©2018 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2018-08-14.  Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT:  This class will discuss and demonstrate EVERNOTE and some of its uses in genealogy.  EVERNOTE is a program that stores "in the cloud" notes, webpages, documents, images, audio clips, pdf files, and more.   It makes your notes available on each of your computers and devices.  The free version is enough for many uses in family history, but can only be installed on two devices.  However, you can use the web version on your other devices.  The commercial version can be installed on as many devices as you want.  Notes in EVERNOTE are stored in notebooks that you set up and notes can be entered by typing, drag-and-drop, web clips, audio, and other means and these can be text, pdf's, images, audio, and web pages.  You can work offline and when it detects an Internet connection, it uploads the notes to your other devices and downloads whatever it finds from your other devices.  It allows you to select and use as many tags as you want for each note and all notes with text are OCR'd (Optical Character Recognized) so they are every-word searchable,.  The class notes for this presentation and related information in other articles, all with active URLs, are posted at  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow (snowd@math.byu.edu) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. The notes and related additional information in other articles is posted at  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html , all with active Internet links.
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today:  How to write, save, and use notes, articles, websites, pdf's, and audio clips in EVERNOTE, particularly for genealogy.

  6. To get EVERNOTE go to  https://www.evernote.com/ , set up a free account with user name and password you select; then download and install the program.  As you install it on other devices, you use your same user name and password, so they are all linked to your account "in the cloud".
  7. Free version has some limitations, but is still helpful for many uses; can only install free version on two devices, for example, your computer and a smartphone; however, you can use the web version on all your other devices.
  8. Premium version ($70/year) and Business Version have more features and can be installed on an unlimited number of devices
  9. See helps and video tutorials at  https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us
  10. Helpful "Unofficial Evernote Manual" -- http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-use-evernote-the-missing-manual-full-text/
  11. MakeTechEasier Evernote Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet -- http://download.maketecheasier.com/MakeTechEasier_Evernote_cheatsheet.pdf

  13. Some idea for using EVERNOTE in genealogy -- Details are below and in other notes and Don's Freeware Corner articles on his webpage.
    1. Write notes and articles -- I write all my articles in EVERNOTE now, since it has the features I need and saves them automatically to all my computers and devices.
    2. Save webpages -- copy and paste or simply use the EVERNOTE Web Clipper described below
    3. Use for research logs for family history research
    4. Save pdfs of screenshots and files about a person so they form a timeline of his life  
    5. Has a feature to automatically place images together side-by-side, e.g., parts of newspaper clippings; just copy the images to the clipboard and paste them into the note and it organizes them for you 
    6. Save instructions, pdfs from FH conferences, manuals, and tutorials about research, technology, programs, databases, hardware, etc.
    7. Make lists of contacts, phones, email addresses; can use ToDo boxes to check when item has been completed 
    8. Save collections of letters, emails, recipes, ideas to try, so they are searchable and available on all your devices
    9. Premium version has additional features incuding allowing more file formats and Presentation Mode for presenting notes and notebooks
  14. For devices with cameras
    1. Take pictures of artifacts and describe them with audio in same note
    2. Use EVERNOTE as a scanner -- new feature squares up the document before it saves it; use it for photos of form you fill out, book pages, maps, copies of temple or business cards; it cleans up the image
    3. I frequently use EVERNOTE to take pictures with my smartphone so they are automatically on my computer at home and I can copy them elsewhere; I don't usually use it for storing photos, since there are other better programs for that


