IF YOU’VE BEEN A READER of mine for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of Evernote. I use Evernote for journaling (it has replaced all other journaling apps), storing files and correspondence, recipes, travel, blog posts, articles I want to read, and much, much more. In fact, I am writing this article on Evernote as I wait to board a flight to Phoenix. And, as this title indicates, Evernote also does a great job of capturing and organizing research.
At its essence, Evernote is a cross-platform, cloud-based note-taking application. Notes can include text, voice recordings, images, and all types of file attachments. You can organize your notes in notebooks or by “tags,” otherwise known as keywords. I use a combination of the two.
[Tweet “Evernote makes capturing pictures, audio, ideas, and web pages in one place a snap.”]
I thought about creating a video about Evernote but, instead, used Evernote to capture research for this article. (I mean, why recreate the wheel — right?) Here is a short YouTube video that pretty well sums up what Evernote is and what it can do:
One of the things I love most about Evernote is that it is truly cross platform, operating nearly identically on my computer, tablet, phone, and web browser applications. I can access it anywhere and any-when I want, providing I have access to the Internet. And if I don’t have access? No problem. I can always take a folder offline.
Today, I’d like to share how Evernote can be used to capture, organize, and store research.
My primary Evernote research gathering tool is the Evernote Web Clipper. An extension, it embeds itself into my web browser and allows me, at the click of a button, to save an entire web page, article, a simplified version of the article (no images or links), or a screen capture. These are stored in any research folder, along with any keywords, I designate. I clip web articles and pages, note ideas, and keep track of books and other research sources and store them all in in Evernote.
This one-minute promo video demonstrates the basics of how the Evernote Web Clipper works:
And finally, as a brief example of Evernote’s capabilities and for your entertainment, is a YouTube video about how to use Evernote to capture research. It’s humorous — and created back in 2011 — but the concepts outlined here still apply:
As you can see, capturing pictures, audio notes, general information, and web pages and keeping them together in one place is a snap. In addition to capturing research materials and ideas, you can easily create a table of contents with hyperlinks to all of the notes included in a particular notebook (or tagged for particular research), as well as create hyperlinks within one note that link to other notes.
Perhaps best of all, the basic subscription level is completely free. I have upgraded to the premium level because I like some of the perks, but the basic level provides enough features for most writers I know.
What do you think?
Do you use Evernote? If so, I’d love to hear how you use it to enhance your writing and journaling. If you don’t use Evernote, how do you currently organize your research?