Tuesday, December 28, 2010

8 ways with Evernote, for communicators

Last year, a couple of my freelance writers asked whether I use Evernote, so I explored it--and found lots of possibilities for my personal life and my business. Now, I'm an affiliate, and I include an Evernote "clip" button at the end of blog posts so you can save them directly to your Evernote notebooks. Communicators, in particular, can use Evernote effectively. Here are 8 ways to use Evernote that I recommend to my clients:
  1. News coverage clippings:  Doesn't matter whether your good news appeared in a screenshot online, in a hard-copy publication, on the radio or on a television broadcast.  Clip and save it, or scan the hard copy it into Evernote using one of several compatible scanners. (I like the portable Doxie scanner or the Droid Scan app, both of which know how to send what you scan to Evernote--or take a picture with your phone, using one of Evernote's mobile apps for iPhone or Android phones.)  Once you've captured it in Evernote, it's searchable and accessible, whether you're online, on your desktop app or on your mobile device. And if you need to share that clip, or an entire notebook of them, you can do so by emailing them from Evernote, or giving others access to your notebook electronically.
  2. Pre-interview briefing package: Getting an expert ready for a media interview?  Scan, clip or save all the relevant articles, videos and notes you've created--from talking points to your insights about a particular reporter--then give your expert access to the notes to have handy during an interview, and for advance preparation.  If you've already been saving string for this interview, just search Evernote and pull the relevant items into a notebook to share.  You can email a series of notes in one email, or give (and later remove) access to a full notebook through sharing and permissions. (Go ahead and do the same for the reporter if you like.)
  3. Archiving your tweets.  Follow @myEN to get a link that will let you log into Evernote and link your Twitter account; you can also send tweets to @myEN to store them. 
  4. Crisis background at your fingertips:  If you take the time to scan, clip or save the background you might need in a crisis--from talking points to core documents--you can have immediate access to them in Evernote, just by searching keywords. And if you have the mobile app, you can run that crisis pressroom from your phone, expanding your abilities under fire or on the road.
  5. Writing:  You have scraps of ideas, outlines, half-written drafts, notes from your editor, the memo from last year that you're supposed to remake (but not too much) for this year's version, eight news releases' worth of background information.  Scan or clip them all into Evernote where they can get searched, revised and referred to wherever you are.  Writing's one of my favorite tasks to do within Evernote. Never toss another idea or inspiration again.  You can tag extensively, which makes your ability to search more effective. Check out how best-selling author Tim Ferriss used Evernote to write his latest book, The 4-Hour Body.
  6. Networking:  One of the simplest and most useful ways to use Evernote is to take a photo of a new contact at a conference--and once it's in Evernote, you can even search the text on a nametag in a photo.  Evernote's mobile apps include special photo functions, so you can snap and save in one click.  You can do the same with business cards.
  7. Brainstorming scrapbooks or storyboards:  You can pull images, video, music, and text from sources that inspire you, then organize them into a cohesive outline, storyboard or notebook full of ideas--and share them with your team, too.
  8. Competitive assessment:  Keeping tabs on your competitor's (er, colleague's) website, news platform, latest speeches, YouTube channel?  Save the inspiration and notes that will help you make the case to tackle those things anew in Evernote.  You can save entire web pages, or select portions of them; if Evernote's on your desktop, a right-click will bring up a menu that includes a one-click "Add to Evernote" option.
You can follow the Evernote blog, where they're sharing how other communicators, designers and others are using the service, and the trunk, in which you can find pre-populated notebooks as well as compatible devices and apps to make you even more efficient.  Premium service lets you store more capacity in more formats, makes PDFs searchable, adds secure encryption and lets you offer others the chance to edit your notes to make this a collaboration tool.  Let me know how you're using this versatile tool.

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