Jump to content

how to set up Evernote to manage our home - an old aged couple with a companion pug

Recommended Posts

Hi everybody we have a MacBook Pro , two iPads and two iPhones and we are not IT literate

we discovered Evernote and appreciate just how great it would be to manage our home as we will soon have home care packages so need ways to keep careful control of our time and funds

we are both in poor health and have numerous medical appointments to juggle , medicines and plenty of bills to pay

we take advantage of direct debit, credit card and bill pay

you can see that its simple for us to misplace documents , miss appointments and just straight out forget things

our children are thoughtful but they have their own families and lives to run .

 we use google Calendar and that helps a lot but Evernote is the facility that would put the wife and my brains more accessible to each of us and remind us - in time

Some families must have adapted Evernote to do just what we need - we cannot work out how best to use Notebooks and Tags but we are sure this is the way forward for us


would really appreciate your guidance

kindest regards




Link to comment
  • Level 5*

Hi.  I'm sure everyone here will do all they can to help,  but Evernote does have one drawback - it's not possible to 'import' a whole system;  you need to set up notebooks and tags,  create the calendar entries and establish lots of links manually to set something up. So it's very 'hands on' to start.  I think it would be very valuable for you if there were some local Evernote expertise - do you know of any?  Without giving away any personal information - what city and country do you live in?

We're a community of users spread around the world so maybe someone has come up with a sort of enhanced diary / appointment system to cover some parts of what you need - we'll have to wait and see what suggestions come up.  Personally I use a 'daily diary' system to jot down what I'm doing in any given day,  and add future appointments and dates to my diary pages (with Google repeats where necessary) so I'm sure not to miss any.  I can see where you might want to add a medical diary so you have a separate history of treatments or ailments as they occur.

If both of you are using one account and logging in with the same users details,  you do need to make sure that you don't alter the same entry.  As far as Evernote is aware you're the same person - using two separate screens maybe,  but still one person - altering the entries;  and if you both change the same one,  one set of information will overwrite the other.

I do recommend that,  being unfamiliar with all this stuff,  you should probably set up one process at a time - a daily diary for both of you forinstance - and get used to using that.  When you're happy things are working out,  add another system.  It's better to do things that way than introduce 5 new things at the same time,  and start to forget to do some of them...

Don't be afraid to experiment,  and if you get stuck - let us know.  We're (mostly) friendly,  and willing to help all we can.  🙂

Link to comment
  • Level 5*
12 hours ago, peterseaford said:

couple ... Evernote is the facility that would put the wife and my brains more accessible to each of us and remind us - in time

Might be easier to share an Evernote account    
Your data can be accessed on all your devices either via the web (www.evernote.com)
or installed software

Each morning, I use my Mac to create a daily note from a template;      
a combination Journal/Planner/Dashboard   
I reference this throughout the day

>>you can see that its simple for us to misplace documents

All my documents are stored in Evernote; I rarely keep paper   
I use Evernote's Scannable app on my iPad to scan paper documents

>>how best to use Notebooks and Tags
I rarely use the notebook feature

My documents are tagged appropriately so I don't "misplace" anything   
For example; a document categorized as Insurance, Home, Email, AllState
receives tags !Insurance, !Home, !Email, ?AllState   
To keep my tags organized, I reflect hierarchy in the tag names         
First character prefix; ?Who, !What, @Where, .When, #Actionable
For example   
!Budget, !Budget-Housing, !Budget-HousingRent   
!Insurance, !Insurance-Home, !Insurance-Car   
??Family Members, ??Doctor-aaaaaa, ?Other People

>>we use google Calendar ... miss appointments and just straight out forget things

Since you're Apple users, I recommend Apple Calendar   
The calendar app is installed on your devices, and syncs appointment data      
Also Apple Reminder for things like medicine

>>plenty of bills to pay

My bills are scanned and stored in Evernote; I use the Reminder feature for bill payment 

>>we have a MacBook Pro , two iPads and two iPhones

Excellent choice   
I have a Mac Mini and iPad   
No iPhone (I use VOIP on the iPad)

Link to comment
  • Level 5

If you both can agree on how to run a joint account, then do it. My wife and I have 2 separate accounts, so both of us can set it up the best way for our individual way of doing things. We mutually share some notebooks as a joint storage for notes we both use.

Probably you can do with one subscription, and one free account - unless you both are intensively using EN. Everything that are documents that should be searchable goes to the subscription account, the free account should focus on notes generated by oneself. EN does a great job to make every piece of information searchable - but the paid account excels on it by its OCR (machine reading of documents, building a search index).

You already got some hints here. Maybe you simply start with a small project, see how it works out and generate more ideas. You always wanted to organize everything you have about your kids ? Then maybe this would be a place to start with. Store What you want to keep, but doesn’t need tangible. Set up notes (what were the last presents we gave, collect ideas for the next ones), play a little with reminders and maybe even tasks. You learn more when you start with a focus area of interest, than trying to press more than a century of mutual lifetime (I assume) into a database.

