©2017 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2017-08-16.  Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT:  EVERNOTE has a free version that can be used to store notes, webpages, documents, images, audio clips, pdf files, and more, in the "cloud".  It also has commercial versions with more features., but the free version is enough for many uses in family history.  EVERNOTE makes your notes available on each of your computers and devices on which the program is installed and you can use the web version on other devices.  This presentation will discuss and demonstrate EVERNOTE and some of its uses in genealogy.  Notes in EVERNOTE are stored in notebooks that you set up and they can be entered by typing, drag-and-drop of texts, pdf's, or images, audio, and webpage clipping tools.  It allows you to work off-line and, when it detects an Internet connection, it uploads the notes to the cloud and your other devices and downloads whatever else it finds there from your other devices.  All notes can be searched for any word, symbol, or tag they contain, not just their titles.  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 your user name and password, 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. The free version has limitations and can only be installed on two devices, e.g. your computer and a smartphone.  However, you can use the web version on other devices.
  8. Plus and Premium versions have more features and can be installed on an unlimited number of devices, but cost $35 or $70 per year.  The free version is enough for many uses.
  9. Some helps and video tutorials are 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 suggested uses in genealogy -- More details are below and in 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 -- the EVERNOTE Web Clipper is described below
    3. Use for research logs for family history research
    4. Save pdf's of articles, FH conferences, etc., so they are available on mobile devices
    5. Save instructions, manuals, and tutorials about research, technology, programs, databases, hardware, etc.
    6. Make lists of contacts, phones, email addresses; has ToDo boxes you can add in to check when item has been completed 
    7. Save collections of letters, emails, recipes, ideas to try, so they are searchable and available on all your devices
    8. Premium versions have additional features such as Presentation Mode for presenting notes and notebooks
  14. For devices with cameras
    1. Use EVERNOTE as a scanner -- new feature squares up the document before it saves it; use it for photos of book pages, maps, copies of temple or business cards; it cleans up the image, but also takes out color and makes it B/W
    2. Take pictures of artifacts and describe them with audio in same note
    3. I frequently take photos in EVERNOTE with my smartphone, so they are automatically on my computer at home and I can copy them elsewhere; there are other better programs for organizing photos


  15. Notes are stored in EVERNOTE 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. 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 notesfrom your other devices
    3. Free accounts allow up to 250 notebooks; unlimited number of notebooks in pay accounts
    4. Can use these wherever you are, e.g. in a FHC, at church, on your smartphone or tablet, etc.
    5. Can share synchronized notes or notebooks with anyone you want; click on the Share button for the note or notebook and email the URL to your contacts
    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; can export them in various formats
  17. Non-synchronized (local) notebooks
    1. 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 in either free or paid accounts
    3. Can back these up or transfer them to other devices by manually exporting with flash drives
    4. Can use non-synchronized notebooks to save private data, e.g. passwords, financial, medical, and personal data


