How To Use Evernote Effectively Everyday

If you have any sort of life, you will benefit from Evernote. According to their own website, Evernote will, “capture all of your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations, into a single place. Access everything whenever you need it from your PC, even when offline.”

What is Evernote?

In Evernote, any combination of the following can make up a note:

  • Typing
  • Handwriting
  • Spoken word
  • Snap a picture
  • Drawings
  • Clip a portion of a web page
  • Clip an entire web page

That list of input types is fairly extensive, but we have only just begun. Add to this the idea that Evernote has native apps for Android and iPhone, and Evernote potentially is a part of every aspect of your life. Typically, my two most common uses for Evernote are for typing thoughts, notes from meetings or phone calls, and snapping pictures into a note. However, I have been known to speak a note while I’m driving or clip a portion of a web page for reference later.

Finding Notes in Evernote

Evernote power user Kahri Lynn stores recipes, curriculum, addresses, bills, PDFs, prayers, prescriptions, quotes, conversations, basically anything she may need to look at again. She has used Evernote for years, since it was originally in beta version and currently has close to 1,400 notes. How do you find anything among that many notes? Even without having years of notes stored up, it still is a daunting task to consider finding something specific. The following will help you:

  • Folders
  • Tags
  • Search

Every note can be stored in a folder and also, every note can have multiple tags attached to it. However, tags are not entirely necessary because every word in a note is essentially a tag. This makes search a powerful tool. If something is not stored in a particular folder, you can search for any word or combination of words and find what you are looking for. Kahri says her 1,400 notes are easy to sort through with the search functionality, so if it works at that level, it will definitely work well for someone with fewer notes.

I have used Evernote for the past year or so and my favorite use is the Snapshot. This is where I snap a picture directly into a new note, then I can add text to the note if I want to, give it a specific title and save it. I sync it to my Evernote account and at my computer, I sync up and the picture is on my computer. No more emailing a picture from my phone to get it to my computer for other use.

Free vs. Paid

All that I have described is absolutely free. Evernote has a premium version that adds value, but there is nothing held back in the free version and you can completely organize your life without having to pay for it. The paid version offers the following benefits:

1GB per month uploads – Evernote Premium boosts your monthly uploads to 1GB each month, enough to store high-res photos, lots of files, and thousands of text notes and web clips.

Top priority support –  Have a question or problem? You’ll be sent to the front of the queue for faster support response.

Offline notebooks – Take entire notebooks offline for easy access when you don’t have a network connection. A perfect option for when you’re traveling. Available on iOS and Android.

Work together – Evernote Premium users can allow others to edit their notes, making Evernote a great tool for working on a project with others or planning a trip with friends.

Note history – Go back in time. View past versions of individual notes in your account. This is a great option when you’re working with others.

Larger files, bigger notes – As a Premium user, the size of a single note is increased to 50MB. That means you can put more stuff into each of your notes.

Faster image recognition – Evernote makes images containing printed or handwritten text searchable. As a Premium user, your images get processed faster.

PIN Lock – iOS and Android users can add a lock to their Evernote app for an extra level of security.

Hide promotions – Promotions are designed to give you great ideas for using Evernote. If you prefer a distraction-free interface, you’ll be able to easily hide the promotion box.

PDF Search – Whenever you add a scanned document into your Evernote account, the system will make the PDF searchable so you can find it anytime.

In my experience, the more I have used Evernote, the more I have come to depend on it and use it. You can find Evernote at their website and the iOS App Store and Android Market.


  1. says

    Although SpingPad is a great systm, Evernote wins out because of its ubiquitous support — browser extensions, “Send To” from different iOS apps, scanner support, etc. Biggest beating of Evernote is its search — terribly inflexible.

    • Rosi Bustamante says

      Hi Matthew, Springpad also has browser extensions, “send to” from email, PLUS you can use your data when you’re offline on a mobile device… the support is great, too! I do have to admit I’m not sure you can share a whole notebook with Springpad, as it appears you can do with Evernote… though do neither allow for multiple-user editing if they are shared?

      • Rosi Bustamante says

        Update: OK, I just saw you can share a notebook with Evernote, and if you’re a Premium user, others can also edit content on that notebook. Pretty cool, though I think they should offer that to all users, not just premium ones.

  2. says

    I’m 100% Springpad. It has a kick (in the ass) that Evernote doesn’t. Storing your mind, along with an assistant to remind you of just about anything. When a movie hits DVD, price drops on a Boxee box and so forth. Also no Ads, or premium subscription needed.

    My mind may just require extra assistance, but it’s really a potent alternative to Evernote.

    • Rosi Bustamante says

      Hey, Ross, I use Springpad for work, but how do you use it to notify you about movies hitting DVDs, Boxee price drops, etc. and is that “assistant” just the reminders/notifications? Love your tweets and reviews, by the way!

    • Profile photo of Jim Walton says

      Ross, I found Springpad after Evernote and was already pretty well embedded into Evernote. However I do like some of the Springpad features that Evernote does not have. I think I’ll dive into Springpad then do a comparison review. Might be interesting.

  3. Chad B says

    I use Evernote daily without fail. I’ll go further to say that I use it at least twice an hour. I access it through my laptop, Android phone, and HTC Flyer. I have a number of highly organized folders set up to store and retrieve information about my work, the flowers I ordered for that special occasion, and audio from that hour long meeting (HTC Flyer users know other features that go along with this one). My default folder catches pictures from my phone and one line notes, along with scribbles from my flyer. All to be neatly rearranged, retyped, and organized later on my laptop. Also, if you use multiple device as I do, premium account + all devices = Synced files across everything!!!

    • Profile photo of Jim Walton says

      Chad, that’s awesome! I love hearing how people use Evernote. I have a few computers I use and one mobile device and everything is always sync’d up.