Posts Tagged evernote

Revamping my Evernote

Revamping my Evernote. Why?

  • I had too many tags (over 1,000)
  • Too many notebooks (around 60)
  • Too many “todo’s” scattered across 1 ToDo notebook and 1 ToDo tag (what the…?)
  • Notes piling up unattended to in my inbox and ToDo tag and notebook
  • Not doing regular daily, weekly and monthly reviews.
  1. Mission creep was affecting my original purpose for using Evernote.
    1. My original purpose was to use EN as
      1. an archive of ideas for the future, as well as reference materials for present and possible future projects, and
      2. my GTD system.
  2. BUT I was spending too much time collecting notes and clippings, and not enough time reviewing them and/or using them for live projects.
  3. Too many ToDos and ToReads and Someday/Maybes piling up.
    1. Why? Probably because these items do not pop up on my radar screen when they should, or as often as they should.
    2. Why not?
      1. Probably partly because I’m not conducting regular Daily and Weekly Reviews.
  4. Too many clippings.
  5. Too many notebooks, meaning too much time spent deciding which notebook to file a note under.
  6. Too many occasions when I was unable to locate the note I wanted because I could not search across multiple notebooks (but you can search across multiple tags).
  7. Storing too much and not trashing enough, i.e. not reviewing old clippings or other notes and discarding things I no longer need. Being too much of a packrat, in short.
  8. Lost track of my projects: too many items labelled as “projects” which weren’t.
    1. Solution: review David Allen’s definition of “project”, and re-label my “projects” which aren’t really projects (actions that require more than 2 steps).
  9. Lost track of my long-term goals, visions, etc.; my 30-, 40- and 50,000-feet perspectives.
    1. Possible solution: regular reviews (Daily, Weekly, Monthly)
    2. This means that my long-term goals and visions, etc., need to come up on my radar on a regular basis, in one or more of my reviews.
    3. That means organizing my saved searches.

I decided to re-read Ruud Hein’s article on using Evernote to GTD, where he describes in detail his extensive use of saved searches to make sure what needs to come up does actually come up. That is (for me) the biggest lesson of GTD: something important you must take to work the next day, you put it on your shoes or right in front of the front door, so next morning when you’re still bleary and fuzzy despite your coffee, you stumble over this and think, “What the heck? … Oh yeah, I gotta take this to work” and you pick it up and take it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting your Kindle book notes into Evernote

Do you read books on Kindle or a Kindle app on an iPad or similar device? Do you want to make notes or highlight passages in your ebooks but don’t know how? Would you like to have access to all your notes and highlighted passages even when you don’t have your Kindle or iPad with you? Would you like to do this but don’t have an account, or you buy your ebooks from some other store than Would you like to share your notes and highlights with others? Would you like to transport all your notes and highlights into Evernote? If your answer to any or all of the above is ‘yes’ then read on.

In this post, I show you how I, a Japan resident who purchases most of his Kindle books on Amazon Japan (not, I don’t have an account there)  get my book notes and highlights made on my iPad’s Kindle app into Evernote. It’s a non-geeky (no coding required), unoriginal solution that makes use of free automation services and apps: Evernote, Kindle app for iPad, Twitter, IFTTT.

(This is for Kindles or Kindle apps only; I’m still figuring out how to do the same thing for notes/hightlights created in iBooks. Here’s a video on how to share notes and highlights in the iBooks app.)

Why bother?

Why would you want your Kindle notes in Evernote? As you’ll see below, notes and highlights made on a Kindle or Kindle app are automatically stored on your Amazon Kindle page. So why bother transferring them? You can edit them, sort them by book or by date, delete them, all on your Amazon Kindle page. Well, I like to have as much of my work- and research-related info as possible under one roof, not scattered across different programs or devices. Also, with Evernote’s offline notebooks capacity, I can access and edit my book notes in Evernote even without Internet access. If those considerations are not important to you, then you can stop reading right here. If you’d like to know more about your Amazon Kindle page, read Michael Hyatt’s post: How to Get Your Kindle Highlights into Evernote.

