How to Use Evernote as a Blogger

A few weeks ago, I started using Evernote as my primary “blogging workbench.” It is where I store blog post ideas, collect various post components, and then write the post itself. This has proven to be a robust solution that enables me to be working on several posts simultaneously.

My Evernote Blogging Workflow

I thought I would share my workflow with you. Yours will be different, I’m sure. But, hopefully, this will provide you with a few ideas.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, 4.0. It is worth setting aside a couple hours to work through this brief, 95-page book. It will save you DAYS of learning Evernote on your own.

My go through the following six steps in creating a new blog post.

  1. Set up a blogging template in Evernote. There are certain components that I want to create or collect for every blog post. For example, I am now using the SCORRE™ method from the Dynamic Communicators Workshop (DCW) to prepare every post. This is an acronym for Subject, Central Theme, Objective Statement, Rationale, and Evaluation. I store my template in an Evernote notebook called Templates, along with numerous other templates I use on a regular basis.

    The template looks like this:

    My Evernote Blogging Template

  2. Create a new note for every blog post idea. Whenever I have a blog post idea, I go to my Template notebook, select my Blog Post Idea template, right click on it, and select Copy to Notebook. This puts a fresh copy of the template in my Blog notebook, complete with a “post ideas” tag. I then give the note title a unique name (the working title for the post) and then fill out as much of the not as I have the time and inclination to do. As a result, at any one time, I have dozens of post ideas in various stages of completion.
  3. Assemble the various post components. When I get ready to really work on a blog post, I begin assembling the various pieces. I usually begin with the subject and the central theme. Then I add whatever is easiest to add first. It might be the relevant links, a few images, and then the objective statement. (I don’t have space in this post to go through what these elements are. If you want to learn the SCORRE™ method, I highly recommend DCW. You can get a $200 discount by using the special discount code: HYATTVAIL) Although it is primarily designed as a speech preparation tool for public speakers, it works equally well for bloggers.
  4. Write your blog post in Evernote. I write the first draft of my post in in Evernote. i like having everything in one place. I don’t worry about formatting. I just try to get the post out, resisting the urge to edit my work as I am creating it. Once I have the first draft, I go back through and edit it. Once I have a stable draft that I am relatively happy with, I am done in Evernote.

    The completed note may look like this:

    A Completed Blog Post in Evernote

  5. Copy your post to your blogging software. I select all the text in my post and copy it to MarsEdit, my blogging software of choice. This is where I add the metadata (i.e., post category, tags, and description). I also add all the formatting, including bold text, italics, lists, and other styling. I like a lot of control, so I personally work in HTML mode. However, this is not necessary for most bloggers. In fact, you could copy and paste your draft directly into WordPress.

    Here’s what blog post looks like in MarsEdit. Keep in mind that this is HTML code.

    The Same Blog Post in MarsEdit

  6. Schedule the post and review your work. When I am happy with my work, I edit the date I want the post to appear. I always schedule mine for 4:00 a.m. CDT. I then upload the post to WordPress. I then usually preview the post and review it on my site. The post isn’t live yet, but it gives me a chance to see the post in my blogging environment. I then proofread it a couple of more times and declare it done.

Evernote has enabled me to be more productive in my blogging. I love having one place where I can store everything.

Question: Are you tried using Evernote as a blogging tool? If so, how is it working out for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • David Grissen

    Just put Evernote into my computer based on your recommendation.  Have already put some stuff into it and I like how it’s working so far.

  • http://www.christopherneiger.com/blog Chris Neiger

    Thanks for sharing your workflow on this. I’ve never tried MarsEdit, but I’m definitely going to check it out now. I put all my blog ideas into EN as they come to me and then choose one based on what I want to talk about that particular day. 

    I’m curious as to how long your blog post process is from start to finish. I find mine is about 2 hours long, which includes writing, proofing, editing and finding an image. 

    I solicit the help of my wife before I publish my posts as well! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My process is anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t use it with this much detail yet, but I use it to record all of my blogging ideas. If there’s a certain blog topic I choose to write about, I can also insert the link. 

    You’re teaching me so much about Evernote. Love it. 

    Very interested to check into the book as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/KimbaGreen Kimba Green

    I do everything in Evernote. From gathering information for a blog post to scanned copies of my appliance warranties. Yes, I really do that. Having all my household information available on my phone, my desktop or the cloud has saved me several times. But back to the blogging. I keep an editorial calendar and when I run across information that I can refer to I clip into Evernote under the file named for the week/subject. This way there is no remembering where I found something relevant. Since most of my post are ‘ghost’ post I have to stay organized to keep my clients happy with the subject matter. 

  • bethanyplanton

    Thank you for sharing tips for both Evernote and blogging. They are so helpful. I like the idea of keeping everything together in Evernote. I can’t wait to get started. 

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Good to see the “behind the scenes” way others do things. I like to see how the successful people run into blocks and how they overcome them too. Reveals the “human side” of the greats. Also offers a real “how-I-do-it” process which makes it real (like you’ve done here). There’s no getting around doing the work. I think to a lot of people, it’s like great stuff just shows up without thought or action. Like what you’re doing here, MH! Blessings.

    @WMarkThompson:twitter

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Mark. I think a picture is worth a thousand words.

      • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

        I agree with that… especially with my mind. Learn better visually.

  • http://daddybydefault.com Craig

    I’m a fan of cloud software anywhere I can use it, but for my blog posts I’ve been using Circus Ponies Note software. I used to use evernote, but just found it cumbersome.  It’s been over a year since I’ve gone back to it,  but the way you break it down in this post makes me want to take a second look now.

  • http://jbdeaton.com J. Ben Deaton

    I love the detail in this post — I think working through the SCORRE template is an awesome reason to draft posts in Evernote prior to MarsEdit.

    One idea: your templates could also be saved as a TextExpander or Typinator snippet. Then, to create a new blog draft, you don’t have to go to the Templates notebook, find the right one, and copy/paste. You’d just open a new note in the Blog Drafts notebook, type your blog template shortcode, and the whole template expands into the note. 

    Not a huge thing, but would cut out one step. Thanks for the great post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I tried saving the template in Typinator first, but you can’t format the Evernote checklists. Thanks.

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    Very informative, even just the structure of how you write your blogs was great information!

    • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

      That’s what I thought too, Dylan. By the way, like your blog “Looking For Purpose”. 

  • http://www.jameswooollam.com James

    Thanks for this template in particular, really helpful. Do you still use Nozbe for To Do and, if so, how do you relate your to do list there to your evernote content for blogs?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I still use Nozbe. You can actually attach Nozbe projects to Evernote notes. I don’t do this often, but it is helpful when I need it. You can also forward an email, including attachments to Nozbe when you need to reference a message.

  • http://dustinstout.com Dustin W. Stout

    Wow! I love this post Michael! Thanks for sharing your template. I already have begin writing all my posts in Evernote, and now have learned to copy from Evernote and paste as plain text. It has really helped my workflow.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Yeah, I like the template, too. And the SCORRE method. I’m going to give
      both a try.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I am glad. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this.  I will definitely try using the template you shared.  

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    Any chance you can share your template as text for those of us who are lazy and don’t want to type from the image file?

    Thank you for sharing your workflow. I’ve thought about using Evernote for blogging, but hadn’t thought of a good enough system to use it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely. I just exported it and uploaded it here. Just download the file and then import it into Evernote.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Michael.  I had attempted to build a template myself once today but got side tracked.

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

        Thank you. I appreciate it. Hopefully it’ll help me accomplish something blogging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.beck Bruce Von Beck

    Really enjoying your blog and the topics that you cover.  Such practical information delivered in an easy to understand format.

    I don’t have blog right now, but I”m starting to use evernote for a couple of things. First, I’m using it on a special research project I’m doing that has 4 different resources.  As I read over the material, I’m clipping snippets to evernote so that I have all my notes in one location. I can then just scroll through to study and refresh my mind. Very handy! Second, I want to centralize all the many articles that I read into a notebook for each author.  

    There is a third item.  Just used evernote to take notes on a conference call. Took the notes, entered the title, and done!  

    Thanks again for sharing,

    Bruce

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Using Evernote for meeting notes was how I got started. It was very handy.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    @jeffgoins:disqus  talked to me about the SCORRE method and it has really helped my writing.
    Michael, once again, thanks for sharing something that you could have kept to yourself. This helps a ton

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kyle. The SCORRE method is really invaluable.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    After reading your Evernote info in the morning, I had a chance to work with a new process in the evening. An hour later than I hoped I finally got into bed. Before hitting the pillow, I had several blog thoughts bouncing around. I put those thoughts into Evernote where I know I’ll be able to easily find them. Thanks for helping me not only get my illustrations, notes, and examples from others into one place, but too also gather my thoughts into one place.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent, Tom. Evernote is one of those apps that the more you use it, the more you use it!

