Alternote: The OS X App Making Evernote Easier

Alternote: The OS X App Making Evernote Easier

“Evernote needs a dashboard,” I decided a few years ago. I kept hoping that Evernote would develop one, but they didn’t. “And a word count where you can see it, not hidden away…” No joy there, either. Until Alternote.

Alternote is a fascinating new OS X app that’s just what I wanted. It functions as an Evernote dashboard: I can view only those notebooks I want to look at. I can have a list of favorite notes.

And there’s a WORD COUNT (yippee!) in the bottom right of each note. (I’m wiping away tears of joy here, trust me.) Word count’s hugely important to writers.

What I like most about Alternote

See above — I can use Alternote as a quick way of getting things done in Evernote.

I love Evernote’s Mac app, but with over 6K notes, it becomes hard to get stuff done, because:

  • It’s easy to be distracted with notebooks and notes;
  • No easily visible word count when writing (see above);
  • Too many notebooks. Yes, distraction again. I’m a Gemini, and we love bright shiny objects.

You can keep up to 100K notes in Evernote, but I weed out my notes and notebooks regularly. Many notes expire; that is, they’re only useful for a limited time. A goals list for example, is time-limited. Once you’ve achieved those goals — or haven’t achieved them — the outdated list’s just a distraction.

So, the biggest plus for me with using Alternote is that I can cut down on Evernote’s distractions.

I also like the Markdown facility; I write almost everything in Markdown. You can repurpose at will in Markdown, especially with The wonderful Marked 2 app.

In summary: if you’re a Mac Evernote user, and want an app that acts as a useful front-end/ dashboard, give Alternote a try.

Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets

Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets
Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets

Whether you’re a new fiction writer, or are an experienced pro, you need hungry markets for your books. Genres come in and out of fashion. Discover the hot genres on the Kindle Store — and write what’s selling NOW.

Our comprehensive new program not only reveals the hottest selling genres, it also helps you to write and SELL them. Enjoy. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Stream Your Life in Fetchnotes, Free

Stream Your Life in Fetchnotes, Free

What do you do with life’s constant stream of snippets of information: all that stuff you need to remember, or pass on to someone, throughout each day?

Snippets like someone’s name, or a phone number, or a reminder to replace the batteries in your keyboard… Those items of information which aren’t tasks, or appointments, and which are hard to categorize.

They’re not important enough to add to an information store like Evernote, or to your To Do list. They’re ephemeral, like Twitter. And as you might expect, there’s a Twitter-like app to deal with them: Fetchnotes.

I downloaded Fetchnotes because it sounded as if it might be the perfect way to take a quick note on my phone without making a production of it.

Fetchnotes: find and collaborate, with hashtags and mentions

Once I started using it, I was amazed at how perfect it is.

At its simplest, it’s a note-taking app. However, it’s also a way of sending someone a quick message. I find myself referring to Fetchnotes’ tab in the Chrome browser often through the day.

Your snippets are easy to find, either with the search function, or via the tags list. Just as with Twitter, adding a hashtag to a note makes it easy to find.

If you want to send someone a quick message: “pick up some milk on the way home”, or “project completed”, just type “@” plus an address book name, a phone number, or an email address. Your recipient doesn’t even need to be a Fetchnotes user.

Want to attach something to a note? You can attach files, images, anything you like, no matter where the file is stored.

Once you’re done with a note, archive or delete it.

I use Fetchnotes for snippets of information, but you can enter longer notes if you wish. If the muse grabs you, and you want to write a scene from your novel, go ahead. Fetchnotes can handle it.

Fetchnotes is free

Since Fetchnotes is free on popular devices; check it out. You may find it as useful as I do.


, and on Twitter: @angee

New in Evernote: Tables of Contents, Automatically

Evernote Community in Google+
The Evernote Community in Google+

I’m a huge Evernote fan.

Tip: if you are too, join the Evernote Community on Google+ – see you there. :-)

Basically, most of what I do with clients and students lives in Evernote. This means that not only can I collaborate with others, I can work anywhere, anytime.

