iPhone and iPad Mac

8 Evernote Upgrades You Should Know About

Bakari Chavanu 20-08-2013

It seems like every other month, Evernote gets additional upgrades. A few are quietly released, while others are highly anticipated by heavy Evernote users. Since I wrote my last article about Evernote’s new design and file storage upgrades 4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Evernote Evernote can do more than keeping notes and managing information. With the right tools, Evernote apps, and browser extensions, you can turn Evernote into a complete productivity system. Read More , the popular notebook has gotten important new features, including Reminders, a highlighter and tighter security for subscribers, among others.


If you’re new to Evernote, download Mark O’Neill’s free PDF, How to Use Evernote: the Missing Manual 4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Evernote Evernote can do more than keeping notes and managing information. With the right tools, Evernote apps, and browser extensions, you can turn Evernote into a complete productivity system. Read More  to get up to speed. And if you’re an iPhone or iPad owner, I’ve already explained why Evernote is a must-have app for the iPhone and iPad. Evernote: A Must-Have App for the iPhone and iPad [iOS] In the last several months, the iOS versions of Evernote have undergone a significant overhaul of their user interfaces, closely mirroring the design and features of the counterpart web and Mac applications. We have added... Read More

This article is based on my use of Evernote for Mac OS X and iOS. The highlighted features may not yet be available for the Windows and Android versions of Evernote.

Built-in Highlighter

Call me old school, but I still like to highlight text as I read because it’s a great way to review content later. In the latest 5.2.1 version of Evernote, a built-in highlighter is now a feature in the toolbar editor. It only appears when you actually click inside a note.

Evernote highlighter

To use it, select some text and click the highlighter button, which is placed alongside the format style tools. I’ve mapped the keyboard shortcut (Format > Style > Highlight) to BetterTouchTool Become A Power Trackpad User With BetterTouchTool It's especially useful for Mac users who do lots of work in applications like iPhoto or Aperture, or who surf the web. Read More so that I can activate the highlighter without having to lift my finger off the trackpad. The highlighter is only available in the Mac version of Evernote.


Skitch Integration

Evernote acquired the image editor Skitch back in 2011, and now it’s integrated with Evernote for both the Mac and iOS versions, allowing users to open notes and mark them up in the external application. Actually, Evernote makes a PDF copy of a selected note so that your original stays intact.

Evernote skitch

The Skitch icon appears in the toolbar of every opened note. You will need to, of course, download the Mac and iOS versions of Skitch, for it’s not built into Evernote.


Reminders was a much requested feature for Evernote, and it finally got rolled out in May. You can add a reminder for any note and even receive email notifications for the alarms you set. Your list of Evernote reminders can be viewed and sorted by Upcoming Reminders or Recently Completed Reminders.


Evernote 3

Reminders is really a handy feature, especially if you use Evernote as a file drawer for your projects, meetings, and other activities.

Note Links

Linking to notes may not be a new feature in Evernote, but it’s one that some users may not know about. You can copy the internal link for a note by right-clicking on it when it’s in the Card View and selecting Copy Note Link in the drop-down menu. You can then paste the link in another note for quick reference.

Note link Evernote


Remember that the note link is local to the notebook where it was copied, and thus it will not be synced to other devices. You can share a note externally by clicking the Sharing button in the toolbar of Evernote.

Merge Notes

Another feature you may not know about is the ability to merge two or more notes, which is done by selecting and right-clicking (in Card View) on the notes you want to merge and then selecting Merge Notes in the drop-down menu.

Merge notes

The selected notes will be combined into one, with the title of the first selected note used for the new combined note. The titles of the other notes will be highlighted in blue to indicate that they were merged. This feature doesn’t exist in the iOS versions of Evernote. Thanks to Jason Frasca for pointing out this feature in his blog.


Favorites In Evernote iOS

The Mac version of Evernote allows you to add notes to a Shortcuts list in the sidebar panel. In the iOS version of Evernote, you can star individual notes so they can be added to this new page.


When you open a note, you can now tap on the star icon in the bottom menu bar of the note. A star tab will appear in the bottom-center of Evernote’s main page and tapping on the tab will reveal all your starred items.

Passcode Lock for Premium Users

If you’re a Premium or Business subscriber to Evernote, you can now add a passcode lock to the iOS version of the app. You can enable this by tapping your profile icon in the top-left corner, and then following the instructions for adding and enabling your passcode.

Evernote passcode

Useful Updates

The above features have greatly enhanced how I use Evernote in my day to day workflow. I have no doubt that several more new tools and utilities will be added in the coming months. Let us know what other features you would like to see added. And, if you’re looking for more ideas about how to make use of Evernote on your iOS device, check out my article about the five powerful apps for exporting and importing content into your Evernote.

Have you found any of these features useful? Do you use Evernote, or something else? Add your thoughts in the comments, below.

Related topics: Evernote, Note-Taking Apps.

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  1. Christopher W
    September 7, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Evernote is always unduly complicated.

  2. siennaamelia
    September 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    @Bakari Chavanu Thank you

  3. Bakari Chavanu
    September 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks, Sienna, for sharing that extra resource. Glad you found the article useful.

