My New Time Saving Tool
As a small business owner, I’m always looking for ways to help me save time. My daily to-do list is so big that most days, I can only get to my top three MITs (most important tasks) and everything else gets shifted to the next day.
But then I discovered my new best time-saving app Evernote.
I started dipping my toe on the Evernote pond to save articles that I found during my research reading. I got tired of emailing everything to myself and then putting them into category folders in my inbox.
I really needed everything to be in one place. I wanted to be able to find things quickly without having to sort through the other emails or messages that I’d sent to myself.
My Virtual Filing Cabinet
Now all my stuff is in one place in Evernote. I’ve cleared out the mess in my inbox and I use Evernote to collect and organize everything in my life.
If you don’t know much about the cloud-based service app Evernote, take a few moments to read The Beginner’s Guide to Evernote.
One of things I love the most about Evernote is that I can access it anywhere I am. I set it up with all my devices – my phone and tablet – and downloaded into my computer.
All of my data automatically syncs several times a day so I can be at a meeting in the afternoon and pull up something I was working on in the morning.
Here’s how this works:
1. Notes and Notebooks
When you save something to Evernote or start a new document, it’s stored in the program as a note. The way to organize all your notes is to group them into folders that you create called notebooks. You can even stack sub-notebooks into a main notebook to keep all the pieces and parts of your projects together.
The more you save your work to Evernote, the more you’ll realize that most of your notes should really be notebooks. Setting up a broad topic notebook like Blog Posts allows you to organize more information for this topic.
My sub-notebooks under my Blogging notebook category include image ideas, post research articles and blogging content calendar ideas.
When it comes to Evernote, don’t be concerned about setting up a bunch of category notebooks with a lot of different notes. That’s the point of this app. Evernote’s organizational system allows you to handle as many notes as you need.
Tags in Evernote are your secret weapons to staying organized.
It may seem like double work to tag your stuff if you’re putting your notes into topic-specific notebooks. But the tags are what makes Evernote the coolest search engine for all that information you’ve been collecting.
The more I use the program, the more I see how connected all my work really is. Many of my notes can fit into several different notebooks. So when I’m looking for my research about a particular topic, I can see all my notes no matter what notebook I put them into.
How did this become my new Social Media Management Tool?
Once I got past the Evernote learning curve, I noticed how much I was using the program for keeping track of my lists.
I’m a big fan of lists to keep me organized. I love how I can get all the details out of my head and there’s nothing more satisfying than to cross something big off my list.
But when I found myself using Evernote for researching for my blog posts and getting the content together for my Social Media Conversations newsletter, I knew I was on to something. I said to myself, “How can I use this to manage my social media marketing?”
I pulled up my Evernote, started typing and began creating checkbox lists. That was over three months ago and now my Evernote notebooks are my detailed marketing notes for my tracking reports that I wrote about in the Are You Tracking Your Social Media Marketing post.
Here are just a few of the things I post in Evernote to help me with my social media marketing:
- Created a master list of my quarterly goals for each of my social sites.
- Set up a notebook to save articles that I want to share for my social posts. I add in notes about which social site the article will be posted to or if I should post it on all of them.
- Save image ideas or links to a Flickr image for blog posts that I’ll share on my social sites.
- With all the changes to the social site layouts, I keep a running list of things I need to update. Here’s something I did recently – when Twitter switched to its new layout, I had a list of the new image sizes, which images I need to change out and a couple of links showing me examples of what the new layout looked like.
- Image ideas for Pinterest images for the new coaching service I’m working on. Once I get the Pinterest image done, I’ll share this on my other social site to promote my new service.
And this is just the beginning of how I started using Evernote to help me with my social media marketing. The more I use the program, the more ideas I come up with to keep everything synced up and in one place.
Please know that I’m in no way being compensated by Evernote for this post. But ever since that green elephant logo became my new BFF, what seemed like an overwhelming list to keep up with my social media marketing very quickly turned into the best organizational program I’ve ever used.
Photo credit: Evernote Meetup Paris