How I Run an Online Business, Blog Regularly, Keep Learning and Manage My Life with Evernote
A short introduction
To understand why I do online training and why I decided to use Evernote, I have to tell you a little story. It all started when the economic crisis hit Europe a few years ago. Many friends and clients were forced to emigrate to find a new job. United States, Canada, Chile, UK, Australia and even Vietnam were some of their destinations. If everyone had gone to the same country, I would have gone with them, but that was not the case. As many of you already know, I live in a small Spanish coastal town that suddenly saw its population drop from 12,000 to just 8,000. You do not have to be very smart to realize that my traditional personal training business was going to sink. Fewer people, with lower purchasing power, would consider personal training as a luxury they could not afford.
So I had three options: look for another job, emigrate or reinvent my business. I chose the third option.
Emails and PDFs always seemed like a shabby way of sending training plans, so I started looking for other ways to network with my expatriate clients.
Each coach understands personal training in a different way. I approach each client as a project. They have a goal, which can change over time, they face difficulties during the process and they need a fluid, constant communication that can adapt to their new situations.
So I tried different apps with them to manage projects like Asana, Basecamp or Trello. They all are great apps, but some way or another they didn´t fit all our needs.
Then, I found Evernote, and everything started to fit in a natural way.
When you decide to exercise and start a training plan the very first thing you must do is keeping a training journal, period.
Every day write what you have done, how many series, how much weight you have used, how you feel after training and the next day, what you have eaten, how you have slept, etc. To verify how the training plan went, you should also write down your weight and body perimeters at the beginning and end of the training plan. This is called facing reality, has it worked or not? Then you can adjust according to the results.
I used to give each of my clients a paper notebook to do all these things. Today, with Evernote, I do this same thing and much more, digitally.
Even though I can not be with my clients in person, they have a link for each exercise where they can watch a video and read a description to do the exercise correctly. Also, they have a notebook with a lot of recipes, so they do not have to ask me what they can eat today. They have a long list of recipes to choose from at any time.
And of course, I’m available via workchat for anything you need, in addition to talking regularly about how their training is going. If they are not convinced that they are doing an exercise correctly, they simply send me a video doing it, and I will correct them, if necessary.
Evernote, the perfect environment for online training
One of my first goals for my business was to create an exercise library. An extensive one. Today I have exactly 1259 exercises stored in Evernote, organized by tags (muscle, equipment, and level) and I easily find what I need to create the perfect training for each client.
I created my own training templates and I just have to copy the exercise I want in the corresponding place. This saves me a lot of time.
Each client has their own exclusive notebooks and it is impossible to get training, recipes or notes that do not correspond to them. With Evernote, you decide what you share and with whom.
The best part of all this? Anyone can do it. Even if you´re not a trainer, you can create your own notebook and save any exercise or workout you want to do, that you find in a blog, YouTube or wherever, thanks to the Evernote Web Clipper.
In my opinion, Evernote is the perfect environment for personal online training and I still wonder why not many more coaches are using it.
More things Evernote has helped me with
Finding this perfect environment is far from starting an online business. You need a website, advertise on Google, create your accounts on different social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. And I had no idea about all these things.
One of the first tips that anyone can find if they want to build an online business is to write a blog. Of course, I started blogging without having the slightest idea where to start, except I had to talk about fitness.
My first fitness posts got four or five likes. Now it’s no surprise, but then that was a disappointment. Blogging has many points in common with fitness, you have to start small, learn to do things correctly, a few tricks and progress at your own pace.
In both cases, consistency is the key. I could not find anything smaller to begin with than a daily quote. Making a simple comparison is like starting doing push-ups and chin-ups. Evernote helped me do this and almost effortlessly, I posted a daily quote for more than 500 consecutive days. How? I simply created a note, I titled it “quotes” and there I wrote down each quote that I liked. Then I just had to publish it on the blog and mark it as published, to not repeat it. I still have about 200 quotes that, maybe, I’ll publish someday.
Instead of writing drafts in WordPress, I create a note for each new article and organize them by topics in different notebooks. For me, it is much easier to organize it so I do not have a list of drafts in WordPress.
I also keep in Evernote a lot of post fitness that I find on the internet, on different topics such as injuries, nutrition, new training methods and the latest studies. I keep them all in a notebook, organized by tags, so I find them easily when I need them.
But there is much more than fitness in my Evernote: marketing, web design, SEO, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook tips, and many other things are in another notebook, perfectly tagged. There are many things one must learn to build an online business and with Evernote, I have everything in the same place, organized and easy to find.
Managing my day to day
To organize my day to day, I created my own version of the Eisenhower matrix.
I reduced the matrix to only three areas because I do not understand why I need the fourth quadrant if those things are neither urgent nor important and they need to be dumped. Why should I bother and waste my time on that? I apologize for showing you the blank note, but my daily schedule, my tasks, and ideas, are not of your concern:
I also have a shortcut to this note on my cell phone, to access it at any time, anywhere.
When I complete a task I delete it, and every night I check and fill in the blanks for the next day with new tasks. I couldn´t find a way to be more productive, but I´m open to suggestions.
As you can see, there are many reasons to use Evernote, what is yours?