So you’re beginning to think about your next info-product.

Is this you?

  • You have a Pinterest board to capture infographics & images that are firing your creativity.
  • You have a couple gDocs with your brainstorming notes & maybe an outline
  • You stashed some research articles on Pocket or Instapaper.

THEN – You have a Word doc that has a table of contents with links to all the above – like a project Dashboard – when you remember to update it.

(And, frankly, a couple stray gDocs from back when this project was on your front-burner last least you remember drafting some initial thoughts…you just can’t remember where you stashed them. Maybe in email? You should go check..)

Can you relate?

There’s a better way.

I replace all those things with one single app: Evernote.

The benefits:

  • everything is in one place (websites, images, my breathless audio notes when the ideas come during my walk, and text files)
  • everything is available on all my devices (and backed up to the cloud)
  • I can put my hands on any document in 30 seconds or less
  • it’s dead easy to share a little, or a lot, with my team

I love it, and my clients use it for their courses & launches and love it too.

Here’s how I use it:

5 Ways to use Evernote to Build your course

1. Collect Inspiration with the web clipper

The web clipper is a in-browser applet that lets you “clip” articles directly into Evernote. It’s available on all browsers. Begin to use it and it will learn your filing/tagging system and put the notes where it thinks you want them. Genius!

Evernote web clipperFind and clip articles and infographics on your course topic. Stash graphics, colors and design that grab you. Clip sales pages that inspire you and stash in an inspiration notebook (makes it dead-easy to create a moodboard to show your designer – or yourself – how you want things to look)!

Download the web clipper here.

2. Use tags to organize

You probably created a new Evernote notebook for your course – that’s a great start. But you can also use tags to categorize the notes inside your notebook. RESEARCH, CASE STUDIES, and INSPIRATION are some obvious categories. Search on just the tag you want to narrow your focus (and pull the tag over the left side-bar for easy access to it – it will act like a SmartFolder over there!)
Evernote tags

3 Use Powerful search to retrieve

Searching in Evernote is a dream. The AI (artificial intelligence) that undergirds Evernote search was the original patent & idea for creating the Evernote program. And they keep making improvements to it. I believe that it’s realistic to say that you can put your hands on what you’re looking for in under 30 seconds. Even if you have only a shaky idea of the title/date/client. Searching even on a word or phrase (even inside PDFs and MS Office and iWorks docs) – and even handwriting!

Here’s a quick video that demonstrates how to get the most out of Searching in Evernote.

4. Use Related Notes (and Context) for connecting the dots

What is finding without searching? No, no, it’s not a Zen koan, it’s Evernote’s new related notes function called Context, which is included with Evernote Premium and Evernote Business. The AI that handles search ALSO scans the note you’re currently working in and offers related notes — both inside the company’s Evernote AND from high-quality journals out on the internet.

Those outside sources receive NO information from Evernote or from our notes, and the link out to the content does not contain any personal data for them to mine.

To adjust sources for Context, go into Evernote’s preferences (Evernote menu > Preferences) and click the Context tab.

If you’re on the free version of Evernote, you’ll see Related Notes, which is like Context except that it only shows related notes inside your Evernote note stash. Still, once you build up a large library of notes, you’ll be surprised how handy this feature is when you are looking to pull things together.

Evernote context

5. Table of Content Notes to keep everything organized  

Awesome searching aside, sometimes you’d like to see an inventory list of all the notes in a notebook. Easy to do, it takes two clicks.  Select one of the notes inside the notebook you want to create a table of contents for, then Select All by doing Command-A (or: Edit > Select All).  The page on the right will display all the options you can choose to do to mulitple notes. It’s as easy as clicking a button. (Here’s a quick video that demonstrates this How To.)

Evernote table of contents


Looking for more ideas? Check out Use Evernote for your Course Creation Project.