Jump to content

Taking Notes (Drawing Flow Charts, Arrows, Etc..)

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,


I'm starting university in February of next and I've just started using Evernote and love the program.


I do have a few questions about taking notes during class lectures.


A lot of times I need to DRAW simple diagrams (kinda like fishbone diagrams, or brainstorm clouds, or flow charts etc..)


Does Evernote allow you to do that from within a note? I was hoping I can find some drawing tools (like those of Microsoft Word, for example)..


If not, what is the best way (other than using Paint and taking a screenshot etc..)


Thanks guys.

Link to comment
  • Level 5*

Suggestions for taking notes in lectures:


Be aware that if you don't have a wifi connection onsite,  your notes are kept in temporary storage (mobiles) or are saved to your hard drive (laptop/ notebook etc).  They're not backed up to Evernote's servers until you find a connection and sync.  Be careful not to lose notes while you're holding the only copy in your hand.


If you want to record audio,  use a separate device (like a Livescribe pen) or a separate app.  If you use Evernote to record the audio you may not be able to take keyboard notes too.  The audio app will output to MP3 or WAV and you can attach that you your lecture note(s) later.


When you do get to sync,  make sure the notes make it to the server by logging into Evernote.com in your desktop browser and checking they're safe.


If you need to draw a diagram it's possible to start an 'ink' note and draw away.  Save those as separate notes and merge them with your other typewritten notes later.  Or just tie them together with tags or titles.  I'd suggest "yyyymmdd hhmm - note# - lecture" as a standard title so you have the day,  the time and a note number to keep them in order plus the lecture name and any other keywords you think might be helpful.


Always take a pad and pen anyway,  because 1) something always goes wrong at the worst possible time and 2) you can always make quick notes on paper and photograph them into Evernote later.


Finally - practice taking notes in front of the TV or something before you do this in earnest;  there's always something you forget or something that doesn't work the way you expect.  Better to find the glitches before they become career-critical!

Link to comment
  • Level 5*

A lot of times I need to DRAW simple diagrams (kinda like fishbone diagrams, or brainstorm clouds, or flow charts etc..)


Does Evernote allow you to do that from within a note? I was hoping I can find some drawing tools (like those of Microsoft Word, for example)..


I think you are likely to be frustrated by Evernote's poor drawing abilities.  You may want to find an app dedicated to drawing, use it to make your drawings, and the paste the result (image) into Evernote.  Or attach the drawing file to Evernote.

Link to comment

Thanks for your quick responses.


I downloaded Skitch and tried to use it  on my iphone 6 plus. It works fine, but then when I save it and access it from my 'Inbox' notebook in Evernote, I can't seem to copy the diagram and paste where I want within a text note, or even simply add text underneath!


Is it not possible? Do I have to MERGE them? ( I don't think I can merge notes on the iphone?)

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

In reply to TheDoctor inquiry re flow charts.


I've been using the annotate feature of EN to make my flow charts. 

I open a note give it a title, but I leave the body of the note blank. 

Then,  I click annotate as a pdf. 

Then I use the boxes, arrows, lines, text features, change colors, etc. 

While its not as easy as a sketch pad, easel and a marker, I am getting the hang of it. 


For studies at the university level--where you might have to simplify complex textual material,  i it may do the trick, until EN comes up with a better idea. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

One cannot Annotate a note as a PDF on the Windows client. I think this is exclusive to Mac. Unless one directly uses the Skitch app. What you would have to do on Windows is drop a blank image into a note to annotate. I wish the Windows client would catch up with that feature...

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

This is a big lacking feature in evernote. In fact, this is a big reason why I would be willing to consider switching over to Microsoft One Note, coupled with a tablet, because my notes include pictures and text almost every time. I've also been quite frustrated by Evernote's ability to search handwritten text, and One Note *says* it converts handwritten characters to text.

Handwrite notes on a tablet

Evernote Product Managers: I love your product and don't WANT to switch. Please help!

Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

Hi all,

Appreciate this is an old thread, but here's one technique to allow the use of EN's simple annotate image capabilities to make simple drawings.

1)  Use paint.net or equivalent to create a blank image 800x800 in size - save as "Blank Canvas.png" file.

2)  Create a new note entitled "Blank Canvas".

3)  Right click on note and select "Attach files..."

4)  Find and select the "Blank Canvas.png" file.

5)  Press Enter and type "End of Canvas" (this makes it easier to know where to click later to make a copy)

6)  Similarly, use arrow keys to move to the very start of the note and add:
       "Copy image below into new note and then use Annotate to create simple drawings."
       ...press Enter at the end to shift the blank image down to the next line.

7)  Enter appropriate tags to make finding this note easier:  blank, canvas, picture, etc.


Now you have a blank canvas that you can copy 'n' paste into a new note, and then right-click to use the Annotate feature to make simple drawings.  I find it best to use an 800x800 blank canvas and use crop feature to reduce the copy when I'm finished.  Just make the blank canvas note bigger or smaller to fit your preferred default size.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 10 months later...

Another method to consider is using a table. Anyone who has done this with Excel will appreciate that if you are doing a quick-and-dirty block diagram, a spreadsheet will often do the trick. Color in the cells that are 'blocks' and leave the ones corresponding to backbground white. Makes annotations and resizing a breeze too. It is not for every situation but to be honest, many block diagrams are just about spatial relationships. The new table updates have opened up some real possibilities with this.

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...