How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual

By Mark O’Neill, http://www.markoneill.org/
cover How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual
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Table Of Contents

§1 – What Is Evernote?

§2 – An Overview Of The Desktop App

§3 – An Overview Of The Smartphone Apps

§4 – Tips, Tricks & Hacks

§5 – Evernote Add-Ons / Plugins

§6 – Conclusion

1. What Is Evernote?

Why do you want to use Evernote? Do you really know how to use Evernote? There’s a lot I could say, but to begin I’ll say one thing: I willingly opened up my wallet to pay for a premium subscription to Evernote. I can count on one hand how many services have compelled me to do that.

I see so many advantages to Evernote and we will explore some of them in depth later. But basically it all comes down to this: we are all becoming digital packrats.

As information becomes more plentiful, we are bombarded with relentless forms of media 24/7, such as blog posts, videos and photos. Our computer hard drives are also getting bigger and bigger (500GB hard drives are not uncommon). This means we have a huge amount of media material on our computers and no practical way in which to organize it all. How do you find that article that you saved to your computer last month about the new Batman movie? Or you need to lay your hands right away on a photo taken at your grandmother’s 90th birthday party. In all the mess and clutter that makes up your hard drive, finding a particular file could be a very laborious and time consuming task.

Your brain, amidst all this mess and disorder, just can’t keep up with what it has to remember. The mental filing cabinet begins to overflow and you start to get all muddled. Enter Evernote to bring order to that chaos. With Evernote, you can transfer the contents of your brain to your computer. Everything you need to remember can now be stored in your Evernote account for future browsing and searching. That’s why, on my iPhone, the Evernote apps are in a folder called “Mark’s Brain”.

Here is a brief rundown of the features that could make your digital life a lot easier, and how to use Evernote to do just that.

Find Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

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Evernote has its own OCR (Optical Character Recognition) service which means that it can read text, whether it’s computer keyboard text, text in a PDF document, a photocopy of some text (say a page of a book) or even text in a photograph. If you are in a photo, standing in front of a plane that says “US Air Force” (for example), or any other identifying marks, Evernote’s OCR function will read the words “US Air Force” (or whatever else it finds) and make those words searchable in your account.

If you are wearing a T-shirt that says “MakeUseOf.com” then the words “MakeUseOf.com” become readable and searchable. You get the idea.

Email All Important Documents & Photos With Your Unique Evernote Email Address

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Evernote provides all users with their own unique email address. You can use this email address to automatically forward important emails, important files, photos, other attachments, and even email newsletters that you want to keep a hold of, but not have clog up your email quota.

Or at the very least, send a backup of these things in case you lose the original.

Have Access To All Your Stored Documents & Files Anywhere You Go

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With well built and pleasure to use apps for the computer desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android, you can access your files anywhere you go. Everything is automatically synchronized so you can use Evernote to carry your study notes and textbooks, if you’re a student. If you are a teacher or professor, you can carry exam papers and class plans.

Career professionals can scan and carry important trade journals, research papers and presentations. Grocery shoppers can put their shopping lists and recipes on Evernote and access them via their smartphone or iPad in the supermarket. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you can find a use for completely dispensing with paper and putting everything on Evernote.

Leave Voice Notes

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Evernote allows you to leave voice notes which are also searchable. Using the smartphone apps you can speak your note into the phone, and the note is then saved in your account and synchronized to all other instances of Evernote that you have installed on your computers and smart devices.

So if you’re out and about, and a great idea strikes, don’t bother looking for a napkin and pen. Just phone it in to Evernote!

Create Your Own Digital Scrapbook

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Create up to 250 notebooks and organize your online digital life. Sub-categorize and tag each one so you can find them easily. Now when you want to put something quickly in a notebook, open that notebook up and drag your image or file directly into the notebook area.

Store & Synchronize Your Browser Bookmarks

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Enter the URL of the article you want to keep. Transfer all of your browser bookmarks over to Evernote categorized and tagged, so your browser can run faster. There’s no need to use the browser to store your bookmarks ever again. Put them in Evernote and synchronize them across all platforms, operating systems and browsers. Copy and paste images into the note to remind yourself what the URL is all about and why you initially bookmarked it.

Notebook Sharing

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With Evernote, you can collaborate with others and show people what you have in your notebooks (provided you have a premium subscription). If you are working on a project together, throw the required files / notes into a notebook and share it. Or make the notebook publicly available so anyone can see it. You can work on text together with a friend or colleague – perfect if you are working on a presentation, for example.