Evernote ambassador and SF writer Jamie Rubin has a geeky and long-assed post on how he gets his Kindle book notes and highlights into Evernote AUTOMATICALLY, but it requires knowledge of snakes and anyway it only works for notes taken on a Kindle device. If you take notes on, say, the Kindle App on your iPad, you’re out of luck. There is an app called Snippefy, which seems to do exactly what Rubin and I want, but unfortunately it’s not available for Apple Japan.

Michael Hyatt’s post: How to Get Your Kindle Highlights into Evernote, is good, but it involves manually transferring each highlight/note from your Amazon Kindle page to Evernote. This article gives a very good overview of Amazon’s Kindle page. I recommend it. For best results, and if you don’t mind not sharing your notes on Twitter, the simplest solution may be to wait until you finish reading your book and making all your notes and highlights, then going to your Amazon Kindle page, selecting all the notes for that book and copying and pasting those suckers into an Evernote. You have to do this manually, tho. Or perhaps Snippefy will do the job. Unfortunately, I cannot test it out.

Once set up (explained below), and assuming I’m reading a book on my iPad’s Kindle app, theree are just 4  manual steps, all done within the Kindle app (see below for details). Read the rest of this entry »

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How Evernote and helps you create awesome websites – DEG Consulting | DEG Consulting

Dan Gold hosts a guest post on the subject of yet-another-useful-app, Even granting that he uses guest posts, Dan Gold still manages to not only blog about but also actually try out a remarkable number of new apps. His appetite is (apparently) insatiable. How he finds the time is beyond me. Anyway, here’s Philippe Demoulin on is a blog service which use notes stored in your Evernote for publishing on a blog. This service is in beta but already offers a simple but still great way to automatically publish and maintain a blog.

read more on How Evernote and helps you create awesome websites – DEG Consulting | DEG Consulting.

Update: Fiction writer Jamie Todd Rubin, who by the way has an excellent collection of articles on going paperless which includes lots of examples of how he uses Evernote, does not use Evernote for the actual creative writing, not even his blog posts. But he does use Evernote for planning.Read more at: Going Paperless: 4 Ways To Use Evernote for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)


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Evernote bookmarklet for iPad

Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Evernote is great, and I often use the Evernote web-clipper to clip and save text and pictures from the web. The web-clipper automatically saves the date I clipped it and the URL of the site I clipped. This is the tool I use the most.

Now I’m using my iPad more and more, but there is no web-clipper tool for Evernote iOS. Bummer! Believe it or not, I actually had to copy stuff and paste it into a new Evernote, then go back to Safari and copy the URL and go back to Evernote and paste it in, and tag it “ToDo” for later when I’m on my computer.What a life for us iPad slaves! Is this dignified?

That was then. This is now!

Thanks to Lorenzo, who left this very helpful comment on this website, last night I visited his website, followed his easy-peasy instructions and successfully installed the script.

Thanks, Lorenzo! 

You can setup the web clipper for Evernote on mobile iOS devices in just a couple minutes. This has the benefit of allowing you to clip content into Evernote while browsing the web in mobile Safari.

via Comment on Brooks Duncan reviews Evernote Essentials 3.0.

Lorenzo has several other useful iPad bookmarklets and many tutorials you might want to check out.

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Going Paperless: A Closer Look at How I Organize My Notes In Evernote | Jamie Todd Rubin

Today was a weird day weather-wise: temperature started high (yesterday was 24 degrees C, May temperatures for this part of Japan) then the sky darkened, it rained and the temperature fell (4 degrees C @ 5 pm). Apart from a short trip to the video store and to buy something for lunch, my daughter and I have stayed indoors.

I’ve spent much of the weekend happily trawling through SF author Rubin’s excellent series of posts about using Evernote to go paperless. Rubin does not use Evernote for Getting Things Done (he prefers a geeky program called ToDo.txt).

Last year I re-organized my Evernote structure to include a GTD component, but Rubin’s prime purpose for Evernote is to “remember everything”, i.e. as a timeline or record of what he and his family does, goes, buys, creates, reads, etc.

This has prompted me to review what I use Evernote for.

One things I’ve learned is that there can be as many organizational schemes as there are people using Evernote. There is no wrong or right way to do it. What I describe below works for me because it meets the goals I set out from the very start. And while the organizational scheme you choose may look entirely different, it should be based on a clear set of goals. You should be asking yourself: why are you trying to organize your notes in the first place?

via Going Paperless: A Closer Look at How I Organize My Notes In Evernote | Jamie Todd Rubin.

