The Ultimate Guide to Creating Faster, More Effective Blog Posts With Evernote

Tips & Stories

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Faster, More Effective Blog Posts With Evernote

Posted by Michael Hyatt on 17 Apr 2015

Posted by Michael Hyatt on 17 Apr 2015

Michael Hyatt is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. He is also the founder of Platform University and the massively popular course, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. His blog gets almost a million page views a month.

This is how he uses Evernote to create and publish his blog posts with Evernote.

Evernote is one of the most versatile tools in my toolbox. I use it to store everything. What you may not know is that it is especially valuable as a blogging tool.

beginning-image-02

Over the course of my 11-year career as a blogger, I think I have tried almost every app available. I have captured ideas in a Moleskine Journal, jotted them down in various iPad apps, and stored them in desktop applications like Microsoft OneNote, SpringPad, and Google Docs.

However, I keep returning to Evernote.

Why? Three reasons:

1. It is super easy to use.
2. It works on all my devices.
3. It has built-in tools for collaboration.

I have found Evernote indispensable in accomplishing the six most common blogging tasks. In this post, I will share the first three, along with my favorite hacks—the tips and tricks that have enabled me to create faster, more effective posts. At the end of the post, I will tell you how to get the final three.

Task 1: Organizing

I have written extensively about how I organize Evernote.The bottom line is I don’t use a lot of notebooks. Instead, I rely on tags. I have found this system to be much more versatile. I discuss why in the post referenced above.

I start with one notebook called, “MH Content Resources.” This is the notebook I use for all my content not just blog posts. It is also a shared notebook, so I can use it in collaborating with my team. I’ll discuss that more in a minute.

I use the following tags. Note: My tags are all lowercase plural nouns (with one exception).

post ideas: These are raw, undeveloped ideas. I might have several a day—or none.
posts in process: These are posts that I am currently writing. They aren’t yet complete, but I have at least started the writing process.
published: These are posts that I have published on my blog or someone else’s blog or magazine.
archived posts: These are posts I have sent to my subscriber list.
anecdotes: These are personal stories that I capture even if I am not sure where I will use them.
illustrations: These are third-party stories or metaphors that I think might be helpful in making an abstract concept easier to understand.
jokes: These are humorous stories or simple jokes. I don’t often use these in my writing but they come in handy for speeches.
poems: These are poems that I think might be useful in various forms of content.
quotes: These are third party quotes I may want to use in a blog post, speech, or book. When possible, I cite the source.
statistics: These are interesting statistics that I may want to use as the basis of a post or as support for a point in a post.

I will illustrate how I use these tags in the rest of this post.

Task 2: Collecting

I use Evernote as my exclusive repository for new post ideas. Whenever I have a new idea—and that happens frequently—I simply store it in Evernote. I create one new note for each idea or potential blog post. I then apply the “post ideas” tag. For example:

Sometimes I simply enter a post title.

NozbeHyatt

Sometimes I enter the title and the seed of an idea.

UnlessPeoplePayAttention

Sometimes I enter the title and a rough outline.

4Reasons

Sometimes I enter a title and the quote that inspired it.

TyrannyTinyDesks

Sometimes I enter a title and a webpage that provides the idea or the research.

UpsidesofQuitting

Task 3: Searching

Whenever I turn a post ideas into an actual blog post, I apply the “posted” tag. This way it doesn’t show up when I am looking for new post ideas I haven’t already used previously. (The rationale will become clear once you understand how I construct my search logic.)

When you are ready to sit down and write, you typically want to begin by reviewing the post ideas you’ve collected. To do this I use a Saved Search. Here’s how to create one:

In the Evernote Search box, type the following, exactly as it is here:

tag:”post ideas” –tag:posted

Note: the quote marks around the phrase “post ideas” and the hyphen before the word, “tag.” Once you enter it, press “Enter.” This will give you a list of every note containing the “post ideas” tag but will exclude notes that contain the “posted” tag. Review the search results to make sure you got what you expected.

If the search didn’t work, then double-check what you have typed in the search box. Make sure you type it exactly as I have it above.

1. Now select Edit > Find > Save Search from the main menu. You will now be asked to name the search. Type in “Blog – Post Ideas” (or some other).

Nameofsavedsearch

2. Next time you want to search for your Post Idea, all you have to do is click in the Evernote search box. You will then see a dropdown list of all your saved searches. Simply select Blog – Post Ideas:

SearchEverything

3. To make it even easier, you can click and drag the Blog – Post Ideas saved search to the Shortcuts sidebar.

BlogPostIdeas

Conclusion

These are three of the six most common blogging tasks you can use Evernote to accomplish. However, I have created a special bonus containing all six. You can get it for free—but, you have to act today.

