There are generally four types of writing that I do:
- Product reviews
For my fiction and nonfiction, I use Scrivener these days. For my blogging, I generally write the posts in Ulysses before publishing them. But for product reviews, I use Evernote. It seems to me that in my entire Going Paperless series, I never mentioned this particular use case, so I figured I’d talk about it now.
I don’t write reviews nearly as much as I used to. However, I’ve found that the interfaces provided by places like Amazon and Apple to write reviews are clunky and awkward. Rather than writing the reviews directly on those sites, I tend to write them first in Evernote. My process is pretty straight-forward:
1. Create a new note in my Reviews notebook
I have a Reviews notebook in my Reference notebook stack into which all of my reviews go. When I am ready to write a review, I will create a new note in my Reviews notebook. I title the note with the product I am reviewing (often, but no always, a book).
Sometimes, if I am planning on writing a review ahead of time, I’ll create the note before I am finished with the book (or whatever I am reviewing) and jot notes there about things I want to include in the review.
2. Write the review
When I finish the book (or Podcast, or album, etc.) I’ll sit down and write the review. Typically my review consists of three parts:
- The review title. Most sites require some short title of the review, and since the review is already associated with the product, the title of the review is something different.
- The review itself.
- A link back to the review on the site on which it is posted (I’ll come back to this shortly.)
Here is an example of a fairly recent review I wrote on the iTunes store for the Track Changes podcast (a podcast that I highly recommend, by the way).
I do the first 2 steps here, providing a title, and writing the review. The third step (creating a link back to the review) comes later.
3. Post the review
Once I’ve got the review the way I want it, I go to the site that I want to post it–in the case of the example above, the iTunes store–and I post the review.
4. Add link back to the posted review
Once the review is posted I add a link to the post on the Evernote review note itself. That way, if I happen to be skimming the reviews I wrote in Evernote, and want to see the review on Amazon, or iTunes, I can just click the link in the note to get to it.
I like having ready access to everything I write. For fiction and nonfiction, my writing rests in Scrivener files on my computers, or in cloud services like iCloud Drive. For my blog posts, I have them in Ulysses, and they are once again easy to access.
Reviews are different. They are more ephemeral, and scattered over lots of different places once they are posted. Then, too, it is possible to write so many of them that it is easy to lose track of what you wrote. So I collect them all in Evernote, and can always review them there without having to go to the places I posted them. It is easy to jump to my Reviews notebook and take a look at the List View to scroll through the reviews I’ve written.
For me, this is the most useful way to centralize all of the various reviews I’ve written over the years.