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How To Save All That Useful Online Content

How To Save All That Useful Online Content

Evernote is my favorite app, and I’m beyond excited to write about it for Lifehack. When you really get the hang of it, Evernote becomes an indispensable tool that’s far more than the note-taking app it’s most commonly billed as. One of its most useful features is its ability to save online content that you acquire either for fun or for professional purposes. Gathering research through the app has some limitations, but by utilizing other tools along with Evernote the service is a near-perfect way to save content online. Here are explanations of Evernote’s strengths and weaknesses, along with those of the app Pocket, culminating in what they can accomplish together.

What Evernote Can Do

Evernote is, at its core, a collection of notes that you’ve accumulated over time. You can create a note on Evernote manually, but what makes it really game changing is its ability to clip pages from the web or an app straight into your cloud account. With a browser extension it only takes the click of a button to save online content to your collection. If used properly, Evernote can house an encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge that’s all easy to access. You can assign topics you’re researching to single notes, notebooks, or stacks of notebooks, depending on how wide-reaching the subject is.

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What Evernote Can’t Do

Even though I’m a self-professed Evernote evangelist, I can recognize its imperfections. The biggest one when it comes to saving online content is that when you clip a web page, sometimes Evernote will send you more than just the text. Wonky formatting from the page you clipped it from might come with it, leaving you with an odd-looking note.

What Pocket Can Do

Pocket (formerly Read It Later) is a web service that “pockets” web pages for future reading. You can add a Pocket extension to your browser, making it simple to save a page you’re reading on your computer. It’s almost as easy to add content to your smartphones or tablets. If you copy a URL on your mobile device and open Pocket, you’ll be asked if you want to add the content from your link to Pocket. Thankfully, Pocket almost never includes formatting from the web page that you clipped. The contents of pages in Pocket are strictly limited to text, photos, and videos. It’s the perfect way to read something on a tablet, smartphone, or computer.

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What Pocket Can’t Do

Pocket doesn’t have a built-in file structure like Evernote. Sadly, organization is basically restricted to tags, and tagging is an acquired skill that not everybody is equipped with. I’m certainly not, which makes organizing my research in Pocket largely ineffective. You also can’t edit the contents of the articles you’ve saved into Pocket, which essentially limits the app to a read-only service.

What Evernote With Pocket Can Do

When you combine the services of Evernote and Pocket, things really start to take off. If you’re saving web content I recommend sending pages to Pocket first. Pocket is where you want to read the article before you get to editing. Once you’ve read it, use the Evernote web clipper to put it into your Evernote account. Once it’s there you can modify the text and add notes and annotations, as well as drop it into Evernote’s more organized Notes/Notebooks/Stacks file system. When it comes to collecting information on the web, whether it be for research or pleasure, Evernote plus Pocket is the perfect one-two punch.

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What Evernote With Pocket Can’t Do

As advanced as the features of Evernote combined with Pocket are, they can’t do your web browsing or research for you, so get to work!

Featured photo credit: The Unquiet Library via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

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Last Updated on August 29, 2018

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

1. 750words

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750 words

    750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

    750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

    750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

    2. Ohlife

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    ohlife

      Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

      Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

      3. Oneword

      oneword

        OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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        Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

        4. Penzu

          Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

          With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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          5. Evernote

          Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

          Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

          For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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