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Aurora A.

An ADHD Student's Evernote Organization Journey

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Hello, all! I just wanted to create this thread so that I can keep track of all the organizational changes I've made in Evernote. Hopefully, this will inspire others or have other people help in creating better techniques! :) Anyways, I'll begin. 

How Notebooks are Organized

noteboks.png

My mind works like a web like this. Everything is linked together.

I created a whole bunch of stacks and added notebooks. Each notebook also has the name of the stack, dash, the topic of the notebook. It makes it easy for me to find what I need.

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8 hours ago, Aurora A. said:

I created a whole bunch of stacks and put a lot of notebooks there. Each notebook also has the name of the stack, dash, the topic of the notebook. It always makes it easy for me to find what I need by doing this. 

How do you file a note that fits multiple categories? (example shared recipes sites research)

Do you use tags?
- I have a small number of notebooks; preferring to use tags for organization.
  I only use notebooks when I want my notes synced/local/offline/shared
  Some of the benefits I find with tags over notebooks

  1. multiple tags for a note
  2. search can include multiple tags
  3. tags can be organized into a multi level hierarchy

 I use 4 top level entries:   ?Who   !What   @Where   .When

 

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The main rule in Evernote is 'use whatever works for you',  so your method is just one of many variations.  The one question I'd have - your Trash notebook seems to have an awful lot of files.  Any reason why you don't empty the trash regularly?

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On 10/3/2016 at 6:53 PM, DTLow said:

How do you file a note that fits multiple categories? (example shared recipes sites research)

Do you use tags?
- I have a small number of notebooks; preferring to use tags for organization.
  I only use notebooks when I want my notes synced/local/offline/shared
  Some of the benefits I find with tags over notebooks

  1. multiple tags for a note
  2. search can include multiple tags
  3. tags can be organized into a multi level hierarchy

 I use 4 top level entries:   ?Who   !What   @Where   .When

 

 

I'm still working on that part. When I tried using tags in 2009, I ended up with a big mess. This is a very good question. Can you tell me more about yours? 

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Tags

I have multiple tags, but my most used ones for blogging are:

evernote.png

task.png

I'm a blogger so this is what I use for my workflow. I do a lot of researching so the task tags really help. 

*I do wish that there is a feature where I can add descriptions on each tag. The ability to hover over the tag and a content tip showing up with the description would save me loads of time. 

Edited by Aurora A.
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16 hours ago, Aurora A. said:

I'm still working on that part. When I tried using tags in 2009, I ended up with a big mess. This is a very good question. Can you tell me more about yours? 

As I said,  for organization,  I'm more a Tag fan than Notebooks 

I use 4 top level entries:   ?Who   !What   @Where   .When
All my tags use the ?!@. prefix
- So, when I start adding a tag name, ? gives me a drop down of all my ?Who tags
- When I add tags on the fly, they stand out from the hierarchy.  It gives me a chance to clean them up

I did find a problem in using long complex names as in "!Article - Proofread"
- In many of my views, the tagnames get truncated
My process would be to split into multiple tags, for example "!Article"  "!Proofread"
- On my Mac, I can use the hierarchical 
taglist to see all the sub-tags for !Article
- Macs also have a builtin scripting feature (Applescript) so you can build some automatic tagging/subtagging features
 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Aurora A. said:

*I do wish that there is a feature where I can add descriptions on each tag. The ability to hover over the tag and a content tip showing up with the description would save me loads of time. 

I'm a tagger and these views represent that perspective.  One rule of "tagdom" for me is that tags should be easy to remember.  Another is to have as few tags as possible.  Another is if it has to be a compound tag, use a period instead of a space.  I'm not much on prefixing, other than special character prefixing for tasks, people, projects...  So if the article and task tags above are used extensively, I might consider preceding with a special character, !Braindump, !Copy, etc. for example.

