Swipe Files to Idea Gardens: Evernote Review

Swipe files

If you’ve ever experienced the ups and downs of your creativity, I’m about to show you how a simple tool can turn swipe files and idea gardens into your new best friend.

You know you get tons of ideas when you’re in the shower. Ideas for blog posts, headlines, marketing angles, and of course things to put on your todo list. So maybe you rush to your desk to write these ideas down, but do you always follow through with them? I do.

But not because I’m smarter or more organized. It’s because I’ve learned to leverage technology (you too can get techy like me) to create systems in my life that keep everything smooth like buttah, baby.

How I use Evernote to Create Swipe Files and Idea Gardens

I use Evernote for a number of things… for an instant pick-me-up, to create marketing swipe files, store testimonials, and to cultivate an idea garden.

What are swipe files?

If you’ve ever seen an ad that just grabbed you by the lapels and pulled you in, you should keep track of it. We all respond differently to marketing copy, and it’s only by keeping a file – swipe files – of marketing that we’ll be able to develop our own distinct marketing style.

Maybe you’re turned off by the use of “But wait – there’s more!” but you’re totally drawn in by the use of bullet points to describe your current situation. Put those in your swipe files!

Here’s how to build your own marketing swipe files – start with the last program or product you bought, and save the file into your new Evernote system. Go through any magazines you read and take a photo of the pages that grab you, then file them away into your new Evernote powered swipe files.

The next time you see something juicy, store it in your new swipe files. You can also create different swipe files for different things. For example I take screenshots of designs that inspire me to help with my web design practice.

I also keep a swipe file for all testimonials. Sure I’ve got the latest ones up on my web design portfolio but between the time I receive it and the time I post it, it stays in Evernote.

What’s an idea garden?

The idea garden is where you plant your ideas and see which ones grow into their own. I use Evernote to store blog post ideas, ideas for upcoming projects, and random ideas for future novels. Who knows which idea will turn into a video or blog post for this site… but when I sit down to write, I’m never facing a blank screen. I’ve got my list of ideas ready to go!

Let’s get techy with Evernote

Now that you’ve gotten your first of many swipe files going, let’s make sure you come back for more getting techy with it weekly videos. Grab your free tech-made-simple videos here.

Let me know what you loved the most about this week’s video… what else are you going to use Evernote and swipe files for?

54 Comments

  1. rontoledo on June 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Natalie,

    This is Ron from Evernote. Thanks for putting together the blog post and video and sharing how you are using Evernote with your audience. We really appreciate all of the support. Let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

    – one thing I noticed was you didn’t use the Evernote Web clipper. Not sure if you know we have web clippers for all the browsers out there that makes it really simple to clip stuff you come across on the internet. http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper.php



  2. rontoledo on June 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Natalie,

    This is Ron from Evernote. Thanks for putting together the blog post and video and sharing how you are using Evernote with your audience. We really appreciate all of the support. Let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

    – one thing I noticed was you didn’t use the Evernote Web clipper. Not sure if you know we have web clippers for all the browsers out there that makes it really simple to clip stuff you come across on the internet. http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper.php



  3. Treaturselfwell on June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Great inf- you really give so much value in your posts! Thank You!



  4. Treaturselfwell on June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Great inf- you really give so much value in your posts! Thank You!



  5. NathLussier on June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @rontoledo Hey Ron, thanks so much for stopping by! I totally forgot about the web clipper, I have it installed in my other browser but never thought to mention it for Chrome! Thanks again, now others will be even more educated about Evernote. :)



  6. NathLussier on June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @rontoledo Hey Ron, thanks so much for stopping by! I totally forgot about the web clipper, I have it installed in my other browser but never thought to mention it for Chrome! Thanks again, now others will be even more educated about Evernote. :)



  7. NathLussier on June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @Treaturselfwell Aww thank you so much, glad it’s so valuable! :)



  8. NathLussier on June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @Treaturselfwell Aww thank you so much, glad it’s so valuable! :)



  9. MaaikeQuinn on June 22, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Oh boy, do I love Evernote!



  10. MaaikeQuinn on June 22, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Oh boy, do I love Evernote!



  11. NathLussier on June 22, 2011 at 7:31 am

    @MaaikeQuinn Yay for more Evernote lovers! :) I totally agree.



  12. NathLussier on June 22, 2011 at 7:31 am

    @MaaikeQuinn Yay for more Evernote lovers! :) I totally agree.



