Evernote is one of the most productive app if you make use of its powerful features. It’s a perfect tool for bloggers, entrepreneurs, professionals, home-makers, or any other user. The reason why it’s such a great app is that… it’s free and you can use it in a way that you’ve never imagined. The best part? It’s available for almost all platforms – Windows (Desktop & Touch), Windows Phone, Mac OS X, iOS (iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch), Android, BlackBerry, and WebOS.
Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.
Last year I wrote a blog post about why Evernote is my perfect blogging companion and explained the features that I like the most in Evernote. So today I’m going to explore a few more Evernote features and tips to use Evernote to its maximum capability.
UPDATE: A new and improved version of this article is available at What Is Evernote, Anyway? And How To Use It Like A Ninja! — for Windows as well as Mac users.
What You Should Know About Evernote…
Your Evernote account comes with unlimited storage whether it’s a free or a premium account. If you have already signed up for an Evernote account then you might have noticed that the monthly upload limit is just 60 MB. But it’s just the upload limit and not the storage space. Evernote offers unlimited storage in both free and premium accounts. Also, if you have added some stuff to Evernote and deleted it before syncing then it’s not counted. But when you edit a note then the entire note is re-uploaded and is counted towards your monthly quota.
1. Difference Between – Notes, Notebook, Tags, and Stacks
If you have joined Evernote recently then it’s important to understand the difference between Stacks, Notebooks, Notes, and Tags. Think Note as a single page or document. So when you create New Notes you’re actually creating new pages. Notebook is a collection of Notes and Stack is a collection of Notebooks. You can’t add a single Note to multiple Notebooks or Stacks but you can copy a Note to another Notebook within another Stack. I have a Stack called “Minterest” and I created two Notebooks within that Stack namely – Publish and Update. So when I get new blog post ideas I add them to the Notebook “Publish” and when I get ideas to update an old blog post of mine I add them to the Notebook “Update”.
If you’re a food blogger then you can organize your Evernote like this:
Recipes (…as a Stack)
Vegetarian (…as a Notebook)
Non-Vegetarian (…as a Notebook)
#Chicken #Fish #Mushroom #Chinese #Italian (…as Tags)
2. Set A Default Notebook
The first thing you should do is to set a default notebook and treat it like an online clipboard. So whenever you save notes or images or anything else to your Evernote it goes to the ‘Clipboard’ and you can review all of them individually at once later. You can also add notes from your other notebooks to your Clipboard and treat it as a to-do list so that your goal is an empty Clipboard at the end of the day.
3. Drag & Drop Notes, Tags, Or Notebooks
Evernote supports drag and drop feature so you can easily drag and drop notes or tags or notebooks within Evernote. I use the drag and drop feature primarily when I review the notes in my default Clipboard notebook.
4. Remember & Capture Everything
Evernote is not just a note-taker, you can use it to capture photos. Use it to capture what you want to remember, or a business card, or anything you want.
5. Use Saved Searches
Evernote search is so powerful that you can find the notebook or note that you’re looking for by entering few keywords. Also, if you happen to search a set of keywords more often, then you can save those keywords as “Saved searches”.
6. Learn Evernote’s Search Syntax
Evernote search supports advanced search operators so that you can search all your notes based on various search parameters – date of creation, type of media, etc. For example, Evernote by default doesn’t show your Shared or Tagged notes. But you can find them by using the search operators: shareDate:* (to find all Shared notes), -shareDate:* (to find all notes that are not shared), tag:* (to find all notes that are tagged), -tag:* (to find all notes that doesn’t have a tag).
7. Use Underscore Tagging
If you don’t want to create too many tags then you can add an underscore (_) right after a keyword. This way, you will be able to search your notes using that keyword. For example, whenever I add a note related to Google Chrome I add the term, Chrome_, somewhere in the note so that I can use the search function to find all the notes that have the keyword “Chrome_”. Thanks, Lifehacker.
8. Make Use Of Tags
We can use tags in different ways. For example, I can tag all the individual notes related to Android by creating a tag called “Android” and I can do the same for all notes related to iOS by creating a tag called “iOS”. I think that’s the way most people use tags in Evernote and they may have 100s of tags to manage. Well, I try to keep the number of tags as low as possible and that’s why I’ve only three tags – To Do, Upcoming, Micro. I assign the tag “To Do” to all the notes that need my attention or if they are to be completed immediately and I assign the tag “Upcoming” for all notes that are to be done after completing the to do list. Finally, I follow the 5-minute rule to tag all the notes that require less than 5 minutes to complete as Micro.
9. Evernote Shortcuts
Use Shortcuts module in Evernote sidebar to add your favorite Stacks, or Notebooks, or Tags, or Saved Searches, or even Notes. It’s also synced to all your other devices.
10. Local Notebook
You can also create a local notebook so that it exist only on the device where it’s created. Since local notebooks are not synced to your other devices its storage is not counted towards your monthly upload quota. It’s worth to mention that it isn’t possible to change a notebook’s type once you’ve created it but you can move your notes from a local notebook to another notebook in few clicks.
11. Voice Memos
Voice Memos in Evernote is a killer feature. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to write a note then you can use the Voice Memos. It works even better on your smartphone so that you can quickly capture lectures or presentation notes or whatever you want.
12. Ink Notes
If you don’t want to type or record a note then you can create an Ink Note to draw whatever you want.
13. Encrypt Text
Evernote for Windows and Mac allows you to encrypt sensitive information. So it’s useful to store passwords or other sensitive information. Select the text that you want to encrypt, right-click, and click “Encrypt Selected Text…” option. Now Evernote will ask you to enter a passphrase and an optional Hint (that can help you to remember your passphrase). When you’re done the selected text will be encrypted and you have to enter the passphrase to view the text.
