GM Advice: How to Use Evernote to Help Run Your Session

Evernote is indespensible to me for the simple reason that it makes my life easier. As a father, a publisher, a player, a designer and a GM it just helps me get stuff done. There seems to be no end to the handy ways Evernote can help me be more organised and productive.

Evernote High Res


I recently blogged about how Evernote helps me as a player. In this post, I explore the ways it helps me run sessions when I’m behind the screen. Evernote enables me to:

  • Take Notes: Make notes or make voice memos during the session secure in the knowledge you won’t lose them in the chaos of packing up at the end of the game.
  • Store the PCs’ Details: Maintain a file for each PC and include details of frequently used skills, languages spoken and so on. You can even store things the PC isn’t aware of yet such  as curses, magic items with secret powers and so on.
  • Store Campaign Handouts: Evernote is perfect for storing campaign handouts, maps and so on. Because Evernote has a powerful search tool, you can easily find the answer to a player’s questions.
  • Store Random Tables: I love dungeon dressing tables and sometimes I create a special one for an adventure. When things slow down, or someone searches a room I haven’t detailed, I can quickly go to this note and amazing them with the level of detail in the dungeon.
  • Access Rules Cheat Sheets: If an upcoming adventure is going to make use of little-known rules – perhaps those for drowning, underwater combat or whatever – having a note with all the relevant details can speed up game play immeasurably. No need to search through the rulebook – simply use your pre-prepared cheat sheet.

At the end of the day, this is just the start of what you can do with Evernote. You can replicate pretty much everything listed above with physical notes. However, using Evernote has the following advantages:

  • Cuts down on clutter behind your GM screen.
  • Makes all your notes easily searchable.
  • Means you won’t lose anything.
  • Its easy to keep things hidden from the players if your don’t use a GM screen.

Help Fellow GMs

When you GM, do you use Evernote differently? Have you got any hints or tips? If you do, please share them in the comments below and help your fellow GMs get more out of Evernote today




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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

4 thoughts on “GM Advice: How to Use Evernote to Help Run Your Session”

  1. A really useful enhancement for this article would be some screen shots showing how you set things up. Or even a link to a little video talking us through the HOW of using such a tool. For now, I guess, we’ll have to imagine it.

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