As writers, we accumulate information like an after Christmas sale. It spills across our bookmark bar and into folders. If you aren’t like me, you probably haven’t thought of the last time you actually cleaned out the outdated or dead links. If you are like me, you do it twice a year.
It can be addictive when surfing to think “oh I’ll bookmark it for later,” but later never comes. It gets pushed into obscurity or we didn’t change the URL and we don’t know what garbled language it displays and keep glancing over it.
I have a solution for you.
If it is a site that you need to use and actively provide information to, bookmark it. This can be logging into KDP or Facebook.
If it is a site that you could easily print out and reference, use Evernote. This could be magazine articles or online PDFs. I started out using Evernote for recipe collection back in 2005, I think.
Evernote is similar to Google Docs, OneDrive, or Dropbox—basically a giant cloud service. It comes with a browser extension. The elephant head symbol opens up a neat little “clip” function. It can save URLS, screen shots, captures articles with little more than a plus or minus sign.
From the same pop up, you can tag it or drop it into groups.
From the dashboard, you can set reminders for articles (maybe you want to make that candy at Christmas so set it for Thanksgiving), modify (maybe you need to clarify something or input information from another article without clipping the entire thing), you can share it with others; not just each note but notebooks—collections—too.
The search feature is also one of the best I’ve found. It searches titles, tags, groups, and even documents.
Now the first time you use Evernote, you might run out of space, BUT after 30 days, you gain more space for free. Unlike other cloud storage, you’ll continue to gain space for free as long as you don’t amass an entire encyclopedic set at one time. There is an option to pay for more space if you’re impatient, but for the average writer, you’ll be fine waiting a few days. In the meantime, bookmark it into a special folder and at the beginning of the month, transfer it over.
An organized space is an efficient space. If you take ten minutes to sort through your bookmarks to find that one thing, you might need to rethink what you’re saving or find a more efficient way. Try Evernote and see if it can work for you.
For a visual tour of Evernote, check out their Youtube channel.
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This post was edited/proofed by ProWritingAid.