Evernote Free Versus Evernote Premium – Should You Upgrade?

Whether or not you upgrade to Evernote Premium will depend on your usage of the service. Basically, Premium users like myself are obsessive digital hoarders and so the 60MB that Evernote currently provides to all free users per month simply doesn’t cut it.

But if you are a very casual user and you don’t see yourself going over the 60MB limit you can quite easily use Evernote for free forever. Just try using the service for a couple of months to see how close to the limit you go, before deciding whether or not to get your money out to upgrade.

If you decide to upgrade, there ARE advantages to a paid plan.

  • Your monthly data limit is raised from 60MB to 1GB. That’s over 16 and a half times more space. And it’s very probable that, at some point in the future, Evernote will raise those limits when it becomes feasible and cost-effective to do so.
  • Access notebooks offline so you can access them when you don’t have an Internet connection. This is a great feature if you are in the habit of travelling by car, train or plane, where there isn’t an Internet connection. You can work on notebooks offline and then synchronize them when you get a net connection again.
  • Share your notebooks and allow others to edit your notes. This is great for online collaboration, student and work projects, family projects, and much more.
  • Note history – if you accidentally delete something, or if you make a change to a document that you regret, you can go to your note history in your Evernote web account, access the note’s history and roll back to a previous version.
  • You can upload larger files to Evernote (up to 50MB from a previous 25MB)
  • Faster image recognition. If you have a scanned image with text or a photo with text on it, being a premium customer will get those images indexed faster by Evernote’s OCR technology.
  • PIN lock – I am a big privacy person and I am also nervous that if I lose my iPad and / or iPhone in the street, the person who finds them will have complete access to everything on my phone. So the ability for premium Evernote customers to put a PIN lock on their account is invaluable.
  • PDF search – If you are a big fan of PDF files (like me) then you will want to store them all in your Evernote account. However, if you are a premium customer, you will be able to make keyword searches inside those PDF files, if you are looking for a specific file on a specific subject.
  • Hide adverts – last but not least, you can hide the adverts. I personally feel that the adverts are not intrusive and you may choose to leave them alone, but as a premium customer, you have the option of switching them off.

2. An Overview Of The Desktop App

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In my opinion, one of the best things about Evernote is its desktop app. With patches and updates coming out every week, or every other week, this is clearly one of the cornerstones of what Evernote has to offer. The ability to access all of your material in a well functioning, feature-packed desktop app is a clear winner for me.

When you install it for the first time, you will be asked to sign in and then it will start importing all of your notes from your Evernote web account (if you have any notes already stored there). Once that process has been completed you can then begin categorizing, sub-categorizing and tagging each note. If you don’t have any notes to be imported, then just jump straight in and start creating your first note.

What Are The Advantages Of The Desktop App?

  • No need to keep a browser open when you want to access your Evernote account. Just run the desktop app instead which will leave a lighter footprint on your CPU.
  • Offline note-taking – completely replace your other note-taking apps such as Microsoft Notepad. When the desktop app connects to the Internet all of your new notes will be automatically synced.

3. An Overview Of The Smartphone Apps

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In my opinion the smartphone apps make Evernote even more invaluable than it already is. The ability to make notes, record messages, and access your bookmarks wherever you happen to be is a huge deal-maker for me.

Since I own an iPhone, that is what I will be focusing on here. So apologies to our Android users who are reading this, but the iPhone app and Android app are not much different in terms of looks and features.

The iOS App

The iOS app is simply beautiful, sleek and a pleasure to use. Making a new note requires just a click of the blue plus sign in the middle. You can also access your notebooks and tags easily as well as search for a specific note. Premium customers can also protect their Evernote account on their phone with a 4 digit PIN code to deter snoopers.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8

Evernote Peek

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Peek is a great app for the iPad which allows anyone who has to learn anything to use a Flashcard-type system to remember things. It works best if you have the iPad smart cover as you can then open up the narrow flap at the end of the iPad to “peek” at the clue it gives you. You can then open up the smart cover fully to view the answer and see if you were right.