The challenge with Evernote, as with any freeform database, is finding your stuff. With thousands of notes, finding exactly what you want instantly can be a challenge.

Evernote makes it easy. You can:

  • Save your searches
  • Drag notebooks and notes to the Shortcuts sidebar
  • Link notes to each other…

And more.

You can also create your own tables of contents, to access notebooks and notes quickly. A table of contents might include the projects you’re working on this week, a list of reference material, or several checklists.

Create your own Tables of Contents

You can create links to notes very easily. These note links (right-click on a note, and choose Copy Note Link to create one) work not only within Evernote, but also outside Evernote. I copy note links to Trello cards, for example, as well as to items in The Brain.

To create a table of contents for anything, you just the copy note links you want to a new note, and it’s done.

While it’s easy, and essential when you have lots of notes, it also takes time.

With the latest version of Evernote however, it takes no time at all – Evernote will create tables of contents for you automatically.

Select and click – automatic tables of contents

My thanks to Jason Frasca for the tip. As Jason points out, you just need to select the notes you want, and click Create Table of Contents Note.

Create a Table of Contents note
Create a Table of Contents note

As you can see in the image above, it couldn’t be easier.

Give your table of contents note a relevant name, and drag it to the shortcuts bar, or click the Reminder icon so you can access it easily.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Evernote Fan? You’ll Love the New Web Clipper for Chrome

New Web Clipper in Chrome
New Web Clipper in Chrome

Evernote can save your business. Seriously. I’ve had two experiences of things going badly wrong, and both times Evernote allowed me to keep working. Firstly when a hard drive and multiple backups on my primary work machine failed, and then when my cable modem died.

In both instances, everything important was in Evernote. I didn’t miss a single deadline.

I’ve written about being an Evernote fangirl before, when Evernote added Reminders. Hint to Evernote – a Dashboard, please:

There’s one other thing I’m hoping Evernote will add: a Dashboard. Ideally, notes with certain user-created criteria would be added to the Dashboard, so they’d be easy to find.

Fingers crossed. :-)

Evernote keeps getting better

I use Evernote every day, all day, on all of my devices. It just works, so I love it. There’s another thing to love too – the Evernote company. They work with other companies which makes their product better, and they give you things you didn’t even know you wanted.

I’m grateful that Evernote works with companies like LiveScribe and Zengobi, for example. I record interviews and chats with students via Livescribe, and everything goes into the relevant Evernote notebook. Zengobi produces Curio, my all-time favorite creativity tool, and Evernote/ Curio integration means that I can drag notes right into Curio idea spaces.

And re stuff you didn’t even know you wanted, Evernote has just updated its Web Clipper for Chrome. The Clipper now does much more.

You can save articles in different formats. From the Evernote blog:

  • Article: Clips the body content of the page, including images, links and styles
  • Selection: Clips the text and images that you highlight
  • Bookmark (NEW): Creates a note containing a snippet of the page and the URL
  • Simplified (NEW): We brought in features from our Clearly extension to strip the page of all distractions for easy reading and clean clipping

The Simplified format is stunning.

Markup your documents

Evernote’s brought Skitch into the Chrome Web Clipper, so you can mark up your documents before you save them. That’s a huge time saver. No need to go into Evernote to mark up docs in the app.

Don’t use Chrome?

Safari’s been my default browser for years. I keep Chrome open, so I can open Trello boards in tabs, to refer to them throughout the day, but Safari is my workhorse. I’ll need to switch that around.

If you’ve never used Chrome, give it a try. You’ll find it has some great add-ons, including add-ons for SEO. If you’re a Gmail user, Chrome also allows you to use Streak, which calls itself “CRM in your Inbox”, and that’s exactly what it is. If you have customers and sell, you’ll love Streak. (I’ll need to do a write up about Streak at some stage; it’s a gem.)

Evernote just got even better. Who knew that was even possible? Try the new Chrome Web Clipper. You’ll love it.

, and on Twitter: @angee