Tips & Stories

How to Live the Freelance Life with Evernote: Tips from Joelle Alcaidinho

How to Live the Freelance Life with Evernote: Tips from Joelle Alcaidinho

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 09 Apr 2013

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 09 Apr 2013

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Name: Joelle Alcaidinho
Location: NYC, London, and Sydney, Australia
Profession: Freelance writer, consultant, and UI/UX designer
Website: http://www.joellewrites.com/
Twitter: @Joelle_writes

Bio

Joelle Alcaidinho is a freelance writer and consultant who splits her time between New York City, London, and Sydney, Australia working with tech start-ups, educational institutions, and retail organizations. As a writer, she covers topics ranging from technology to travel (you can find some of her posts about Evernote on Apartment Therapy). In addition to writing, Joelle designs children’s knitware and consults on UI/UX design for mobile apps. “Without Evernote, I’d be lost,” she says.

I use Evernote, Everywhere:

  • Mac
  • iPad
  • iPhone 5
  • Nexus 7
  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Galaxy Note II
  • Microsoft Surface Tablet

I use Evernote for juggling all my projects. Between my travels and the great number of things I have going on (writing, consulting, running my Etsy shop), I needed a tool that could be there with me at all times. Evernote is a place where I can store a lot of important content at the same time, and always be able to access it. I used to have tons of notebooks around for sketching and writing. Evernote has become my digital version of these notebooks.

joelle-1

I keep separate notebooks for all my projects. For example, I have notebooks for my writing for Apartment Therapy, my technology blog, my travel guides, as well as my Etsy store. Because I’m always working on multiple projects at any given time, being able to compartmentalize is vital. Evernote is a great place to store work-related documents, such as meeting and conference notes, as well as more creative things, like pictures of fabrics and yarn that I like, or inspiration for a baby hat. I also create a notebook for each city when working on a travel guide, which becomes the place I keep all the information about which restaurants I visit, maps (I use Skitch to annotate these), and other essentials that I will need when I later craft the guide entry for The Tech Bird.

I use Evernote to save my research. For Apartment Therapy, I cover tablet apps for Android, Windows 8, and iPad, and because I write about different platforms I often change mobile devices from week-to-week. Evernote is the one constant. Coming up with fresh ideas every week is exhausting, but with Evernote I’m able to keep track of interesting apps throughout the weeks so that when I’m ready to sit down and write I always have a starting point. I tag apps I come across with ’roundup ideas’  and also store various templates and HTML snippets in Evernote for handy reference. Half the work associated with preparing a blog post is done before I even begin writing!

I use Evernote on the go. In addition to my tech writing, I also do a lot of travel writing. When I’m working on a travel guide, I use Evernote to take photos of the signs of the places I visit, menus, and anything else I want to remember. My notes are all geo-tagged, so it’s easy to organize them and have all my notes associated with a certain location in the same place. I also snap photos of my receipts so I’ll remember what I ate and can easily submit expense reports.

joelle-2

I record interviews that I can replay later. When I am working with a client on a consulting project, I use Evernote to record conversations. Audio notes allow me to concentrate on the conversation I’m having, while also allowing me to revisit it later when I’m in brainstorm mode.

I’m able to achieve long-term goals. Evernote played a key role in helping me complete NanoWriMo last year. Before it began, I went into Evernote and was able to pull together a bunch of ideas I had been saving for a long time that were related to a novel I was hoping to write. Once NanoWriMo kicked off, I was already ahead of the game and was able to jump into writing. Evernote has been a huge help with my novel and I find the marriage between Evernote and Scrivener to be all kinds of awesome.

I’m able to be more creative by letting go of ideas. Evernote helps me compartmentalize ideas, which takes away the stress of having to remember them. Whenever an idea pops into my head, I always have a device handy. Evernote is consistent and accessible everywhere, so I can capture my thoughts and move on. The effect? I’m able to clear my mind and focus on other things; this gives me the freedom to be more creative. Once I save an idea in Evernote, I know I can mull the possibilities later. This is helpful both for creative and tactical projects. I’m able to stay on top of to-dos and also come back to ideas that I may not necessarily have an an immediate use for.

How do you use Evernote to organize your professional and personal lives? Share your stories in the comments!

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4 Comments RSS

  • Crystal Coleman

    Wow, just reading about Joelle’s life makes me need to take a nap.

    One question: do you use anything to digitize your notebooks at all? Either in current work mode or for archival purposes?

  • John M. Trefethen

    Great insight into the mind of a creative professional. Like many of us who operate in this mind space, it’s all too common that we are juggling several creative projects at one time. Your comments about unloading your mind so that you keep moving without fear of losing important ideas is one of the defining characteristics of successful people.

    One way I use Evernote is for remembering songs I hear whilst driving in the car. I quickly snap an image from the screen of my car stereo and email it to my Evernote Email address with relevant tags and notebook titles in the subject line (@m for quick entry into the “music” notebook). Then once back at my desk, I add the songs to my Spotify account for continued enjoyment.

    Now with reminders, I am hopeful that Evernote will allow me to email actions to myself and set the due dates using the aforementioned subject-line intelligence.

  • John M. Trefethen

    Great insight into the mind of a creative professional. Like many of us who operate in this mind space, it’s all too common that we are juggling several creative projects at one time. Your comments about unloading your mind so that you keep moving without fear of losing important ideas is one of the defining characteristics of successful people.

    One way I use Evernote is for remembering songs I hear whilst driving in the car. I quickly snap an image from the screen of my car stereo and email it to my Evernote Email address with relevant tags and notebook titles in the subject line (@m for quick entry into the “music” notebook). Then once back at my desk, I add the songs to my Spotify account for continued enjoyment.

    Now with reminders, I am hopeful that Evernote will allow me to email actions to myself and set the due dates using the aforementioned subject-line intelligence.

  • Mysty

    I am currently doing NaNoWriMo and trying to figure out the logistics of using evernote for that and i am a tech idiot i have 2 laptops a desktop and an iphone5 and would like to get a tablet of some kind but dont know what would work best so i haven’t lol.