He offers his list of objectives for using Evernote. What’s yours?

  • Capture all paper that comes into my life in digital format.
  • Capture all events and milestones in a timeline.
  • Have the simplest possible unambiguous taxonomy.
  • Maximize the automatic creation and organization of notes
  • Find what I am looking for in less than 5 seconds.

The “timeline” use of Evernote is something I had not really thought of before (though as Rubin points out, it fits exactly Evernote’s slogan “remember everything”), but I can see advantages, e.g. creating a digital house (have you ever found yourself at the store, unable to remember the exact size of something in your home?), and keeping track of books read, software installed, purchases made, children’s milestones, year-end baselines (sounds particularly interesting and potentially useful).

Rubin is also an enthusiast of automation and finds ways to automate his Evernoting as much as possible. Some involves scripting with Perl and simla stuff which I’m too lazy to learn, but there’re clever things with IFTTT that I might try out (tho I can’t seem to get IFTTT to work with Twitter).

Rubin’s also alerted me to an Evernote addon or plugin called Clearly which does what I’ve been using Readability (the great thing about Readability is being able to send a copy of the stripped-down article to my Kindle and then read it on my iPad later – a completely wireless and automatic transfer). But Clearly does something which neither Readability nor Evernote does and that is allow you to highlight text in a clipping.

Yet another thing I learned from Rubin’s series on going paperless is a reminder to make greater use of Evernote’s search facilities. This involves learning more search syntax. Here’s Rubin’s post on his 10 most frequently used saved searches.

One I’m going to use straight away is “created:day-7” to bring up all the notes I created in the last week. The point of this is to see exactly what I actually use Evernote for (rather than what I think I use it for).

 I recommend doing this before you start creating lots of tags and notebooks, because you may find that your business requirements, or your goal in scanning in documents in the first place dictate how you should organize your information.

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Going Paperless | Jamie Todd Rubin

The other day I blogged about a useful Evernote tip by Jamie Todd Rubin, SF writer. I’ve since discovered he’s an Evernote Paperless Ambassador and has written a truckload of articles on this subject, all elegantly written with colourful screenshots and hand-drawn diagrams. I’ve stored them all in my Evernote “To Read” stack.

I’m going to be spending the next few days digesting them and re-organizing my Evernote notebooks and tags. Good time for a long overdue spring cleaning, and I’ll be using Rubin’s tips on archiving and backing up my Evernotes.

Going Paperless

Below is a condensed index of my weekly Going Paperless tips that I do in my capacity as Evernote’s Paperless Lifestyle Ambassador. These weekly tips are also available via RSS. Below the index are some supplementary posts I’ve done that may be of interest to folks.

Going Paperless

  • How I Title My Notes in Evernote March 5, 2013
  • The Going Paperless FAQ February 26, 2013
  • Quantified Self and Evernote February 19, 2013 (read more)

via Going Paperless | Jamie Todd Rubin.

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Going Paperless: How I Title My Notes in Evernote | Jamie Todd Rubin

I’m an Evernote fan, and always eager to learn how to use it more effectively. Here’s a tip I learned today. I usually don’t touch the “create date” because I never use for search purposes, but I can see the value of tweaking the date so that it becomes easier to find the document you want. Click this link to read all 5 tips.

Tip #3: Don’t include information in the title you can get from elsewhere in the note

Indeed, when I scan a document, I set the “create date” of the document to the date listed on the document. In this way, if someone refers to “the letter dated February 25, 2013″, I don’t have to search the text of the notes, I can simply search for any note with a create date of 2/25/2013. Here’s one such example from yesterday’s mail. I received a letter from Wells Fargo, which I scanned in yesterday (March 4):

Letter date

Note that while the note was actually scanned on March 4, the Created date was changed to match the date on the letter (February 25). The updated date is the date that the letter was actually scanned. (I didn’t have to change that date at all). Moreover, note the title. It is simple and to the point:

Wells Fargo Letter on Home Rebate Credit

It’s possible I have 2 or 3 notes with this exact title, but the dates will help me figure out which one I am looking for.

via Going Paperless: How I Title My Notes in Evernote | Jamie Todd Rubin.