  • http://roborr.net Rob Orr

    This is an awesome idea and concept – Thanks Michael for sharing so much about how you’re getting mileage out of Evernote, it’s been pretty revolutionary for me.  This post is a bit reminiscent of my english comp 1 & 2 classes in college!  A lot of the same structure, but I love it’s broken out here with the resources and rationale. Keep ‘em coming!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D4DORU7I2LY7NJHKPROGWRRBOU Sarah

    Michael, I’m quite amaze at the quality and quantity of your blog post. Further amazed that you do in partly in html. The SCORE method looks interesting & methodical. Might give it a shot.

  • Anonymous

    I got the distinct sense you were using SCORRE. I would strongly encourage everyone to make it to a DCW training if you ever communicate (that would be everyone)!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ken Davis says I was using it even before I knew it. With SCORRE, I can be much more intentional about it.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. I was looking for a way to import my Evernote material to WordPress without losing some of the formatting. Never knew about MarsEdit. Nice! Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/NickCelovsky Nicolas Celovsky

    Started using Evernote a few weeks ago on your recommendation. It’s absolutely revolutionized my organization and preparation. Automatically clipping from the web into Evernote is an unbelievable time-saver. Used it the other day to research and frame my blog.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Anonymous

    Great post! I’ve used Evernote off and on for about a year now and bought Evernote Essentials within the first couple of weeks that it came out. I hadn’t thought of incorporating it into my blogging workflow like this though… After this post, I’m going to have to revisit how I use it – it might very well become one of my ‘must-have’ apps.

    I especially like how you set up templates. I hope you share some more of your Evernote templates in the future!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Okay, I’ve taken another step toward what you suggest. I’ve started an article in Evernote. I haven’t posted from Evernote to the blog yet but I’m moving closer to that final step (until you write and I read another step to take).

  • http://www.thedailywalk.net Adam

    I love this workflow Michael. I have been looking into getting Mars Edit. I have been wanting a desktop blogging software and noticed Tentblogger spoke highly of it over on his site. 

    I love the template idea as well. Definitely something I think I will imp implement. 

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  • Jeff

    I love the IDEA of Evernote but struggle with reality. The more you can get into it, the more valuable it can become…the promise of a digital brain. However being in high tech management my ‘life’ is in email(Outlook).

    Michael – I assume your CEO role yielded a lot of email. How did you (or would you now) decide what to replicate into Evernote vs. leave in email (which is also structured/searchable/etc)?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I only forward stuff to Evernote that is part of a project—something I think I may want to be able to review with that specific project.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing so openly about so much of your life and workflow. It is refreshing and inspiring. I am learning so much from your experience. I do not have a blog yet, but have started using Evernote and writing “practice” blogs based on the information in your posts.
    In fact, I am speaking at my church tomorrow morning and you have inspired me to share more openly about some of my own daily spiritual practices and processes in an effort to “pay it forward”.

  • http://twitter.com/roteague Robert Teague

    I do all that with Microsoft OneNote. It’s a a far superior program to Evernote. Thanks for the tips.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I haven’t looked at OneNote in years. However, I’d like to know …

      - Is there a Mac version?
      - Does it offer a clipper for your browser to clip pages with two clicks?
      - Can it integrate with Google Reader?
      - Can you forward email to it?
      - Does it sync across multiple computers and devices?
      - Does it have a vibrant third-party add-in market?
      - Does it have an active support forum?
      - How does the price compare?

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great thoughts!  I’m in the process right now of changing my backups of all my posts over to Evernote instead of leaving them in my file tree. 

    I’ve also started using EN for listing my post ideas, and goals.  Next step:  writing in EN.  I like the way you’ve laid out your template.  I may have to try something similar as I make the transition.

    Just a quick question:  MarsEdit takes the place of the “new post” in WordPress?  Once it’s in MarsEdit, does that program connect to WP and post for you, or do you have to transfer it over to WP?

    Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, MarsEdit connects to WordPress and posts it for you. You just hit “publish.”

