote on my computer before) I will need to see how I can make more use of it. Please enter me in the drawing :)

  19. I downloaded Evernote on my Nook forever ago and never really bothered to use it!

    I just set it up on all of my computer and other devices…Then completed your challenge! I think if I can get used to using it, it’d be perfect to store URLs and all needed for each review book along with my review notes.

    Thanks for the nudge to finally try using it. :)

  20. Liza says:

    Thanks for hosting the mini-challenge! I’ve had an Evernote account since January and I have mostly been using the web clipper to clip articles or links I want to go back to, instead of just leaving them open on my browser forever. Thanks to your challenge, I set up my first notebook, clipped Michael Hyatt’s post and wrote a note to look into The Secret Weapon. I also updated Evernote on my laptop. Thanks so much!

  21. Cayce says:

    Just signed up, and it looks great! I’m a huge note taker, so I think I’m gonna use Evernote a lot!
    And Evernote Food looks so yummy.

    Thank you for the super useful challenge!
    :)

  22. christina says:

    I have to admit, I downloaded Evernote waaaaay back in the day and then never used it. Mainly because I had no idea that I could create SEPARATE notebooks. Um, now I’m addicted. A notebook for every aspect of my life so I can stay organized?! #winning

    Thanks girl. :)

    • Joy Weese Moll / @joyweesemoll says:

      Multiple notebooks are way cool! Dangerous, even. They make me think I can do everything!

      I didn’t put this in the post because I was afraid it might confuse people, but you might like this feature: you can make stacks of notebooks. My health notebook is really a stack of notebooks — one for exercise logs, one for food plans & recipes, and one that has the contact information of my health care providers.

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  24. You will not believe this but I’ve had Evernote on my phone forever but I had no clue it was on the web and more functional!!! THANK YOU!! I had only 2 notes in it, one was an audio I did when I came up with a blog idea while at the store and the other was just a typed note.

    So I made a new folder called “Blog”, moved both those notes into the notebook and then I made a new note with my HTML codes for when I’m out and about commenting and need to leave a link – great idea, btw! I always just kept them in a Word document :)

    Thanks for the great info and awesome challenge giveaway!!

  25. Jenni Elyse says:

    Love this! I used to have an application on my Mac that allowed me to make notes like this. It popped up on the side and disappeared when I wasn’t using it. I loved it, but it doesn’t work in Lion and I didn’t realize that when I upgraded. Evernote will definitely take its place. Hopefully, I can find my library file everyone keeps talking about so I can transfer my old notes. Otherwise, I’m going to have to access some old backups.

  26. This is the first time I’ve ever really heard of Evernote, but after having a little bit of a play with it, I’m in love with it! I can transfer my blogging notebook onto this, so my notes will actually be legible for a change! I love the idea of keeping the html for your blog link in Evernote, I’ll definitely be creating an HTML notebook full of useful codes that I always need but never remember. Thank you so much for this challenge, it’s been extremely helpful!

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  28. Christine says:

    Hi Joy!
    Thanks so much for doing this mini-challenge. And WOW you have been busy with Bloggiesta! I just scanned through the posts you’ve made since this one and you are just a well of knowledge on so many blog related tech issues. I’m going to come back and read it all over the next few days.

    I’ve had the Evernote app on my iphone for a long time but just this summer I also downloaded it onto my laptop and ipad AND even started using it! I used to write up a lot of my blog posts, notes and lists in Notes in the mail application for Macs, but you can’t sync the notes automatically between your devices unless you open some email account. Ugh. I don’t want to bother with that. So I started using Evernote and love it! It’s great! Right now I only use it to make lists and compose blog posts, but I know there’s so much MORE I can do. You’ve inspired me to explore the possibilities. Thanks so much, Joy!

  29. Jennie says:

    My husband’s a huge Evernote junkie and has been bugging me to use it for awhile. This was the push I needed!

    One of my bloggiesta goals was to clear out all my starred posts in GoogleReader. I’m pretty much just moving them all to Pocket or Evernote, but I say that counts!

    I’ve also downloaded it onto my phone and having it multiple places will be so much better from my TBR list.

    I’m also intrigued by the new Evernote-optimized Moleskine notebook…

  30. Tammy Dahle says:

    I’m so excited!! I just opened my account and have a feeling this is going to be great thing in my life! I have scattered notes and post its everywhere! This is a great thing that’s going to get and keep me organized!
    Thanks for the mini challenge and introducing me to Evernote!

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