Hello and welcome to Part 2 of my mini series on useful author apps. Some of you may already be using Evernote, some may have heard of it, while others might think it's just another one of hundreds of programs not worth the effort. I admit, I'm hopping on the Evernote Love-wagon a little late, as I only recently decided to see what all the fuss was about. Well, let me tell you, the fuss is right. First of all, Evernote is FREE. There's of course an Upgrade available and a Business version, but let's look at this magical free program.
Evernote can be used for anything from collecting recipes to gathering research. This has become my research bible. The way you collect , create, and send information is amazing, and the best part is (what got me hooked): it is so easy! Once you get the hang of it, you start to think of how much easier your writing life would have been if you'd started using it ages ago.
Before I tell you why it's so great, let me show you a screen cap of what my Evernote Web looks like. Evernote Web is an app for Google Chrome. Evernote Desktop has the same layout with a slightly different look. Click on the image for full resolution.
Here are some of the amazing things you can do with Evernote:
Notebooks: You can create notebooks which will hold the notes your create for that topic. Fore example, I have notebooks created for each book's characters, and then in that notebook are notes which will have information and stats on each character, which you can see in the screen cap above.
Notes: You create notes much like you would any document. Notes can be formatted, you can add images, documents, tags, even add a to-do box you can check off if you want to make a checklist.
Stacks: Stacks are like folders where you keep your notebooks making everything nice and organized. The only thing with stacks is that they appear alphabetically. As far as I'm aware, you can't move them around, BUT you can get clever with your titles. So all my Series stacks have a '0' before the title so they'll always be first and stay together. All my research stacks have 'Research' followed by the category title, so all my research folders are together and so on.
Photos: You can send photos you take to your Evernote email address (which they provide when you sign up) and the photos will sync up with your Evernote. Even better, if you add the Evernote app to your phone, you can take pictures and just send it to Evernote. Wherever you have Evernote installed, whether your phone, tablet, or PC, they will all sync up so you're always up to date with all your info.
Audio: Sometimes you don't have time to type, or it's just easier to record an idea verbally before it gets away from you. With Evernote you can record audio and file it away under the appropriate notebook.
Search: The cool thing about Evernote search is that it also recognizes words in images, handwritten notes, and content text, as well as tags.
Share: You can share notes on your social media, or you can share notebooks with fellow authors if you're writing together by inviting individuals or providing a public link.
Evernote Web clipper: Ah, Even more cool stuff. I love the web clipper. It's a browser extension that allows you to save full internet pages, website articles, images, and more, sending them right to your notebooks. As organized as I am, I still had to scroll through countless bookmarks to find exactly the page I was looking for, and of course after a while, you don't remember what website had what.
As you can see from the image above, I used Evernote Web Clipper (it's the little elephant logo on the top right hand side of my browser next to the 'a'), and I saved this article on Weddesdon Manor which I told the clipper to add to my notebook labelled Book 2 Johnnie's Research. So rather than a bunch of random links I don't remember the content for, I can save the articles I want, or the full pages. The window in the middle gives me a brief description and thumbnail, the right window is the article. I can also click on any links and it will take me to the page. I can also just save the url if the website contains a lot of content I'd use, or whose link is obvious as to what it is.
I have Evernote on my Google Chrome browser along with the web clipper, Evernote on my Android, and Evernote on my desktop. They all sync, so no matter where I am, I have all my info at hand and can add to it. That's what makes this program so amazing. Everything is together in one place. I don't have to go searching through files and folders on my PC just to find out what a character's eye color is. I can just go to the notebook of whichever one of my stories I want to access and everything is there.
Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and the Web.
The free version allows you 60 MB of uploaded data and resets every month, with unlimited storage. You can upgrade to Evernote Premium and get 1 GB of storage every month, with unlimited storage. Premium also allows you to store content offline. There are also loads of third party extensions and apps you can use with Evernote. I use CamSanner on my Android smartphone. With that, I can take a picture of a handwritten document, the app will fix it up, and then send it to my Evernote. No need to type it up.
Find out more about Evernote and download it here.
Well, I hope you found this installment useful. If you already use Evernote and would like to share something I haven't covered, just leave a comment. Or if you have a program you love and want to share, let us know!