In my recent post Getting Organized to Create My New Campaign I mentioned that I was planning on using Evernote as my tool for organizing my materials. I’m sure more than a few folks scratched their heads and thought “why the hell would you pick that tool?” A fair question and here’s a list of 5 reasons for my choice. In no particular order;
1. Dead simple idea capture
One of the things I hate is when you’re sitting there and you get a great idea but don’t have a way to capture it. If you’re sitting at your computer there’s a desktop application or the web version available to you. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the app and it’s available to you on the run (I love being able to take a picture with a caption for later). If you don’t have a smartphone you can set up a relay using a service like If This Than That which is free to do.
There’s also a web clipper you can use when you’re browsing the web that’s great for grabbing text, images, and even whole web pages for reference.
Get the idea? There’s no excuse for not capturing that idea any more.
2. Automatic backup
I’ve read the horror stories of GMs having years of information lost because they didn’t backup their data or someone decided to “help clean” their desk and toss out the papers. With Evernote the moment you sync to the service the data is backed up and available everywhere else.
No more excuse – the data is backed up.
3. It’s searchable
Like the web at large all the notes you put it are searchable and I have to admit the search engine for Evernote is pretty good. I’ve been able to find many a lost note with it, even those I didn’t tag appropriately or stick in the right notebook. A word of warning, pay attention to where you’re searching, you may be limiting yourself to just a notebook instead of your entire database.
You’ll always be able to find that piece of information for the campaign or players.
4. It will handle most file types
Got a PDF? A MS Word Doc? An image? Evernote will accept them all and depending on your subscription level (free or premium) will index them for you. Regardless of what subscription level you have the service will do some OCR magic on your images and make all the words in them available for search – it’s a really cool feature especially if you want to capture a whiteboard or battlemat.
By the way – you’re not limited to just those file types, Evernote can be used to store just about everything.
Go ahead and create – there’s a place to store it.
5. It’s flexible
It’s both a blessing and a curse for this application, it’s a blank slate. If you do any reading on Evernote you’ll quickly find that there’s no right or wrong way to use the tool. Whether you prefer to separate out everything into individual notebooks, dump everything together and tag it (or not) and rely on search, or some mix of the two Evernote will accommodate you. My suggestion is to give it some thought and then stick with it for a while – Evernote will forgive you and even if you have a ton of notes you can always change later (it’ll take time though, trust me, I’m changing my system with over 2200 notes).
No more “the system won’t let me do it.” Evernote will let you – trust me.
So there you have it, my top 5 reasons for picking Evernote as my campaign management tool. I would encourage you to take a look at it as well.
What tool do you use for campaign management? Why not share it and your reasons in the comments?
May your dice roll well.