Whether it’s the latest set of Heroku commands or alternative revenue models for your startup, you need one place to store all the vital bits, ideas, and decisions. I recommend Evernote. While there are lots of alternatives (Wikis, Circus Ponies Notebook, plain text files, etc), Evernote gives you a set of nice features (versioning, formatting, device ubiquity, robust search) that no other single app has.

Here’s a list of what I have in my Evernote notebooks on DeveloperMemory:

  • Definition of the unmet need,
  • Various audio notes made while driving, in the bathroom, waiting for the dentist and elsewhere.
  • Dozens of posts culled from my RSS reader (Mr. Reader on my iPad), my desktop browser (Chrome), and email,
  • A list of major definitional decisions and their implications. For example, DeveloperMemory is not a flashcard application and won’t be marketed as such. DeveloperMemory’s primary market is experience developers striving to master the never-ending list of programming languages, frameworks, open source projects and tools relevant to their professional skills,
  • Various stabs at a domain name,
  • All my tech info (Rackspace for Startups info, Heroku notes, WordPress plugins in use now and for the future),
  • Ideas for the product,
  • Pricing model alternatives – pros and cons,
  • Dozens of pages of research from various sites on learning and memory,
  • Various versions of how I explain what DeveloperMemory will be,
  • Pdfs from dozens of cheat sheets I plan to turn into sets in DM (the paid version gives you very good pdf searching),
  • Screen shots of startups I think did a very good job of presenting their products.
I expect to be adding a score or two more notes including:
  • AdWord keywords, adds, and notes,
  • A page for each of the web services I am or will be using to administer, market, or otherwise help DeveloperMemory.
  • The rough and final drafts of each newsletter, mailing, blog post, and tweet,
  • A page for each DevMem member I end up having an extended conversation with,
  • A page for each specific marketing initiative – what it was, how it worked out.
Bottom line, If you don’t presently use Evernote, start a free account today, import in all those bits of digital information you have floating about, and bring some much-needed order to all the whirling bits of relevant information you are fighting to coalesce into a business.
If you are using Evernote, what do you store in it about your startup?

3 thoughts on “Using Evernote to manage your Startup

  1. Hey Bob,

    I actually started after listening to one of your podcasts. Can’t be sure but I think it is the interview with the Balsamiq Mockups CEO (I use his product too). He said that he used Evernote and then transferred it to a notebook. I have been using ever since and it is awesome. I would never be able to remember the stuff it do now. I have all kinds of notes saved, SEO, Blog, Marketing, Competitors, Market, Prelaunch page, Elevator pitch, Financing, Books, Questions that need answering, ext. Really helpful stuff.

  2. FYI: Evernote is INC Magazines company of the year.

    http://www.inc.com/magazine/201112/evernote-2011-company-of-the-year.html

    I’ve been using Evernote for a few years and I’m sure I’m still not using it to it’s full potential. I say that because I just kept dumping SO MUCH STUFF into it. That’s not necessarily a problem. Truth is, I have so much stuff that needs organizing.

    Where I went wrong was not organizing things into notebooks and notebook stacks. I had a few, but invariably, I would set the default to be the project that I was working on, so that I could pump a bunch of notes into that project. Then I’d forget it that it was the default, and would start pumping my daughter’s college search notes into it, christmas gift ideas, random articles about health topics that I watned to read… all into the notebook of a software project I was working on. 😉

    I created a notebook called INBOX now and never change that from the default. Then I sort from there into folders. I have to stay on top of that INBOX though.

    1. Hey Mark – I do the same thing – an Inbox Evernote folder, then sort from there. That gives me 4 inboxes to clear: email, Nozbe, Evernote and physical. While it’s a pain to do so, it beats drowning in sea of things that want and demand your attention.

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