One application that I have really learned to leverage for my business is Evernote. It has so many features that I use and happy to have. I didn’t use this application that much early on, thinking it didn’t see like that much until I read some things from Michael Hyatt on how he used it to organize his business and use the powerful features to index his notes. I thought this guy has his stuff together so maybe I should try to use it for my business as well.
I use Evernote to help with the basics of keeping my blog up and running. From the start I was having a tough time keeping organized and collecting ideas in one central place. Once I started to use Evernote I began with a few things and is has grown.
Listing possible topics
Blogging once a week while keeping work and life moving can be pretty hectic. Many times I sit down to write and I need to look for lists of ideas and inspirations. I use Evernote to catalog a list of possible topics so in the case that I have no ideas I can look at a list and put something together.
Creating a post outline
The process for me after getting a topic to write about is creating a outline of the overall post along with major and minor items to be covered. In the beginning I would just write and eventually falter and have a tough time completing a post. The outline gives me a real game plan to follow.
The ability to search via Evernote’s index of my outlines is really helpful. As I find new possible topics I look over my previous posts and outlines to see what exactly I have covered before. This helps prevent “deja-vu posts” when you repeat topics and cover them again in the same way.
Synchronizing my devices
Working on the blog in many different places and times it is helpful to share the notes I take on Evernote across three major devices I use. I do most my work on my computer but, occasionally inspiration will strike me when I am in many places. If I am on the go I have Evernote installed on my iPhone. I can quickly capture a topic on my phone when I am out and about. Another device I use in the evening time as my day is winding down is my Amazon Kindle, which I read on and want to note something for a future post.
As I have been growing my speaking business I have created content for speeches and for slides. Once again Evernote has helped me put things in once place. From speaking on a new topic or facilitating a new class I try to share my outline with prospects.
Similar to the fashion I use to create blog posts my speeches start with the topic outline. I get the key points and try to research what other sources I could use for the presentation. This allows me to take all my materials together when I start the process to create the material and put together the notes and slides.
As a speaker I know I should not use notes but I create them to avoid the issues of freezing up or my mind going blank. I use them in memorizing my speech and key points. I like to rehearse by going through my notes and committing the high points to memory. I want my speeches to be conversational and well planned.
As I coach clients with their careers I keep notes to plan sessions and catalog many of the great resources I can call upon. As we work through steps we I can come back to my materials and review my notes and other training materials I use.
When I get a new client I do an initial assessment and have a few documents we go through. I want to get a detailed understanding of what they are looking for and pinpoint their struggles. From this point I start to plan an outline and create a session guide. As the we work through things I can come back and adjust the plan depending on the client’s progression.
Notes from coaching session
When I meet with my coaching clients I try to take notes with pen and paper. The typing on the keyboard I find distracting and people occasionally think I am checking email or doing something else. After the session I will go to review them and create a note about the topic. This helps add to my list of resources for clients in the future.
What indispensable tool do you use?