You can upload your own Evernote notebooks from your account, as well as download shared ones from others.

http://evernote.com/peek/

Evernote Food

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Have you ever had a fantastic meal and wanted to preserve the memory of it? Well with Evernote Food, you now can. Simply snap a photo of the meal, enter a caption, description, the place where you ate it, and so on, and it will all be saved to your Evernote account. It will also all be saved inside the Evernote Food app so you can scroll through all your memorable and delicious meals.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote-food/id481893372?mt=8

Evernote Hello

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If you tend to meet a lot of people, it will be quite normal for you to forget some of them, including their names and where you met them. Evernote Hello aims to help you with that by giving you the ability to enter contact details as soon as you meet the person.

There are three ways you can do it. The contact can add the information themselves, you can do it yourself, or you can add someone from your existing contacts in your phone. If you let the other person do it, they can add their name, snap a photo of themselves with your phone camera, and leave social networking details, phone number, and email address.

The snapshot feature is really neat as it takes 4 different photos of you. If you pose in different positions for each photo, it ends up as an animated GIF where your face is moving in the picture.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote-hello/id484359282?mt=8

Making a New Audio Note

I am assuming that you will be making most (if not all) of your audio notes via your smartphone. Plus since I only have an iPhone, my screenshots will be taken from that platform. But I am sure the Android version doesn’t differ that much. We will be also be taking a look at making an audio note from the desktop app shortly.

If you want to make a new audio note on your iPhone, press the + logo for starting a new note and then after writing any text you may want to add to the note, press the microphone logo in the top right hand corner.

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Pressing the microphone logo starts the record function and you can now begin to speak your note into your phone. Speak clearly and slowly.

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When you have finished dictating your note, press the “done” button and your note will save as an audio attachment, which will also tell you the length of the clip and the size of it. This can be useful if you are nearing your upload limit for the month and you don’t want to accidently go over the limit with your audio note.

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You can play the audio clip right there in your phone by pressing the arrow key in your attachment. When you are satisfied with it and you want to upload it to your Evernote web account, click the blue “done” button in the top left and the note will be added to your account (but it will only synchronize with your online account if you have Internet access obviously).

Doing it from the desktop app will (obviously) require a microphone. Just go to the top bar of the desktop app and choose “New Audio Note”. A new note will then open and you will find the following at the top:

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Once your microphone has been set up, press the blue record button and make your message. Don’t forget to save it afterwards!

Making A New Webcam Note

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When you hear the term “make a new webcam note”, you probably have visions of videos being made and saved in Evernote. But in actual fact, making a new webcam note in Evernote purely consists of taking a photo with your webcam and instantly saving it to your account – so it is really just a glorified instant camera. But combine that with a daily diary or other details of your day, and you can actually build up an archive of your life that you can look back on later.

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In the desktop app, just click on the little downwards pointing arrow to the right of “New Note” and choose “new webcam note”. The webcam window will then pop up and, if your webcam is properly plugged in, it should then start. Snap your picture and if it’s all good, click “save to Evernote”. If not, click “retake snapshot” and begin the process again.

4. Tips, Tricks & Hacks

Now that you know how to use Evernote, it’s time for the fun stuff – discovering the different ways that you can make Evernote work for you. There are lots of tips and tricks for using Evernote and users are coming up with new ideas every day. So the following is only a very small fraction of what is possible. But hopefully it should spark some ideas and creativity in you to come up with your own fun uses.

Emailing In Notes

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This is one of my favourite features. Despite the fact that we are entering an era of unlimited, or at the very least, vast amounts of, email space (Gmail now offers their users 10GB free), I still like to send all of the material I want to keep, out of my email storage and into Evernote.

Why? Well for a start, I like the desktop Evernote app and its search function. Secondly, I like to keep everything in my enormous Internet scrapbook. Thirdly, I like to create more room in my Gmail so things have to be moved to accomplish that. But I think the main reason is that email services like Gmail don’t make it easy to see at a glance what you have. To see an email attachment, you have to open each particular email to find what you are looking for (which can be a time consuming effort). With Evernote, you get a nice neat row of instant thumbnail pictures, so you can locate what you are looking for much faster, without having to open anything.

To find your secret Evernote address, just go to the desktop app and in the top right hand corner is a button called Usage. Click on that and your email address will be displayed.

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Anything you send to that address will show up in Evernote. If you feel the address has been compromised and someone is sending spam to your Evernote account, you can go to your Evernote web account and reset the email address to a new one. If you have to do that though, you will have to change the email address in places where it has been listed (email contact books, email subscriptions, etc).

Saving Tweets To Evernote

There will be many times when you will see a tweet that you would like to save as a favourite to read again later. If you also have an Evernote account, then how can you save your favourite tweets to be archived and searchable for future reference? There are two methods to accomplish this.

