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How to Use Evernote to Plan Your Blogging

How to Use Evernote to Plan Your Blogging


    I’ve been an avid user of Evernote for quite some time–heck, I even used it exclusively to plan my book!

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    As I got back into blogging regularly, I realized I needed to also get back into planning, scheduling, and organizing my posts and my thoughts. Evernote, it turns out, was a perfect solution. If you’re like most people in the world, “blogging” is a second- or third-priority item, after your 9-5 job. While many people want to blog, maintaining a steady schedule and still finding the time to write can be challenging.

    Basically, Evernote is a multi-platform program that allows you to keep virtual “notebooks” close at hand. You create notebooks and notes, and you’re given a set amount of space per month free of charge (the premium versions allow for additional storage space). Here’s a rundown of what Evernote has to offer bloggers:

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    • Multi-platform. I have a MacBook Pro and an Android phone, but at work I use a PC. I want to be sure I can take my notes on any device–whatever I’m currently using.
    • Syncing. Evernote is awesome at syncing between devices. I’ve never had an issue getting my notes I’ve taken on my phone or my MacBook Pro to my PC at work, or vice-versa.
    • Flexible. Other than organizing by a hierarchical “tree”-style of notes inside of notebooks, Evernote doesn’t care how you use it. Name your notes and notebooks anything from blog/website titles to website addresses.
    • Great, working design. Since I’m a Mac user, this one’s important. I haven’t found any bugs or any design stumbling blocks in Evernote–it seems to work as well as I’d hoped!

    So, how have I been using Evernote to increase my productivity when it comes to my blog?

    Specifically, I’ve been using it to both schedule (and sometimes write) my posts and organize my general thoughts. Instead of just writing everything into an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document, I can create a notebook called “LiveHacked.com” (the name of my site), with sub-notebooks. Here is a list of the sub-notebooks I find helpful:

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    • Blog Post Ideas.” This notebook helps me keep a running list of blog post headlines and topics. I come across some cool ideas during the workday, and need a place to write them down (if I don’t write it down, it won’t happen!). I can tweak the headlines, add/remove them, and just get a basic idea of how they’ll look.
    • Blog Post Categories.” For the planning stage of any blog, it’s important to know what categories you’ll be posting under. I like to have a few notes set aside where I can manage my category landing pages. This improves my on-site SEO, but it also makes my blog much more navigable for my users.
    • Blog Posts.” This notebook has any current posts or snippets that I want to keep track of. Usually I can just open WordPress and type a post draft, but it’s sometimes easier to not have to log in, navigate to my posts, etc. Plus, Evernote works while I’m offline (it’s a downloadable app), so I don’t need to have an internet connection until I’m ready to sync.
    • Calendar.” I like to keep a schedule of my posts, both for my site and for guest posts on other sites. I’m in the middle of a large guest-posting campaign, so it’s adamant that I know when and where my writing will go live around the web, so I can link/share it with my networks and be around to follow up with commenters.
    • SEO.” At one point I had an SEO notebook (I don’t use it much anymore–now it’s on a spreadsheet) that I used to track my backlinks, keywords, and SEO for my site. It was nice to be able to add a quick link when I was at work and came across a site that I could target for a backlink.

    There are numerous other ways I’ve used Evernote for blogging, but these are probably the main things most people could get use out of. Again, Evernote isn’t the only solution for blog management, but I find it absolutely wonderful. It’s dead-simple to use, and includes a wide array of helpful tips and tricks to keep you productive.

    If you haven’t ever tried it, give it a shot sometime — and leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

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    (Photo credit: On-line Blog Concept via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

    Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

    Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

    Conflicts are literally everywhere.

    Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

    Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

    Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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    Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

    Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

    Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

    The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

    Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

    Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

    How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

    Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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    Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

    Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

    How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

    Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

    Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

    Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

    How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

    Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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    Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

    Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

    How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

    Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

    Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

    Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

    How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

    Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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    Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

    Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

    How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

    Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

    Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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