Evernote is a digital notebook application with both desktop and mobile versions, all of which easily synch so that your information is available on any of your devices at any time. Evernote is a cross-platform application, which means that you can use it and information will synch even if you have a Windows desktop, an iPad and an Android phone.
Although many consider Evernote to be a productivity app, it can also be a helpful marketing and business development tool to help lawyers capture marketing and business development ideas, keep track of notes on prospective clients, and develop content, among other uses. You can send Evernote information via email, create audio notes, text-based notes or images.
Marketing and content ideas can strike anywhere, any time. A discussion with a client or colleague may spark an idea for a blog post or a case study to add to the firm’s website. A radio advertisement or news article may prompt an idea for a potential new service to offer clients. A change in the law might create a reason to reach out to existing and former clients.
In the past, when these kinds of ideas or inspiration would strike, you would probably make a ‘mental note’ to try to remember the item later, scribble a note to yourself on a scrap of paper, send yourself an email, or bookmark the website or article. But those methods were rarely searchable, often forgotten, and were very likely to get lost. With Evernote you can capture those ideas all in one place. Create a new note or add to an existing list or note on the fly. Using Evernote will also help you stay focused on current projects while ensuring that you won’t lose track of ides for future ones.
Use Evernote’s tagging features to add multiple tags to make notes easier to find and organize, without having to recall the title you originally gave to the note.
Whether you create content completely from your own ideas, share content created by others or research ideas and information to develop your marketing and business development content, Evernote can be a huge help.
Email newsletters, feed readers, links from social media all can lead to articles that can be sources for your own content or simply further education about your clients, their industries, legal topics, etc. But when you come across those articles, you may not have time or be in the best place to read and digest them thoroughly. Evernote lets you capture those articles to read later, either by integrating with your email program, allowing you to send email newsletter articles directly to Evernote, or by using the Evernote web clipper to quickly capture web pages and articles and send them to Evernote.
Save questions from clients and prospects to use for blog posts, articles, case studies, and FAQs in Evernote as well.
If you create your own content, you can draft can blog posts or articles or creaft an update to your firm’s bio, etc. within Evernote wherever you are, and pick up right where you left off later on another device. When complete, simply cut and paste into the applicable program or site.
Some lawyers contribute their content to multiple publications – their own website or blog, trade industry publications, bar association newsletters, CLE programs, etc. Each of these publications or platforms is likely to have its own posting checklists or guidelines that you’ll need to follow. Gather those in Evernote for easy reference, or use Evernote’s checklist feature to ensure that you’ve included all of the necessary information and complied with all applicable rules, standards and deadlines. This will make it much more likely that your article is accepted for publication and that you don’t miss a publication date.
If you create your own content, you’ll want to keep your own Editorial Calendar within Evernote, along with a post-publication checklist to help you to publicize and spread the word about your latest article on social media and other sites.
Evernote is also a great place to keep lists of published posts and their web locations for easy future reference.
Maintain Client and Prospect Information
Meeting with a new client or prospect? If you take notes, even if you take them on paper, Evernote is a handy way to store and save them so that you have access even when you aren’t in the office. If you take notes electronically, you can save them to Evernote directly, but if you create handwritten notes, simply snap a photo with your smartphone or tablet and save the photo to Evernote. You’ll be able to search the text in the note even if it is contained within an image, whether that text is typed or handwritten.
Often client or potential client information is received via email, but if it stays within your email program, it can be difficult to find. Evernote can be a good place to store that information so that you can stay on top of follow up, which is the most difficult aspect of developing new relationships or maintaining existing ones. Let Evernote help you. Keep your list of client calls to make or prospects to follow up with in Evernote. If you’ve got their information in Evernote as well, you’ll have all of the information you need to make a quick call or send a personalized follow up email or LinkedIn invitation when you’re on the go or when you have some unexpected downtime.
The Evernote Hello app, also by Evernote, can make this process even easier. If you’re using iOS, you can take a photo of a business card, send the photo to Evernote, scan the card for data, pull their profile from LinkedIn and add it to your phone’s contact list. Although the business card scan feature is not yet available for Android, you can still get the Hello app and enter their information manually or connect to a group of people using the Hello Connect feature.
Collaborate and Share
Often, marketing and business development tasks or projects aren’t handled by a single individual. A team of lawyers may be working with a particular client or prospect, and staff members may need access to information or perform specific tasks in a marketing initiative. For example, the attorney may be responsible for drafting a blog post, while a staff member is responsible for publishing the post or for adding social media links. In that case, Evernote’s sharing features are the way to go.
Evernote lets you create shared notebooks so that each member of the team can see what is being done. Checklists can ensure that no steps are skipped. Shared notebooks can include pages from the prospect’s website, notes from meetings with prospects, prospect contact information, checklists and timelines so that everyone can see what stage the project is in, who is doing what and when.
Another Evernote feature that can aid your follow up efforts is Reminders. Reminders allow you to add alerts inside your Evernote account and via email, or to pin specific notes to the top of your notes list for easy reference.
Clicking on the alarm clock icon will pin the selected note into the Reminder list at the top of the Note List, create a to-do item for that note and add alarms to make sure your task-related notes are completed on time. If you’ve shared a notebook with a colleague, they can subscribe to that notebook’s Reminders to get alerts about upcoming deadlines.
Not only will the reminders feature allow you to keep track of follow ups, but it is also a great way to remember those marketing and posting deadlines.
Think of Evernote as a giant file cabinet. You can make it as structured or as unstructured as you want, but it is much more functional than a paper file cabinet, thanks to the robust search (including search of text in photos) and tagging features available in Evernote. You can create a separate notebook for each client, prospect or project, or keep all of your marketing and business development related notes in a single notebook.