Evernote’s new templates functions add four creative writing templates as a usable writer’s tool.
I’ve been an Evernote sole power-user for ten years now. I am on a premium account, with 6000+ notes. But most writers can make use of Evernote as a writer’s tool very easily through a free account.
I use two apps for writing – Scrivaner for project writing (and to hold some project planning documents) and Evernote for planning and research. Evernote’s web-clipping function is fantastic for gathering information. I also use EN to hold PDFs sourced from email or as online downloads, then file them elsewhere also.
I do have a lot of notes, collected over a decade of using the apps. These notes are synchronised through the web, desktop and mobile apps. The consequences are that using Evernote can be slow to load and write, so I would never use the app for blog post or fiction writing.
What it’s great for is curation of research notes, and for planning. And Evernote’s new template functions make this even easier.
Using the Templates
- Find the categories of templates at this link online.
- Once you’ve opened up a template you like, you’ll need to sign onto Evernote (you have got an account, right?)
- Save the template. This saves to a somewhat invisible database of templates on your account – you can’t see your templates until you choose to use one.
- To use one, either on the web version of Evernote, or the desktop app, there’s a new templates function inside a new note. So add a new note (using the big plus button) and in the actual note field will be the message “Start writing, drag files or choose a” [Template]. Click the Template button right there and a popup window will now show you an image listing of all the templates you have saved.
- On each template image is a more button (…) from which you can select apply, rename or delete.
- Choose a template (apply it) and it will populate into your note body, ready to be edited as you need.
With this functionality Evernote also now allows us to save our own templates internally and these will appear inside new notes.
I also have a notebook titled “Templates” and copy notes from this notebook into other notebooks for reuse. Including notes with large images (headers etc) or attachments which can not be saved as templates.
From any open note you will find this new option to save as a template from the more button (…).
Evernote versus other Templates
Evernote has quite a few templates available onsite. The latest batch are designed in Evernote green. You may want to brand the notes (and save as a new template) with your own colours and formats.
There are also a few people who offer evernote templates for purchase. There were a couple of gorgeous image-intensive life planning and fitness packs of Evernote templates available at Simplify Days. You can still signup to get a free pack from the Simplify Days website.
Other users can share their own notes and make these accessible by private or public links.
The Latest Creative Writing Templates in Evernote
On the Evernote website you will now find four templates for creative writers – 3 Act Structure, Story Premise Worksheet, Character Profile and Story Dashboard.
The Story Premise worksheet contains fields which you would use to create a story elevator pitch sentence or logline. After creating the typical elements (main character, situation etc), the template suggests you now create a two sentence logline. There are many formula or prescriptions for loglines. I personally use only one sentence. The beauty of the template system is that I can change anything and save as my own.
The Character Profile template is very nice. Being able to take it on the go through mobile devices makes creating new characters very enjoyable.
The Story Dashboard is also another helpful template. I hold my projects in a group of notebooks called a “stacked” folder. Character profiles, story premise work, structure work, and general planning or ideas notes are scattered across several organised notebooks.
The story dashboard is an overall index to help find each by inserting their internal note links into this document. I’ve always created these manually, as my writer’s tool to find everything, but the template is nicely designed and usable by simply applying from a new note.
Aside from the four creative writing templates, there are, of course, many other planning and organising templates available. Making the Evernote app once again a favourite writer’s tool. Take a look.