I am not a professional writer. I am a professional that writes. My job is strategic marketing. A great deal of my time is spent on researching and writing market analysis reports in support of business plans and new product development projects. My passion lies in understanding what the market wants and then planning how best to deliver it. I enjoy writing, but it isn't where my heart is. I can't, however, do my job without thoroughly justifying strategic options through a written, well sourced market analysis document.
Over the years, I've developed a number of techniques to get me efficiently through the process of researching and then writing market analyses. The first thing I do when I get a new project is turn on my laptop, Google the topic and then start clipping quotes, images, graphs and entire documents as potential sources. This is a very enjoyable part of my job, and tools such as Evernote have made it much easier to store and organize source materials; allowing me to concentrate on what they may mean for the market analysis project.
The real challenge though, lies in getting from notes to the first draft. Even getting an outline can sometimes be difficult. I have found that the process is made easier if I am strict in my usage of Evernote, and if I can access my notes as I write. Over the coming months, I'll explain how my testing of various tools and work philosophies has led me to develop a new online writing application; designed specifically for professionals that write.