Be a better writer with Evernote


In the late 1940s, Jack Kerouac wrote his iconic Beat-era novel “On the Road” in a series of notebooks. In 1951, he typed the manuscript out on a continuous 120-foot scroll of paper. It took him three weeks and, as legend has it, a friend’s dog ate the original ending.

More than six decades later, the laptop holds court where the typewriter once reigned. We still carry trusty notebooks, but now we can easily digitize the words within to keep them safe. The tools have evolved, but the need to turn ideas into written words is still vital to work and life.

You may say you’re not a writer. But if you have a job that requires communicating with others, you are. If you keep a to-do list, that’s writing. If you draft a project plan, report or meeting agenda, that’s writing. And, if you’re like most writers, you want to be more skilled at using your words.

Evernote is a boon for writers of every stripe. Even a few low-tech Luddites we know use it in tandem with their handwritten words. Here’s how it can support your writerly efforts:

1. Phone it in. If you haven’t downloaded Evernote for mobile, be like Neil Gaiman and do it today so you can capture ideas on the fly: in the office, waiting in line, sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

2. Do your research. Acclaimed writer Susan Orlean loves Evernote for collecting research. We do, too. Got Web Clipper? Start using it on the regular to clip and curate what you find online.

3. Nurture an idea. Put a germ of an idea in Evernote and keep adding to it ‘til you’re ready to write. Along with your words, gather related web clips, emails, Word docs, and PDFs in a single note or multiple notes in a notebook.

4. Make an outline. Many a grade school research paper would have gone nowhere without an outline. And so it is for grownups. If you’re stuck, outline the sections of your writing project in a note. From there, it’s easier to complete a draft.

5. Don’t lose your notes. Our Scannable app makes quick work of handwritten notes. Grab a quick scan of meeting notes or other spontaneous scrawls and add them to the appropriate notebook, where you can work with them later.

Evernote isn’t just for taking notes. It’s for shaping great ideas into accomplishments. How do you use Evernote for writing? Share your advice in comments.


82 thoughts on “Be a better writer with Evernote”

  1. Excellent post Amir. I think I’ve heard of Evernote, but I’ve never actually tried it. I’m excited to. Thanks for writing this excellent post. How’s your book coming?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Evernote is my favorite app. An Acquiring editor asked me to outline 10 chapters of a prospective handmade diy book, with only 5 week days notice before deadline, and I not only had a 40 hour work week, plus relatives visiting for three of those days. I did most of the rough outline in Evernote on my iphone at my day job, then a final draft on my Mac the last night before submission. That week was sheer craziness, and though the publishing team liked my writing, they chose another book instead. It was good practice, and Evernote had my back.

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  3. I have ever note but I never use it. I know it would probably import information into my writing software too but I am not sure I know how to accurately use it UGH! I need to get with it. I just feel so inadequate with some of these technologies! Some are so great and so are seem too advanced for me. AND I’m only 31 geesh! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh geesh, now I’m worried, 😁. I gotta shake my comfort with technology I was a wiz until this last few years. I got too comfortable with my certain tech pieces and though I have upgraded I’m slow to do so…I’m paying for it now

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      2. Gee thanks…son! Don’t get missing like a kid does though, I dodge my parents like a virus when they start asking for tech help because it’s like ALL the time, LMBO

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      3. Not yet! I consider myself as such from the sheer amount I have written and a lovely 80 page project I had to write in my masters course. Moreover, I am currently writing a book. I believe we are what we believe ourselves to be (within reason) I am a RULER…but only over my household BWAHAHA It is a Christocrisy (as my name is Chris

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      4. That is true but that then again many native people struggle with grammar and we which is universal. Believe me if you write a novel and you have really great friends and/ or editors they will help you with the small ‘native’ issues they are never usually as bad as you think they are. I have many foreign friends and though we can ‘tell’ they are foreign it just makes them different and more colorful/ refreshing (like your writing and views of things) not necessarily a barrier that people do not understand.


      5. I could but I would rather, not assume, LOL I’m guessing Middle Eastern by your last name alone…But there are many beautiful countries where that could be. Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and so on…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ahh ok, well I became obsessed with London for the a similar reason JK Rowling it was the setting of her books. It also happens to be the setting of many books I read now. I must see it now.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. no my husband and I live here, uniquely we live in a small town where our whole family lives quite close by in a 10- 20 min range. I’m 1 of 11 kids. My family is huge!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well as I am writing I am learning that I will be doing quite a bit of individual retreat work so I can concentrate and focus. That many people are not always conducive to a writer’s sanity, LMBO

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I say to them that I am though, I do not always feel like it, but I suppose many writers do not, even after they are holding the published work in their hands. It’s because for them it is not about writing but creating and entertaining. So maybe I am more of an artist which combines it all. How about you? Have you ever been published?

        Liked by 1 person

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