My Essential Creative Tools – #2 – Evernote

I used to be one of those people who had paper everywhere. All kinds. Notes and ideas and contacts everywhere. Until one fateful day when I stumbled upon Evernote. Life changing! I still take a bazillion notes, but now I corral them all in Evernote.
Want to find that good blog post again? Search your Evernote. How exactly did I make those sugar free vegan cookies? Good thing I wrote it down into Evernote.
The beautiful thing about Evernote is that it syncs- automagically!- across all your devices. So if you’re out and about, you can jot something into the Evernote on your phone. And then later, boom! there it is on your desktop. So helpful.
Also, it’s free. Did I mention that?
This system works beautifully with the cheapola notebooks I mentioned in the last post. Once you’ve stuffed your notebook full of ideas, type them into lists in Evernote. Bonus- they become searchable.
I tend to do massive notebook dumps into evernote when the notebook is full, or whenever I’m feeling scattered. It really helps.

This is how you get stuff out of your cheapola notebooks and into the real world.

When a notebook is complete (or when I feel that it’s time), I go back through it. I transfer everything that is actionable to to-do lists. I keep these lists in Evernote.

Some of my lists:

-Blog posts to write
-Marketing ideas to try
-Patterns I want to design
-Quilts I want to make
(I actually have around *ahem* 20 different lists going at any one time. It’s only a little nuts.)

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It’s extremely basic- just a bulleted list. I keep the formatting simple so I can add to it from my phone. (Sometimes if the note has “fancy” formatting {i.e. checkboxes}, the mobile app has a hard time dealing with it.)

If there’s more than one sentence to the idea, I make a note of which notebook it came out of, so I can find it again more easily. (i.e. #7) If the idea is ripe to be fleshed out, I start it’s very own note, and run with it. All my patterns develop this way.

I then reference the lists when I need them. For instance, when it’s time to write blog posts, I go to the possible blog post list, and pick the thing that jumps out at me the most. When that idea is done, I cross it off/erase it.

The really crucial thing is to keep going back to the SAME lists. Keep adding to the ones you’ve already established. If you have say, five different “things to make” lists, you’re just going to feel scattered as heck. I speak from experience here. If need be, scrap the established list one and start a new one.
I have these lists bookmarked as shortcuts in my Evernote sidebar. Otherwise, it’s easy to loose them in the shuffle.
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Now that you’ve got all these lists, make sure that you pull items from them and put them on your daily to-dos.

If you need a copy of Evernote, you can get one at, plus all the info you could possibly need, for free.

Do you have a tip for how you manage your ideas? Do you use Evernote, too? Please leave a comment below!

About Claire

Absolutely Small is textile artist Claire Chambers. Claire Chambers is a crazy-pants artist/crafter who spends most of her time indoors, very near to Portland, Oregon. She likes making people laugh, chickens and pugs, and writing about herself in the third person. She is utterly obsessed with making things out of fabric.

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