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  • http://www.helenaritchie.com/ Helena

    Thanks so much for this! I’m going to borrow your outline for my blog posts. :) 

    I’ve just started using Evernote more, mostly only because it makes it easier for me to switch back and forth between the laptop and the desktop without having to move files all over the place. I’ve not yet started to explore its other possibilities, but I will definitely do so now!

    Thanks again,
    Lena

  • http://www.upperlinefinancial.com H. Jude Boudreaux, CFP®

    Michael, I was wondering if you could comment on your post time being 4am.  Is there a specific reason that you like them to hit at that time?  Thanks for your work!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t have anything very scientific. I just want to be the first thing in people’s feed or email when they wake up. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/RickSmith Rick Smith

    Great post! This is helpful information. Thanks for sharing the provess you learned at DCW!  I was hoping you were going to share some of what you learned!

    -Rick
    http://NoahsDad.com

  • http://twitter.com/savagecabage david birney (✖☉∆)

    i might just give these templates a go. i have the same sort of system in evernote in that i have a separate post in each note, and now that evernote allows note links i have one note which is a type of directory that links out to each blog post/idea. i find it a bit easier than searching through the note thumnails to find the certain notes

    also, i have been trying to reach evernote on the forums about the “email note” feature, but no word back from them yet…

    since your able to email your blog posts into wordpress and posterous now, you can sort of do it with the evernote email, the only problem is that when you send it from evernote it puts a banner up the top saying “from evernote” so you have to go and cut that part out when its emailed to your blog, which means you have to go in and edit it anyway so you might as well just copy and paste. 
    but if there was an option to remove the banner it would be great for bloggers as you could just email your blog posts right from evernote!

    im gonna keep pestering them until they do it, one letter a week! it worked for that guy in the shawshank redemption

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  • Michael Derosa

    Thank you for this post. 

  • http://thejourneydeeper.wordpress.com/ Darlene

    This is such a helpful site you’ve created – thanks! Am I correct to assume that using Evernote as a blogger can only be used with a Premium account? Or, is there a way to use it with the free account?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, you could do pretty much what I outline with the free account.

  • http://twitter.com/ashleighallen Ashleigh Allen

    This is such a helpful outline! Thanks for sharing. 

    Quick question– Do you think you could post a screen shot of a completed note for a blog post that is not primarily persuasive?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Sure. Here’s this very blog post as it existed in Evernote.

  • SkyInwv

    Hi Michael. Are you no longer using Omnioutliner?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I am still using it for some projects. It is part of my toolbox.

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  • http://www.quantum-cmg.com Stæven

    This is a really helpful post. I love productivity to the Nth degree, and its great to hear how you approach this. 

    Really love MarsEdit too. Great program, glad to hear you use it!

  • http://bournemedia.com David Bourne

    Excellent advice. As a heavy evernote user and a blogger, this was right up my ally. 

    I’m wondering if there is a good Mars Edit-like app for the PC. I am a mac user, I love Mars Edit but have users that are on a PC. 

    Thanks again, Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is has been years since I have used a PC, but when I did, I loved BlogJet.

  • Anonymous

    This post has been a God send! Thank you!

  • http://www.mosaicmiami.org Shari

    Not ready for this…just yet! I find this reall clear to understand though. Thxs as always for the current topics! 

  • Anonymous

    Just curious how your workflow changes when you post using a custom post type for a quote, announcement, video, link, etc?
    Do you use MarsEdit for those?

    • Anonymous

      Just realized I used the wrong term. I meant custom post format.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        No, I have to do those on the back-end. Since we created these types ourselves, I don’t ever see MarsEdit supporting them.

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  • Davidgrissen

    I took your advice about Evernote as I started to blog.  It’s a great tool, although I’m only using it at the moment to store my blog post ideas and content.  It seems when I write a blog post in evernote and then transfer that to wordpress, the formatting doesn’t transfer over well.  So I draft my posts and then publish directly in wordpress.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t do any formatting in Evernote. I just do the raw writing. I do the formatting in WordPress. (Actually, MarsEdit, but the same workflow would apply.)

  • Perry Emerick

    Hi Michael, love the site! I have wavered back and for between Evernote and Onenote, but like the shared element of Evernote. I loved this post too. Is this a template that can be downloaded?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Here’s a shared link to the template. Let me know if that works. Thanks.