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Jordan Jones / F-315
NGS 2015 – St. Charles, Missouri
What is Evernote?
A free storage and organization tool for notes and
A way to organize, store, archive, and find your
A way to OCR images (make them searchable using
Optical Character Recognition)
The leading digital memory application (MS
OneNote, Google Keep being key competitors)
Key Evernote Features
Capture Everything—Text notes, web pages, audio,
photos, any kind of digital file.
Keep Everything in Sync—notes, web clips, files and
images available on every device and computer you use.
Research—Collect information from anywhere into a
single place. Everything is always at your fingertips.
Remember Everything—Since it’s easy to capture & find.
Installing Evernote: Mobile
Standard Installation, just like any App Store, Google
Play, or Windows Store application.
Search for “Evernote” in your mobile store of choice.
Installing Evernote Web Clippers
To get the best of Evernote for web capture, you should
install browser plug-ins for your favorite browser(s).
Go to https://evernote.com/webclipper/. The website
will automatically detect your browser and provide the
relevant web clipper.
Follow the instructions on the page.
Concepts & Strategies for
Why Should Genealogists Use
To create research plans
To create research logs
To gather and catalog digital assets
To write — notes, draft proof summaries, family narratives
To store more formal documents—Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
To share the results of research
Applied outside any files or note text, tags provide an
external organizing principle.
You can search for tags directly or indirectly:
“tag:Jones” finds all notes tagged “Jones”
“Jones” finds all notes that have the text Jones
anywhere, either inside the note, or in a tag
While you can search using any text anywhere in a
note, tags can provide a more exact search.
There’s no reason not to use a lot of tags.
You can search for any tag using the syntax
Tags can be organized into hierarchies, which aids in
Tag hierarchies do not “auto-tag” notes
A Tag Hierarchy
Notebooks can be in stacks, with a top level notebook
grouping together many other notebooks.
They can be nested no deeper than two deep (parent /
An account can contain a maximum of 250 notebooks,
so notebooks are your most precious resource.
Notebooks have some capabilities that are specific to them,
and the notes they contain:
You can keep notes just on a specific computer, if you
don’t want to sync them to the cloud
Great as a staging area if you are doing a lot of uploads,
and are reaching your limit
Both free and premium users can create shared
Offline Notebooks (Premium feature)
Third-Party Product Integrations
Some third-party products rely on notes in specially
set up notebooks
Postach.io — an Evernote-based blogging platform.
The dominant methods of organization for Evernote users
Tag Oriented (some use of notebooks)
Notebook Oriented (some use of tags)
Tags Only (no use of Notebooks).
I prefer to use a tag oriented method, so I can use both
tags and notebooks.
My Recommended Method
Folder organization by Record Type
Tagging by Record Type, Surname, Individual Name,
Use the Context Menu
Select “Add Note to Shortcuts”
Now you have a shortcut in your left panel
Create Note Links
Use the Content Menu
Select “Copy Classic Note Link”
Now you have a link that will open Evernote on the
Create a Table of Contents
Select the notes to be in the Table of Contents
Select Create Table of Contents Note
Search Syntax Operators
+ — Include an item
- — Exclude an item
: — Include one of the preceding things (tag, notebook)
* — Wildcard
Common Search Syntax
tag:[tag name] has a tag
-tag:[tag name] does not have a tag
notebook:[notebook name] is in a notebook
-notebook:[notebook name] is not in a notebook
intitle:[word or phrase] word or phrase is in title
Search terms can be used together, such as
A Workflow for
Putting it All Together
1. Research Plan
Create research plan notes (what are you trying to find, confirm, or
I list as much information as necessary, including links to other research
notes, or record notes, and information about the repository. If there in
an online search tool for a repository, I might look up and note microfilm
I store this plan note in a folder I call “0 - Research Plans.” I tag the note
with the repository or database where I will be conducting the search,
as well as surnames, personal names, and record types that may help
me find the note later.
2. Update Research Plan
I update the research plan note as I am actually
conducting the search, noting anything about the
This will be my research note, but not the record note.
3. Create Record Notes
If I discover a record that relates to this research, I save it
as a record note in Evernote.
I write the citation immediately, then create Evernote links
between the research note and the record note. (For an
example of this, see: Research - Borica Likic - Birth
3. Create Record Notes
I tag the record note as appropriate with:
individual name (if I am focused on this individual)
record type, and other relevant tags
3. Create Record Notes
Then title the note with the format
“date - person - record type - place - identifier”
“1968-02-05 - Hill, Mary Jane - Death Certificate -
Nebraska - 69-02358”
I file the record note into a folder for the record type.
4. File Research Plan with
I make any final notes on the research note, then
move it from the “0 - Research Plans” to the “1 -
Research Log” folder.
I do this even if I have a negative search, to remind
myself that I did conduct such a search, and the
circumstances of the search.
Reminders and To
A Digital String Around Your Finger
In Evernote, you can create reminders.
Click the clock above the note.
You can select a specific time or date, or just keep it as
Reminders show up in various views in the interface,
such as above the cards in the card view.
To Do Lists
Evernote allows you to create To-Do lists with
Unless the To-Do list note also has a reminder, you
will will not be reminded, but you can search for To-Do list
notes using the syntax:
todo:false [has uncompleted to do list items]
todo:true [has completed to do list items]
Evernote has not really done the best job here
I create templates for vital records, census records, and
other record types, then use them as templates with the
Context Menu > Copy to Notebook command.
Other Evernote Apps –
Platform: iOS for iPad only
Price: Free (offers in-app purchases of “paper”
Allows you to handwrite notes
Automatically syncs with Evernote
Platform: iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Automatic page edge detection
Saves in JPG or PDF format
Automatically syncs to Evernote
Bonus: Text Expansion
One way to use these templates even quicker, is to use a text
Mac - TextExpander ($35) - http://smilesoftware.com/ - the leader in
the field, but a bit pricey
Mac - aText ($5) - http://www.trankynam.com/ - does most of what
TextExpander does, for a fraction of the price - imports from
Windows - PhraseExpress (free) - http://www.phraseexpress.com/ -
Can import TextExpander snippets
How Text Expansion Works
Create a unique code
Type the code anywhere