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mac (Archived) Finding it hard to organize notes in Evernote

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Hi everyone,

I'm having a hard time organizing my notes and have a problem with going back and looking at notes.

I find that I am creating hundreds of little clips and text notes in evernote. I have many notebooks that I set up to try and organize it all, but I find myself continually creating the same text notes over and over because I have so many notes (almost 2000). They have somewhat became buried in there and I find myself forgetting about them since I keep creating new notes instead of adding onto notes. Everytime I "clip" something from the web it creates a NEW note. I really wish I could add that clipping to a EXISTING.

I started using another Notebook app called "Notebook by Circus Ponies" because I am finding it allows me to organized notes better and makes it easier to ADD onto a note INSTEAD of creating another note which I have been doing in Evernote which makes all the notes add up to the point where I forget about them.

Maybe I'm not using Evernote correctly or something. Does anyone have the same problem?

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but I find myself continually creating the same text notes over and over because I have so many notes (almost 2000). They have somewhat became buried in there and I find myself forgetting about them since I keep creating new notes instead of adding onto notes.

First blush, I see two distinct problems. The first one is...why are you creating the same text notes over & over??? Do you not remember that you created that note? (Apparently not or else you wouldn't realize you'd been creating it over & over.) So it sounds like you're having problems finding a note you already created...???

I started using another Notebook app called "Notebook by Circus Ponies" because I am finding it allows me to organized notes better and makes it easier to ADD onto a note INSTEAD of creating another note which I have been doing in Evernote which makes all the notes add up to the point where I forget about them.

This is easily rectified if you know the answer to the first question I asked.

Perhaps you could provide a detailed scenario.

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I'm having a hard time organizing my notes and have a problem with going back and looking at notes.

I have many notebooks that I set up to try and organize it all

Creating too many notebooks is a common mistake by new users. I would strong recommend that you stick with very few notebooks until you are comfortable with Evernote.

Use broad subject notebooks - for example: Job, Leisure, Miscellaneous

Another tip: Apply tags when you create the note. That will make finding the note much easier down the road.

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I'm having a hard time organizing my notes and have a problem with going back and looking at notes.

I feel your pain! :)

Evernote is:


  • [*:1vgt7l5i]GREAT at collecting/creating Notes
    [*:1vgt7l5i]Fairly good at finding a Note, provided you can remember some key word, or text that identifies the Note
    [*:1vgt7l5i]Not so good at Browsing Notes.

Everytime I "clip" something from the web it creates a NEW note. I really wish I could add that clipping to a EXISTING.

This just gave me an idea: It would be very helpful if EN would provide a list of existing Notes to append to (at the top or bottom) based on the URL that you are clipping from.

For example, if you are clipping short selections (like a few sentences) from a long Internet page, EN could offer to append to an existing Note taken from that same page.

I started using another Notebook app called "Notebook by Circus Ponies" because I am finding it allows me to organized notes better . . .

How does "Notebook by Circus Ponies" help you organize your notes better?

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I don't want to sound too rigid here, but in most cases your notes can be organized most effectively in ONE notebook. Then you can use the tag feature and the very strong search function to find them.

80% of my 9,000 notes are in my default notebook. The rest are in obviously named notebooks designed to make it easier for me, not for EN, such as "Bank Statements" and "Receipts." If EN didn't offer more than one notebook I could do away with both in an instant and replace them with tags -- in fact, I only recently added the Bank Statements notebook, and I'm still not sure it's necessary.

If I'm doing fine-grained research, such as for a book, I'll create a notebook for that book but I'll ALSO create a universe of tags, one of which has the same name as the notebook, so I can make certain I'm working only with notes dealing with that project. But I don't have to do that in a separate note book. I could just as easily do it with tags.

Evernote, it must be said, has a learning curve, and the more useful it is the steeper that curve is. I've been using it since 2006 or so (before it was the current Evernote) and I learn something from this forum every day.

Most critically, I would suggest that you think carefully before you tag a note, and be sure you've tagged it in a way that will help you find it. I'm coming more and more to the view that some of the Evangelists on this forum have, which is that the search function is the key to the whole thing. To help that along, I sometimes add keywords to a note. For example, if I store a PDF, I'll add a line above it containing the keywords I think I might use to find it in the future.

I use the tools EN provides, such as the Firefox clipper, which allows assigning the notebook, tags and keywords before the information goes to EN. And I use third-party apps such as Scandrop, which gives me the same capabilities when I scan a new document. And I take the time necessary to do the coding before I send the note to the cloud.

It's important to understand that Evernote isn't a toy, it's a serious tool, and that any tool you use will require close and careful study to be most effective. I'm still working on Evernote, but I've tried just about all the others and they don't even come close to its capabilities. Of course, your mileage may vary, and if you're more comfortable with, say, OneNote, I strongly suggest you use it and skip the pain and aggravation you'll have learning Evernote.