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The first one is to use an automated Twitter bot called myEN – https://twitter.com/myen. All you have to do is follow the bot and click on the link which will appear in your direct messages section seconds later (it’s very fast). The link will take you to your online Evernote account where you will be asked to grant access privileges to the myEN bot. Agree to everything (it can be easily revoked later).

Now when you want to save a tweet, just include @myEN inside the tweet. So as follows :

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The bot will then send a copy of the tweet to your Evernote account.

I have written a post on @myEN which you can see here – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/archive-your-twitter-tweets-into-your-evernote-account-with-myen/

The other method of sending tweets to Evernote is by the web service called IFTTT (If This Then That) – http://ifttt.com. IFTTT is a fantastic web service which aims to automate as much of your Internet experience as possible.

Simply log into IFTTT and click “create” in the top right hand corner. Then click on the blue “This” button and choose the Twitter logo.

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Now there are actually 11 different choices you can choose from to have a tweet sent to Evernote. The choices are simply fantastic, from the simple “send my status update” to whenever a tweet “matches your search query”.

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For the purposes of this demonstration, I am going to go with “new favorite tweet”. After clicking on that, I am invited to click the “create” button again and now I have to make the rule for what I want to happen when I favorite a tweet. Obviously I want it to go to Evernote, so I need to click the blue “that” text and choose the Evernote logo.

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You’ll then be asked what you want done with the tweet once it arrives in your Evernote account. There are five options and whichever one you choose is obviously up to you, but I would prefer to go with “create a note”. After clicking that, you have a few more options to figure out if you want the tweets to be filed away in your Evernote account properly.

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Under the “Twitter Ingredients” drop down menu, decide in what format you want the tweet to be listed under. Do you want the actual text? Or maybe just the link? There are five options there to choose from. Also decide what notebook it should go into, and the tags it should have.

When you are satisfied with everything, click “create action” and you’re done. Please note however that your tweets won’t appear in your Evernote account instantly. IFTTT only checks on a certain schedule.

Adding G+ Content To Evernote

This is actually quite a neat trick, which I learned from Brian Caldwell – https://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/1baa32c3-c251-4b46-80e3-563b7851ca80/9805da7d5e22165160649a975ab1cff1 – (disclaimer: I don’t know whether or not he was the one to originally think of it). Google+ is only in its infancy but already I am starting to find some great stuff there and I wanted to find an easy way to send links and other material straight to my Evernote account. This is the best method I am aware of so far.

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This involves setting up a Google circle with only your secret Evernote email address in it. Call the circle something like Save2Evernote (or whatever you want).

Then when you want to save a Google Plus thread to Evernote, simply share it with only the Save2Evernote circle and the link to the Google Plus discussion will be emailed to your account.

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Two important points to always bear in mind for this to work. Firstly, don’t invite Evernote to join Google Plus, as your Evernote email address is a bot, not a human. Secondly, for the Google Plus link to be properly sent to your Evernote account, you need to ensure that you have “also email 1 person not yet using Google+” ticked.

Encryption

This is one for all you security conscious people out there! You can now encrypt sensitive information in your notes to keep out prying eyes. I wouldn’t use this for really sensitive information (like email passwords or online banking details) but if you have a nosy roommate or a friend who likes to come by and poke about on your computer, then using the encryption feature to hide not-so-important information on Evernote’s desktop app is just the job.

Encrypting something is very easy. First of all, go to the note you want to encrypt :

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Then highlight the text you want encrypted with your mouse :

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Then in the top navigation bar of the desktop app, go to Format  > Encrypt Selected Text. A box will then appear on the screen asking you to enter a password for decrypting it. Enter your desired password and click OK.

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If you now look at your note, you will see that the selected text has been concealed beneath a grey bar with a lock.

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For much stronger encryption possibilities, consider setting up a Truecrypt container for all your really sensitive files and then store the Truecrypt container in your Evernote account. If you decide to go this route remember: watch your monthly account limits. For in-depth information on setting up Truecrypt containers, check out our free PDF manual written by Lachlan Roy – http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download-lockdown-secure-your-files-with-truecrypt .

Keeping Your Most Important Notes On The Desktop Toolbar

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As you use the desktop app more and more, you will notice that you will be accessing some notes more than others. For example, I use Evernote every day for MakeUseOf editorial notes and I am switching between various documents often. I also have a constantly updating list of books and movies that I want to buy which again I refer to a lot.

