Organize Your Information With Evernote

Evernote for RPGFrom Jared Hunt

Evernote is a free service that I’ve used on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. There are versions for other mobiles and for Windows as well. It is a simple word processing program that incorporates online storage so you can share your notes across any number of your computers and devices.

One of the problems I’ve always had as a GM is keeping my notes organized. I’m one of those people who likes to have a way to record good ideas no matter where I am and, in the past, that meant lots of paper scraps, napkins with notes scrawled on them, and journals. Trying to find a specific idea was quite the chore.

Now I just use Evernote. No matter where I am, I’ll almost always have access to either my phone, my iPad or a computer with internet access. As long as I have at least one of those things, I can easily record my ideas and they are instantly synced across all my devices.

I also appreciate the ability to create and store notes via text, picture, or audio. If it’s useful, you can also add a geotag to sort by location.

Evernote has a robust system for tagging your notes that makes searching and sorting easy. I have a tag for each campaign, one for NPCs, world info, magic, and so on. You can add as many tags to an idea as you want.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect it could be a great way to take notes in-game too.


I’m a huge Evernote fan. Have been using it for various projects at work and home for the last two or three years. Another option is to use the Google Scratchpad, which uses Google Docs via a Chrome app to do the same thing. I just recently started playing with Scratchpad. The nice thing about Evernote is that you can create offline notes and even view your notes locally offline if you have the Evernote Windows application. I’m not sure you can use either Scratchpad or Evernote (web version) without a live internet connection.

Johnn Four

Did not know about Scratchpad. Thanks.

Something I wish they’d add to Evernote is contextual tags. Right now, all tags go into one pool.

So, my RPG tags get mixed in with my day job tags which get mixed in with my Gamer Lifestyle tags.

It would be great to filter tags so you only set the set you need.


Yes, that’s true. Tags are just thrown into one huge pool. I think you can save searches for particular tags in the Windows version, but that’s just a workaround.


SpringPad ( is another good free alternative to Evernote. I saw it recommended on LifeHacker and started using it when I was bumping up against Evernote’s free storage limit. It seems to be aimed a little more at collecting, organizing, and researching diverse pieces of information. I’ve found that it will clip some things from web pages that Evernote chokes on (and vice versa). I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to settle on one or both.


I use Evernote for just about everything DM-related (I play D&D 4e) apart from drawing maps. One of my favorite uses involves Evernote’s excellent image clipper:

1. Fire up the D&D Monster Builder, find or make the monster needed.

2. Use Evernote’s image clipper to clip an image of the monster stat block

3. Name the resulting image note and tag it by monster level, role, etc.

It’s not a whole lot different than using the monster builder itself, but it’s now accessible from any device, which is wonderfully convenient, and I can arrange them in notebooks by adventure or encounter.

Comments are closed