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Circus ponies just lets you organize things much more like you would with a real notebook. You can highlight things, add sticky notes within the note, and so much more. It's just a lot easier instead of making a ton of random tags in Evernote. You should download it and give it a try. I believe you get 30 days to try it.

I completely agree that there should be a clipping feature that will allow you to "amend a note". It would be so useful.

I'm having a hard time organizing my notes and have a problem with going back and looking at notes.

I feel your pain! B)

Evernote is:


  • [*:f204etpd]GREAT at collecting/creating Notes
    [*:f204etpd]Fairly good at finding a Note, provided you can remember some key word, or text that identifies the Note
    [*:f204etpd]Not so good at Browsing Notes.

Everytime I "clip" something from the web it creates a NEW note. I really wish I could add that clipping to a EXISTING.

This just gave me an idea: It would be very helpful if EN would provide a list of existing Notes to append to (at the top or bottom) based on the URL that you are clipping from.

For example, if you are clipping short selections (like a few sentences) from a long Internet page, EN could offer to append to an existing Note taken from that same page.

I started using another Notebook app called "Notebook by Circus Ponies" because I am finding it allows me to organized notes better . . .

How does "Notebook by Circus Ponies" help you organize your notes better?

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From what I see Evernote is a pretty basic tool. I mean in comparison to photoshop and many other applications it doesn't have many features. It's tagging feature is in many other applications so it's nothing new or revolutionary. It wasn't really that hard to learn in the first place. I feel like more features are definitely needed in order to effectively manage notes. OneNote does a great job at effectively managing notebooks and notes. In my opinion creating a large amount of tags would be rather annoying and time consuming.

I'm a premium user by the way.

I don't want to sound too rigid here, but in most cases your notes can be organized most effectively in ONE notebook. Then you can use the tag feature and the very strong search function to find them.

80% of my 9,000 notes are in my default notebook. The rest are in obviously named notebooks designed to make it easier for me, not for EN, such as "Bank Statements" and "Receipts." If EN didn't offer more than one notebook I could do away with both in an instant and replace them with tags -- in fact, I only recently added the Bank Statements notebook, and I'm still not sure it's necessary.

If I'm doing fine-grained research, such as for a book, I'll create a notebook for that book but I'll ALSO create a universe of tags, one of which has the same name as the notebook, so I can make certain I'm working only with notes dealing with that project. But I don't have to do that in a separate note book. I could just as easily do it with tags.

Evernote, it must be said, has a learning curve, and the more useful it is the steeper that curve is. I've been using it since 2006 or so (before it was the current Evernote) and I learn something from this forum every day.

Most critically, I would suggest that you think carefully before you tag a note, and be sure you've tagged it in a way that will help you find it. I'm coming more and more to the view that some of the Evangelists on this forum have, which is that the search function is the key to the whole thing. To help that along, I sometimes add keywords to a note. For example, if I store a PDF, I'll add a line above it containing the keywords I think I might use to find it in the future.

I use the tools EN provides, such as the Firefox clipper, which allows assigning the notebook, tags and keywords before the information goes to EN. And I use third-party apps such as Scandrop, which gives me the same capabilities when I scan a new document. And I take the time necessary to do the coding before I send the note to the cloud.

It's important to understand that Evernote isn't a toy, it's a serious tool, and that any tool you use will require close and careful study to be most effective. I'm still working on Evernote, but I've tried just about all the others and they don't even come close to its capabilities. Of course, your mileage may vary, and if you're more comfortable with, say, OneNote, I strongly suggest you use it and skip the pain and aggravation you'll have learning Evernote.

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It's just a lot easier instead of making a ton of random tags in Evernote.

There is no such thing (IMO) as random tags. Tags are meant to be meaningful. I suggest you read up more on the board on tagging.

From what I see Evernote is a pretty basic tool. I mean in comparison to photoshop and many other applications it doesn't have many features. It's tagging feature is in many other applications so it's nothing new or revolutionary. It wasn't really that hard to learn in the first place. I feel like more features are definitely needed in order to effectively manage notes. OneNote does a great job at effectively managing notebooks and notes. In my opinion creating a large amount of tags would be rather annoying and time consuming.

Comparing Evernote with Photoshop is comparing apples to oranges.

No, tagging is not new or revolutionary. Which is why it's surprising that so many newbies to EN have such a problem with it. Apparently, you've not grasped the power of tagging & the EN search engine or else you would not be saying it's "annoying & time consuming." The fact that you say Evernote is a "pretty basic tool" also indicates to me you have not grasped all that EN is capable of doing.

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Have you ever tried a tool other than Evernote? Like OneNote or Notebook by Circus Ponies? If not I suggest you at least try it. I though Evernote was the best thing since sliced bread like yourself until I tried other tools and realized that the way Evernotes note management was setup wasn't the best. Also just because you think tags are the greatest doesn't mean that they actually are. If "newbies" are having a hard time grasping tags and how to use them then maybe there's a reason for that. Many of the best applications that individuals use on a daily basis DO NOT have a tags feature.

