Evernote is a cross-platform application that helps me remember everything. Whether it’s a photo, a reminder, a place, a bill I need to pay, a diary entry, a tweet, a web page… anything. I use i a lot. For work, blogging, family and as a way to keep paperless. My friends and family are always being told how amazing it is and that they’re mad if they don’t go and set it up right away. I have an Evernote Premium account and use it on my Mac, iPhone and on the web from my netbook that is running Ubuntu.
I’d like to share five tips that I use to speed up my Evernote workflow. There are a lot more tricks than just the ones below, but they can wait for another post.
1. Strike Through
I always want to show that an idea has changed by striking out the old and writing the new next to it. This allows me easily reference the old ideas to see how they have evolved over time. On the Mac version of Evernote, there’s no button to strike through, which is a shame. But, once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite easy to do.
Here’s how to easily strike through text using Evernote for Mac.
- Highlight the text you want to strike out.
- Hit CMD+T
- Click the second button from the left at the top of the popup box.
- Click the strike through that you want – Single is normally enough.
You can close the popups, or leave them there for easy access to strike through and other formatting tools later.
See it in action…
Tagging is great. It means I can associate a note with an idea or an action. I use notebooks like a filing cabinet, sort of. For example, I have a ‘Family’ Notebook and a tag for each person in my family.
You don’t have to remember what tags you have or scroll through them to apply them to a note. When you’re creating or editing a note, simply start typing a name of a tag. If you’ve used it before, it will automatically appear. If it’s a new tag, just finish the word or phrase and hit Enter. The tag can be used again on any other note.
3. Saved Searches
If you find yourself searching for the same types of notes over and over, then using a saved search gives you the notes you’re looking for with a single click. For example, I have a saved search for blog articles I’m working on. I can then pick the article I feel like adding to and type away. Without saved searches I would need to guess some phrase in the notes I’m looking for, or browse through notes inside a Notebook, or click a tag to filter, or a combination of all these.
To setup a saved search, first do the search you would normally do. Then, click the ‘New Saved Search…’ option under the File menu. It will ask you to give it a name. Mine is called “Blog Todo’s”.
You can do some really cool things with the search bar too (before you save your search). For example, I can search for everything in my Blog folder that has been tagged with “todo” or has a checkbox that is unticked by first clicking into the ‘Blog’ Notebook and then typing this into the search bar: tag:todo todo:false.
Then, in the Search Explanation, changing the “matching” dropdown to “Any”.
Then, saving the search means I can easily bring up anything in my Blog Notebook that needs my attention. As I action them I can tick them off and/or remove the “todo” tag from them.
4. Print to Evernote
I’ve recently discovered the ability to print something straight into Evernote. Previously I would print a page or document to a PDF and save it to my desktop, then create a new note and drag the PDF into the note.
Now, I can select the ‘Save PDF to Evernote…’ option from the ‘PDF’ dropdown in any print popup box and the page or document will automatically appear as a PDF document in a new Evernote note. Lifesaver!
5. Email a Tweet
I often go through Twitter on my iPhone when I’m riding public transport. When I find a tweet with a link or anything that I want to keep, I use the option in Twitter for iPhone to email the tweet somewhere. Then, I just type in “ev” into the address book search for my personal Evernote email address and hit Send. The next time I open Evernote, that tweet, who tweeted it, and the link is sitting in my Evernote inbox ready to be processed.
You can send anything to your Evernote through email. This works best when your Evernote email address is in your address book so you can use it readily. If you’re not sure what your Evernote email address is, click on the “Current Monthly Usage” bar at the top of the desktop version, or in Evernote on your iPhone, hit “Settings” then the “Evernote email address” option. You can actually add this address into your iPhone address book from here too!
These are just some of the things that make my Evernote experience amazing. If you’d like to find out other ways to get amazing results out of your Evernote account, I would highly recommend Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done – 2nd Edition by Daniel Gold. This eBook gives you awesome ideas on how you can set up Evernote to match exactly the way you work so that you can maximize your productivity. And… you can keep the eBook in your Evernote so you’ll always be able to reference it… from anywhere!