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