It's just a lot easier instead of making a ton of random tags in Evernote.

There is no such thing (IMO) as random tags. Tags are meant to be meaningful. I suggest you read up more on the board on tagging.

From what I see Evernote is a pretty basic tool. I mean in comparison to photoshop and many other applications it doesn't have many features. It's tagging feature is in many other applications so it's nothing new or revolutionary. It wasn't really that hard to learn in the first place. I feel like more features are definitely needed in order to effectively manage notes. OneNote does a great job at effectively managing notebooks and notes. In my opinion creating a large amount of tags would be rather annoying and time consuming.

Comparing Evernote with Photoshop is comparing apples to oranges.

No, tagging is not new or revolutionary. Which is why it's surprising that so many newbies to EN have such a problem with it. Apparently, you've not grasped the power of tagging & the EN search engine or else you would not be saying it's "annoying & time consuming." The fact that you say Evernote is a "pretty basic tool" also indicates to me you have not grasped all that EN is capable of doing.

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Also just because you think tags are the greatest doesn't mean that they actually are.

And just because you think tags aren't the greatest thing doesn't mean they aren't. FWIW, I never said tags were "the greatest thing." Tags are what EN uses. If you cannot wrap your head around that & adapt to that, you will not ever be happy with Evernote.

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Also just because you think tags are the greatest doesn't mean that they actually are.

And just because you think tags aren't the greatest thing doesn't mean they aren't. FWIW, I never said tags were "the greatest thing." Tags are what EN uses. If you cannot wrap your head around that & adapt to that, you will not ever be happy with Evernote.

I guess the tags just aren't working for me. I know other people who love and hate tags. It would be great if Evernote had better note management features for people who hate tags so it would would be great for both parties. I know people can get away with not using tags in Evernote, but I feel that if you could organize your notes more closely to how Notebook by Circus Ponies does it then I'd be pretty happy.

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I feel that if you could organize your notes more closely to how Notebook by Circus Ponies does it then I'd be pretty happy.

OK, I'll bite.

I use Evernote on my Windows machine.

How do I use Circus Ponies on my Windows machine?

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They have made a very clear design decision, which has been discussed on here ad nauseum.

If it doesn't work for you then move on - there are plenty of apps that I have tried over the years (some with as much hype as Evernote) that just haven't clicked with me, I haven't spent hours trying to get them to work I've just found something that does the job for ME better.

And JB, you should know better than to bite.....But how about Virtual Box and a mackintosh (a little bit sick in my mouth)?

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I feel that if you could organize your notes more closely to how Notebook by Circus Ponies does it then I'd be pretty happy.

OK, I'll bite.

I use Evernote on my Windows machine.

How do I use Circus Ponies on my Windows machine?

This is the Mac forum. OP is offering what he/she thinks is comparable alternatives. Your post could be construed as "aggressive."

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I think jbenson2 is pointing out the portability of Evernote and the fact that he wouldn't be able to use the circus and it's ponies on all his computers.

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I think jbenson2 is pointing out the portability of Evernote and the fact that he wouldn't be able to use the circus and it's ponies on all his computers.

Thank you for the clarification. Some folks are not as keen on picking up on my satirical comments unless they see a smiley face.

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I think jbenson2 is pointing out the portability of Evernote and the fact that he wouldn't be able to use the circus and it's ponies on all his computers.

Thank you for the clarification. Some folks are not as keen on picking up on my satirical comments unless they see a smiley face.

Yes. Most of us are much more familiar with your bitter old self. Hopefully, that person has moved on.

:D

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I'm just going to book a room for you two.

There now follows some smileys...

:D

:shock:

:)

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I'm just going to book a room for you two.

There now follows some smileys...

:)

:shock:

:)

Nope. No room. I posted my smiley! :D

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Fairly good at finding a Note, provided you can remember some key word, or text that identifies the Note

Not so good at Browsing Notes.

Actually, once you learn to tag notes effectively and to use the search system, Evernote is a VERY good place to browse.

When you search on anything (notebook, tag, term within notes, date created, whatever), Evernote presents you with a list of related notes that you can browse easily.

It's like a huge file box of index cards, except that you can rearrange the cards any way you wish, then read only the ones that meet your criteria.

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It's like a huge file box of index cards, except that you can rearrange the cards any way you wish, then read only the ones that meet your criteria.

And unlike a huge file box of index cards which can only be arranged in one format, Evernote notes can be arranged in various formats because of the tags. The best example (IMO) is jefito's round, red ball scenario.

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I use an Index card app on my iPad to outline stories. A typical movie will have 40 cards. It is really helpful to move scenes around, to color code that this is a hero scene, a villain scene, B-story, etc. I don't really see a way to replicate the index card approach in Evernote (which would produce all sorts of cross-platform auto syncing joy). Any suggestions?

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