Evernote is one of the best applications I've ever used, and is a critical part of my work and personal organization. Everything I think, do or see that I want to record goes straight into Evernote - it's quite the database of my brain at this point.
Everyone, it seems, has covered Evernote in the past, talking about how great it is, how to use it, and all of its wonderful features. You'd think it would have been done to death by now, right?
Nope. Here are six features of Evernote that are equally awesome and useful, that don't get the press or coverage they deserve.
One of the great features of Evernote is the ability to use Notebooks and tags to sort all of your notes – its organization features are among the reasons it's so useful. Saved Searches add even more functionality to tags and notebooks, because it lets you weed out only exactly what you want. You can search for, say, everything in your "School" Notebook that doesn't have a "History" tag, or only things that are tagged with "To Do" and are in either your "Home" or "Office" notebook. The more notes you have, the harder it can be to weed out exactly what you want – Saved Searches are a lifesaver.
To create a saved search, right-click on the left side of the Evernote client, and select "New Saved Search." Then, enter your parameters, and you're set!
Within a given tag, you can create sub-tags that will make it even easier to sort what you're looking for. To do so, right-click on a given tag and click "Create tag in ___". You can create as many tags as you want within a given tag.
I have a ton of tags within my Evernote, but sub-tags lets me put them all underneath the general topic of what I want. This isn't so much a feature as it is a way to further organize your notes under umbrellas, to be able to access all the appropriate ones at the same time, in the same place.
This is the single most-used thing in my Evernote workflow. From any window or application on your desktop, a particular keystroke (that you create) can create a new note in Evernote, clip a screenshot into Evernote, or paste selected text right into Evernote. This means getting information into Evernote is super fast and simple, and makes Evernote the easiest place on your desktop to put information.
One worry I hear from people, when I tell them to use Evernote, is "what if it goes away?" It's a fair point, as Web apps are prone to up and disappear without any warning. With Evernote, though, there's no worry. First, because the desktop app works offline, and will still function even if something happens to Evernote.
And second, there's no worry because Evernote lets you export notes to HTML. Most other applications will read an HTML file, so exporting it that way makes it easy to import into another application, or even keep accessible on your hard drive. Thanks to this export, there's no fear of ever losing your Evernote data – you just might, possibly, one day, have to move it around a bit.
Since Evernote is aiming to be your "second brain," your place to keep everything in your head and in your life, it's a natural place to keep a to-do list. All the information is there; why not have your action items there too? Evernote does a great job with this – you can easily, with a mouse-click or keyboard shortcut, create a checkbox next to any line of text.
You can also search for to-do items, and keep track of any number of lists within Evernote. It's flexible, easy to add to and edit, and a perfect solution for to-do lists simple and complex.
What a lot of people don't realize is that Evernote actually works fantastically as a word processor. It's not especially feature-rich, but it has all of the basics you'd need when you're writing – font, color, size, bold, italics, underline, justifications, bulleted lists, and even tables can all be featured in your documents. They're all saved automatically into Evernote; it's great for writing everything from a journal to a novel.
What about Evernote works (or doesn't work) for you?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.