How To Create a Blogging Workflow That Works With Evernote
I have been blogging for around 7 years now. I’ve seen many changes through the years. Evolution of myriad of blogging platforms, social media avenues etc. There’s one thing that has remained constant though. Any guesses?
Getting a blog post from an idea to “published” state, still involves time, effort and writing skills (amongst other things!).
As a blogger, I STILL need to WRITE and PUBLISH! (Unless you take the outsourcing route )
The blogging workflow I had a several ago was fairly simple. I wrote an idea on a Word document. Kept on tweaking it until I felt it was finished. Then I copied the content to the blogging platform, proof read it one final time and pressed publish! Then began another idea, and the ritual continued.
Fast forward to last 2 years..
I started getting more ideas, writing more frequently and managing multiple blogs. Did I mention that I do all that along side a full time job!
It was a great feeling to have so many ideas. However, the downside was that I had loads of half written ideas. Basically, I had so many unfinished posts and I was not able to stay focused on one topic, to finish it. While I am writing one post, I would get more ideas. Then I would start writing more about “that idea” and never revisited the old idea! I had a tough time disciplining myself and completing a post.
There was a time I couldn’t publish a post for about 1 month because I couldn’t “finish” an idea! Yes, it was that bad! I was painfully aware that I needed to find a way to stay focused and complete a post.
I did a lot of research online on what type of writing process other bloggers have. I wondered whether there was anything I could adapt. I wanted to find a process I could stick to. A process that was simple yet effective. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any related to blogging.
Then it occurred to me that I could consider stages of writing a post as a “task”. I think my left and right brain put it together because at the time I was reading the book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Gradually, I started adapting the “Getting Things Done” mindset to blogging. It has taken me a while to perfect my blogging workflow. I can confidently say that I now have an efficient and productive blogging workflow. I thought of sharing it with you, with the hope that it will benefit you in some way.
The life cycle of a blog post at Better Blogging Ways
After trying out for a few weeks I was getting the hang of it. I was getting posts completed and published! This is the same approach or process I used today.
I try to publish a post every week here at Better Blogging Ways. I will write a post in the future about how I plan and schedule the posts. Stay tunned.
Putting the process in place with Evernote
I had a frustrating experience managing loads of word documents. For each post I used to create a new word document. Since I had loads of ideas so many documents! Initially, I tried out the above process with folders. For each stage I would move the same document from one folder to another. E.g Idea folder to the New folder.
This is the process I used, until I started other blogs. Having multiple blogs, with so many word documents was getting difficult to maintain.
Then I came across Evernote. I realized that everything related to my new found process, could be done within Evernote, and gain more productivity.
I was able to keep track of blog posts for each of my blogs.
Here’s what I did,
1. I created a Evernote notebook for blogging
2. For each blog I have I created a tag
3. For each blog tag, I created sub tags for Idea, New, In Progress , Done and Posted.
Why Evernote Blogging Workflow Works For Me!
No, this is not an endorsement or advertisement! It’s just a genuine Evernote user who happens to use it for blogging
1. Getting ideas to finished posts
So I wanted to restrict myself, on the number of “In progress” post. So tried to impose a few “rules” for myself.
1. Always keep at most 2 posts in in progress – These would be the posts that I need to complete to publish. So I tried not to add more than 2 posts to stay focused.
2. If I wanted to write about something that didn’t have the state “in-progress”, then I would either force myself to finish a post that’s already in the “in progress” stage or change the “in progress” stage to “New” and add the other post as “In Progress”
In the image above you’ll notice tags such as VB.5, VB.10 so these are the “next posts” I’d be working on. I always make sure the focus is on the VB.5 tagged posts.
2. No more multiple documents for each blog post
Evernote has a good way to organize and search blog posts. So now I don’t need to search through various folders to find the document I need
3. Idea capturing “on the go” via my phone
I use the Evernote mobile version to track any “on the go” ideas I might have. I get a lot of ideas when I am traveling, seated at a boring meeting, having lunch etc These times, I don’t always have a notebook with me so but I always carry the phone! So I don’t lose any “good ideas”.
4. Web Clipping
Another awesome feature which can be used directly from a web page. This is great for background research as well as storing ideas. If I get an idea while reading another person’s blog then I clip it to Evernote so I can revisit it later.
I can go on and on. But will stop for now
The one thing I miss is a way to publish directly from Evernote to WordPress. At the moment I have to manually copy the text. Does anyone know of a plug-in or other mechanism to connect Evernote with WordPress?
Overall, I save a lot of time using this blogging workflow with Evernote. Gone are the days where I panic when I realize that I need to publish something, and don’t have any!. Now, I have at least 4 or more blog posts which are in the “ready for publishing” state.
I am curious to know about your blogging workflow. What’s your process? How do you deal with having loads of ideas? Please comment below. Let’s talk!