6 Benefits of Evernote for Bloggers (GUEST POST)

Whether you blog about marketing or cooking, Evernote has a lot to offer. As a suite of software and services focused on “notes,” Evernote gives you a tool to save any information you need, from sentences and photographs to webpages and voice memos. It syncs info across devices, makes organization easy, and saves you time. Have you thought about all the ways this tool can benefit bloggers? You should. Here are six specific ways to use Evernote to improve your blogging efforts:

Evernote Blog Template1. Build Common Templates: If you’re like most bloggers, you write posts that follow specific formats. For food bloggers, that might mean photos with text, followed by a list of ingredients and a list of directions. For business bloggers, that might mean an introduction, followed by main points in an outline. Whatever the case, if you use a common format, why not create a template that you can easily copy from and fill in when you write new posts? This makes your writing more efficient and your processes simpler.

2. Save Post Ideas as Notes: Make it easy to track ideas for blog post topics by saving them in Evernote as notes, with as much information as you can at the time. Whether you save the idea on your phone while you’re on the go, or on your computer while you work, the ideas get saved in one single place. Anywhere you access your Evernote account, you’ll find them. This means when you start writing a new post, you don’t have to waste time trying to drum up new topics or wrack your brain looking for that idea you had earlier: They’re all saved and waiting for you.

Evernote Blog Drafts3. Write Blog Drafts: Maybe you don’t have time to write a whole blog post, but you’ve got several topic ideas stored in Evernote and a half hour to kill. Start writing a rough draft for one of the topics and keep it saved there. When you are ready to publish a post, most of the work will already be done for you.

4. Save Inspirations: Read an article that you’d like to reference later? Save it to Evernote. Find a blogger who inspires you? Save the link to Evernote. With Evernote, you have an easy way to clip quotes, emails, Tweets, photos, links, articles, and more—all in one streamlined place. If you tag all of these notes with the same tag, like “inspirations,” for example, finding them is as simple as searching that word or phrase.

Evernote Stay Motivated Notebook5. Share Ideas with Co-Bloggers: If you blog with other authors, make it easy to share ideas with each other by doing it through Evernote. The tool lets you share all content publicly or share it particularly with the people you select on social networks or via email.

6. Stay Motivated: There’s a reason so many bloggers abandon their sites over time—without regular encouragement or results of some kind, blogging can get discouraging. Be proactive against these feelings by setting up a note dubbed “Encouragement” or “Comments from fans.” Whenever a reader emails or comments with an encouraging word, save it in your note. Then, when you face those feelings of inadequacy or frustration, remind yourself of what’s been good.

Your Thoughts

Do you already use Evernote? Why or why not? If you’re looking for a way to stay more organized and productive, there’s no better time to try Evernote than now. Download Evernote to your devices at Evernote.com today.

Guest author Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a Web development company with headquarters in Chicago, providing SEO, Web development and other online marketing services to B2B clients.

Ten iPad Business Apps You Need That Aren’t Evernote or Dropbox

If you’ve got an iPad, you’ve no doubt visited the App Store, and checked out one of the “iPad Essentials” lists for business, productivity, music, or any of the other must-have apps.

You’ve certainly read all the “Five (or Ten) Must-Have iPad Apps for Business Productivity” that all say you need Evernote, Dropbox, and the Kindle Reader. In fact, if those were the only articles you read about your iPad, you’d think there were only five apps ever made for it.

And because I’m tired of the same retreaded crap that appears in most 101-level articles, I tried to come up with ten iPad Business apps that are not Evernote or Dropbox.

iPad Screen Shot

  1. Type on PDF: This iOS app lets you open a PDF and type on it or sign it. If you’ve ever received a PDF without any form fields, but have Adobe Acrobat, you can drop in your form fields, fill it out, and send it back. Type on PDF lets you do this without using (or even owning) Acrobat on your laptop. The interface is a little cumbersome, but it sure beats messing around with Acrobat just to fill out a simple form. You can also add photos and draw on your PDFs.
  2. Docusign: If you just need to sign PDF documents, like a tax form or contract, use Docusign. I upload contracts and use it to get signatures from new clients. It can import documents from Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Evernote, and Salesforce, plus many others. Create your saved signature and drag it on to any document that needs it. It works just like Type on PDF in that it also lets you add text boxes, but it’s a little harder to do.
  3. Feedly: Now that Google Reader is going away, the big question is what feed reader should people switch to. I like Feedly because it works on my Android, my iPad, and my MacBook. It has a magazine-like layout, which makes it work more like Flipboard, but it imported my entire Google Reader account. Ziin is another possibility if you don’t like Feedly.
  4. Chrome: If you’re a serious Chrome user on your Mac or PC, you don’t need to give up the interactivity. Chrome for the iPad has saved my bacon a couple of times. For one thing, it syncs up all the passwords and bookmarks from my MacBook, which means I can use my iPad to access a website when I don’t have my laptop handy. For another, I can sync up open tabs from laptop to iPad too. That way, if I want to read something later, I just leave it open as a tab on my laptop, sync it, read it, and shut it down.
  5. Penultimate: Alright, I lied a little. There is something from Evernote on here, but it’s not actually Evernote. Penultimate is the pen-based note taking program. You can handwrite notes (which are searchable both in Penultimate and on your Evernote, regardless of where you use it), sketch ideas, and even color. But if you’re going to whine about it, then I’ll suggest Bamboo Paper from Wacom instead. It does the same exact thing, including sync up with Evernote. Both programs are available inside the Evernote Trunk.
  6. Moleskine: Another note taker, especially if you don’t want to use Evernote, or if you’re a Moleskine junkie. This is a typing and handwriting note taker, which lets you merge and upload notes as you take them. It’s especially cool if you don’t like the iPad Note’s yellow legal pad and cousin-to-Comic-Sans font.
  7. MindMeister: A great tool for visual thinkers whose ideas and brainstorming spans outside the traditional item-by-item of the list. Sketch out your ideas and create diagrams to illustrate them, then upload them to the MindMeister.com website for further access and sharing. MindMeister has a free version and a paid version.
  8. Drafts: A straight up text-only typing program, Drafts uses Markdown language for formatting. Markdown language is the big new formatting and writing language that’s used for cross-platform tablet writing. If you know it — and it’s simple to learn — you can write blog posts and articles on your iPad, and format them by surrounding headlines, bold, and italics with +’s and *’s. You can then upload the articles to your blog or website. I’ve used it to cover WNBA basketball games in the past, and may give it a shot at the Indianapolis 500 this year.
  9. Countdown Star: I have to confess a family tie here: my brother-in-law created Countdown Star. It lets you set times and dates of special events, like holidays, conferences, birthdays, and anniversaries, or other important dates like the one I entered, “Pitchers and catchers report.” Countdown is available in a free or paid version, and works on iPad and iPhone.
  10. News Republic: If you read a lot of news, you have a couple choices: tap through different news apps like NPR, USA Today, and your local news apps, or scroll through News Republic. This app pulls in news stories from all over in a variety of different topics, including news, politics, sports, science, tech, and entertainment, plus others. It’s a nice alternative to Flipboard because it gathers from news sources I’ve never even heard of.

So how’d we do? Any apps you’ve never heard of? Any good ones we missed? What outstanding iPad business apps do you use that don’t appear on any “Essential Business Apps Everyone Has Already Heard of” list?