Using Evernote in Your Genealogical Research

  • Download from Evernote.com
  • Setup User (mulitple users possible)
  • Create Notebooks:  a note can only be in one notebook (although a copy can be created in another notebook)
  • Create Tags: a note can have several tags.

 

As much as we are used to seeing organization based on a tree/directory structure, that form is mainly to help us remember where something is located. Evernote's strong search capability and the use of tags makes finding things easy. It is recommended to limit the number of notebooks and make copious use of tags. The secret to efficient use of tags is consistency. Develop a pattern that makes sense to you. 

 

There is a lot of redundancy built into the

 menu system and taskbars of Evernote. For the most part, you usually don't need to access the menu options in the top left portion.  You may want to explore the "view" options to show or hide features desired or unnecessary. In the the middle pane where the notes are shown, you can change how they are displayed by list view, snippet, or thumbnail.  Go to "options" to modify how often Evernote syncs, to find Evernote email address, and to personalize taskbar.  if you are not on an internet connection, note will be synced next time you are connected to the internet. 

 

Add notes or notebooks that you frequently access to the taskbar. 

 

Notes can be emailed or a public link can be provided for others to access. You can share a notebook with another Evernote user whether they have premium service or not. Free users are not able to edit shared notebooks.  Right click on note or notebook you wish to share to select options. 

 

Types of Notes

 

  • Text
  • Photos (drag and drop)
  • Attachments (drag and drop)
  • Audio
  • Ink Notes (only in Windows)
  • Webcam Note (using the camera feature of your computer, iPad, iPod)
  • Skitch (you cannot add text from Evernote, but you can annotate in Skitch. Adds item to default or Skitch folder.)
  • Web Clipper
  • Penultimate (app which saves to Penultimate folder in Evernote)

 

Genealogical Uses

 

  • Research Logs: notes are automatically dated. You type what you searched, which surnames you searched , and the location. Names and locations can be added as tags. Evernote makes it easy to start a new note to record what you have and have not searched. Create links to webpages where information was found. 
  • Summaries of individuals and families
  • Proof summaries of relationships and how you have arrived at your conclusions.
  • Compiling web pages you have found useful
  • Use Skitch for taking snapshots of parts of web pages or images for saving. I have found particularly useful for online newspapers. Since they can be annotated, they can be useful for giving information to others. 
  • Become paperless by taking photos of receipts and business cards. Notes can be merged. You can merge all photos of receipts for one year into one. You can select several notes (ctrl + mouse click) and then right click to merge, mail, share, or copy into another notebook.
  • Take photos of tombstones with camera on iPad or iPod and add audio to read inscriptions.
  • To-Do Lists
  • Filing important emails. Look in "Tools" and "Account Info" to find  your Evernote address. Forward emails to that address. In the subject line add "@Notebook Name"  to direct the email to the proper folder. Add "#tagname1" and "#tagname2" (without quotation marks) to add appropriate tags.
  • Type notes during oral interviews.
  • Transcripts and abstracts. Take deeds or probate records. In note include the citation, abstract in the body, and attach the original image and transcription. (To do accurate transcriptions a more high-powered editor may be required.)

 

Shortcuts

Result

 

 

Ctrl + N

new note

Ctrl + shift + N

new notebook

Highlight text then Ctrl + K 

create hyperlink

Ctrl + C

copy highlighted text

Ctrl + V

paste text copied

Ctrl + Enter

opens note in new window -- useful for full views of multiple windows at a time

Ctrl + Z

Undo

Ctrl + Y

Redo

Ctrl + A

Select all

 

Evernote is free.

$45 per year Premium membership:

Larger upload and file size allowances

Support

Allow others to edit shared notes or notebooks.

Ability to regain older version of a note in note history

Hide promotional box in lower left corner.

Faster image recognition

Offline notebooks