It’s called, Evernote Hacks for Bloggers: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Faster, More Effective Posts.

Evernote-Hacks-for-Bloggers-Full-Mockup

This is a free bonus for anyone who joins Platform University®, my exclusive membership site. The bonus contains the following components:

1. A 25-minute screencast in which I personally walk through exactly how I use Evernote as a blogger.

2. A PDF containing the six common blogging tasks you can use Evernote to accomplish. I also discuss how to use Evernote to collaborate with your team, write your posts, and archive your posts for future reference.

3. The Evernote blogging template I use to write all my posts. It will save you a massive amount of time. You can import this into Evernote and begin using it immediately.

Note: this bonus is available today only. It goes away at midnight tonight. You can learn more by clicking here to join.

I am sure I am just scratching the surface with Evernote. It is one of those tools that becomes more valuable the more you use it. Regardless, it is now the foundation of my blogging workflow. It has enabled me to produce better content faster than ever before. I couldn’t do half of what I do with out it.

If you have an additional Evernote blogging hack you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

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11 Comments RSS

  • Alice

    That’s a great article, thanks for sharing! Evernote is basically my brain and I use it both for University notes and my blog. Every Monday I publish a column where I gather a bunch of interesting articles I found around the web (this one will go in my next link party for sure!) during the week and I use Evernote Web Clipper to quickly save them in a dedicated notebook to easily find them when I write my article.

  • James Dvorak

    Great stuff!

    I’ll just mention here that blogging with EN is super easy when you use Postach.io. Check it out: http://postach.io

  • Cheryl

    I’m also not a big fan of notebooks, but I have so many tags that I have set up notebooks for main subjects, then any related tags will show up within those notebooks. For instance, in this case I would have a Blog notebook.

  • Peter B. Giblett

    I have been using Evernote for a long, long time to assist me with my article writing. I clip either whole pages or segments of pages to assist with research material, create and develop articles through Evernote, record ideas for future articles, and recently have stated publishing through Postach.io.

    The key element here is that if I am working on an idea through Evernote then I am never away from my article notes, if I have some time to spare e.g. waiting for a train, then I simply turn to my phone and continue developing the article.

  • Chuck Frey

    Thanks for the great system of tags to help keep my writing better organized in Evernote. I have implemented many of the tags you recommended, but with one important difference: I placed a period before each tag (e.g., .post ideas) so these most valuable tags will appear at the top of the list!

  • Jim Sewell

    No offense to Mr. Hyatt – good information in the article, seriously, thank you sir – but really Evernote? Has the blog gone from cool tips-and-tricks to mostly expensive “executive desk bling” and advertisements for paid marketing memberships? Sorry to be harsh but the blog has evolved over time to being something I dread in my email box. “What are they selling now?” I’m going to unsubscribe now. Please reconsider the direction of the blog.

    • Ryan

      I hate comments like this. They’re totally useless, because they criticize without providing any actual details about WTF they’re complaining about. I don’t see anything for sale here, I just see some good info on using Evernote to organize the editorial process for a blog. It might be a little on the simple side, and it might not apply to YOU, but your narcissistic whining is 10x more annoying. Glad to hear you’re unsubscribed and we won’t have to hear any more of this later.

  • Niklas

    That is a very thorough and brilliant Evernote system! Thanks so much for sharing! Too bad I missed the signup for Platform University.

  • Hunter

    This was extremely helpful even though I organize a different way. I had stopped using Evernote and am this post pushed me to pick it back up.

  • Nathan Ellering

    I loved this article and have referenced it quite a few times now. Evernote is awesome for blogging—especially if you’re on the go a lot (for me, it’s writing posts in airplanes and being too cheap to spend $10 a flight to get Internet).

    As a team at CoSchedule, we use Evernote for a lot of our marketing planning, too, so it’s nice to keep everything together/organized with notebooks.

    Anyway, if anyone is curious, there is a way to sync your Evernote notes (aka your blog posts) right into your WordPress blog through CoSchedule. Just thought it might be helpful to someone reading this! https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2015/06/16/plan-publish-and-promote-content-with-evernote-coschedule/

  • Geoff

    I. Love. Tags. They’re so much more agile than notebooks, and I think they’re so underused.