I love Evernote. I use it for almost everything.
A few years ago I had a breakthrough morning in my songwriting. I discovered Evernote for songwriting and finished 5 songs in one morning.
It was the most productive day in my life as a songwriter. It was a Friday, and I had the whole morning to myself. I felt this urge to try and do some writing. Little did I know I was about to discover a whole new approach to songwriting, and creativity in general.
A few weeks before, I had started using an app called Evernote. I used it primarily to capture musical hooks that entered my mind.
When I first got the app, I had only downloaded the iOS version. And though I thought it was cool, it didn’t wow me. But I still used it, and began capturing ideas.
Melodies have always just popped in my head – when in the car, when taking a walk, when working around the house – there are plenty of moments when ideas would just show up. After I had captured several sparks of inspiration over the course of a few weeks, I realized I should probably schedule a time to actually write and work on them.
Little did I know what was about to happen…
I sat down with my phone, my guitar, my journal, and my computer. But it was all a little disorganized. Trying a new system can be a daunting thing. For whatever reason, I didn’t know that Evernote could also be on your computer, and once I discovered that, my morning was completely changed…
I saw the value and power of Evernote: working on the same thing across different devices and everything being stored in the cloud. Awesome.
Since then I’ve been on a mission to help songwriters become more organized and productive in their songwriting.
SEPARATE IDEATION FROM CRAFTSMANSHIP
What took place showed me that I had been approaching songwriting the wrong way. I would always beat myself up, working really hard at scheduling times to be creative.
Whenever I would sit down to write, I would try to do everything at once: be inspired, look for a great hook, craft and edit lyrics, etc… Sometimes it might work for me, but many times it would not.
Knowing how to capture the inspiration when it shows up is what matters.
Now I’m all about just letting life happen – with all its ups and downs, twists and turns.
The discipline part comes when you simply schedule a time to work on moments of inspiration that have already happened.
Separating ideation from craftsmanship, freed me up to write and finish 5 songs in one day. I was able to dive right into inspirational moments without having to wait for something to “hit me”.
They had hit me days before!
Here’s what I learned… A songwriter should do two things in their creative process:
- Capture inspiration whenever it shows up (this is why you need a smartphone with Evernote)
- Plan a time to capitalize on that inspiration (this is why you need Evernote on a computer or iPad)
It’s like the relationship between sails and wind. Wind blows wherever it wants, but when it does blow, you better have your sails up (if you want to get anywhere…).
That Friday morning when I sat down to write, I didn’t have to work anything up. The inspiration was already there, waiting for me to craft it.
“Why not just a simple digital recorder? Or calling your voicemail?”
I’ve actually done that voicemail thing before by the way….
First of all: I love digital recorders. I use one to record my podcasts. They sound great and can be a wonderful investment for your creativity.
But would you actually carry it with you everywhere you went? I mean do you really need one more thing to stick in your pocket? Of course not. The smart phone has taken the world by storm for this very reason…
“OK Nate… then why can’t I just use the voice memo app on my iPhone?”
Evernote stores all of your ideas in the cloud. If you were to drop your iPhone in the ocean, (or worse in the toilet) your precious voice memos would be gone.
But that’s still not where the power of this approach lies.
The main reason you need Evernote, is to super charge your songwriting process.
Not only will you have a smooth transition from ideation to craftsmanship, you’ll also have a robust organizational system for tagging and archiving every song you write.
When the time comes to sit down and exercise the discipline to craft your ideas, you’ll have the original spark of inspiration in that same file.
Ideas, lyrics, and even more audio snippets, can all be located in one easy to find “note” within Evernote.
GIVE IT A SHOT!
I call it, The Everyday Songwriter: How To Write 365 Songs This Year Using Evernote.
In this book I cover exactly how I use Evernote to build a system for my songwriting process. After learning how to use the method (it’s very simple), you’ll have a funnel for your songs to go from ideas to finished products – ready to be recorded and published.
In this book, you’ll learn how to use Evernote for songwriting and….
- Capture inspiration more regularly
- Develop a consistent songwriting routine
- Never lose another idea again!
- Keep everything in one place using the powerful web app Evernote