Monday, December 1, 2014

Evernote

I have toyed around with Evernote for some time now but I never took the time to learn what all it can do.  Thomas MacEntee, the expert when it comes to genealogy and technology, posted links to several free Evernote eBooks on Facebook (free for a limited time).  I snatched them and read them and I quickly realized I was missing out on a lot of cool features.  I also watched Lisa Louise Cook’s Legacy webinar, Using Evernote for Genealogy.  I posted a couple of questions on the Evernote Genealogists Facebook group page which gave me even more ideas.  I also want to say that the Evernote Knowledge Base is phenomenal.  I found step-by-step instructions with screenshots for anything I wanted to do.

I upgraded to the Premium version and spent the entire weekend getting Evernote into shape.  I transferred A LOT of my stuff into it including emails that I had saved in multiple folders in Outlook and all kinds of stuff that was hanging out in my My Documents folder.

The biggest mistake I had been making with Evernote is having too many notebooks and not enough tags.  I remedied that.  Here are my notebooks now:

  • Genealogy
  • Household
  • Work

I am down to just three notebooks.  My work is genealogy too but I wanted to keep it separate from my personal research.  If I am working a special project, I will make a temporary notebook for that so that I can share it with others if I need to.

I went through every note (deleting some obsolete ones) and got serious about adding tags to them.  Reviewing everything I had also refreshed my memory about what all I had in there.  I like how everything is coming together. 

I have saved emails to Evernote before.  There is a cute little elephant button you can click in Outlook to help you do that.  However, I wasn’t taking the time to send it to the correct notebook and to add the tags.  There is another way to do this that I like better.  Instead of clicking on the elephant icon I forward the email to Evernote.  I have a special Evernote email address that I use.  If I forward the email I can add a little note at the top with any additional information I want to include.  I can tell Evernote which notebook I want it in by adding @NAME OF NOTEBOOK to the subject line.  I can add tags by adding #NAME OF TAG, also to the subject line. I can add as many tags as I want.  If I do it this way I can put the email in a notebook, add the searching tags and include any notes all at one time.  You can also add a reminder date by adding !DATE to the subject line but I haven’t tried that yet. 

I also used the Merge feature to merge some notes together.  I had never done that before.  There were several related items that I was able to combine which helped clean up things. I already know how to use Web Clipper and Clearly but I want to investigate some of the other add on programs and extensions and that is on my agenda today.  My next project after that is to scan in all my business cards using my Droid.  I am pretty excited about this feature.

If you have any favorite Evernote tricks please post them in the comments.

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

9 comments:

  1. Michele - I agree that Evernote is awesome. I use it every day. I need to make better use of the email feature. And I can also use a bit of tidying up in my notebooks.

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    1. I am a bit mad at myself for not taking the time to learn about Evernote before I started using it.

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  2. For some reason the Evernote elephant doesn't work properly on my computer, so I just select, copy and paste into an Evernote note.

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    1. What browser do you use? I use Chrome and it works great for me. Maybe if you uninstall the extension and install it again?

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    2. Michele, I use Chrome too. What advantages does the extension have over the copy-and-paste method? I presume it saves a few seconds, but otherwise...?

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    3. Probably just saves you a few clicks. You do get to see the cute elephant if you use the extension :)

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    4. The cute elephant might be nice when I need cheering up. :-)

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  3. Good tips, Michele! As a (lazy) new user - who is slowly coming around to the Evernote-is-awesome camp - I'm interested in what else you discover!

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    1. Every day I am liking it more. I have started putting reminders on some of my notes :)

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