  18. Several ways to form notes, e.g., type, copy-and-paste text, images, or URLs, record audio, use Web Clipper, etc.
  19. Can enter a title for notes, but I usually just let it use the first line of the note as the title and I write that so the notes alphabetize with key words to make related notes sort 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 files of any type, including Powerpoints
  21. For pdf's and doc's just drag-and-drop into the note
  22. Can send a whole collection of pdf's or other files into separate notes in a notebook by first opening the notebook, then highlight the collection with FILE EXPLORER, then Right Click to get the Context Menu > Send To > EVERNOTE -- each file goes into its own note in the open notebook; very helpful for things like pdf papers for FH conference; can edit the notes and move them to whichever notebook you want 
  23. EVERNOTE does OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on all text and pdf's, so they become every-word searchable -- free accounts only do OCR late at night, paid accounts do it immediately
  24. Many keyboard short cuts, e.g. ALT+SHIFT+D puts date and time into note where your cursor is
  25. Has a shortcuts panel for things you need to get to regularly
  26. EVERNOTE gives you an email address with your account so anything emailed to it automatically goes into your default Inbox; can use this to have certain emails or all your emails automatically put into your EVERNOTE account
  27. URL's in notes can be made into active links by placing the cursor at the end of the URL and pressing space bar; then clicking on the link opens your default browser and goes to the website
  28. Free program  Evernote Web Clipper  saves articles or entire webpage; I sometimes run a "cleanup" program -- Just Read  or  Print Friendly , etc. -- on a website before saving; can also copy-and-paste websites into EVERNOTE
  29. Has ToDo boxes for things like research lists, shopping lists, research logs, etc. -- Format > ToDo > Check Box (keyboard short cut is CTRL+SHFT+C) -- can later put checks in the boxes of items completed; EVERNOTE has ToDo list searches for all items, items checked as completed, or items not checked as completed 
  30. Icon for New Note (top middle) has pick arrow with various options including audio notes, webcam notes, handwritten notes, etc. -- EVERNOTE will save audio files and transcribe by voice recognition, but it isn't always accurate; touch-screen computers and devices allow handwritten notes
  31. Notes saved from an external source, e.g. emails, are placed in whichever box you designate as your entry box, e.g. Inbox notebook; notes can be checked, edited, renamed, and moved from there
  32. Notes are saved automatically when entered, so you never have to worry about forgetting to save something
  33. Tags on a note -- can attach unlimited number of tags to a note for searching later; keyboard shortcut to add tag is CTRL+ALT+T
  34. Can set the panels the way you want to view notebooks, notes, shortcuts, tags, etc.
  35. Notes can be sorted on any column by clicking the column title, alphabetically, by date created, date last modified, notebook, tags, etc. -- if you use date in International Date Format (YYYY-MM-DD) they alphabetize in chronological order; good for letters, photos, etc.

  37. Edit notes and titles of notes at any time and they will be changed on all your synchronized devices
  38. Easy to write and edit articles in EVERNOTE since notes are saved automatically and can be edited on any device connected to the Internet 
  39. Has an undo feature so deleting part of a note is recoverable; paid versions have added feature that they keep track of all versions of all notes and can go to your web account and recover any earlier version of any note -- Note Info > History on your web account
  40. Spell checker shows misspelled words in notes
  41. Drag-and-drop notes to move from one notebook to another 

  43. 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
  44. Can have it search through all notebooks or only selected ones; can then search within result set for additional search terms
  45. 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
  46. Searching for "win" (no quotes) brings up results with "Win", "Windows", "wind", etc.
  47. Searching tag:[tag] brings up all notes with that tag
  48. Keyboard shortcut WIN+SHIFT+F from anywhere on your computer opens the EVERNOTE window to search or enter notes 
  49. 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
  50. Search feature is global for all notes or all notes in a notebook; has global search-and-replace in a note, but NOT in a collection of notes -- To replace something in all notes (globally) use the search feature and then replace each hit individually

  52. Installed versions have options to set the panels the way you want 
  53. Clicking on Atlas (lower left side) shows a Google map of where you were when you entered that note, if the GPS was turned on -- may be wiser for security reasons to turn off GPS, especially when entering photos
  54. Exporting notes or notebooks -- right click on notes or notebooks and select Export -- various export formats
    1. EVERNOTE format (.enex) -- for backup or transfer to another computer without going over the Internet; especially helpful for non-synchronized (local) notebooks; can copy them 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. Text format (.txt) -- use this to put notes into a different program, but can just copy-and-paste, if only a few notes 
    3. html format (.html) -- to save in web format, even if not going to post 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 showing on the Internet
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. Commercial versions of EVERNOTE have a Presentation mode -- click on the Projection Screen icon (top right of the note); to see a collection of notes highlight the notebook or a collection of notes, right click, and select Present, or 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 the notes without having to export them from EVERNOTE -- not available in the free version 

  59. 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 .  
  60. Many online tutorials on YouTube, etc. -- search for things like "evernote tutorials" (without the quotes)
  61. 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 .