All Posts in Evernote

September 9, 2016 - No Comments!

Getting Started with Evernote: A quick user guide to get up and running with Evernote in 2017

Get started using Evernote effectively with just a few small changes. These work for new or advanced users.

If you'd like more detail on any of these steps feel free to reach out or comment below.


1. Create your first notebook


* If you don't do any of the other four steps, be sure to check this one off the list. You'll be glad when you have bunch of notes.

Evernote comes with an default notebook called "My First Notebook". Go ahead and delete it or rename it to "Inbox"

The goal of this notebook is to give you a spot to capture all of your notes quickly then you can do the organizing in the future.

Once you've created your Inbox notebook, navigate to your preferences and set it as your default notebook. Here's Evernote's instructions on how to do that.

You can think of this notebook just like your email inbox—you want to keep it as close to zero notes as possible. Since I capture a ton of notes in Evernote, I have time scheduled every Friday morning to move notes from my inbox into their more fitting notebooks. 

2. Create your first tag

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-11-52-10-amTags can get out of hand really quickly. To give some context, I've found it's helpful to think about tags by asking yourself these two questions.

  1. Will this tag be usable in many different notebooks? If not, the tag should probably be a notebook instead.
  2. What's my future self's use of this tag?

For the sake of a clear introduction, we'll just be creating one tag for now.

Create a new tag called "Action".

I use this tag so I can quickly remind myself when I need to do something with a note. It's universal, so it can be applied to a client note like a to-do list for example. It could also be applied to something personal like a reminder to get my oil changed, redeem a coupon online or a list for the next trip to the grocery store. 

When I open Evernote, I can say "Show me all notes tagged with Action" and I'll see notes from within hundreds of different notebooks and stacks. One I complete a task, I just remove the Action tag from that note and move on.


3. Declutter the UI

The factory settings for the toolbar and sidebar aren't always useful the most beneficial. Take a couple minutes to see what options can be added and removed. Personally, I prefer a minimal approach. To edit either section, just right click.

Here's what my sidebar looks like

  • Shortcuts
    • Inbox
    • Today
  • Recent notes (5 most recent notes for quick access)
  • Notes (can't remove this one)
  • Notebooks (shows a list of all my notebooks)
  • Recent Chats

Here's what my toolbar looks like

Setting up Evernote - Customizing the Toolbar

It's pretty straight forward, just removed a few items and moved my Account/Profile info to the far right—the most common location for account settings these days.

4. Check out IFTTT

IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called "recipes", which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This Then That".
— Thanks, Wikipedia

To summarize, IFTTT let's you automate stuff all over the internet. So you can make things happen in Evernote automatically without even opening Evernote.

A quick example: I use IFTTT + IFTTT's "Do Button" to save business receipts inside an Evernote notebook.

IFTTT deserves it's own (lengthy) article. I'm working on it and I'll share it soon. For now, I'd encourage you to create a free account and poke around a bit.

5. Get mobile


This one's easy, just download the mobile app for iOS or Android and take your notes everywhere you go. Besides being accessible everywhere, this is where Evernote really becomes powerful. When you snap a photo, your location will be stored and sortable later. "Show me all notes I took on vacation" will remind you about that big idea you had while hanging out on the beach.

Additionally, using your phone's camera to snap documents will create searchable text! So in six months when you get pulled over and need to show your insurance card—just search your Evernote for "insurance". <— actual use case from a few weeks ago

Have other ideas or questions? Let me know below or reach out, I'd love your feedback!

August 23, 2016 - No Comments!

Connect Shazam to Evernote

Ever wondered if you can store your Shazam music in Evernote?  Yes, and it's pretty awesome. It'll take about 7 minutes to get up and running.

What you'll need to connect Shazam to Evernote:

  1. Shazam App for iPhone or Android
  2. Evernote Plus or Premium
    (Don't want to pay for Evernote yet? Here's a free workaround using Gmail instead of Evernote)

If you don't have a paid Evernote membership, you can get started here for free with an optional upgrade - $35 annually.

Create a free account

Alright, assuming you're set with Evernote Plus or Premium, let's get started.

First, find your Evernote email address

It's a unique address you can use to save emails directly into Evernote, it looks something like this: You'll want to find the address and copy it, we'll use it for the next step.

To find your Evernote email address, go to your account settings:


Select Help > Account Settings.... Your email address appears in the 'Email Notes to' section.


iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Tap your username to access your account settings. Scroll down and select General > Evernote Email Address.


Windows Desktop

Click on Tools > Account Info. Your email address will appear next to 'Email notes to:'


Tap the 3-dots button in the upper right, select Settings > Account Info, and scroll down until you see your Evernote email address.

Evernote Web

Click on your profile photo, the select 'Settings'. Your email address appears in the 'Email Notes to' section.

Next, create a new Contact in your phone

You can name this whatever you want, but "Evernote" seems sensible for this example. Create a contact and paste your Evernote email address as the primary email for the contact.

Lastly, sending from Shazam:

Step 1: Shazam some tunes

Step 2: Tap the Share button, then select Email

Step 3: Start typing the name of your new contact (Evern...) and select that contact.

Step 4: Click send


Head on back to Evernote and you'll see your newly Shazam'd tune saved as a note! It'll appear in whichever Notebook you've saved as default.

Where you go from here will depend on what you're trying to accomplish. Personally, I'll review my saved song notes about once a week. If I decide to buy something, I'll add the tag "purchased". The really great part about using Evernote to manage music is that you can add as much context to a note as you'd like. Sometimes it's easier to recall the name of the venue or train-spotee where you heard the song—typing a quick "Dave's 30th, grill out at the park" could save a ton of time later on.

Later, I'll walk through a similar process using a few other tools with Evernote.

Message or comment if you have any thoughts or questions!

Still don't have Evernote? Create a free account