EVERNOTE:  THE GENEALOGIST'S WORKHORSE

©2016 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2016-10-02.  Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT:  EVERNOTE is a free program, with commercial versions, that stores notes, webpages, documents, images, audio clips, pdf files, and more, in the "cloud".  It makes them available to you on each of your computers and devices connected to the Internet and you can also get to them on other computers at a Family History Center, for example.  The free version has some limitations, but is still useful in many ways.  This presentation will discuss and demonstrate EVERNOTE and some ways it can be used in genealogy.  We will show how notes are entered by typing, drag-and-drop, and clipping tools for webpages so you have a copy to save and read offline, regardless of how they change or disappear from the web.  We will also discuss the search tools in EVERNOTE to find the notes you are looking for in your notebooks.  The class notes for this presentation and additional information in other articles, all with active URLs, are posted at  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html .

    WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

  1. Instructors are Donald R. Snow (snowd@math.byu.edu) of Provo and St. George, Utah and his daughter Linda Snow Westover (linda.westover@gmail.com) of Orem, Utah.
  2. The notes and related additional information in other article 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.
  5. INTRODUCTION TO EVERNOTE

  6. Set up a free account with the user name and password you want and download the program from  https://www.evernote.com/ -- free version is enough for many things; Plus and Premium versions have more features, but cost $25 or $45 per year
  7. Free version is limited to being installed on only two devices, e.g your computer and a smartphone, but you can also use your EVERNOTE account on any other device through the web version; Plus and Premium versions can be installed on an unlimited number of your devices
  8. EVERNOTE stores your notes in the cloud, i.e. online, so you can get to them from any computer connected to the Internet
  9. Helps and video tutorials at -- https://evernote.com/getting_started/#1  and  https://evernote.com/evernote/guide/windows/
  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
  12. SOME IDEAS FOR USING EVERNOTE IN FAMILY HISTORY

  13. Details on how to do some of these are below and in Don's Freeware Corner articles -- http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-freewarecorner-2015-08-fhusesofevernote.html\
  14. Some suggested uses in genealogy
    1. Write notes and articles -- I use EVERNOTE to write all my articles now since they are saved and synchronized automatically on all my computers and mobile devices
    2. Save website information -- the EVERNOTE Web Clipper is described below
    3. Use for research logs for FH research
    4. Store articles and documents for a conference, so you have them available on a mobile device
    5. Save instructions, manuals, and tutorials about research, technology, programs, databases, hardware, etc.
    6. Make lists, e.g. ToDo, contacts, phones, email lists
    7. Save collections of things like letters, emails, and recipes, so they are searchable and available on all your computers and devices 
  15. 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 cards, business cards, etc.; it cleans up the image, but also takes out color, so it's just B/W
    2. Take pictures of artifacts and describe them with audio in same note
  16. Can save photos in EVERNOTE, but there are other better programs for that
  17. TYPES OF NOTEBOOKS IN EVERNOTE

  18. Notes in EVERNOTE are stored in two types of notebooks, (1) synchronized and (2) non-synchronized
  19. (1) Synchronized notebooks
    1. Stored in the cloud in your EVERNOTE account online at  https://www.evernote.com/Registration.action
    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 your other synchronized notes and notebooks
    3. Can have up to 250 synchronized notebooks in free accounts; unlimited number in premium 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 backup synchronized notebooks yourself by exporting all the notes in various formats
  20. (2) Non-synchronized (local) notebooks
    1. Private and stored only on your computer, so they don't go over 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 by manually exporting using flash drives and import them on other computers
    4. Can use non-synchronized notebooks to save private data, e.g. passwords, financial, medical, and personal data