16 hours ago, Aurora A. said:

I'm still working on that part. When I tried using tags in 2009, I ended up with a big mess. This is a very good question. Can you tell me more about yours? 

Relative to notebooks I don't use many.  In your above example consider tagging all of the notes in the notebooks with the name of the notebook and then moving them to a single notebook.  You don't need to do it for all of the notebooks, just enough to get a feel for it.  Easy enough to unravel, just recreate the notebooks and move the notes based upon the tag you created, then delete the tag.

This is a way to check out tagging again.  You may or may not like it, tagging isn't for everyone or maybe it just doesn't fit your use case.  But easy enough to try if you are interested. 

Full disclosure, I'm just over 30,000 notes now with 400 tags and don't have any issues finding things.  Paperless, projects, reference materials, and tasks/reminders are the areas that constitute my use case.  The second brain stuff.

 

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Update: Tags & Notes

Tags

I tried using the tags @dtlow recommended. They are working, but so far, I'm taking it slow to implement. Right now, I'm using 

 

.Task-related-notes-for-my-blogs

 

Notes

I found it really hard finding what I need within notebooks if I have TONS of notes on them. I'm stuck using the list view because the others are distracting(I have ADHD). I don't enable excerpts either.

First off, I create a Table of Contents for each notebook. I make sure that it has the proper title "AATable of Contents" so when I sort notes in a notebook alphabetically, I will be able to find it. 

 

organize notes.png

 

Below are what my notes look like when you sort them in a notebook alphabetically.

notes.png

 

 

Main Goal:

Organize notes by being able to find things without thinking - Success.

 

Next Problems to solve:

  1. Make clippings easier to read by not having to accidentally move the cursor, edit the text, or highlight the wrong text.
  2. Write a summary portion for each article written at the top of the note.
  3. Use headings or other text formats to reduce eye strain and increase reading ease. 

 

Ideas to solve problems include:

  • Print page to pdf instead of using the clipper > insert pdf to note > annotate, and have summary at the top of the page
  • Clip only important text from a document 
  • Use another text editor that enables text formatting and transfer to Evernote. <-- -_-

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On 10/4/2016 at 4:17 AM, gazumped said:

The main rule in Evernote is 'use whatever works for you',  so your method is just one of many variations.  The one question I'd have - your Trash notebook seems to have an awful lot of files.  Any reason why you don't empty the trash regularly?

 

I never really thought of emptying it. Doesn't evernote empty it for me???

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22 hours ago, Aurora A. said:

First off, I create a Table of Contents for each notebook. I make sure that it has the proper title "AATable of Contents" so when I sort notes in a notebook alphabetically, I will be able to find it. 

When sorting by title, I use prefix special characters like "-" as in       -Table of Contents|
I use various prefixes to control sequence; In my project review I want to see my notes in the following sequence
-Project Master Note
++Tasks, Next Action
+=Scheduled Tasks
+Unscheduled Tasks

+ΩCompleted Tasks
Other Notes

The problem with Table of Contents is they're not dynamic, just a static list
I mostly use the top list view you showed, although I don't have the chance to add sub-headings

I use the copy links to add task/project lists to my daily journal

>>Print page to pdf instead of using the clipper > insert pdf to note > annotate, and have summary at the top of the page

I also prefer to use pdf format for my clippings and mail archives.
The content is protected against accidental updates, and its less clutter when I switch to attachment view

On Macs, I can convert a note/mail to pdf

>>I never really thought of emptying it. Doesn't evernote empty it for me???

No, you have to empty the trash yourselfScreen Shot 2016-10-29 at 9.56.45 PM.png
Just right click on the Trash icon

Its not critical, if you don't mind the resources being used.
There is a downside; clearing the trash means the Note History gets deleted

 

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On 10/29/2016 at 3:15 PM, Aurora A. said:

I never really thought of emptying it. Doesn't evernote empty it for me???

Nope.  Right click - Empty Trash.

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