As a seasoned blogger, I spend a lot of time in my browser reading other blogs, articles, and any other references available online. At the same time, contrary to popular belief, I also spend a good amount of time outdoors, on the street, in stores, and at coffee shops. Often times, whether in my browser or out and about, I come across various things that give me ideas for blogging posts. And the way that I record these ideas – so that I have them at the most optimal times when I begin writing blog posts – is through a combination of using Evernote on my smartphone and Diigo on my browser.
Evernote for When I’m Out and About
As a blogger, I carry my netbook around with me almost everywhere. However, I still sometimes don’t have it available when an idea for a post strikes me. Often times I will get ideas for posts in the middle of a conversation with a friend, where it might be considered rude to have a netbook out and open. However, I’ve found it perfectly sensible to say, “Hey, you just gave me the perfect idea for a blog post. Mind if I jot it down?”
From here, you have a variety of different options with Evernote. You could record it by voice if you’d like or just type it into Evernote with the keypad on your phone. If you’re a pen and paper kind of person, you can jot down the idea on a notepad, napkin, or whatever you have around. Then open the Evernote app, snap a photo of the note, and pull it back up from Evernote whenever you need it. I also find myself snapping photos of electronics I’d like to buy, potential ideas for gifts, and receipts for products that I buy that I think I may return.
The best part about Evernote is that, even though I’m recording all these notes and ideas with my phone, Evernote records them on their own servers in the cloud. This way, when I’m finally at a computer ready to write a blog post, I can access my notes that I recorded on the fly through Evernote.
Diigo for When I’m on my Browser
Diigo is essentially a social bookmarking web application, similar to delicious and other online bookmarking sites. What really puts Diigo ahead of the competition for me is the many extra features they offer that are actually useful.
Like most social bookmarking services, they offer organization tools like descriptions, tags, and even lists to help group and organize your bookmarks. But they also offer a “Read later” marker that I find to be extremely useful as well for that material you think will be interesting or useful but you don’t have time to read at the moment.
The biggest selling point of Diigo for me is the in-browser note-taking utility of the web app. When I’m really close-reading an article for research for a post, I can use Diigo to highlight sections of text in four different colors as well as leave sticky notes in the margins of the site at specific locations. If I close the browser and reload the page, Diigo will remember my notes and put them back on the page when it reloads. Best of all, Diigo has easy-to-use extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
As you can image, the ease of writing a blog post increases exponentially with these research and note-taking tools at your disposal. It has increased my blogging productivity and output to levels I could never have imagined before using them. Any blogger looking for better ways to research and remember ideas for posts should look no further than these tools.
Author: Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.