  4. Wreckanoid
    August 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Please, please, please, please can we please have a format painter? Please?

  5. Terry Lane
    August 22, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Thanks for the article. Interestingly, I actually save MakeUseOf articles to Evernote! Just looking at some of the additional features that have been suggested, I would be concerned that the product could end up as bloatware. I've seen so many instances where software that was once simple to use and very good at its original intended use, turns into a monster with dozens of features that the bulk of users never touch. Having said that, I do like some of the suggestions.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 22, 2013 at 1:52 am

      Terry, you make a good point. But there's always going to be more features users are hammering for. I for one really want to be able to access my Evernote content from the menu bar without opening the application itself. SOHO Notes does this, but that application did struggle with bugs for quite some time. When your Evernote files grow so large, it's a pain to open the application just to view one or two notes.

      Thanks for being an avid MakeUseOf reader.

      • Terry Lane
        August 22, 2013 at 6:42 am

        I'm certainly with you on that one - that frustrates me too. And I do like Sean's idea for outlining functions, but I would prefer to see Terri's request for sub-notebooks implemented first. It might also help to address the 250 notebook limitation.

  6. gallher
    August 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    POS. I rather use Onenote for Windows.

  7. Howard
    August 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Seems there is no highlighter in the Windows version - also you don't mention that Reminders aren't available in the Windows version. Maybe you should remember that your audience will contain lots of Windows users when you write your articles!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Howard, sorry, as I indicate in the article, I'm not a Windows user, so I wasn't able to tell what features existed in the Windows version. Maybe if I did the research, I could have found a comparison of the two versions of Evernote. But thanks for letting us know which features are not in the Windows version.

      • Howard
        August 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        True, you did say you were a Windows user. But I'm disappointed that MUO would print an article that has such a slant, given that its topic is of interest to Windows users too. Sure, MUO does have articles specifically focused on Apple software sometimes, but this is different. Where the topic is a cross-platform product, I'd hope that an author could do some research to check that his or her assertions are true for all classes of user.

        • Bakari Chavanu
          August 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm

          Good point. Will make an effort to do that kind of extra research work next time. Probably would be useful also if I ran Windows on my Mac and just downloaded the apps so I can see for myself what features exist. The developers don't always make that info clear. Not sure if it helps, but here's a guide page to Evernote for Windows: http://evernote.com/evernote/guide/windows/
          Thanks for being a reader of MUO.

        • Ole F
          August 22, 2013 at 7:29 am

          I can only say, that you are so "right".
          When I read the article I of course noticed, that Bakari said he was a Mac user but - we are though many a lot of windows users to this site, therefore I was very disappointed that the effects not was tested on a Win machine too.
          But, OK - better luck next time ?

  8. Terri Rapoport
    August 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I'd like to see another level for sub-notebooks, just as an aid for organizing. Also, I wish Evernote handled tables better both in creating and pasting. OneNote does this much better. I switched from OneNote to Evernote because I use Windows and work, a Macbook Air at home, and my iPad mini everywhere. Also, more wordprocessing options would be nice, such as a format painter.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Totally agree, Terri. There's a lot more Evernote could with tables. I want to at least be able to add columns and rows to existing tables.

  9. Sean
    August 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Evernote would be ever more useful if it featured an outline option for formatting.
    Ideally, this would be done with arrows that rotate to expand or contract sections and subsections. The ability to drag a sentence / paragraph to one side or another to change it's place in the hierarchy (or even move it to a new section altogether) would be ideal.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Sean. I like your idea. I also would like to see a way to view Evernote content from the menu bar, like you can with SOHO Notes.

  10. Matjaž M
    August 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Well, it's interesting to see how far behind is Evernote fo Windows. Like that they have abandoned it.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Matjaz, you're right, that is interesting. I'm not a Windows user, so it was hard to tell what features exist in the Windows version. Sounds like most of the above features are not there.

    • James
      August 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      All of these features (except maybe the Skitch integration) are in the latest beta of Evernote for Windows 5, so they're coming soon. Skitch integration may be in there too and I just haven't seen it.

  11. Hindie
    August 20, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I still don't see the option for note link. I really want to do this with one of my note books

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Hindie, make sure your notes are in Card View, and then right-click-click to see the note link in the drop-down. If you're using a Windows version of Evernote, I'm not sure if that feature is included.

      • EL
        August 22, 2013 at 12:13 am

        In windows you can right click on the note in the list and click 'copy note link'. Or, if the note is open, you can find that trick in the Note menu.

  12. Michael M
    August 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Please provide a collect/concatenate option. Copy and click would save your data quickly without having to name the data file.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks for that feedback, Michael.

  13. Karen McGrath
    August 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Would love to see the maximum of 250 notebooks for business users eliminated!
    Would love to be able to duplicate stacks!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      August 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Karen, that seems reasonable to me, especially for paid premium accounts.

    • Jeff R
      August 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      I agree, I just ran in to this myself. I wish there was at least something in my Evernote that indicated how many notebooks I'm at. I had no idea of the 250 limit until it was too late (and inconvenient).