Evernote is an excellent note-taking app for writers, journalists, and bloggers. Available on iOS and Android platforms, it is far more powerful than the stock note-taking apps.
With Evernote, you can embed images, audio notes, videos, and hand-drawn sketches within your typed notes. The app also geo-tags your location when you create a new note, helping the traveler with accurate GPS information. Best of all, Evernote syncs your mobile device with their cloud servers and the desktop version.
Evernote has a free plan, which limits the amount of data you upload each month and the size of each note (currently at 60 MB / 25 MB, respectively). While the basic account should be sufficient for most people starting out, the premium account has all the bells and whistles. If you use our affiliate link to sign up, you’ll get a free month of service if and when you’re ready to go premium.
Using Evernote is fairly simple. When you open the app, simply press the green “New note” button and begin typing. Pressing the blue “+” button will let you embed photos, audio memos, and links.
Pressing the notebook name at the top of the note will let you create a new notebook, move the note to a different notebook, and organize your notes.
Pressing the tag icon at the top right will allow you to tag the note for organization, but this is an advanced organizational feature you can read more about here.
Travel writers: consider using Evernote with your phone’s speech-to-text function to dictate and transcribe your notes. You can talk faster than you can type, and dictating frees your eyes from looking down at the phone.
To dictate using Evernote, you need to first ensure that the speech-to-text function is enabled in your phone’s settings. Then, simply press the microphone icon that appears somewhere on your keyboard when you’re in a note (the microphone icon can be seen in the second image on the bottom right, below the return key on the keyboard). Voila!
Using Evernote for research and writing
Evernote has a few additional features that are helpful during the research and writing phases.
It has a desktop/laptop version you can download to your computer. It works like the mobile version and syncs your notes, but you get the added benefit of working on a larger screen.
Evernote also has a browser extension called Evernote Web Clipper. It is helpful when you’re doing research for a project or a trip. It allows you to “clip” articles and webpages, saving them to a notebook with complete reference information like URL and access date. It also lets you highlight, make annotations and remarks, and tag articles and webpages before saving them into your notebook. Of course, these sync across all your devices.
How to organize your notes
Evernote has powerful organizational features like notebooks and folders. How you organize your notes depends on what makes sense for you. But here are some ideas to get you started:
- Create a notebook for each trip. For example: Spain 2021 or Madrid Autumn 2021.
- Create different notes for locations or segments. Consider keeping a note for each city, day, location, or highlight within a notebook. For example, create descriptive notes within your trip’s notebook: Madrid Day 1, Madrid Day 2, Plaza Mayor, Conversation with Pedro Almodóvar, La Vía Lactea, etc. If you’re on a specific assignment, consider creating one note on the project you’re working. For example: Madrid’s Underground Music Scene in the age of Covid.
- Tag your notes. Use Evernote’s powerful tagging feature instead of, or in addition to, using notebooks.
- Remember your locations. Evernote should automatically geotag where each new note was created. But we rarely create notes on location. A work-around is to take a photo in a location you want to remember using your phone’s stock camera app and rely on the phone’s automatic geotagging. You must use your phone’s stock camera app as using Evernote’s built-in camera function doesn’t geotag the photos, which is a common issue for all note-taking apps.
Evernote alternatives for writers
Be sure to check out our note-taking guide for travel writers and our overview of the differences between several popular note-taking apps.
Are you a travel writer who uses Evernote? How do you use it? Any tips? Let us know in the comments below.