Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Using Evernote with your freelancers: 5 ways

If you're like me, you think of a program like Evernote as your own private stash, an internal resource/goldmine/backup system that only you use. But it was one of my freelance writers who turned me on to Evernote a couple of years ago, so I knew from the start that it also can be an outstanding tool for collaboration. Here are some of the ways you might consider putting Evernote to work with your freelance writers, artists, designers and other pros:
  1. Share source material: For freelancers who write recurring features for me, we put source material into a shared notebook to which we both have access in Evernote. It includes a list of story ideas as well as material clipped from various sources on the Web, from photos and video to articles. Opening access to materials can save time for both of you--no need to call or email to ask or share. This works well enough that I'm planning to open more notebooks (fair warning, freelancers). You can email notebooks to freelancers right from Evernote, or just change the settings to give them access.
  2. Share drafts and ancillary material:  I can review and make notes on draft articles, and receive everything from video and audio notes to photos to accompany the text, all in Evernote. If I have a thought on the fly, I can use my smartphone and the Evernote app to record an audio note and send it right into that notebook. And now that Evernote's Android app has a speech-to-text feature that transcribes while retaining the recording, no one needs to transcribe my note.
  3. Forward correspondence: You get a special email address with Evernote, so you can forward emails you receive (or anything else) right into your notebooks. Emails sent to this address go to your default notebook, but you can direct them to other notebooks just by adding @[NOTEBOOK NAME] to the subject line. (You can tag them by adding #[TAG NAME], too.) Want to save yourself a step? Give the Evernote email address to your freelancers and let them send correspondence to a pre-designated notebook.
  4. Track and send invoices: I keep files for each freelancer with her invoices and a spreadsheet that tracks payments. Some email the invoices into my Evernote files; others have shared notebooks and just keep the invoicing updated by adding a new one to the notebook.
  5. Samples and portfolios: A couple of smart freelancers have shared their notebooks full of samples for me to review--and if they're as smart as I think they are, those notebooks are customized to particular potential clients. If I were still a freelance writer, I'd also keep Evernote notebooks of my work, arranged by subject, style and length, just for good measure. The contents are synchronized as you add items to the notebook, so it's a great way to have a standing portfolio of your work that's updated automatically. If you don't want to give potential clients direct access, you can publish your samples notebook to the web, hosted by Evernote, and send a URL to those needing to see your samples.
Do you use Evernote or something similar with your freelancers? When you sign up and log in to a free Evernote account using my link, you'll get a free month of its Premium service.

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