  13. jennelizhicks on June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oh this is gonna make my life so much easier! Good by Mac Stickies, hello Evernote!!!



  14. jennelizhicks on June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oh this is gonna make my life so much easier! Good by Mac Stickies, hello Evernote!!!



  15. NathLussier on June 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @jennelizhicks Woohoo! Yes – stickies (both written or tech versions) are great, but this is a much more organized way to keep track of things. :)



  16. NathLussier on June 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @jennelizhicks Woohoo! Yes – stickies (both written or tech versions) are great, but this is a much more organized way to keep track of things. :)



  17. Stephenie Zamora on June 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I am SO EXCITED about this post! I love it! So organized! Off to download… xo



  18. Stephenie Zamora on June 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I am SO EXCITED about this post! I love it! So organized! Off to download… xo



  19. michelle.c.pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips to relevant systems to improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  20. Michelle Pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips to relevant systems to improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  21. Michelle Pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips to relevant systems to improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  22. Michelle Pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips to relevant systems to improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  23. Michelle Pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips for relevant systems that improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  24. Michelle Pierson on June 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Love it!!! You always give such great tips for relevant systems that improve one’s business and life. You rock Nathalie. x



  25. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 5:57 am

    @Stephenie Zamora Yay Steph – so happy to hear that, download and use it baby. ;)



  26. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 5:57 am

    @Stephenie Zamora Yay Steph – so happy to hear that, download and use it baby. ;)



  27. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

    @Michelle Pierson Aww thank you Michelle! Keep on rocking on ;)



  28. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

    @Michelle Pierson Aww thank you Michelle! Keep on rocking on ;)



  29. livingsimple on June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’m a big Evernote fan. I run a pretty much paperless business and Evernote helps make that possible. Great video on how to use it. You are a master at making techy things simple. If you don’t mind, I want to post a link to this page on my blog. I think my readers would love to see this.



  30. livingsimple on June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’m a big Evernote fan. I run a pretty much paperless business and Evernote helps make that possible. Great video on how to use it. You are a master at making techy things simple. If you don’t mind, I want to post a link to this page on my blog. I think my readers would love to see this.



  31. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    @livingsimple Ooh I love that you run your business without paper! I’m not quite there yet, but this is definitely the way to go. :) And yes please link away, I’m always happy to have more people checking out my videos. :)



  32. NathLussier on June 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    @livingsimple Ooh I love that you run your business without paper! I’m not quite there yet, but this is definitely the way to go. :) And yes please link away, I’m always happy to have more people checking out my videos. :)



  33. nkellerm on June 24, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hey Nath! This is freakin sweet and JUST what i needed! I downloaded it but i dont see it in my browser? How do i get that? Thanks!



  34. nkellerm on June 24, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hey Nath! This is freakin sweet and JUST what i needed! I downloaded it but i dont see it in my browser? How do i get that? Thanks!



  35. NathLussier on June 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @nkellerm Yay! Hmm.. which browser are you using? This is the “web clipper” that Evernote has: http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper.php



  36. NathLussier on June 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @nkellerm Yay! Hmm.. which browser are you using? This is the “web clipper” that Evernote has: http://www.evernote.com/about/download/web_clipper.php



  37. nkellerm on June 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

    YAY!! @NathLussier Thanks! I am so excited about this! Thank you!



  38. nkellerm on June 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

    YAY!! @NathLussier Thanks! I am so excited about this! Thank you!



  39. ethanwaldman on June 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    My favorite evernote feature is to send posts via email. That way if I’m not at my own computer, I can still send ideas straight into evernote.

    1. Go to Evernote.com and login to your account

    2. Choose set­tings from the top right corner

    3. Scroll down– here you will find your pri­vate ever­note email address– copy it and add it to your email address book(s) as evernote

    Anything you send goes into your default notebook (including attachments)!



  40. ethanwaldman on June 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    My favorite evernote feature is to send posts via email. That way if I’m not at my own computer, I can still send ideas straight into evernote.

    1. Go to Evernote.com and login to your account

    2. Choose set­tings from the top right corner

    3. Scroll down– here you will find your pri­vate ever­note email address– copy it and add it to your email address book(s) as evernote

    Anything you send goes into your default notebook (including attachments)!



