April 13, 2017 | Alyson Stanfield

Organize Your Busy Art Career with Evernote

I am writing this draft in Evernote on my iPad while taking the light rail train into Denver to see a few art shows.

When I want a document that I will reuse and share with students, clients, or my team, I create it in Word, Pages, or Google Docs.

When I want to save drafts of documents or to store something to remember, it goes straight to Evernote where I can access it across devices.

©Marsha Hamby Savage, de Chelly Bluff. Oil on gallery wrap canvas, 20 x 16. Used with permission.
©Marsha Hamby Savage, de Chelly Bluff. Oil on gallery wrap canvas, 20 x 16. Used with permission.

Evernote is an app that organizes information into digital notes and notebooks. It would be impossible for me to keep track of all the information I need to without it.

Here’s a peek at how I use Evernote in my life and business along with suggestions for how you might use it in your art career.

Keep Your Travel Information in One Place

This might be my favorite use of Evernote. In your Travel notebook you might store:

  • Hotel arrangements
  • Flight details
  • Car rentals
  • Contact names and information
  • Directions
  • Things you want to do and see when you arrive
  • Local restaurants

You might also store travel information for your family or for friends who are visiting.

Capture Content Ideas

One of the problems I hear most often from artists is that they don’t have anything to say. And this is a problem when so much of your marketing is based on the written word.

No more worries! The minute you have a bright idea, you can start a note in Evernote. Save drafts for:

  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Video scripts
  • Newsletters
  • Bio updates
  • Artist statement revisions

Maintain an Operations Manual

©Judith Lochbrunner, Shasta Sizzle. Acrylic, 28 x 22 inches. Used with permission
©Judith Lochbrunner, Shasta Sizzle. Acrylic, 28 x 22 inches. Used with permission

Your operations manual is a record of step-by-step procedures for regular tasks.

It saves time because you don’t have to recreate the procedures every time you begin the task. It will also be the go-to guide for any assistants you may hire.

Use this for:

  • Assistants and employee info
  • Steps for sending a newsletter
  • Checklist for art openings
  • Exhibitions checklist
  • Packing and shipping instructions
  • Promotions checklist
  • Any text that you might use repeatedly, such as quick links, responses to donation requests, or directions to your studio

Systematize Your Art Making

Evernote is an ideal place to keep notes for:

  • Commissions details
  • Glaze recipes
  • Shopping resources for materials
  • Tracking studio hours
  • Tracking progress on artwork

Manage Your Finances

Consider using Evernote to organize your finances:

  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Tax schedule
  • Sales tax procedures
  • Budgets
  • List of people and businesses you need tax forms from
  • List of people and businesses you need to send tax forms

Personalize Your Relationships

Create an Evernote notebook for people who you want to know about you and your art so that you can personalize your relationships.

Who are they? Where do they work? What are they known for? Who do they know that you know?

These people might include:

  • Individual collectors
  • Curators on your radar
  • Gallerists
  • Interior designers
  • Architects
  • Heads of granting agencies
  • Writers and critics

Structure Your Teaching

There is so much to juggle when you teach:

  • Enrollment procedures
  • Notes about individual students
  • Lesson plans
  • Teaching checklist
  • Inspiration from other instructors
  • Ideas for improving your next class
  • Procedures for following up with students
  • Teaching proposal drafts (these are probably documents in their final form)

©Suzanne Thompson, Djinn on the Rocks. Embellished ice-dyed fabric, 15 x 21 inches. Used with permission.
©Suzanne Thompson, Djinn on the Rocks. Embellished ice-dyed fabric, 15 x 21 inches. Used with permission.

Remember What You Want to Learn

Artists are perpetual students. There is so much to take in! Keep track of all you want to take, see, watch, and read:

  • Classes
  • Workshops
  • Podcasts
  • Artist talks and seminars
  • Books
  • Films and videos
  • Bucket list for travel

Your Turn

There are hundreds of other ways that Evernote can help you organize your art career and business.

How do you use Evernote?

23 comments add a comment
  • I don’t use Evernote, but I will certainly look into it!

  • Gaw

    I have been using MS OneNote, available on all types of devices for free, since 2009. It is similar to Evernote. Can’t live without it. It is like have filing cabinets of information at your fingertips regardless of where you are.

  • Alyson, didn’t realize you were in Santa Fe! Enjoy. Your great list gave me a wonderful addition for Evernote – Structure Your Teaching. Thank you! I’m with you on loving Evernote across all devices.

  • Michelle Arnold Paine

    I discovered Trello.com this year and I love it! It is a bit more visual then Evernote – feels more like a collection of bulletin boards so I am much more into it. You can also “decorate” your boards with photos and colors which is fun.

  • I use Evernote and I love it. Its one of the few apps that lives up to all the hype. One of my favorite functions is the Clip App. I have it on my phone and laptop, so anytime I find something inspiring online for a potential piece of work, or an article about a technique I want to try, the app clips it, and stores in on Evernote. So when I waiting for an appointment or have a free moment I catch up, get inspired or learn something new.

  • Richard Huston

    I use Evernote all the time. One of my favorite things is to photograph receipts and save them.

  • Alyson, you got me to use Evernote. It’s now my go to note-taking program. Thank you so much.

    I would be leery, though, of placing so many important documents in Evernote because of the trouble I’ve had accessing it (something updated on the desktop is not always available on my phone, and vice versa).

    That being said, it’s been an invaluable resource – if I’ve taken a note, I know where it is!

    • Mary: Sounds like you need to update your settings if the documents aren’t in both places. I’ve never had this problem with a Synced folder. (There are also folders that are set NOT to sync.)

      Also, always double check before you head out on a trip to see that your travel documents are showing up.

  • Thanks Alyson. Fabulous to have these lists of things to use in Evernote.
    I especially like the recurring tasks like for teaching.
    I recently went to an info night in Melbourne, Australia on Evernote. There are a number of apps that Evernote work really well with like Google Drive, Scannable (perfect for scanning receipts and putting them in a folder in Notebook, ready for the accountant).
    Thanks for the reminder to use this app in a more useful way.

  • Corliss

    Hi, this is wonderful. My 16 year old daughter is an artist and Evernote user. I’ve forwarded your article to her. This is also helpful for non-artists.

  • I love Evernote. Thanks for reminding me of all the other ways I can use it. :)

  • A friend of mine who is a potter highly recommends Evernote also but I have an iPhone and it seems to do everything Evernote does without the monthly fee.

  • Thanks Alyson,
    I never think Evernote can be this useful.

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