So if you are like me and you want to access your most frequently viewed files quickly and easily without much searching, then you should consider “pinning” them to the desktop app toolbar.

Let’s take our previously encrypted secret note as an example. Simply click on it and drag it with your mouse to the toolbar, where it will now sit.

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When you click on it, you will immediately be taken to the note in Evernote.

If you decide you don’t want it on your toolbar anymore, just drag it away from the toolbar with your mouse and it will be gone. The note will still exist in the desktop app but the link on the toolbar will be deleted.

Place Multiple Forms of Media Inside A Single Note

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Did you know that you are not restricted to one form of media in a note? So when you start a new note, you can enter a picture, an audio file, web links and more, all in the same place. This is great if you are planning a project or thinking something out.

Making a Table Of Contents in a Note

You may decide that instead of hoarding all of your frequently accessed Evernote links on the desktop toolbar, to instead create a table of contents inside a new note. You could then drag the link to the table of contents up to the toolbar instead. This is useful if you are say collating links for a research project and you want to arrange them neatly and in order inside a note.

I have a contents note for all of my MakeUseOf editorial notes:

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Then the link to that note can be placed in the toolbar of my desktop app. This is much neater than having a loose collection of links lying all over the place. This way, I have a good overview of everything.

So how do you create a link inside a note? It’s very easy. First go to the note you want to link to, right-click on it and choose “copy note link”:

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This places the link to the note in your Windows clipboard. Now go to the note where you are building your table of contents. Type the text that you want your link to be:

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Now highlight that text and right-click again. Choose Hyperlink > Add:

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You will then see a box where you can insert a web link (or in this case, an Evernote note link). Simply CTRL + V inside the box to insert the link you previously copied.

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Click OK and you have your clickable link.

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Simply repeat the process for as many links as you need.

Sharing Notes, Files & Pictures On Facebook, Twitter & Email

If you are using Evernote to collect together things like interesting websites, interesting news articles, blog posts or even class notes, you may want to find a way to share those notes with other people. The Evernote desktop app gives you numerous ways to share, including social media and good old fashioned email. Please bear in mind however that notebook sharing is restricted to premium customers only.

If you look at the top navigation bar, you will see an option there called “Share”. Drop down that menu and you will find these options:

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Choosing the email option will bring up the small email window like so:

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Fill in the email address of the recipient and any message and off it goes. It arrived in my inbox instantly so this is a fast service.

Choosing Facebook or Twitter actually opens up those services in your default browser where you can edit the message to go with the note, choose your privacy settings (in the case of Facebook) and then send the note.

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The last sharing option is copying the URL of the Evernote note to the Windows clipboard. This is useful if you want to share notes via instant messaging.

Sharing a Complete Notebook & Subscribing

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This is one of the big advantages of having a premium membership. If you are a pro customer, you will be able to share your notebooks with either selected individuals or the entire world. Plus in turn, you can search for notebooks being shared by other people and subscribe to them. The big advantage to this of course is that you can share your knowledge with others and take advantage of other peoples knowledge.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way how to use Evernote to find shared notebooks. Evernote does not maintain a central directory of shared notebooks, which seems ironic given that the whole premise behind Evernote is to share information. You would think the first thing they would do is make it easier to find shared notebooks.

One alternative is to Google what you are looking for. That sometimes works. Shared notebooks start with site:http://www.evernote.com/shard/ so enter that into the search box, followed by the keywords of the subject you’re looking for. So say you’re looking for cooking recipes. Go to Google and enter:

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You can obviously refine the keywords if you’re looking for a particular kind of recipe.

Until Evernote comes up with a proper directory of shared notebooks, this is probably the best (and perhaps only) way of finding what you are looking for.

Creating a To-Do List

There are lots of people in the world (me being one of them) who love to make to-do lists. The very act of crossing things off as they are done is a big productivity and mood booster. And now you can make to-do lists and cross off finished tasks right inside Evernote.

To make a checklist, just make a new note and then inside the note, right-click with your mouse and choose To-Do > Insert Checkbox.

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You will then see a single checkbox appear in your note:

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Type next to it the task you want to remember.

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Repeat the process for all your tasks and you will end up with a nice neat checklist of tasks to do.