14. Merge Notes
Want to merge two similar notes? Evernote for Desktop and Web allows you to merge multiple notes into one. Select all the notes that you want to merge (Command + Click on Mac or Ctrl + Click on PC) and a thumbnail view of the notes will appear. Now click the “Merge” button. Done!
15. Use Evernote Hot Keys
Like I’ve already mentioned in this post Evernote’s Hot Keys are magical to me. You can define your own shortcut keys to capture screenshot, to copy the selected portion of the screen to Evernote, to paste the contents of your PC’s clipboard to Evernote, to open a New note, or to quickly use the Evernote’s search function. Note that these shortcuts are global shortcut keys so it works even if you’re using another app.
16. Email Notes To Your Evernote Account
You can e-mail notes to Evernote account by sending the messages to your unique e-mail address, given by Evernote, that should look like firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send an email to your unique e-mail address, it will create a new note in your Evernote account and it will use the e-mail subject as the new Note’s title. E-mailed notes will go into your default notebook but if you want to add notes to a specific Notebook or want to add tags then follow the instructions here.
17. Capture Screenshots
Set your hot keys and use Evernote’s screen capture for all things screenshot. Press the hot key to capture screenshot and then you will be able to capture the portion of the screen using your mouse pointer. When you release your mouse pointer the captured portion of the screen is automatically saved in your Evernote account. If you want to send the clip to your desktop then press Shift key before releasing the mouse button. And if you want to copy the clip to your clipboard then press the Control key before releasing the mouse button.
18. Right-click Images To…
You can right-click any images within your notebooks to rename it, to rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise, or you can open that image in your favorite photo editors in one-click. The saved changes are automatically reflected in your Evernote account.
19. Create Templates
Evernote by default doesn’t support templates but you can do that by using their Import and Export feature. Create a new note, right-click on it, and click “Export Note…” and then export as an .enex file. When you want to use the note in future you can import that file using the File > Import > Evernote Export Files… option.
20. As A Word Processor
Evernote can also act as your word processor app as it supports the standard text formatting features like – font colors, strikethrough, text highlighting, ordered and unordered lists, checkboxes, paragraph alignment, tables, spell check, hyperlinks, word count, etc.
21. Share Notebooks
With Evernote, you can share a Notebook with the public or if you have a Premium account then you can even give other Evernote users the permission to edit your notes within the shared notebook. Right-click the notebook that you want to share and click the “Share Notebook” option.
22. Share Individual Notes
Sharing a single note is super easy. You can use the Share button and click the “Copy Note URL To Clipboard” to get the public link of the selected note. Now you can give that URL to anyone and they can view the note even if they don’t have an Evernote account.
23. Use “Send By Email…” To Archive Notes
When you click the “Share” button you will also be able to send a note as e-mail to anyone else. I primarily use that option to send a note to my own e-mail id. It’s my way of archiving a note because once a note is deleted from Evernote’s Trash it’s gone forever. So I use the “Send By Email” feature to send a copy of the note to my own e-mail by making use of Gmail’s Plus addressing so that all the mails from Evernote are marked as read and archived automatically.
24. Copy Note Links
If you have hundreds of notes then it’s more likely that some of them are related. So you can either Merge them as one or use Evernote’s Copy Note Links feature. Right-click any note within Evernote and click the “Copy Note Link”. The link is copied to your clipboard and you can paste it in another note.
25. Set Reminders…
Yes, that’s right! Like I said before, Evernote is not just a note-taker it’s much more. Recently they introduced Reminders in all platforms so you can add reminders to each note. You can either set a specific a due date or a specific time. If you have specified a time then Evernote will show push notifications on your mobile devices and alerts on your PC. If you enter only the due date then Evernote will send you an e-mail alert in the morning when the note is due. Go to Reminders Notification Settings and enable Email Reminders. And they will send you a daily digest of the Reminders when notes are due.
26. Enable 2-step Verification
27. Connect Evernote With Your Other Apps
Go to Evernote App Center and you’ll find several apps that you can integrate with your Evernote account. They have categorized the apps based on the supporting platforms – Android, iOS, Windows, Web Apps, Mac – so that you can easily find the apps that you want to connect.
28. Use Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote Web Clipper is the easiest way to save stuff to your Evernote account or to share anything you see online. With Evernote Web Clipper, you can clip full webpages (so that you can read them offline), articles, bookmarks, screenshots, etc. in one-click. It’s available for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.
29. Evernote Premium
With Evernote Premium, you can access your notes offline on your mobile devices, you can invite others to edit your notes, you can protect the notes by adding a Passcode Lock on your mobile devices, your monthly upload quota is increased to 1 GB, you will be able to search inside PDF documents and text within images, etc. Wait, with one premium Evernote account you also get Premium features in Evernote’s other productivity apps like Skitch, Penultimate, Hello, and Clearly.
30. Evernote Points
Want to try Evernote Premium for free? Invite your friends and family to Evernote and earn Evernote Points that you can redeem for rewards or for upgrades. When your friends get started they will also get a Premium account for one month.
- Your first 3 referrals earn you 10 points each – enough for 3 months of Premium or 3 GB of additional monthly uploads.
- Whenever a friend you referred goes Premium for the first time, you will earn 5 more points.
As you probably know, every Evernote user uses the app in their own way. That’s why they say “We don’t tell our users how to organize their notes in Evernote as everyone works differently: some prefer to throw everything into one notebook while others love to create lots of notebooks for various projects and work/life interests.”
I use it as a note-taker, task manager, and as an online clipboard. And the good thing is… the more you use this app the more useful it becomes. So, how do you use Evernote?