Blog planning with Evernote made easy with these tips for beginners.
Last week, I wrote a blog on how I have been using Evernote to organize my household to-dos. From the feedback I got I noticed that many people have already heard about Evernote but they only have an idea of how it can be used. There is still unclarity about ways to put its theory into practice.
I have to admit that I am not an expert in the service. But after I started using it for saving my insurance documents, I began to search for other possibilities. I wanted to know why the hype behind Evernote. Why everybody was talking about it as THE tool to rule them all.
The truth is that a lot of best-practices can only be learned against a price. There are amazing courses out there. But if you are not even sure whether it is really for you or not, why should you invest in any of them in first place? There are also some ebooks. Some with great reviews, others have not so enthusiastic ones.
In the middle of this ocean of information, I began to develop my own “best-practices”. Similarly to my organization list, it is still a work in progress, but so far it is working smoothly. It is possible thought that if you check my structure in a couple of months, it will look completely different. But today these are the guidelines I have been implementing and that are helping me become more and more productive every day.
Evernote for blogging
The questions I received last week came all from fellow bloggers. Therefore, I will write this article basing myself in the assumption that understanding the benefits of planning and managing content is what my readers are most interested in. Should you have curiosity about other applications, please leave me a comment below.
I have basically two stacks that I use for editorial purposes. For those who never used Evernote, stacks are a group of notebooks related to similar subjects group, or ‘stacked’, together.
One of these stacks is related entirely to Debbie in Shape content. Its name and of all its notebooks start with [DiS] that stands for Debbie in Shape. It is also the same naming standard I use on my Pinterest boards (call it brand consistency).My other content related stack I named “Professional”. So far it has been enough to differentiate them. I do not store any information related to my day job on Evernote. So there is no way I can mix my contacts related to social media with those of my full-time job.
Let’s focus on the [DiS] notebooks:
[DiS] Blog Post Categories
On this notebook I have one note for each of the sub-categories I write about. Please refer to my article on editorial calendar to read more about these categories.
Those notes contain the SEO keywords, tags and descriptions that I like to streamline throughout related posts. They all receive 2 tags: one with the name of the category they relate to and another for their correspondent subcategory.
On one of his many amazing articles about Evernote, Michael Hyatt mentions that he does not use capitals when naming tags. I have to admit that I am not consistent about it though. The choice is up to you. As a rule of thumb, my categories are in capitals while the rest is not.
[DiS] Blog Post Ideas
I do A LOT of content curation on a daily basis. Debbie in Shape is a one-man (better, one-woman) show. I am the sole responsible for collecting information, writing, editing, creating images, promoting, replying to comments, checking stats, you name it. Sometimes I sleep too, but it does not happen frequently.
It is not rare that I come across an article that inspires me somehow. Or I have an idea of a post for a certain category, but it will not be before weeks when I will be writing about it again (as per my editorial calendar). To avoid it getting lost, I create one notebook per new topic I want to write about.
When the time comes for me to write about that subject, I can simply search for my outlines. Or, if I am pretty sure of the date when that entry will be posted, I can set a due date on the notebook. Instead of using the publish date as reference, I plan it at least one week in advance to start producing the article.
[DiS] Blog Posts
The difference between [DiS] Blog Post Ideas and [DiS] Blog Posts is that the first serves as a repository of ideas as the name implies. I think of a topic and get inspiration from somewhere, I save it under that notebook. On [DiS] Blog Posts I collect data to be used on the spot.
Even though I plan and write my posts way beforehand, I still maintain room for unforeseen events. One good example was the past 2 weeks. Because I had more “bad” days than “good” ones, my schedule got totally messed up. I spent the last week in pure survival mode. I was writing but barely answering the comments or returning visits. This week I will even refrain myself from joining link parties so that I can be the caring blogger I prefer to be. It happens to all of us.
In times like these, no matter how many posts you have scheduled, if you do not maintain the same rhythm, you will run out of “stock”. So there comes the day when you have to come up with an article on the spot or just a couple of days in advance.
For that, I use the tools mentioned in the SEO Hangout on Air and put a blog together based on fresh research. I take the scheduled topic from the editorial calendar, use the related SEO keywords and start writing the blog pitch on Evernote.I have other notebooks under my [DiS] stack, but these are the main ones I use for blog planning.
My notebooks for post planning are tagged using the same logic as the ones under Blog Categories. This way they are easy to find when I need them. The consistent usage of tags is your best ally in Evernote.
You should never fear creating too many notebooks. As long as you develop a linear tagging system, you will find them without problems. You will also notice that you will waste less time going through data if they are separated.
I use a similar principal that Mike Stelzner, CEO and founder of the Social Media Examiner, mentions on a recent Hangout on Air from the Social Media Marketing Society. As he suggests to his team sending 5 emails with 1 single question instead of 1 with 5 questions to facilitate faster feedback; I also prefer to have a one-to-one relationship between my Evernote notes and blog posts.
Taking about the Social Media Marketing Society, enrollment ends next week! If you want to learn from the best for an affordable price (I did some research before joining and I guarantee you that $40 a month for the trainings that you get is nothing), join us today (affiliate link, read disclaimer below).
All my tips above apply for both free and paid Evernote services. The most important difference, at least in my case, is the monthly upload limit. If you prefer tools such as Google Drive or Dropbox to store your files, you may have all that you need with the free version of Evernote. As I am all for consolidating tools and tasks, I opted to have the great majority of my info on Evernote.
What are your blog planning with Evernote tips?
Please let me know if I can help you further with Evernote tips. If I can share any ideas that will save you time for yourself, help you get organized and lessen your stress, I will be glad to lend you a hand.
Once your planning set, it is time to write your blog post. For in depth insights on how to effectively write a blog in Evernote, I recommend the awesome article of Nathan Ellering for CoSchedule blog: How To Use Evernote For Blogging To Boost Your Efficiency. He goes through the process step by step and I am sure you will love it as much I did.
I’m joining the following link parties with this blog:
Have a very productive week!
* You can also find me on:
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Debbieinshape/ (em português)
Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. However, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Thank you, in advance for your support!