|Name: Aubrey McGowan
Location: Frisco, Texas
Facebook: Song and Story
Aubrey McGowan is a singer/songwriter and the co-founder of Song & Story, a company that helps people tell their stories through song. Launched in January 2011, Song & Story is made up of Aubrey, his wife, and several collaborators who write and produce songs for individuals and organizations. Aubrey shares how Evernote helps him with his creative process as well as managing his business and home life. He even wrote a song about it!
Download the MP3
I use Evernote, Everywhere
I use Evernote for…
As a songwriter, I spent a lot of time looking for a way to manage my songwriting ideas. I’ve tried everything from software to paper notebooks, but couldn’t find anything that really clicked until I began to use Evernote. The flexibility of the app, it’s various features, and the many locations from which you can access your information really made it the perfect tool for me to manage my business and my life. I use Evernote religiously. Here’s a look at how it helps me:
- My wife and I share multiple notebooks which are divided into two Notebook Stacks. I organize notes into everything related to songwriting or the business. That way, virtually everything I need access to on any given day can be found in my Evernote account. Sharing notebooks with my wife means if she records a melody at home, it syncs and I’m able to listen to it even if I’m at the office. It makes working together a much more seamless process, especially since we’re not always in the same place at the same time.
- I draft and organize songs in Evernote. I create various drafts of songs in Evernote and organize songs in separate, Stacked notebooks that include songs in progress and completed songs. The completed songs notebook also serves as a portfolio.
- We manage our business in Evernote. We have several notebooks under the Notebook Stack ‘Business’ which includes everything related to running our business: from invoices to web graphics, my wife and I always have access to documents, websites, expenses, and more.
- Evernote helps us maintain a paperless lifestyle. Whether it’s a scribbled note on a napkin or a document, Evernote lets me manage my paperwork without the paper stack. I can snap a photo of an item, or scan in a document. Once it’s in Evernote, I can tag and file into appropriate notebooks so I’m always able to find what I’m looking for. [Learn more about paperless lifestyle from our Paperless Living Ambassador]
- I use my Evernote email address hourly. My Evernote email helps me manage the things outside of my Evernote account, organize them, and find them later. I forward important emails, articles I want to read, invoices, and more from my email to my Evernote account, where I sort them into notebooks. [Learn how to send emails to your Evernote account.]
- I keep track of my favorite products in Evernote. I have a songwriting notebook that I love. When I run out of room, I know exactly where to order a new one because I have the ISBN of that notebook and vendor’s website saved in my Evernote account.
- I use Evernote as a reader. I have a notebook called ‘Enrichment’— it’s where I keep things I don’t have time to read, or always want to go back to. Before I started clipping and emailing articles to my Evernote account, my reader was a mass of things and I’d never know where to even start. Now, if someone has 10 blog posts and I know I only want to read one of them, I can just clip the article using the Evernote Web Clipper, or email it from my inbox to my Evernote account.
Evernote in the collaborative song writing process
When we work with a client on creating a song, we take a very collaborative approach. The first step is always having them fill out a survey about the kind of story they want the song to tell and the sorts of emotions they think it should evoke (Should the recipient feel happy? Should he/she be called to action?). From there, we engage in a lot of back and forth before we get to the final delivery stage. We are excited about engaging people in the storytelling process, not just being recipients of a finished project. Evernote helps us work with our customers every step of the way.
Evernote is our jumping off point to collecting ideas and also for working through rough drafts with the customer. We used Shared Notes to get customers involved in the storytelling process.They’re able to see our progress, as we record ideas and scratch tracks by simply clicking on the Shared Note Link. If it’s not hitting the right spot, we continue to work back and forth.
Evernote for everything else
In addition to using Evernote to manage my business and songwriting, I also use it as a catchall for pieces of information that would normally have no proper place. I have a notebook called ‘misc/personal/docs.’ I use it to save account numbers and things I always forget. For example, I have a photo of a sticky note with the dimensions of our countertop and another with the account number of my Internet service. I have the size of my tires on my car, the model number for the lightbulb in my car and serial numbers for pieces of equipment I have, all handy in Evernote, instead of sitting in a junk drawer, where I’d inevitably never find them. Lastly, I’m working through some online courses to finish my degree and everything I do, I keep in Evernote. When it comes time to take an open book test, I’m able to search through my Evernote account at lightning speed.
The song that I wrote for Evernote really captures what Evernote is for me. I chose to personalize the tool because it’s truly my constant companion.