  15. EVERNOTE stores notes in two types of notebooks, (1) synchronized, and (2) non-synchronized
  16. Synchronized notebooks
    1. Stored in the cloud in your EVERNOTE account online at  https://evernote.com/  
    2. Even when you are not online, you can work on any note and notebook and when it detects an Internet connection, it uploads the changes and downloads synchronized notes from your other devices
    3. Accounts allow up to 250 notebooks, which is more than most people ever need  
    4. Can get to these synchronized notebooks wherever you can get to the Internet, e.g. in a FHC, at church, on your smartphone or tablet, etc.
    5. Synchronized notes or entire notebooks are sharable with anyone you choose; click on the Share button and email the URL to your contacts; you can give them permission to edit it or just see it.
    6. Synchronized notebooks are encrypted and backed up online on the EVERNOTE servers, but remember that anything sent over the Internet is NOT private, even if encrypted.
    7. Can also backup synchronized notebooks by exporting the notes in various formats
  17. Non-synchronized (local) notebooks
    1. Non-synchronized notebooks are private and stored only on your computer or device, so they are not available on the Internet
    2. Can have any number of non-synchronized notebooks  
    3. To back these up or transfer them to other devices manually, you can export them to a flash drive 
    4. Use these for private data, passwords, financial, medical, and personal information 


  18. Notes are formed by typing, copy-and-pasting text or images or URLs, recording audio, or using the Web Clipper, and a few other ways  
  19. You can give a title to the note or else it just uses the first line, which is what I usually do; I use keywords at the start so they alphabetize together 
  20. Notes can contain text, images, pdf's, doc's, URL's, website clips, audio files, and more; free version has limitations; paid versions can store any type of file
  21. To save a file in a note just drag-and-drop the file into the note
  22. Can send a whole collection of files into separate notes in a notebook by first opening the notebook, then highlighting the collection in FILE EXPLORER, and Right Click to get the Context Menu > Send To > EVERNOTE -- each file goes into its own note in the notebook you had open; very helpful for things like pdfs of papers from a FH conference or letters you have scanned and/or transcribed
  23. To move notes from one notebook to another just drag-and-drop them
  24. EVERNOTE OCRs (Optical Character Recognizes) all text in notes, e.g., pdf's, so they become every-word searchable -- free accounts only do the OCR late at night, paid accounts do it immediately
  25. EVERNOTE  has many keyboard shortcuts; "cheatsheet" listed above shows some, e.g. ALT+SHIFT+D puts date and time into note where cursor is 
  26. Shortcuts panel at top left side is very helpful for notes you use a lot or are writing; just drag the note there to form a shortcut to it; keeps track of wherever you move the note
  27. When you set up your EVERNOTE account, they give you In text an email address so that anything emailed to that address automatically goes into your default Inbox; can use this to have certain, or all, emails automatically go into your EVERNOTE account
  28. In text notes URL's become active links by placing the cursor at the end of the URL and pressing space bar
  29. To save webpages use copy-and-paste or use the free browser extension  Evernote Web Clipper  which saves articles or entire webpages in various ways; I sometimes run a "cleanup" program -- Just Read  or  Print Friendly -- before saving the webpagewith
  30. Has ToDo check mark boxes that you can place anywhere for things like research lists, shopping lists, and research logs -- Format > ToDo > Check Box (keyboard short cut is CTRL+SHFT+C) -- Then later you can put checks in the boxes for completed items; can do searches for ToDo items or checked or unchecked items
  31. New Note icon (top middle) has pick arrow with various options such as audio notes where you use the microphone and dictate and it transcribes your dictation, but it isn't always accurate.
  32. Can do handwritten notes, if you have a touch-screen.
  33. Notes saved from an external source, e.g. Web Clipper or emails, are placed in whichever notebook you designate as your entry one, e.g. Inbox notebook; notes can be edited, renamed, and moved from there to wherever you want them
  34. Notes are saved automatically as soon as entered, so you never have to worry about forgetting to save something
  35. Tags -- can attach any number of words as tags to to make organizing and searching easier later
  36. The panels can be set the way you want for notebooks, notes, shortcuts, tags, etc.
  37. Notes can be sorted on any column in the note list panel by clicking in the column heading, e.g. alphabetically by title, or by date created, date last modified, notebook, tags, etc. -- If you write the date in International Date Format (YYYY-MM-DD) after a keyword, all those notes are listed chronologically; this is especially helpful for letters and items pertaining to an individual, since they are all in order
  38. Evernote Blog  has helpful articles about using EVERNOTE