  41. NathLussier on June 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

    @ethanwaldman Thanks for sharing that amazing tip Ethan! I know I’m just scratching the surface with Evernote and this will help everyone take it to the next level. :)



  42. NathLussier on June 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

    @ethanwaldman Thanks for sharing that amazing tip Ethan! I know I’m just scratching the surface with Evernote and this will help everyone take it to the next level. :)



  43. angienewton on September 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Just found your blog looking for tips on using Evernote. I have been using it for a while but know there is so much more I can do with it. Right now I’m trying to learn how to use it to post while traveling so it will sync from my iphone. I think they call it offline notes. Great video and I’m really looking forward to following your blog.



  44. angienewton on September 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    @ethanwaldman That is really cool, Ethan! Just tried it out and know that I’ll love being able to email things to it. Learn something new every day.



  45. rontoledo on September 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Angie This is Ron from Evernote. We actually just did a blog post on this topic. http://blog.evernote.com/2011/08/10/did-you-know-how-to-access-notes-without-an-internet-connection/ Hope this help. Let me know if you have any other questions.



  46. angienewton on September 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    @rontoledo Hi Ron, thanks! I just clipped that page earlier this week to read. So from what I understand is that I can be in another country and post notes on my iPhone while in airplane/wifi mode and they will sync into my regular Evernote when I get back to a place with wifi?

    Here’s what I’m trying to accomplish (I’m not real techy LOL). We won a trip from Marriott and I’ll be their beach blogger while we are in St. Thomas Virgin Islands, I want to take notes in Evernote on my iphone while we are out and about so that I can easily blog about everything when I get back to the resort. Would I need the premium Evernote for this? I’m not opposed to paying for it but I’m still trying to understand how to make it all work.

    Thanks so much for your reply!



  47. NathLussier on September 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    @angienewton Hey Angie, thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :) Glad you enjoyed the video and that you’re ready to rock out all the Evernote functionalities that are out there. :)



  48. rontoledo on September 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    @angienewton First off. Mariott in St. Thomas sounds amazing. How did you win that? Been wanting to visit St. Thomas myself. . About your question. The offline notebooks in IOS feature (premium only) is more about accessing your notes then creating them, so if you don’t need to access your notes when you aren’t in range of wifi or cell signal then this feature is probably not relevant to you.

    To help with your specific situation. Evernote on the iPhone has a setting that allows you “sync on WiFi only” You can toggle this feature to the ON position to make sure the app only connects when connected via WiFi .

    See Screenshot here: https://skitch.com/rontoledo/faeej/photo

    Any notes you create will be placed in pending synchronization they will be stored on your phone until you connect to a wifi network where they will sync with the Evernote service. I would suggest you test everything out before you leave to make sure you leave to be sure you don’t get any unexpected data charges. One thing that I do when on vacation internationally is to leave my phone in airplane mode so you can be sure it wont try to connect to your cell provider. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    -ron



  49. angienewton on September 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @rontoledo Amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. I had no clue about that setting.

    As for Marriott, I entered their Resort 2 Romance beach blogger contest and out of 86 we made it to top 10 then had to get votes to win. So excited!

    Followed you on Twitter! Have a great night.



  50. siltnamiai on April 27, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Hey Natalie, this is really helpfull, thanks for all of your tips.



  51. Daisy on July 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Very helpful Nathalie! I’ve installed Evernote and have had it sitting there without any use. I even have it on my phone too but didn’t really find much use for it. Now I have a different perspective ;)



  52. Gretchen on February 11, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Hi Nathalie,
    I have been using Evernote for 1 year, but mainly for To Do lists, and notes from conferences. I use Evernote regularly, to create a weekly To Do list, I love the check box feature.

    I just found your website through Leonie Dawson’s group and this was the first article I read on your page. And wow, am I glad I did! I clipped this article and Evernote tips as my first clip and am off to the races!

    I also realized I did not have the Evernote Clip button on my Browser, so I had to install that to be most effective with it.

    Thank you for the tutorial and I look forward to creating Idea Gardens with this as well. I think this will alleviate the gigantic list of bookmarks I have.

    Thank you!
    Gretchen



    • Nathalie Lussier on February 11, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Yay Gretchen! This makes me so happy – glad to hear that you’ll be using Evernote to its full potential now, and way to go on clipping and creating your first idea garden! :) And so glad that we met through Leonie’s group too!



  53. Majbrit on May 10, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Thank you so much, quite an amazing discovery for me, now I can cut down on post it and have it all in one place :-)