How to Use Evernote: The Ultimate Guide

I often refer to Evernote as my “second brain.” The app allows me to follow a modified version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy, a productivity method designed to help you arrange a systematic workflow to prioritize, manage, and execute important tasks while snoozing those that can wait. Today, I don’t know what I would do without my omnipresent, all-knowing digital assistant. Here are some tips that will keep you coming back to the green, glowing reliability of Evernote.

Related: The Best Productivity Apps to Keep You Focused

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Using the Web Clipper in Evernote

When I see people with a million tabs open across the top of their web browser, I think, “Wow. This person desperately needs Evernote’s Web Clipper.” Sound familiar? With the Web Clipper, you can clip an entire webpage to Evernote, save it as a bookmark, or even slim it down to a text-only format for minimalist consumption. You can use the Web Clipper any time by tapping the Share icon while viewing content in Safari or on just about any other app. Next, select Evernote from your share options. You can choose the title, folder location, and tags for your note. Imagine taking a deep breath and closing those tabs without fear.

Capturing Documents with Evernote

Even in our digital world, paper documents often still rule the day. With Evernote’s document scanning feature, I can digitize banking documents, event posters, handwritten notes, nutrition labels, and manuals. With the paid version, the app will even index the text of these images, making them searchable. To get started, place a document on a contrasting background like a desk, and then tap the camera icon in Evernote and snap a photo.

Taking Notes with Evernote

When documenting a meeting, I have found that simple text notes can be insufficient. Evernote allows me to add pictures, emojis, and Voice Memos to my notes, so I am more effectively able to recall important information later. Once you have a note open, simply choose the form of media you want to insert from the menu along the bottom.

Sorting Your Notes in Evernote

There are two ways to organize and group notes: using tags or notebooks. For a long time I didn’t use any tags at all, opting to name my notes instead. This approach became less effective over time, and I have added tags to almost all of my notes. I prefer tags over notebooks, since tags can be nested as many as three levels down. To search your notes, tap the search icon at the top of the screen and enter relevant tags or keywords. A good habit to get into is to name your notes as clearly as possible.

Linking Notes Together in Evernote

No other notetaking app I have used has allowed me to hyperlink to other notes like Evernote does. If I make a list of projects I need to complete in order to achieve a larger goal, each item on that list can link to a separate note for the respective project. I have found this feature unlocks a new strength in my creativity. Using the desktop Evernote app, tap the name of the note you’d like to link to, and then tap Copy Note Link. Now, open your new note, highlight an item and hit Command+K to paste in the note link.

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Chris Vasques's picture

Chris Vasques has worked for tech companies such as Avid and Gazelle, where his long history of gadget and technology fascination became a professional passion. He is currently studying Sustainable Community Development with a focus on Media Marketing, and enjoys writing, playing music, productivity hacks and entrepreneurism.