Using EverNote

Instructional Technologist Judy Brophy found a great post about how one academic is using Evernote for serious writing, and I thought that our group might be interested in his process.

A Method for Using Evernote for Serious Writing

This method of approaching writing with Evernote takes advantage of the application’s structured organizational system. While this might seem restrictive, it’s also a tremendously powerful mechanism for dividing up a larger project. Here’s one method for organizing your thoughts as during the writing process:

Create a New Notebook

Notebooks are a smaller collection of your notes, and act like a folder for your various documents.

To Create a New notebook, start by creating a new note. Find the New Note button in the lower left hand corner:


Next press the blue arrow in the notebook line, and create a new notebook by filling in the empty “create notebook” field


Press the “Add” button on the left hand side of the pop-up menu


Create a Standard Set of Notes

Now that you have a notebook created for your writing project, let’s create a standard set of notes to work on. As your work progresses you can change or modify any of these notes at any time. All of your changes will be saved, and you’ll be able to access these notes from any computer that has an internet connection.

To Create a new note, start with the same procedure above, and press the “New Note.” Button.

A new note will pop up, and here you can give your note a title, add it to a specific notebook, and add tags (these are search terms).


Repete this process until you have created the following notes:

  • To Do – Tasks or Items that you need your attention during the writing process
  • Time Line – Here you can rough-out the time line for your process, specific dates or times for meetings or deadlines
  • References – An ongoing list of book titiles, authors, articles. This is a great place to keep works cited page running
  • Notes – A general notes page for items that need your attention in some way
  • Writer’s Notebook – A flexible workspace / writing space for meta level thoughts or ideas
  • Draft Chapters / Sections – For each chapter or section create a new note with your fleshed-out writing
  • Communication Records – Any records (email, phone calls, meetings) about meetings that need to be documented

Now that you have your notebooks in place, you can edit, update, or change any of them from your ipad, smart phone, or any computer with internet access. You can also easily copy and paste the text into a word document later when you’re ready to format your document and prepare it for submission or publication.

You may well find that this partitioned method of writing makes you uncomfortable, with it’s rigid structure. Similarly, you might find that the structure of this method allows you to focus on your writing first, and on the formatting and nitty-gritty details later. The best part of this method is that you’re not going to loose your work, or be forced to carry around a specific flash-drive or computer. You can add a single “To Do” item while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, or you can crank out a whole section of your writing at the coffee shop or in your office.