I’ve been using Evernote for two and a half years now. I love it because it has been exactly what I needed to organize my life: my household, my ideas, my inspiration and, eventually, my work as an artist. As an added bonus their logo is the picture of an elephant – I adore elephants, as you might have understood from my Rondy the Elephant illustration project . Evernote has been an invaluable tool for my online business, especially since I have started my first art prints Etsy shop – Rondy the Elephant.
I thought it would be a good idea to share how I use Evernote for managing my online business on Etsy with you. Want to open your Etsy shop, but don’t know how to handle everything? Evernote to the rescue!
What is Evernote?
It is an awesome free service for storage of your notes, web clips, images, voice notes – well, almost anything you can think of – inside a simple and efficient collection of notebooks. You can use Evernote for absolutely everything. Give it a try! Read Getting Started with Evernote guide.
Here are a couple of my suggestions and tips based on ways how I use Evernote for managing my Etsy shops.
1. Do your research
Collect ideas, information and inspiration you find while browsing Etsy shops, reading Etsy blog and forum. Actually, any ideas you might have. Store it all in Evernote!
While researching my Rondy the Elephant shop idea I was looking through tons of great articles with useful tips and advice, but it was quite overwhelming and hard to remember everything. So I created a new notebook called “Etsy” in my Evernote account and started clipping pages and writing down tips I thought might be useful some day. They appeared to be invaluable to me when I was in the middle of work on my items and shop. For example, I thought it would be nice to have a quick link to the guide on how to buy on Etsy, so that if anyone new to Etsy asks me, I would have it on my finger tips.
TIP: Use a great feature – stacks of notebooks.
The information I collected about opening Etsy shop came in handy for the second time when I decided to open my second shop OptimisticArt. I just looked through my notes and got to work.
2. Keep track of changes
Your shop is up and running now, but you want to redesign it or rewrite the descriptions. Before you start save the screenshots of your shop in Evernote together with sample text for your items description, shop announcement and policies. You never know when it could be useful!
This is an archival print of my “Gardening” acrylic illustration.
3. Organize your packaging and shipment
I use Evernote on my iMac every day, but it has been quite helpful on my iPad as well. I love it that all my notes are synchronized moments after I create or update them on either of my devices. So helpful! It has been especially useful for packaging and mailing orders. I created a list and check it quickly before I bring my packages to the post office. You will love it even more if you are new to Etsy – kept me a couple of times from forgetting to put my business cards or freebies inside. And the best thing with Evernote on iPad (or iPhone for that matter) is that I can bring it with me everywhere! First I bring it to my printer and check what items where purchased and in what size, and than to the packaging table to select the correct envelopes. I do all my packaging without running to my computer with every little question. Easy! :) Also I can track the times and prices of the shipment to different countries easily with Evernote.
TIP: I add images to most of my notes. It helps me browse through notes easier and quicker!
4. Communicate better!
After I opened my Etsy shop I learned that a shop owner constantly communicates with other Etsyans, be they customers or fellow sellers. To make the communication process easier I created a couple of templates that I use in my business conversations. For example, I have a template to let the customers know I shipped their order. I type a quick “shipped” in Evernote search bar and copy my template text. Than I can customize it inside Etsy conversation page according to the situation. It saves a lot of time!
TIP: You can save customized variants of your templates if you feel that a particular version is needed over and over again.
5. Keep track of your inventory!
Where did I buy those cool cardboard envelopes? How much does that canvas paper cost? How many of plastic files do I have left?
You can find the answers to your questions quickly if you store all your supplies information in Evernote. You can even create simple tables with all your data for keeping track. That is what I do!
TIP: I love those little check boxes! They help me to mark quickly when I did something I planned. I look through my notes from time to time and check the boxes next to the things I accomplished. Makes me feel good too ;)
6. Organize your finances
Keep track of all payed and pending invoices, shipment receipts, bills and more – all your financial information can also be stored in Evernote. If you already do it using a different application you can have a quick overview of them by uploading PDFs of your financial reports to Evernote and keep them all nicely organized! Works for me!
7. Promote smarter
Keep track of places you promote your shop on: blogs that feature your items and forums that discuss your work. Save the promo texts you write for later use and customization.
These are a couple of ways I use Evernote for managing my creative small business online as an artist and a freelance illustrator. They can also be applied to every kind of business you run. I successfully use it selling vector seamless patterns on iStockphoto, for example. There is an unlimited amount of possibilities. I am sure you will come up with many more usage ideas that work just for you! I would be happy to read about them in the comments below! Have fun and let the “green elephant” bring you luck in your creative endeavors! :)
You might also like: