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How to Use Evernote to Create Better Content. (It’s Absolutely Foolish to Not Use This Tool)

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evernoteEvernote is your always connected, searchable, expanding brain.

If it gets your attention, put it in Evernote. If it needs to be remembered, put it in Evernote.  If it’s a work in progress, put it in Evernote.

This simple app will bring more organization and time savings to your creation efforts than any other tool.

It’s a must have for anyone creating content, researching, learning, and producing any form of communication.

One of the cool things with Evernote is that it indexes text from within your pictures.  So this makes it very handy for images and finding content by keyword searches inside the app, but that’s not even close to explaining how useful this app is.

How Writers, Bloggers, Content Creators, Speakers and Marketers use Evernote.

  1. Save quotes and sources.
  2. Save statistics, facts, and data.
  3. Save tweets that are worth retweeting, recycling, or keeping.
  4. Save blog posts, the entire article or parts of it.
  5. Save important emails.
  6. Save links and curate them.
  7. Save all your research for your work-in-progress project.
  8. Save your draft and add too it on-demand or pull content into it during research.
  9. Save your templates, proposals, guides, and checklists.
  10. Capture inspiration, headline and story ideas, angles, or examples.
  11. Leverage your reading, researching, and past content by revisiting in new work.
  12. Organize your articles, projects, and content into Evernote Notebooks (file system).
  13. Seed your editorial calendar, upcoming posts, and future content plans.
  14. Stub a topic with a rough outline of the story idea for follow up.
  15. Share a link to your Evernote for someone else to read.

To do those things with maximum efficiency, you need to have Evernote available and at your fingertips no matter where you are.  Do NOT just rely upon the web interface. It’s key, but to stop here is limiting.

Make Evernote Instantly Accessible.

The first thing you need to do is setup your Evernote account and then your unique Evernote email address.

Install the plugin for the web clipping tool so you can easily clip content from an article and click to save it instantly into your evernote (without ever going into Evernote). If you have another machine at work or elsewhere, install this plugin on those machines too.

Download the Evernote app on your smart phone and iPad.

Now, it’s handy to use and accessible no matter where you are.  This makes retrieving information, adding information or editing super easy.

This also makes Evernote a central part of your life. Doing this, allows you to act spontaneously and never miss the opportunity to keep a memory, idea, thought, or piece of information.

10 Ways to Get Content Into Evernote.

Michael Hyatt has explained these 10 ways to get your stuff in Evernote, so I’m just going to give you the highlight version. Read his post for his explanation and tips to do anyone of these.

  1. Type It. Straight in Evernote.
  2. Email it. Forward into your Evernote.
  3. Scan it. Scan docs, see them in Evernote.
  4. Clip it. Clip content from blog via web browser.
  5. Paste it. Select, copy, go to Evernote and paste.
  6. Drag it. On Desktop, click, drag, make copy in Evernote.
  7. Print It. Save as PDF to Evernote.
  8. Record it. Voice record it into Evernote.
  9. Photograph it.  Take picture save to Evernote.
  10. Automate it.  On a mac, right click and save to Evernote.

And here’s my bonus 11th way to get an item in Evernote.  Feed push it.

If you haven’t used this handy service called IFTTT to automate stuff, then you’re missing out on a slice of heaven. I use IFTTT to push my blog posts to twitter and facebook automatically when it publishes. I also use this service to send me a text message on my cell phone every Sunday night reminding me to take out the garbage (don’t tell my wife)!

For example, IFTTT can save Seth Godin’s latest blog post as a new Evernote.  Of course, this could be ANY blog post via the IFTTT rss feed to Evernote tool. And that’s what I mean by feed push it. Simply set up your IFTTT account and pick an rss feed you want to follow and let IFTTT push those feeds into your Evernote.

And, if you are a big Kindle fan, you can even get your Kindle Highlights into Evernote.

Pro Content Creators use Evernote.

Using Evernote to Drive Content

When you file your ideas, save your sources, and clip your articles, you’ll build a body of work you can refer back to and develop from. This is a key part of content creation and it will give your content more substance and authority. And by having this tool handy no matter where you are, you’ll be able to filter your reading and experiences against the content you are planning or producing and immediately store it in Evernote.

Reading an inspirational story that gives a great example you want to remember? Save it to Evernote. Stumble across an interesting fact that is useful? Save it to Evernote. Check out this post by ViperChill to see the random but interesting things he saves in his Evernote like the simple idea that gave Quicken 70% market share, or the teacher that makes $1 Million selling lesson plans or an original Google business card printed from a bubble get circa 1998. You can see, just through his examples, how he has factoids and bits of info that can make any article more interesting.

I use Evernote like this as well.

And so should you.

Your content will improve. Your ongoing story ideas will improve and you’ll never have to worry about drumming up an idea on the spot to write about.

Are You Using Evernote?

I was late to this party. I didn’t start using Evernote until November of 2012. And now, I don’t know how I ever managed with out.

So what about you – are you using Evernote? If so how?  If not, why tha heck aren’t you?

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Justin McCullough About Justin McCullough

Justin is a business builder, speaker and author. Over the last 15 years, he has delivered more than 500 critical projects ranging from launching businesses, websites, ecommerce sites, custom apps, newspapers, magazines, books, advertising campaigns, and strategic marketing initiatives. Co-workers, vendors, and clients work with Justin because he listens, clarifies the ambiguous, sets goals, inspires action, and delivers results. Justin is married, the father of two young boys, and Christian. He likes smart people like you!

  • Rick Wolff

    I’m a recent convert too, Justin! Had the app for about a year, but just got bit by the bug.
    What served as my onramp to Evernote was a better email triage:
    • Actionable fast? Do it and chuck it.
    • Garbage? Read it and chuck it. (Face it: “inbox zero” = much trash.)
    • “Other”? Forward it to Evernote via a custom email address. But first, change the title of the email to wording more like a to-do list item, and include #tags, which it understands. Then, in Evernote, it’s fully editable, and you can cut out irrelevant stuff, combine it with other notes or emails, fix the tag that you spelled wrong in your mail app (I’m getting better at it), add more tags… whatever.
    Evernote is a GTD solution, and it knows it! The “…and so much more” comes later. Which is where I am.

    • Justin McCullough

      Excellent feedback Rick.
      Yeah, I love the forward email options. So, what’s the next level of Evernote usage going to look like for you?

      • Rick Wolff

        Now that I know what good a CRM system is and what it does, I’m making a “super-contact-list” with everything on the same note: a little spreadsheet at the top for basic stuff, and a log of interactions, marked with the datestamp (cmd-shift-D on my Mac) and timestamp (cmd-opt-shift D), and some kind of clever tagging, #prospect or #client (Any input for this would be appreciated).
        And yes, there’s a Justin note.

        • Preston

          Check out the Evernote-Salesforce integration. Haven’t made a final decision on it, but it looks pretty slick for CRM needs.

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