Evernote & The Paperless Office

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Image Credit: net_efekt

These days lots of things are going digital, but some companies are slower than others in making the transition from paper to PDF files. For example, my bank still insists on sending me paper letters every month informing me that my salary has arrived, even though I already know it has arrived by using online banking (and I get charged for that letter too which really rubs salt into the wounds!).

The eventual aim of everyone should be to have a “paperless life”. It is extremely unproductive and disorganized to have huge piles of paper everywhere. Besides: paper can rip, burn, fall apart, get lost, have coffee thrown all over it….a scanned PDF file on the other hand can be backed up to infinity, takes up very little space in your Evernote account, and with an Evernote Premium membership, your PDF’s are searchable. Every single word inside the file is indexed ready for you to look for it later.

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Simply sit with your scanner, scan all your important paperwork and then drag each file into the Evernote desktop app. I have to stress, though, that the contents of each PDF is only searchable if you are a premium customer.

5. Evernote Add-Ons / Plugins

There is no shortage of Evernote add-ons and plugins. Let’s take a look at them.

Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote Web Clipper is a browser plugin for both Firefox and Chrome and is an accumulation of several features, the highlights of which are the Web Clipper, the Simultaneous Google Web Search, Related Notes and viewing all notes from the same web source.

For information on all that the Web Clipper extension offers, go directly to the Firefox or Chrome extension download pages.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/evernote-web-clipper/

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pioclpoplcdbaefihamjohnefbikjilc

The Web Clipper

The web clipper is a delightful feature which, as the name tells you, allows you to clip articles from webpages quickly and easily. Not only that, but after you have clipped your selection, it will show you if you have any related notes in your Evernote account.

Once you have installed the extension, a small Evernote icon will appear in your browser bar. When you see something you want to clip, click the button. The page will dim, and an adjustable yellow box will appear along with this:

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Simply use your arrow keys to move the yellow box to around the area you want to clip like so:

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Then just press the enter button on your keyboard and the selected part of the page will be clipped. You will then be informed of any related articles:

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Always bear in mind that the structure of the article may fall apart in your Evernote account. What it looks like on the webpage and what it looks like in Evernote may be two very different things. It all depends on the code in the post.

Simultaneous Google Web Search

As you start to accumulate many notes in Evernote, it will be natural that you will begin to lose track of what you have stored there. So when you find yourself doing Google searches for items, wouldn’t it be a very productive move to also check your Evernote account at the same time to see if there is any previously stored identical material there that can help? Evernote thought so and so they came up with the feature “Simultaneous Google Web Search”

“Simultaneous Google Web Search” is part of the Web Clipper browser extension. Once installed, go to http://www.google.com and do a search. Now you will notice at the top of the search results, an Evernote box telling you how many related results there are in your Evernote account.

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Clicking on the green link will take you directly to the web version of your Evernote account where you will be able to view all related notes.

Evernote Clearly

If you would rather not clip articles in full HTML / CSS, you can also convert articles to pure text (along with the photos / images / clickable links in the post) with a Firefox / Chrome extension called Evernote Clearly – http://evernote.com/clearly/

This is actually my favourite Evernote extension of the lot because it works so smoothly and is trouble-free. I have never had a problem with Clearly and clipped web material turns out beautifully in my Evernote account.

After installing, a button showing a desk lamp will appear in your browser bar. Now let’s say you’ve read this blog post and you want to send a “clean copy” of it to your Evernote account:

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All you have to do is click the little desk lamp icon and an overlay will smoothly appear over the top of the post showing the “clean” version:

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If you look to the right of the overlay, you’ll see some useful little icons:

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  • The first icon (the arrow) removes the overlay and returns you to the original version of the article.
  • The next icon (the elephant) sends your converted post to your Evernote account (which is done smoothly in seconds).
  • The third icons (the a’s), will allow you to change the theme of how the page looks. You can change background colour and fonts (types and sizes).
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  • The last icon (the printer), well that is self-explanatory. I don’t think you need me to explain that one!

Justin has written a post on MakeUseOf about Clearly which you can read by clicking here – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/evernote-removes-clutter-webpages-reading-clipping-printing/

Evernote Trunk

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A good indicator of the longevity of an app is the amount of additional apps and services that plug into it to “enhance your experience”. Many apps don’t open up their API and in so doing so, creativity is stifled and the app eventually dies out.

Not so with Evernote. They have opened up the service to other developers and site owners who want to connect their app or service to Evernote. This is good news for the user as it makes the Evernote service more valuable and is likely to make the user seriously consider upgrading to a premium membership.