It is better to come back to the forum with some more focussed aspects to ask or to discuss.

Link to comment

Thanks so much everybody - I have been able to at least save information into Notebooks and getting a better understanding of Evernote

we are in Seaford Victoria Australia and have discovered that lot of people know all about Evernote until questions are asked and then your on your own

can see we will need to do a lot of reading on this site to really get the full benefit of Evernote

kindest regards


  • Like 1
Link to comment

Hi, and good luck with this! Evernote is ideal for you both; it's stable and mature (like us, lol) and is built around notes, rather than links between notes, which is the fashion right now. I just returned to Evernote after about 8 years, and all my notes were still there, safe. I did return to a lot of bugs, and a lot of controversy, but these are all about the new features / features taken away, which won't affect you. I'm still seeing loads of bugs, but they are all in the "home" and really not that important.

Notebooks and tags are easier to explain in evernote than in some other apps, because in evernote you can't keeping nesting notebooks - which are really folders - forever. In evernote you can put a note in a notebook  - with other similar notes - and you can put that notebook in a stack - with other similar notebooks - and that's it. It's like this:

  • I have a certificate I want to keep, so I put it in my old wooden box - that's the notebook. I find some more certificates, so I put them in the old wooden box too. I've got some bank statements, I don't want them with the certificates, so I put them in my blue biscuit tin (this is a second notebook).
  • I know I've got more certificates and bank statements to file away later, so I put my old wooden box and the biscuit tin in the dresser - which is a stack. This keeps them apart from my recipes and my books and my music, which will go in other notebooks and then into other stacks.

Notebooks and stacks are like "places"; everyone has to be somewhere, but we can only be in one place at a time! Tags are different, they are much more powerful, because a note can be "in" multiple tags. This will make finding what you want a lot easier. This can be a little harder to get to grips with, but there are some tag masters here in the forums who will help. I would suggest you start by putting things into "place" - notebooks and stacks, and when you have your evernote "house" set up, start playing with tags and searches to pull up the stuff you need.

Good luck!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • Level 5*
12 minutes ago, sch01ar said:

in evernote you can't keeping nesting notebooks - which are really folders - forever.

Actually Evernote has no support for folders   
Notebooks and Tags are fields in the note metadata    
Some users emulate folders using the notebook/tag trees in the sidebar 

>>Tags aredifferent, they are much more powerful, because a note can be "in" multiple tags

Agreed; tags are a more powerful tool for note organization     
Evernote uses notebooks to identify notes as private/shared, online/local (Legacy), offline

Link to comment

ahah - wooden boxes and blue tins make sense to me - so I could put the wires notes in one box and mine in another and when both notes are of interest like covid vaccination then I would use the same tag on each note in different boxes and presumably call the tag covid an then use this same tag for other interesting facts on covid in other tin boxes

when tags are created are they then listed ?

I think the penny may have just dropped

thanks very much


kind regards.  Peter

Link to comment
7 hours ago, peterseaford said:

I could put the wives notes in one box and mine in another and when both notes are of interest like covid vaccination then I would use the same tag on each note in different boxes and presumably call the tag covid an then use this same tag for other interesting facts on covid in other tin boxes

That's the ticket! And when you find a search is bringing up too many records, you might create a second tag; "notes" and another one, "advice" and add them to relevant notes. Then you can filter a search in advance - "covid AND advice". What's more you can "save" your searches, so you can pull them up from the menu bar.


when tags are created are they then listed ?

Yes indeed! They are over in the left margin, just beneath "notebooks". I'd suggest getting confident before going too deep with tags and searches. It's worth noting that tags can be "nested", which allows you to put things in semantic order. You could have a "documents" tag with "advice", "notes" and "lists" under it, and an "actions" tag, with "call", "buy" and "repair" under that. These are just examples for clarity, like the "boxes" and "folders" metaphor. Your own tags will pop into your head in response to your actual workflow. 

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that Evernote itself is itself an oldie, in app terms, and has a lot of character. I started to use it heavily around 2011 / 2012, and coming back to it now it feels very much "of its time" in terms of the model it uses. This no bad thing, because it's a stable and strong one. Evernote are making a lot of additions right now, weaving in tasks and calendar links, and the homepage. This works for me, although not for some others, but they do seem to be introducing a fantastic amount of bugs. Living in Australia you'll be used to the largest and most evil looking bugs in the world, so that shouldn't be a problem, but that's another reason to go slow and steady in terms of implementing your system.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

thanks very much - think I am getting the hang of things now

have renamed some note books and shuffled the notes around plus used one tag for ma and one for the wife 

certainly looks much neater - got a lot to learn but have learned a lot

thanks again and if any if you think of anymore tips I would love to get them

kindest regards


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...