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(Archived) How do you organize your notes?

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Hi! I'm a casual user of Evernote (web and PC desktop) for the past year or so, and I've been merrily clipping things in and then just searching for keywords in each note...but I'd like to get more serious about using Evernote, and that means developing a system for organizing everything. But rather than reinventing the proverbial wheel, I thought I'd ask veteran users what systems they've developed for note-organizing in Evernote.

So I'm curious: how do YOU organize your notes? What set of notebooks have you developed, and what tags? How well do (or don't) they work for you? (If your list of tags is really long, feel free to link to an external file rather than just posting them here.) Anything else you'd like to mention?

Thanks in advance for indulging me!

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  • Level 5

I'll toss in 2 replies - the first one will be Notebooks.

I have found it more convenient to reduce the number of notebooks. I used to have many notebooks, but learned how powerful tags are and cut my notebooks to only high-level subjects. I currently have the default notebook and 7 specific notebooks. If I was going to school, I would add one additional notebook for classes and throw everything school-related in there.

  • Acquaintances (business cards, addresses, email info)
    Business (employment - current and past)
    Personal (family, house, yard, restaurants, trips, bills)
    Hobbies (computers, leisure stuff)
    Politics (sort of a personal hobby)
    Miscellaneous (a catch-all - humor, local ads, reference stuff)
    Local (non-sync'd notebook, confidential stuff)

And the addition of Stacks will help as well by reducing the clutter on the screen if you have a lot of notebooks.

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  • Level 5

Second Reply - Tags

I have hundreds of tags. So it is important to maintain a system for my tags. This method helps keep the tags grouped together.

I use the Parent - Child - Grandchild format.

  • Parent
    • Child
      • Grandchild

Close family members are tagged:

  • Family
    • fam-JLB

Personal Items of interest:

  • Personal
    • Per-Car

Companies I deal with:

  • Companies
    • Com-Target

Half of my 8,000 notes pertain to political issues - domestic and worldwide.

I have a lot of tags for people's names. I don't have to know their correct spelling. I can type the first letter or two to find the name

  • People
    • International
      • "Ahmadinejad Mahmoud"
        "Medvedev Dmitri"
        "Mohamed Khalid Sheikh"
        "Netanyahu Benjamin"

I also have tags for locations - examples

  • Locations
    • Countries
      • Australia


  • California
    New York


  • Parliament
    United Nations
    White House

My biggest group of tags are under Issues. These can be local, national, and international political issues. They are harder to remember and structure.

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Thanks, that's helpful! I had figured that the power of tags would mean fewer notebooks are necessary, so I'm interested that you found the same thing. And the parent-child-grandchild of tagging format is TERRIFIC.

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