Evernote is fantastically designed, and incredibly versatile. And for writing music, it's become indispensable to me.
I wrote in my previous post about how I use Evernote to make audio recordings of the ideas that pop in mind. Just a few things to add to this.
Often, an idea gets recorded into Evernote, and that's it. There it sits, waiting for me to revisit (or not) at a later time. Sometimes I find that once I lay down that big idea and then continue on with my life, an extension to that idea emerges organically.
"Wow, that would make a perfect chorus or if anything, act as a bridge to something." So I just hit record again, and this new idea gets added to the same note. Sometimes, a single Evernote for a single idea has 3-4 recordings, all spur of the moment recordings of me mumbling my way through chord progressions and vocal patterns. In aggregate, that often adds up to a complete song, albeit split amongst a few separate recordings. It takes me a little time to sift through it later, but think of it this way.
I can sit down to Pro Tools and belt out the initial idea, and create a region out of it. Then I can lay down the 2-3 attached ideas and make regions out of those. With that, I can use Pro Tools to play around with the order of those ideas and see how they can all fit together to create one complete song by positioning those regions throughout the timeline. It's using Pro Tools less as a production platform and more as a song writing tool. Adding multiple ideas to one note in an effort to keep everything neat and contained for later reference, and then using your DAW to help create the structure of your song can be a great way to get the ball rolling.
Evernote is particularly strong for lyrics as well. Lonely Nights, a track from the upcoming album, started as a quick recording while I was driving, humming a bass and rough vocal idea over the top. The cadence for the vocal line that I had in my head fit the words "lonely nights" and those words made it into the recording repeatedly because of it. I named the note Lonely Nights so that later, it would be easy to scan through my notes and identify that one idea. About three weeks later I was playing through some of the old ideas in Evernote looking for a source of inspiration for a new tune, and ran across this one. Played it, and didn't think twice of it. Moved on.