Jump to content

(Archived) When to use Evernote vs E-mail Folders

Recommended Posts

Anyone have any thoughts, or how they use Evernote in relation to E-mail? I think i've finally got my system of tags and notebooks down to where I'm comfortable using them and getting the most out of Evernote. I find myself having trouble whether i should keep and e-mail in folders in my e-mail for later, or to send it to Evernote and delete it from my email account....

Anyone have any thoughts, tips or best practices?

Evernote is the best and I tell ALL my friends about it!

Bobby B.

Link to comment

I use Outlook 2003. It limits you to X number of messages, regardless how much disk space you have. So I archive my emails into Evernote & delete them from Outlook. However...before emptying trash in Outlook, I make a copy of the pst file with the date appended (IE outlook_20100530.pst) So if I need to actually resend or forward that email & any attachments, I know which Outlook backup to open, in order to get the original email.

Plus...if you're searching for an old email, EN is MUCH faster than the Outlook find function.

Link to comment
Interesting approach.

Two questions. How large is your database -- and because of the added amount of data, do you "suffer" more false positives in searches?

If you're referring to me...my database is currently ~2.5 gigs. I do keep emails in different notebooks. One for work, one for Facebook notifications (b/c it's a PITA to dig around FB for something from a couple of weeks ago, so I keep & file the notifications), one for emails sent by me (from my "sent" box) & one for "everything else." That cuts down on some false positives. Another way to cut down on false positives when searching all notebooks is to add -subject to the search, since the title of archived emails all start out "Subject:" I have Just under 20,000 notes currently & ~14,000 are archived emails (going back several years). I normally have very little problem finding any notes I'm looking for. But...I'm also pretty diligent about using keywords, tags & titles, too.

Link to comment

I was just thinking about this today while working with Outlook XP at work.

I use EN when all I want to save is the content of the note. I use Outlook archive folders when I want to save the email threads themselves. I will usually delete all but the last email in a thread to save space. I archive into storage folders, one for each quarter of each year.

For older versions of Outlook, Microsoft used to offer a dynamite Outlook plug-in program called Lookout. It will index all you online folders and messages and allow you to execute searches in a couple or three seconds. They removed it from their website a few years ago when they introduced Microsoft Search but there are still some instances floating around websites. Try googling www.lookout130.exe.

Lookout allows me to index the archive folders as well, giving me searches about as fast as EN. We store a lot of confidential information passed around our secure internal network through Outlook. My boss wouldn't smile at storing all that stuff in the cloud, so I have to be circumspect about what I put into EN.

I think Microsoft acquired it because it worked so well, was very compact, created a nice little index file, restricted its searches to just Outlook. MS needed to euthanize it so they could offer up their bloatware that does so much more than you need or want. :(

Link to comment

@BurgersNFries Wow, awesome stuff. Fascinating. You have a blog post somewhere about the way(s) you use Evernote? Or a forum post?

At 2.5GB I imagine you're importing a lot of the email's attachments then too?

What's your tagging strategy (or which tags are the ones you rely on)?

Link to comment
@BurgersNFries Wow, awesome stuff. Fascinating. You have a blog post somewhere about the way(s) you use Evernote? Or a forum post?

At 2.5GB I imagine you're importing a lot of the email's attachments then too?

What's your tagging strategy (or which tags are the ones you rely on)?

No blogs or posts on how I use EN, other than the snippets here on the board.

As far as the attachments go, IME, no the attachments are not included. That's why I need to be able to locate the backup Outlook/pst file, should I need to resend an archived email.

As far as tags go, my process is still evolving. I don't rely upon tags as much as one might think b/c I can often find what I'm looking for (or at least narrow down the notes in the results pane to a manageable number) by using a search.

My most used tag is "from Palm via Outlook" (465 notes that were imported from my Palm PDA) followed by "journal" (316 notes) & "businesses" (108.) I do have several notebooks. But sometimes I look at a group of notes & realize they don't require a notebook. So I'll create a new tag for them, assign the tag, dump the notes into a more general notebook & delete the now empty notebook.

I probably "use" the "Journal" tag & the "Mother" tag the most. Not "the most" by number of notes, but "the most" in that I will do a search across all notebooks, looking for notes assigned to those tags. Probably b/c they are the most ambiguous, meaning I may have put a note pertaining to my mother in the Journal notebook (b/c I consider it a journal/diary entry) or vice versa. :D

Along that line, when something is "in process", I'll often create a new notebook for that purpose. IE, I'm researching a new computer, so I created _new_computer notebook. Putting the underscore in front keeps the notebook toward the top, so it's easy to get to, since it's a "hot" topic. I've got notes about features I need/want, options I've looked at, correspondence between me & the account manager for the company my boss buys from, etc. Once the computer is purchased, delivered & (hopefully) works well, I'll create a tag called "shopping - computer" that is a child to the tag, "Shopping research." I'll apply the tag to all those notes & then move all the notes to the "miscellaneous" notebook. (I really should rename that!)

I also have a parent tag "Z_archives." One of it's child tags is "repairs." One of the child tags of "repairs" is "Kodak Zi6 repair." The "Kodak Zi6 repair" tag will bring up all the notes, correspondence & chat transcriptions involved in getting this pocket cam repaired. Since the cam seems to have been correctly repaired (after being sent in twice), I no longer need the info at my finger tips. But I can quickly find it, should I want to refer to it, for whatever reason.

Anyway, the Z_archives tag houses a lot of the tags I've used in this fashion but that I may never use again. Prefacing the tag name with Z puts the parent tag at the bottom of the list.

I don't know if this helps you or not. And sorry to be so long winded. :)

Link to comment
  • Level 5*

My currently most-used tag, by far, is '@Todo'.

The '@' prefix floats it to the top of the Tag window tree, so it's easy to find, and applying it is easy also, with tag name typeahead: it's the only one beginning with '@'. It has no tag children. It gets attached to things that I am working on now (current weekly work log, journals for current non-trivial development tasks) plus web articles that I notice but don't have time to read (sometimes the URL, sometimes a full clipping). @Todo items are almost always tagged with other tags which represent their natural tags in my system; the @Todo tag is transient.

The list of notes that have the @Todo tag are cleaned pretty regularly; it's not a long list. Weekly work logs are retired and replaced with one for the new week; development tasks are retired as they are finished; web articles are either read or retired, and may be deleted if they're not as important/interesting as I thought.

I think that the only drawback to using the '@' prefix is that it bumps into the recent email title usage (denotes a notebook reference, I think). But I don't use email with Evernote at present, so I think I'm safe. Even so, tag renaming is pretty easy, probably to use a different non-alphanumeric prefix character.


Link to comment

Thanks for the explanations :)

I've done the "tag the hell out of it" route. Useless. Still prefer keywords in notes as I used to do in 2.2.

I still tag on general principle .... and sometimes really to group things (tags as notebook, I guess). Diary and Login are my most used tags.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...