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How an extreme website makeover enhanced Dan Gold’s productivity, + Power of 21

How an extreme website makeover enhanced my productivity.

Dan Gold at DEG Consulting has revamped his website and added to his product list.

He now has Kindle and audio versions of his guide to using Evernote to Getting Things Done, as well as a new workbook to developing new habits.

He also has new icons for all his products. The icons look great: those products look as solid as a Dickens novel!

He also offers a 20% discount if you buy more than 1 of these products as a bundle.

I learned a lot from his Evernote guide to GTD. It inspired me to re-visit Evernote and how I used it, and I now use Evernote more than ever. I consider this one a steal at $5.

I’m not a Springpad user and to be honest, I have quite enough on my plate with Evernote, so I haven’t tried this product.

Dan’s free “habits” worksheet is a calendar with questions to ask yourself on your progress each week. The main idea is that it takes at least a month to turn a new behaviour into a regular habit.

You want some inspiration to learn a new habit? Let Eric Thomas, the “hip hop preacher”, teach you the power of 21: [yframe url=’’]

If you buy any of Dan’s products from here, you’ll be buying me a drink:

  1. Evernote: the unofficial guide to remembering everything and getting things done.
  2. Springpad: the official guide to getting things done
  3. Evernote- audio version.
  4. Evernote ebook and audiobook bundle
  5. the whole darn set

Check out his blog to see what lessons he learned


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Multiple Evernote accounts

When you search on the Internet for “how to do” something, do you prefer videos or text explanations? If you’re like, you’ll probably prefer video. When it comes to showing someone how to do something, a video speaks a thousand words, and takes less time to absorb.

Paperless master Brooks Duncan of, author of the Paperless Document Organization Guides, regularly makes “how-to” videos, and they are aimed at the non-geek (that’s me), so the language is super simple and he doesn’t assume you know more than just getting around your desktop, opening applications and checking email.

Here’s his latest. Did you know you could have more than one Evernote account? Did you know it has now become very easy to switch between them? “Why would anyone want to?” you may ask. “This sounds like more work!” you might add.

Even if you just have one free account and think that’s enough, watching this might make you think about the advantages of having more than one Evernote account – to keep your family and work life separate,  for instance.

Multiple accounts has always been an Evernote feature, says Brooks, but only Premium Evernote account holders can have multiple accounts open and switch between them, apparently; free account users must log out and in again to each of their free accounts.

Anyway, here’s the video. (Watch on YouTube to see it in HD.) And if you like this one, consider subscribing to Brooks’ YouTube channel.

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Dads using Evernote to raise kids

From the Nikkei Weekly:

Ayatomo Miyahara, a 41-year-old father of a high-schooler and two grade-schoolers, maintains an online family album. Videos of them are posted on a private YouTube account. He tweets about his kids and updates his Facebook pages with information on his daily dealings with them. He also uses Evernote, which stores data in the cloud and can be linked to via a Website or app. The data can be accessed anytime, anywhere from a computer or smartphone.

Miyahara is a director of a nonprofit organization called Fathering Japan Q-shu which supports men who are raising children. He was using Evernote to store rough drafts of his speeches and other types of information. As he began receiving paper correspondence from his children’s schools, he decided to scan and manage them online as well.


Evernote (Photo credit: Wikipedia),

He quickly opened a new account on Evernote. He has kept all types of data related to his children

…The stored data can be viewed by any member of Miyahara’s family on an iPad mounted on the refrigerator. The iPad has become an information station for the family; all messages to and schedules of the children are managed and viewed on it.

via 2013/02/04 – Dads using office skills to raise kids.

The article mentions that a premium account at Evernote costs 4,000 yen/month. This is incorrect. It is 450 yen/month or 4,000 yen/year.

If you are new to Evernote, consider buying Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials. It’s a very good manual for a beginner still trying to figure out what Evernote can do, as well as for a veteran user (e.g. me) who can’t quite remember the search function that will pull up all the audio files in Evernote. Click here to read more about Evernote Essentials.

Alternatively, consider Dan Gold’s $5 guides to GTD (Getting Things Done) and Evernote. Click here to visit Dan Gold’s online store

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