I’d heard of people using Evernote in lieu of a handy-dandy paper notebook, and as a way to collect research, but I’d never taken the initiative to explore what this free software has to offer until this week. And I’m glad I did!
Evernote is a program that you can use to type notes, save web pages, emails, pictures, documents, etc. Because it’s an app, you can access it using an array of devices, and because the information is all kept in a cloud, you can access it from anywhere as well. The best thing? You can access it even if you don’t have wireless or 4g at that exact second, because your computer or device will upload the new information the next time it does have access.
Here’s a brief explanatory video:
Why is this handy for writers?
1.) Late Night Ideas: If you get a late night idea, instead of hopping out of bed and kicking the light on to write it down in a notebook, you can simply fumble on the nightstand for your iPhone/Kindle Fire/ Android device and type the idea down. Voila.
2.) Ideas in Inopportune Places: Ditto above, if you’re in a car, a restaurant, on the subway, at your kid’s soccer game, or a party. You get the idea. You can write your ideas down anywhere and they’ll be available for you later (from anywhere). Plus, if you’re driving and don’t have two hands handy (ok, that’s just cheesy), you can record your idea on your iPhone or voice recorder and upload it later.
3.) Research for your Novel: Most people have to do a certain amount of research when writing a novel. Whether it’s how a crime scene is run (crime-fic/ mystery), what people wore in the 18th century (historical fic), etc. Using evernote, you can save every webpage you find that’s helpful, and even organize them into themes.
4.) Reviewing documents/chapters: When you’re away from home, you can pull up a critique partner’s critique, review your latest chapter, or view your latest outline.
5.) Organization: You can save pdfs of anything in Evernote, so you can upload receipts for writing related expenditures, pictures of a city you’re going to feature in your novel, or a scan of that agent or writer’s business card from your last conference. The possibilities are endless.
My absolute favorite thing about Evernote: It’s free!
If you use Evernote, please let me know how you use it in the comments. If there are other apps or software you like better (or in addition to Evernote), let me know that too!