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ncage

Putting absolutely everything in evernote

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Just curious how many put absolutely everything in evernote. Anymore i digitize absolutely everything. I don't keep paper anymore. If its something i want to keep and its paper i run it through my scansnap (which does an excellent job). 

We have all ran into issue where we are looking for something and asking ourselves where we put it. Is it in my file server. Is it in one of my (many email accounts). Did i store it in one of my online cloud storage accounts (onedrive, google drive, dropbox, ect) and i'm sure the list goes on. Currently i store most things in evernote but not absolutely everything. I use the gmail system of archiving most things and then the search functionality for my email. This works well when i know its in my email but of course causes problems when i don't know where i stored whatever i'm looking for. It would be so nice to have everything in evernote so i could search in one area.

I've been hesitant to store two things in evernote:
 

1. Sensitive info like tax returns for example. I would like to trust evernote but with the # of breaches that happen per year its kind of hard. Not only that how many large companies don't have some nosey employees that will go snooping around even when they aren't supposed to? If information like this got loose it wouldn't be a good situation. 

2. Email - Most of my email isn't that sensitive in nature but its still something i don't want to ever loose. Especially considering the recent issues with struggles with evernote. I still love the product and company. Thats why i'm a subscriber. I could probably make due with the free membership but i want to support evernote because i never want it to go away. Looks like they are having more competition too with Microsoft announcing they have an evernote importer for onenote. Granted i have doubts whether they will ever be able to complete. Evernote's search, web clipper, and ability to handle large notebooks are just years ahead of Microsoft at this point. With that being said if they did go belly up loosing all my important emails is unthinkable for me. Sure i could still archive my emails instead of deleting them but that seems like a kluge. I want one area where i store this important information and thats it. 

Having one searchable online repository though is so desirable.

Any thoughts?

 

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2 hours ago, ncage said:

Just curious how many put absolutely everything in evernote. Anymore i digitize absolutely everything. I don't keep paper anymore. If its something i want to keep and its paper i run it through my scansnap (which does an excellent job). 

...

I've been hesitant to store two things in evernote:
 

1. Sensitive info like tax returns for example. I would like to trust evernote but with the # of breaches that happen per year its kind of hard. Not only that how many large companies don't have some nosey employees that will go snooping around even when they aren't supposed to? If information like this got loose it wouldn't be a good situation. 

2. Email - Most of my email isn't that sensitive in nature but its still something i don't want to ever loose. 

Having one searchable online repository though is so desirable.

Any thoughts?

 

I put everything into Evernote including emails. This is my digital filing cabinet.

Have you looked at local notebooks?

Also encryption, both PDFs and text.

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Just now, DTLow said:

Have you looked at local notebooks?

Nope because i don't want something stored on just one computer.

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3 minutes ago, ncage said:

Nope because i don't want something stored on just one computer.

Second suggestion, encrypted PDFs and text.

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Just now, DTLow said:

Second suggestion, encrypted PDFs.

Thanks that's definitely worth a look. I'll have to research how pdf's are encrypted (AES hopefully). That would solve issue #1 but of course not issue #2

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I put everything in EN, but I use local notebooks for the confidential stuff and am diligent in my backups.  May not be perfect, but typically I only need the secure stuff when I am at my PC, so an okay trade-off for me.  Only emails of consequence make it to EN.  The rest are in Gmail/Thunderbird.

AFAIK, PDF encryption is the tool of your choice.  EN won't do it.

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18 minutes ago, csihilling said:

AFAIK, PDF encryption is the tool of your choice.  EN won't do it

 

Confirmed. I'm happy with Evernote's text encryption, but I have to use my Mac's Preview app for pdf encryption.

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So that would be a yes to roll your own encryption?  Thanks for the confirmation.

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9 hours ago, ncage said:

Any thoughts?

Keep 99% of your email archived in your email account. It sounds wonderful to have everything searchable in one place... but I'm guessing you do still have to search Google on occasion. Just saying. My point is this: unless Evernote came out with an integrated email system where you could send and receive emails from within Evernote, you're still going to have to (1) check your primary email inbox(es) at least once every so often and (2) respond from your actual email account(s) (not Evernote)... so just because all (or most of) your email can be forwarded to Evernote, doesn't mean it makes the most sense. 

If you're looking to get to inbox zero, that's another story... but why clutter up another tool in the process?... and there are some great strategies out there which don't necessarily involve shipping everything to Evernote. 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Frank.dg said:

Keep 99% of your email archived in your email account. It sounds wonderful to have everything searchable in one place

My practice is to use Evernote as my email archive.
Thats after flltering for spam and non-non-archivial email, so maybe the % is the same.
I have an icon in my mail menu bar for app EverMail to help in filing

>> (2) respond from your actual email account(s) (not Evernote)
Agreed - thats the downside to reviewing mail in Evernote

It is possible to store an link back to the email message in your note

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The other thing about email which I doubt Evernote would be able to automate so well is how email conversations are strung together in your email client, especially for individual emails to and from the same person on mobile device. 

