Using Evernote

Starting a Business? Make it Happen in 2018

You’ve got a secret.

You may have a great job, and you’re good at it, too. But deep down, you want to start a business of your own. You have a hobby you want to turn into a side hustle or an idea you want to grow into a product. You’ve spent some time gathering inspiration, collecting tips, and thinking about ‘someday maybe.’

Yet you haven’t made the leap. Fear, not knowing where to start, feeling disorganized—there’s definitely no shortage of things holding you back.

But 2018 is the year you can make it happen. In fact, you’re further along than you think. We’ll show you why, and give you tips for using Evernote to find everything you need to transform your business idea into reality.

What’s holding you back

A survey showed that about a third of Americans find the idea of starting their own company scarier than skydiving. And this fear holds them back. While 57 percent of Americans have had at least one new product or business idea, the survey found that only about two in five took steps to make it happen.

It’s not hard to understand why. There are estimates that anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of small businesses fail in their first year. But what else is driving this fear?

Maybe you don’t feel organized enough or experienced enough. Perhaps you say things to yourself like, “Once I have the time, I’ll make it happen.” Or maybe you have more specific concerns, such as “I don’t have any expertise in selling.” Either way, it’s a huge project to take on, and it could easily feel like you’re starting from square one.

Why making it happen is easier than you think

But here’s the thing: you’re further along than you think. Here’s why:

You’ve taken the first step. Coming up with a goal or a dream is often the hardest part. Remember, only 57 percent of Americans come up with one business or product idea. You’re one of the lucky ones that have an entrepreneurial mindset.

You’ve gathered inspiration. Think about all that time you’ve spent dreaming about starting a business. How many articles have you clipped that offer ‘entrepreneur hacks’ or tips for creating a business plan? How many websites have you saved for the cool design ideas? Look through your notes, and you’ll probably find that you’ve already done a lot of homework. You aren’t starting from nothing.

You’ve got the tool you need. You’ve been saving everything in Evernote. The building blocks of your business idea may be scattered across random notes, or all piled into your ‘Read Later’ notebook, but they’re in there. You just need to organize and make sense of them. Then, you can easily build on what you’ve done—day by day. It can be something small, like researching how to get a prototype made, or looking into how incorporation works. Breaking your work into smaller, more achievable tasks will give you the momentum you need.

So with this in mind, it’s time to get to work. Here are six ways you can use Evernote to make your dream of starting a business happen in 2018:

1. Search through what you already have. You already have everything you need to get started; you just need to see it all so you can feel more organized. This is where Evernote’s powerful little search bar comes in.

Whether it’s dozens (okay, hundreds) of clipped articles, saved websites, highlighted PDFs, Post-Its, or whiteboard sketches that you’ve collected over weeks, months, or even years, you can use Evernote’s search tool to round things up. Easily find it all by searching for terms related to your business idea, or starting a business. No matter whether it was a clipped article or a handwritten note, you’ll be able to find it. With Evernote Premium, you can even search inside PDFs.

Search handwriting

If you have saved A LOT of things, no worries. Check out these five tips for organizing Evernote to find what you need quickly.

2. Tag it up. As you go through your search results, add tags to help make sense of what you have. If you’ve got an article you emailed yourself with advice on how to incorporate, tag it with ‘entrepreneur tips.’ If you’ve got a clipped website design that you really liked, tag it with ‘inspiration.’ Adding these keywords to notes makes them easier to revisit, especially if you’ve got a lot of them.

Get more tips for organizing with tags. »

3. Set up a dedicated notebook. Create a notebook specifically for your business idea and add it to your shortcuts so you can always access it quickly. If you have something new to add, you can easily clip a webpage or save an email and send it straight to your notebook.

4. Create a project plan. Now’s the time to figure out the nuts and bolts. Use tables or checklists to organize your tasks.

Try our new 2018 planning templates to organize your time. »

5. Set reminders. You can use reminders to stay on track with your project plan or to remember to come back to an idea when you have more time. That way, you can hold yourself accountable and ensure inspiration doesn’t go to waste.

Learn more about setting up reminders. »

6. Work offline. When you’re working on the side, you have to find the time wherever you can. It may be on your commute, it may be while you’re on a flight, or it may be jotting down an idea while you’re at the store. The good news is that you can always access your ideas with Evernote Premium, thanks to offline notebooks. Learn how to set up offline notebooks. »

And BOOM! Your dream of starting a business isn’t just a thought that exists only in your head anymore. It’s documented and organized. You’ve got a plan, and you’re closer to making it happen in 2018 than you thought!

Looking for more inspiration? See how businesses like October Ink and The Jungalow run on Evernote.

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