Overwhelmed with writing instruction, market leads, helpful tips and “to-do” tasks? Jon has a quick, cheap and effective way to clear your mind and put all the information you need at your fingertips:





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      Great tips for organizing bits of valuable info, Jon. I’ve been using the notebook system for years. I go through each writing publication I subscribe to, rip out articles or individual pages I want to keep, staple them together if it’s a multipage article, and then use a hole punch to prepare the pages for insertion into a tabbed 3-ring binder. I always write at the top of each article or page which category the info should be filed under. When I have a pile of pages collected, I spend some time putting them into my binder(s). It’s much easier than handling multiple file folders stuffed with articles and bits of paper. Using the notebook binder system keeps everything organized and easily accessible. It is like having a portable resource center designed especially for you and your needs as a writer. Thanks, Jon, for letting others know about the notebook system.

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      Dave Millman
      April 28th

      Good ideas. I’m cleaning my house in preparation for a move. I just stumbled on a 25-year-old binder like you describe, which I added to my box of other more recent ones.

      At 2:37 you said, “When you find something online, or in a copy of CBI or some other newsletter, you can just copy it, paste it onto a piece of paper, print it out, three-hole punch it and drop it in there (the binder).”

      Jon, at least for the online example above, something like Evernote is many times superior to any paper binder. Select the article or page of note, click the Evernote button in your browser, and not only is that information preserved forever, but:
      * You can search for text in the title or body
      * You can access it from any device (PC/Mac, phone, tablet)
      * It’s free

      I would go so far as to suggest that, despite some visceral advantages of a physical binder, scanning or photographing those same sheets of paper and uploading them to Evernote makes them even more useful.

      I’ve been using Evernote for about 5 years and have never paid them a dime. Eventually I probably will, but for now, they are just archiving many hundreds of web pages, scans, photographs, handwritten notes and misc. for me that I can access 24/7/365. Hmmm…my most recent binder is a bit over 5 years old now…

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      This is such a great idea! I’ve been using Evernote for over a year now, and while I do really like it, I still like having one place to put my sticky notes or article I read in a paper magazine.

      Thanks for sharing, Jon!

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      Hally Franz
      April 30th

      Love the low-tech option! I’m glad everything doesn’t involve learning a new computer skill. I need to do this, because I have been printing and piling good pieces of information from CBI, writings sites, etc. for a while. Thanks for all the low- and high-tech information that you and Laura share with us!

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      I just revisited this video and really like it as much as I did the first time. I use Evernote also, but I certainly see the advantages to paper AND Evernote. Tough decision! However, I do like having the information available when I’m not at home. I do like the idea of using paper notebook for my personal life outside of writing! I have slips of paper in a box right now that will immediately be set up in a notebook as soon as I get back from the Dollar General! Thanks Jon!

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