You can find all the third-party services that connect to Evernote in Trunk which can be found here – http://evernote.com/trunk/ . But here is a brief selection of the best ones you should consider.

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Wappwolf is the ultimate in online automation. Using Wappwolf, you can connect your Evernote account with Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive.

Using one of these three services, you can drag a file into a pre-defined folder and have it automatically sync to your Evernote account. This one is definitely worth checking out.

http://evernote.com/trunk/items/wappwolf?lang=en&layout=default&source=home

http://wappwolf.com/dropboxautomator

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Instapaper is another of my favourites. Instapaper is a service where you can save web links to read later. Then you can “like” them and archive them for future reference.

But the sweet part is that you can connect your Instapaper account to your Evernote account so that your favourite articles are automatically backed up.

http://evernote.com/trunk/items/instapaper?lang=en&layout=default&source=mobile_page

http://www.instapaper.com/

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Expensify is one I have come to rely upon over the past few months, as my expenses have gone up and I have needed a reliable expenses monitoring app to keep track of where my cash goes.

You can scan your receipts and once you have saved them to your Evernote account, they will be automatically sent to Expensify where you can create and submit expense reports.

http://evernote.com/trunk/items/expensify?lang=en&layout=default&source=desktop_page

https://www.expensify.com/

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Placeme for iPhone might come across as invasive to some privacy-minded people, but others, such as myself, like it for the fact that you can use it to track where you have been (using your iPhone’s GPS and Wi-Fi) and have it all listed in a new Evernote app, so you can remember that day’s activities.

You can disable the app anytime you like and Placeme promises that all information is kept strictly private.

http://evernote.com/trunk/items/placeme-iphone?lang=en&layout=default&source=home

https://placemeapp.com/placeme/

Skitch

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Skitch is an iOS and Android app which has been recently bought by Evernote. It basically allows you to annotate images such as typing comments, handwriting notes, circling interesting passages, cropping screenshots, and much more. You can do so in various colours and in various thicknesses of pen. Then when you have finished annotating, you can instantly save everything to Evernote.

You can upload photos from your iOS or Android device, take an instant photo with your device’s camera, use the in-built web browser to go to a webpage (like what I did above), go to a map on your device, or get a blank canvas if you are feeling creative.

Skitch is perfect for making presentations or for explaining things to someone if they need a graphical demonstration.

http://skitch.com/

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skitch-for-ipad/id490505997?mt=8

Penultimate

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Penultimate is pretty much a freestyle notebook, which was also acquired by Evernote recently (http://www.wired.com/business/2012/05/evernote-acquires-penultimate/ ). Using your finger or a stylus pen (I recommend the stylus pen), you can handwrite notes on your iPad, just as you would in a normal notebook. You can also insert photographs, either by taking an on-the-spot photo with your device camera or by importing one from your camera roll / photo stream.

Then when your note is finished, you can export it all to your Evernote account where the OCR function will read your writing and index it away for future searches.

As you can see above, I made a quick note with a photo of myself and a bad version of my signature (in my defence, I was using my finger to write it).

Penultimate costs 99 cents (at the time of writing) and you can get it by clicking on the link below.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/penultimate/id354098826?mt=8

Evernote Ambassador Program

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I’m sure by now I have given you some good ideas about how to use your Evernote account but if you want to learn even more, then it pays to listen to some other experts. The Evernote Ambassador Program exists to tell you how a variety of professional people from all walks of life use Evernote. They are an Ambassador of a particular area such as fitness, productivity, blogging and public speaking, and so on, and the person explains how they use Evernote in that particular area of expertise.

If you feel you have some words of wisdom to offer Evernote users, then you can apply to become an Ambassador in an area not already been claimed by someone else.

http://evernote.com/community/

6. Conclusion

Well that’s about it for this manual. I hope I’ve succeeded in showing you some good uses for an Evernote account and why it is much better than any other notebook service. As I previously mentioned, the longevity of a notebook service is in how much it evolves and how much it opens up to third party developers. Evernote is definitely evolving and what I have shown you here is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I recommend you take a look yourself at everything Evernote has to offer as covering it all here is pretty much impossible. There’s just too much.

In the meantime, if I can assist with any questions, you can email me at mark@makeuseof.com . Or ask your question over at MakeUseOf Answers, the premier location on the web for getting all your tech-related questions answered – http://www.makeuseof.com/answers

Check out these useful articles about Evernote as well:

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