New Productivity Tools: Journal linked to Evernote

Productivity Tools

I love finding new toys tools to make my life simpler and more efficient. I have been blogging a whole lot more recently than ever before, writing on at least one of my blogs everyday. However, there are things that I would like to write about that are too new or too private to be published right away, either because of my own closeness to the situation, not enough data or because of privacy concerns.

Private WordPress Blog
Private WordPress Blog

So, I had the idea to keep a private journal where I could take notes on what is going on… my thoughts, emotions, notes, etc. and have them easily accessible to me to use for a blog post sometime in the future.

Evernote is a fantastic tool for all kinds of note taking and I use it everyday (more on in another post), but it’s not really setup well to work as a journal, or at least it doesn’t seem so to me. So I started looking for other online journal programs. Why online? So that I can have access to it via my home computer, phone or tablet.

Penultimate is a great tool for handwritten notes, drawings, etc. that can be synchronized with your Evernote account… but I can only use it on the tablet and need to have a stylus available to hand-write.

Ultimately, I ended up with a compromise solution. I started a private blog at, then used (if this then that) to create a “recipe” so that each time a post is made on my personal blog, a note is appended in Evernote. I’m also toying with having a “recipe” for Instagram so that when I post a photo on Instagram, it creates a blog post on my personal blog.

This will give me the best of all words… open platform to write privately on personal topics, linked to Evernote so that I can search the text, or by tags, categories, etc.  I can also access the blog via my desktop computer, phone, tablet, or any device with internet access.

What tools do you use for your own writing or personal productivity?

25 April 2013 Update: I’m having a little trouble with the recipe for getting personal blog posts added to my Evernote account… it could be that it won’t work on private blogs, only on blogs that are publicly posted (that would actually make sense). So, I guess I have to rethink this… maybe I can find a way to use Evernote for the kind of Journal I want to keep…

Thoughts on Learning

I love to learn. It’s one of my all-time favorite things to do. I am particularly interested in learning new computer tools, software and applications that make life easier or more fun. Then the next best thing after learning about something is being able to teach someone else about it.

And that’s where the snags can hit! This blog is new and I am learning WordPress as I go. I learned how to redirect the blog installed at one location and have the URL be the root of another domain name in the same account. However, I can’t remember a THING about how I did it. Well, that’s not quite true, I do remember how to change the settings in WordPress to display a different URL, But the instructions they give in the more information section does not seem at all familiar and I don’t know if I did it or not.

So here I am, planning to make the changeover for my brother’s website from a straight HTML site into a blog that he can easily update himself, but I can’t remember how to make that happen!

Taking notes, screenshots, even, if you have the software, recording what you are doing on screen as you talk to create a screencast to refer back to are all great tools for deepening the learning and having a better chance of being able to make the process of repeating a sequence much easier and less stressful. Sometimes there’s nothing more frustrating than being faced with a task you KNOW you know how to do, but simply can’t bring that learning up to where you need it to be.

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