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PDF hotlinks and organization - feature wish

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I have been enjoying some features of Evernote but have hit a wall in one area that is very frustrating to me. 


I work as a trial attorney.


While there is plenty of paper still being used in my part of the country, I am beginning to get electronic documents and I have also begun to save large pdf documents in order to save space and make the documents easy to keyword search.


When I prepare for trial I like to index my discovery by highlighting important words or phrases used in reports or transcripts and then noting in the index where those important facts can be found.  


For example:


"The car was white"        

ArrestReport p1 top


I had hoped that going digital would make this process more efficient.  I had hoped I could essentially highlight the passage and be able have a hotlink to it saved in the index document. Like:


"The car was white"        

ArrestReport p1 top

That would make it even simpler to stay digital in court.  I could click on the index, if an issue came up, and immediately begin reading from the source.\


It doesn't appear that Evernote can do that and it seems like something it should be able to do, especially with it's ability to sync folders.  


For 3rd Party app folks this sort of functionality could be used in all sorts of presentation settings.  Where someone asks about the basis or background of an assertion... a sales person could pull up the research or market data on the fly....


my two cents






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Have you tried using the Advance Search syntax? https://evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#!/article/23245321




notebook:"OFFICER X" any: Arrest Report p1 top


Yes  . . . but . . ..


You can also do Table of Contents with links to the PDF document you need, but you still have to open the PDF and jump to the page you need.  DeFenske is talking about a hotlink that will take you to the page and paragraph he needs straight away . . ..  THAT is not available and what he wants


EDIT -  IMHO  Evernote is awesome and wonderful I got my whole business and life in it but its still not ready for prime time for INTENSE mission critical things like  -- need it NOW, right NOW fail rate 0.0001%  (1 in 10,000) Those kinds of things I have to still carry backup paper folder. From my own personal and unscientific observations of how it works for me -- we are not yet at the (1 in 10,000 error rate for needing it now, right now!)


If you were representing me, in court and i knew you were using Evernote as your only source . . .  eeeeak

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Please don't take the following as anything other than genuine concern for the safety of both you and your clents...

First off, I assume you're in the US, yes? I'm Canadian and obviously know my own legal system far better than any other country's, and even that is limited to layman's knowledge.

What concerns me about your post is that as I understand things, the US has similar regulatory laws regarding certain professions, such as working in the legal and medical fields. Evernote is a digital repository and note taking program aimed at both single and business users. While they are growing at a phenomenal rate worldwide, I've yet to see anything here on the forum or at their company website, that emphatically stresses data security.

Don't get me wrong, I personally think that as Cloud services goes, they are among the best and do not sell or share personally identifying info with 3rd parties...BUT I say this in terms of people who do not rely on *any* cloud-based service - not even the specialized Security focused ones - to safeguard highly sensitive personal or business data.

As I said, I am no expert on the legal system of my own country, nevermind anyone else's... But that said, I would be most upset - furious actually... if I ever needed a lawyer for any reason and discovered he or she was not using an industry accepted, government approved, data storage system to store *my personal data!* Furious to the point of seeking other legal representation *against them* for recklessly exposing my personal details - especially in the case of something as serious as a trial.

The most experienced power users here on the forum, frequently advise people *not* to trust EN or any cloud system to safeguard their most intimate, personal data. As of right now, it's not even possible to encrypt entire notebooks.

With all due respect, I think you should really be seeking non-cloud based data storage solutions. For everyone's sake.

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Thank you all for the thoughts and suggestions.  JohnDM has hit the nail on the head.  By his response I can tell that its something other users are seeking a solution.


Wordsgood - I appreciate your concerns about my protecting my client's privileged information.  I was planning on using the folders on my office computer. I saw the sync folders as a recognition that the note links to documents were location dependent.  If you move the files it breaks the link in the note.  Maintaining the connection between the note and the document was a first step.   In my current location, I can't expect the court rooms to have wifi anyway.  Even if I wanted to load the cloud with info I wouldn't have the access when I really need it. 

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In any case, as far as data security is concerned, you could (perhaps should ?) keep that in a local notebook only & sync it to an industry-accepted, government-approved (cloud) storage system. You may (or may not) know that local notebooks are not synched to Evernote's servers.

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  • Level 5*

Evernote clearly isn't designed to fill this need, though its features overlap in a number of areas. It would be necessary to experiment (obviously not in live cases!) to find the best compromise between what's possible and what is ideally required,  but I can think of some possibilities that might be worth exploration...


If you receive paper documentation,  scan it to individual pages;  if electronic,  split it to one page / one note.  (This ensures that a link or a search will take you directly to the page you need,  rather than to a note containing a 125-page document.)


As you review documents,  keep - as you suggested - an index note.  Creating a Table of Contents for each document/ group of notes would be a good start - this would list and link to each page.  Then add below each page link your comments on that page - "car colour white" / "it was dark"  etc.


In a separate note copy your page notes and the relevant link in alpha order to a 'master TOC' to create an link to each critical point -


car colour <link> <link> <link>

visibility <link> <link>

witnesses <link>


You could create a saved search to each point too (though the max on saved searches is 100) or have a saved search template saved in a note so that you can craft a suitable search for any point that comes up.


...All that ignores the option of tagging,  which you could employ to flag which pages deal with different topics to assist with finding (say) all pages tagged <car colour> quickly.


I appreciate none of this directly equates to written notes,  or to your original expectations - and I'm based in the UK so my experience of the US court process is TV only (and I spell 'colour' funny) - but in this electronic age most things are a learning curve...


PS - If you haven't already thought of this;  in this electronic age,  if you're in court with only a laptop or tablet for company I'd strongly recommend having an identical device containing the same files with you as backup.  Your next hardware crash is already just waiting to happen...

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Gazumped our office uses its own servers we have to backup to on regular basis. Thanks all for the thoughts:


I decided to look at the issue from the pdf side solely and found this file which I think will allow me construct the hotlink that will do what I want.  It's just gonna take a bit more typing then should be necessary :P


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  • Level 5*

My last comment wasn't about losing the work,  but the thought of standing up in court starting a cross examination and having a blank tablet screen because the battery just died,  or the case got wet,  or a gremlin got in there somehow.  Finagles 3rd Law of Demonstrations - "Electronics will only fail when it's really funny or embarrassing for it do so..."


Still: interesting solution - good luck with the execution!

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Apologies in advance . . .


PS - If you haven't already thought of this;  in this electronic age,  if you're in court with only a laptop or tablet for company I'd strongly recommend having an identical device containing the same files with you as backup.  Your next hardware crash is already just waiting to happen...


Yeah, Gazumped-the-Great, I think I went to that thought too.  I think we all did, but I'm  pretty sure DeFenske is not a  barrister type in the theme of Rumpole of the Bailey but more a  solicitor filing motions and pleadings in the wee hours  . .ala . . .. . . (and forgive me DeFenske for I know your not)  . . .  Charles Dickens' Bleak House so i don't think critical and immediate retrieval is needed.


Just putting it in the vernacular of one whom might use the word  . . . colour

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  • Level 5*

In my defence (Your Honour) I can only quote the examples of

  • Perry Mason
  • Suits
  • LA Law
  • Law & Order (various)
  • Ally McBeal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Good Wife
  • Boston Legal

..as my experience of US legal practice.



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