There are, however, ways to eliminate a lot of emails that get unnecessarily generated... with utilities such as Slack, WhatsApp... and Evernote's Work Chat... Those tools help to eliminate what might have required archiving. 

A little food for thought: In the case of Work Chat, I'm not sure anyone would enjoy trying to port their information therein to another system were they to move on from Evernote for whatever reason. 

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On March 17, 2016 at 7:39 PM, ncage said:

I'll have to research how pdf's are encrypted (AES hopefully). That would solve issue #1 but of course not issue #2

Evernote text encryption is AES (see What-type-of-encryption-does-Evernote-use-
I don't know the encryption level is used for pdfs

>>2. Email - Most of my email isn't that sensitive in nature but its still something i don't want to ever loose. ...With that being said if they did go belly up loosing all my important emails is unthinkable for me. Sure i could still archive my emails instead of deleting them but that seems like a kluge. I want one area where i store this important information and thats it. 

I archive my mail in Evernote
and afterwards remove the mail from my inbox by archive
(currently Gmail and Mac Mail; legacy Outlook and ccMail)

Yes, concern about future retrieval is important.

Your email system may shut down, or you may switch to a different application (I've gone through so many)

I'm depending on Evernote.
The company may shut down, but I own my data and will always have the app.
At anytime I can export my notes to html; actually my backup procedures included a daily html backup of changed notes to Dropbox.

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Actually Frank, are you aware of what the EN Web Clipper does? If you are using the Gmail web interface, when you have a message open and click on the web clipper icon in Chrome, you get a slightly different screen...that allows you to clip the email with all, some or none of the source chain. I just found out about it- and its cool- I used to have to make sure that I had the previous message quotes open in the last message then clip that one...now it does it all automatically. And...it also provides a link back to the message in Gmail.

For me though, once I save a message in Gmail (and it's usually an email with some information I want to keep, but not necessarily reply to) I usually delete it in Gmail.

Eric

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2 hours ago, EricLorenz said:

Actually Frank, are you aware of what the EN Web Clipper does?

No doubt that Evernote makes it easy for us to get stuff in... Still not sure I need to hoard stuff there. 

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Just be careful and backup your data often.

Some power users hit a wall when they reached 60,000 notes. The maximum number of notes for non-business users is 100,000.

I ran into the problem at 30,000 notes and Evernote Support asked me to split my data into two Evernote accounts. I currently try to spread my data into several programs - Rather than try to put most of my data into Evernote, I am now using: 

* Workflowy for multi-step tasks and project management
* Flickr for photos
* DropBox and OneDrive for file storage
* Google Keep for quick tasks and reminders
* Evernote to store reference info, web clips and some old data
* Specialized apps for specific tasks (example: grocery shopping, genealogy)

 

 

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I have gotten to the point where I'm putting just about everything into EN...except program/ZIP/binary etc. files. those I keep in Dropbox. For awhile I tried spreading stuff out among different cloud services...just too much to keep track of (though I could keep a list in EN to track what I have where...) :-)

 

Eric

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4 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Just be careful and backup your data often.

 

1 hour ago, EricLorenz said:

I have gotten to the point where I'm putting just about everything into EN...except program/ZIP/binary etc. files. those I keep in Dropbox.

I backup Evernote with a daily html/enex export of previous day changes.
I store the backup files in iCloud - sort of an Apple equivalent of Dropbox
Backups were recently discussed here - how-can-i-backup-my-notebooks

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Thanks all for the feedback. I guess everyone has their own opinions on what is best. I don't think its a win/win type of scenario. There are pro/cons for each choice. I'm going to take all the feedback and think about whats best for me. I'm leaning towards almost storing everything there. The attraction of universal search is just to appealing for me.

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On 3/21/2016 at 2:56 PM, ncage said:

I don't think its a win/win type of scenario

Especially for multiple personality disorder (or multiple thinking caps). Win-lose might make you happy at least some of the time...

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Late to the party,  but +1 for 'if in doubt,  scan.' 

Some things I keep on paper - official documents,  guarantees (some stores will still not accept electronic documents!),  and sensitive financials;  plus a bunch of books and reference stuff from which I'm too mean (and too lazy) to rip the pages for scanning.  I also have four levels of security: Air-gapped (it sits on shelves and in folders) / Local Notebooks / Synced encrypted files / everything else online.  (Obviously all the electronic stuff is backed up 16 ways from Sunday!)