  40. You can edit notes and titles of notes at any time and they will be changed on all your synchronized devices and the web version 
  41. Very helpful to write and edit articles in EVERNOTE, since they are saved automatically and can be edited on any of your devices
  42. Has an Undo feature to go back some steps
  43. Deleted notes go into a Trash notebook in your account until you Empty the Trash; deleting part of a note is recoverable since you can get to old versions of your notes on the web version -- Note Info > History on your web account; but deleting a note completely may not be The becoverable 
  44. The built-in Spell Checker underlines misspelled works in notes
  45. Drag-and-drop a note to move it to anothr notebook

  47. Search syntax for EVERNOTE is at -- https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208313828-How-to-use-Evernote-s-advanced-search-syntax  and  https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php
  48. Can search through all notebooks or only selected ones; can then search within result set for additional search terms
  49. Search syntax includes:  space = AND; +[term] = [term] has to be there; -[term] = [term] must not be there; "[terms]" = exactly those terms in that order; search terms are highlighted in the results page
  50. Searching for "win" (no quotes) brings up results with "Win", "Windows", "wind", etc.
  51. Searching for tag:[tag] brings up all notes with that tag
  52. Keyboard shortcut WIN+SHIFT+F from anywhere on your computer opens the EVERNOTE window to search or enter notes 
  53. Searching "todo:" (no quotes) finds all ToDo lists, "todo:true" (no quotes) finds all completed check boxes; "todo:false" (no quotes) finds all uncompleted check boxes
  54. Search feature is global for all notes or all notes in a notebook; has global search-and-replace in a note, but NOT Global Search and Replace in a collection of notes -- To replace something in all notes (globally) use the search feature and then replace each hit individually

  56. Clicking on Atlas (lower left side) shows a Google map of where you were when you entered that note, if internal GPS was turned on -- may be wiser for security reasons to turn off GPS, especially when entering photos
  57. Exporting notes or notebooks -- right click on notes or notebooks and select Export -- Export formats are the following:
    1. .enex format = EVERNOTE format -- for backup or transfer to another computer without going over the Internet; especially useful for non-synchronized (local) notebooks; copy to flashdrive and import into EVERNOTE on another computer; they go in as Imported Notes and you can change the name of the notebook or move them elsewhere
    2. .txt format = text format -- use this to put notes into a different program, but if only doing a few notes, use copy-and-paste,
    3. .html format = web format -- helpful even if not posting on the web; especially helpful for things like collections of letters, since you can use all the power of a browser on the exported files, even though they are only on your computer and not posted on the Internet
  58. Usage button (top right on free version) shows how much of your free space you have used in the 30-day cycle -- free version includes enough space for thousands of notes; plenty for most people
  59. Can set Reminder for any note, e.g. birthdays coming up -- click on the Reminder check box (upper right side) and tell it the date and time you want and that note appears at the top of the list then
  60. Commercial versions of EVERNOTE have a Presentation Mode -- click on the Projection Screen icon (top right of the note); to view a presentation of several notes highlight the notes or notebooks, right click, and select Present; can also click on the Start Presentation button at bottom; shows them full-screen with larger text; to move through a note use mouse wheel, up and down arrows, or Page Up and Down; to move to next or previous note use CTRL+(Right or Left Arrow); ESC takes you out of Presentation Mode; simple, but effective, way to show notes without having to export them from EVERNOTE -- not available in the free version 

  62. EVERNOTE has many more features and there are many third party programs to help -- see EVERNOTE Blog -- https://blog.evernote.com/ , EVERNOTE Trunk -- https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2012/08/24/the-totally-redesigned-evernote-trunk/ , and the EVERNOTE App Center -- https://appcenter.evernote.com .  
  63. Many online tutorials on YouTube, etc. -- search for things like "evernote tutorials" (without the quotes)
  64. EVERNOTE is a very useful program for family history and many other things; free version is sufficient for many things

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .