If writing is inconvenient, I won’t do it. I need tools that allow writing to slip into my life without much fuss. I have a pretty traditional preference when writing: pen and paper. But even with half a dozen notebooks, folders, and binders, I like to take advantage of what technology’s out there. One app I use regularly is Evernote.
With two jobs, I have to be able to access my writings when I hop from computer to computer. I also need my writing accessible from my home PC. Evernote relies on its cloud-based storage, so I can log into one computer, type up something, and then continue the same document later at another computer. The web version works within any browser and offers a basic range of writing tools. There’s also a desktop version that operates as its own program. This version contains some additional features for fine-tuning the writing, including the ability to choose what’s synced to the cloud. This version is also useful for laptops with varying connectivity: you can write using Evernote while offline and then synchronize the data across all platforms once you regain an Internet connection.
Inspiration doesn’t always come when I’m at my desk. I need to be able to build upon preexisting writings while on the go. Using the Evernote app on my phone has been invaluable. Almost daily I find myself jotting down some ideas in line at the grocery, waiting for an appointment, or while at the gym. Then I can continue my progress once I log into any computer with Internet access.
Evernote organizes writing in notebooks, which you can name based on any theme you’d like. For example, one could contain notes strictly for work, while you could reserve another for creative writing. You can also tag notes with labels in order to keep track of items in different notebooks. These labels could include format (e.g., poetry, prose), tone (e.g., serious, funny), or any other kind of label you’d like. Evernote also allows you to clip from websites during your browsing, allowing you to save and keep track of content you discover. This is good for gathering inspiration for later, and it keeps you from having to screenshot everything.
I use the free version of Evernote, but there are subscription-based models as well, which offer various upgrades. So far, I haven’t felt the need to research these too much, as the free version seems a good fit. Paid plans provide additional cloud storage, but my notes are mostly just text, taking up little space. The paid plans seem more useful for businesses and organizations, which can also use Evernote to collaborate on projects between users. If you’re just using Evernote for personal writing, the free and cheaper versions should suffice.