Online is good for sharing things with Family.  :)

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great topic. I currently do what the OP is doing, but for maybe slightly different reasons.

I keep all my tax stuff on my local hard drive and organized in a way that works for me. I've got a Mac, under my Documents folder I have one for Finances, and under that, Taxes. Under that, one for each year going back 15 years. Each year has all my returns and supporting materials in digitized format. I just like being able to click on one folder and there it all is, and the odds that I'd ever need to access any of this 'on the go' are just about zero.

For email, using evernote for this would hurt my productivity. I practice inbox zero. I use the Mac Mail app with the add ons MailTags and Mail Act-On, along with OmniFocus. I can turn an email into a task in about 5-6 seconds with an assigned project, context and start date and a built-in link to the email, then putting that email into an archive folder.  I tried using Evernote for archived emails to support my process flow and it just didn't work well. But my use case is somewhat unique, your mileage may (and likely will) vary.

Everything else right now is going into Evernote.  I just recently turned a 4 drawer file cabinet that was jam packed into 3 empty drawers and one that is about a third full with files that don't lend themselves to being digitized (for a number of reasons).  But I can absolutely see the appeal of putting everything into Evernote. If it's anything I might possibly wonder "now where did I put that", it's in Evernote.

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51 minutes ago, conejo23 said:

If it's anything I might possibly wonder "now where did I put that", it's in Evernote.

except for ......tax stuff, email

I'm 100% - it makes life simpler

Can you explain further about your email and the hit to productivity?
I'm going to look into the add-ons, but I'm using various email services (employer requirement)
On my Mac, I have an add-on (EverMail) to file the email in Evernote.  This can be a simple archive, or a task followup.  Off the Mac, I just use the Evernote email feature.

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DT Low....I get a lot of emails I need to turn into tasks. I use Omnifocus as my task management system, and a somewhat bastardized version of GTD. I'm a big fan of the Inbox Zero approach. I don't get to zero every night, but usually pretty dang close and every Sunday night before going to bed my inbox is at zero.

To understand my workflow, you first need to understand a few things about the apps I use and how they relate to email:

- Omnifocus: with a hotkey I can turn an email into a task with a link to that email in the notes section of the task, and it takes about 1-2 seconds to do that. Then I can populate the project and context fields, give it a start date, save the task, and that's done. I can do that in about 5 seconds total.

- MailTags: allows you to add notes or keywords to emails which you can then use to do adhoc searches or can create smart mailboxes to utilize.

- Mail ActOn: allows me to create and fire off rules on demand

So if I get an email I want to turn into a task, I do the omnifocus thing I outline above, then hit another hotkey combo to move the email into my @Action mailbox. The whole thing takes 7-10 seconds, tops.  If I was moving the email to Evernote instead of keeping it in Mail, I'd probably use Evermail (which I have and like, and use for emails I want in Evernote for whatever reason), then I have to select the notebook where I want it to go, then I need to copy a classic note link to then manually embed into the Omnifocus task associated with that email so I can then see the entire email when I'm ready to work on it.  I haven't timed it but I'm guessing that would take 20-30 seconds to complete, best case. So 2-3x longer than my current system.

Or say I get an email that was a receipt for a software purchase for my business. I hit a hotkey and Mail ActOn then assigns the "software" tag to the email and moves it to my Archive mailbox. That takes about 1-2 seconds.  If I was going to move that email into Evernote, again, I'd have to select it, forward it to my Evernote email address and select the folder where I want it to go. Not time consuming, but probably a 5-10 second task. So I'd be spending significantly longer per email to process it into Evernote than my current strategy, and I don't accomplish anything other than "having it all in one place". But who cares if I know precisely where to look and can easily find it on demand, and it's secure?

I love Evernote and it's my storage solution of choice for well over 90% of the digital materials I need to retain, but I'm not going to sacrifice time and efficiency to put stuff in there just to put it in there instead of somewhere else.

I keep emails in Mail going back to the start of the calendar year 2 years prior, and use MailStewart as an email archive repository. I don't want 15,000 notes in Evernote that are nothing but emails. I already have them in an app that makes searching for them very easy, whether in Mail or MailStewart. So re archiving, right now I have email going back to January 1st 2014. Everything before that is archived. At the end of this year I'll archive all of 2014 emails.

In case anyone wonders if I have a backup strategy, every week I do fully cloned bootable backups using SuperDuper to an external hard drive. I maintain two of them, one at home, one at the office, so if there's a physical catastrophe like one of those buildings burns down, I still have the other backup. Then I also use BackBlaze cloud backups for all my documents, settings, photos, music, etc...so those are backed up in pretty close to real time.

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