Put it in Writing: Be a Better Writer With Evernote

Tips & Stories

Put it in Writing: Be a Better Writer With Evernote

Posted by Kristina Hjelsand on 14 May 2015

Posted by Kristina Hjelsand on 14 May 2015

In the late 1940s, Jack Kerouac wrote his iconic Beat-era novel “On the Road” in a series of notebooks. In 1951, he typed the manuscript out on a continuous 120-foot scroll of paper. It took him three weeks and, as legend has it, a friend’s dog ate the original ending.

More than six decades later, the laptop holds court where the typewriter once reigned. We still carry trusty notebooks, but now we can easily digitize the words within to keep them safe. The tools have evolved, but the need to turn ideas into written words is still vital to work and life.

You may say you’re not a writer. But if you have a job that requires communicating with others, you are. If you keep a to-do list, that’s writing. If you draft a project plan, report or meeting agenda, that’s writing. And, if you’re like most writers, you want to be more skilled at using your words.

Evernote is a boon for writers of every stripe. Even a few low-tech Luddites we know use it in tandem with their handwritten words. Here’s how it can support your writerly efforts:

1. Phone it in. If you haven’t downloaded Evernote for mobile, be like Neil Gaiman and do it today so you can capture ideas on the fly: in the office, waiting in line, sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

2. Do your research. Acclaimed writer Susan Orlean loves Evernote for collecting research. We do, too. Got Web Clipper? Start using it on the regular to clip and curate what you find online.

3. Nurture an idea. Put a germ of an idea in Evernote and keep adding to it ‘til you’re ready to write. Along with your words, gather related web clips, emails, Word docs, and PDFs in a single note or multiple notes in a notebook.

4. Make an outline. Many a grade school research paper would have gone nowhere without an outline. And so it is for grownups. If you’re stuck, outline the sections of your writing project in a note. From there, it’s easier to complete a draft.

5. Don’t lose your notes. Our Scannable app makes quick work of handwritten notes. Grab a quick scan of meeting notes or other spontaneous scrawls and add them to the appropriate notebook, where you can work with them later.

Evernote isn’t just for taking notes. It’s for shaping great ideas into accomplishments. How do you use Evernote for writing? Share your advice and tips in the comments.


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11 Comments RSS

  • Giacomo Lawrance

    Thanks for this! Love Evernote loads!

    • Taylor Pipes

      Thank you very much for the compliment, Giacomo!

  • Mike

    Scannable is only for the iPhone. You do have customers that use Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. So maybe you should list a app that works on all our multiple apps for the multiple formats that use your product…..

    • Jacob Wall

      I agree wholeheartedly with this. It just isn’t like Evernote to leave a customer stranded… Especially when we WANT to use their products and their products alone.

    • Dennis Akers

      Scannable is on iPad too and works brilliantly!

  • Peter

    Need the digital handwriting capabilities that MS OneNote has had for years.

  • tim

    Thanks for the advice. But as a freelance writer, I find the lack of zoom in / out feature when reading notes in Evernote a sore pain when using the app. It should have been included long ago. Unfortunately we still do not have it, nor have any inkling as to when it might be added. I have my fingers crossed. A quick checking in the forum reveals that many users have complained about this lacked feature. Is Evernote listening.

  • Aaron

    Great points. I use Evernote in every aspect of my day whether it be personal journaling to public writing.

    I wrote an article on how to be productive with Evernote that may be useful: http://aaronvick.com/?p=102

  • Yolanda Shoshana

    Will Scannable coming to Android?

  • Kris

    Scannable App works great. Is there a possibility of Evernote integrating a text conversion feature within it?

    Thank You.

  • JD Sherling

    For a number of years I used Evernote and then finally upgraded to Premium. There are vast benefits, even in the free version. But the best benefit is the Evernote Blog. Love it absolutely. Great company. Have you gone public yet?