    GETTING INFORMATION INTO NOTES

  21. To form notes type or copy-and-paste text, images, URLs, etc.
  22. Can enter titles for notes or let it use the first line of the note as the title; I usually let it use the first line and write that so the notes alphabetize with key words so related notes are together; this is not really necessary, since you can search for any word in the note or tag (see below) 
  23. Notes can contain text, images, pdf's, doc's, URL's, website clips, audio files, and more; free version has limitations; premium versions can store files of any type, including PowerPoints
  24. For pdf's and doc's just drag-and-drop into the note
  25. Can send a whole collection of pdf's or other files into separate notes in a notebook by first opening the notebook, then opening a file manager, e.g. FILE EXPLORER or EVERYTHING, highlighting the collection there > Right Click to get Context Menu > Send To > EVERNOTE -- each file goes into its own note in the open notebook; very helpful for things like pdf papers from a FH conference; can then edit the notes or move them to wherever you want
  26. EVERNOTE runs OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program on all text and pdf's, so they become every-word searchable-- free accounts wait until late at night to OCR, premium accounts do OCR immediately
  27. Has many keyboard short cuts, e.g. ALT+SHIFT+D puts date and time into note where your cursor is
  28. You get an email address with your EVERNOTE account so anything emailed to it automatically goes into your default Inbox; can use this to have specified or all emails automatically forwarded to your EVERNOTE account
  29. 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, when connected to the Internet, clicking on the link opens your default browser and goes to the website
  30. Free program  Evernote Web Clipper  helps to save articles or entire webpages; I sometimes run a "cleanup" program -- Evernote ClearlyPrint Friendly , etc. -- on a website before saving, so it is more readable in EVERNOTE; can also just copy-and-paste websites into EVERNOTE 
  31. Has ToDo lists with check boxes for things like research lists, shopping lists, people to phone -- Format > ToDo > Check Box (keyboard short cut is CTRL+SHFT+C) -- can later put checks in the boxes to mark tasks completed; ToDo list searches are for all things, things completed, or things left to do
  32. 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
  33. If your device has a camera, EVERNOTE shows a camera icon and photos taken are stored and synchronized on all your devices; new feature is to straighten and clean up photos of documents, business cards, etc. (described earlier) 
  34. Notes saved from an external source, e.g. emails, are placed in your designated Inbox notebook and can be edited, renamed, and moved 
  35. Notes are saved automatically when entered, so you never have to worry about forgetting to save something
  36. 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
  37. Can set the panels the way you want to view notebooks, notes, shortcuts, tags, etc.
  38. Notes can be sorted on any column by clicking on the column title -- sort alphabetically, by date created, date last modified, notebook, tags, etc.-- if you use date in International Date Format (YYYY-MM-DD) those alphabetize in chronological order; good for letters, etc. 
  39. EDITING NOTES

  40. Edit notes and titles of notes at any time and they will be changed on all your synchronized devices
  41. Easy to write and edit articles in EVERNOTE since notes are saved automatically and can be edited on any device connected to the Internet 
  42. Has an undo feature so deleting part of a note is recoverable; premium versions have an added feature that they keep track of all versions of all notes; go to your account on the website to recover any earlier version of any note -- Note Info > History on your web account
  43. Has a spell checker to show misspelled words in notes
  44. To copy or move notes just drag-and-drop where you want them.
  45. Shortcuts Panel (top left) makes it easy to get to notes you use often 
  46. SEARCHING NOTES

  47. Details of EVERNOTE's search operators are at -- https://evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#/article/23245321  and  https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php
  48. Can have it 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 notes it finds
  50. Searching for "win" (no quotes) brings up results with "Win", "Windows", "wind", etc.
  51. Searching 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; global search-and-replace in a note, but NOT in all notes -- To replace something in all notes (globally) use the search feature and then replace each hit individually
  55. MISCELLANEOUS FEATURES OF EVERNOTE

  56. All versions have options to set the panels the way you want 
  57. 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, for privacy reasons
  58. 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 couple of 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
  59. Usage button (top right) 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
  60. Can set a 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
  61. Commercial versions of EVERNOTE have a helpful "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; mouse wheel, up and down arrows, and Page Up and Down move you through a note; CTRL+(Right or Left Arrow) changes notes; 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 
  62. CONCLUSIONS

  63. 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 .  
  64. Many online tutorials on YouTube, etc. -- search for things like "evernote tutorials" (without the quotes) on Google or YouTube
  65. 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 .