Jump to content
Jenni Lathrop

craft How do you organize your notebooks?

Recommended Posts

I'm always trying to find ways to make my Evernote organization better. I have about a dozen main notebooks and a lot of stacks. I've also taken to naming conventions to keep things organized (i.e. "Patterns," "Techniques" and "General") but I'm not loving that format (things are still tricky to find!) and I think there has to be better ways.

What are ways you have found to keep track of your life—especially your crafty life—in Evernote? How do you use tags, notebooks, stacks, titles and/or body copy to find easily keep and find what you need at your fingertips?

Share this post


Link to post

Here are two previous posts describing what works best for me:

I chose keywords in titles over tags because title is more visible, regardless of the Evernote client you are using. I also didn't want to worry about the issue of tag maintenance, etc.

Me too. I think people new to Evernote have a tendency to over tag (I did) and not utilize the EN search engine. I have hundreds of documents in my EN & almost never tag them. But I'm diligent about using an accurate title. I always include the date of the bill/letter in YYYYMMDD format as well as the company or the name of the sender/recipient (if it's something I sent). So if I need to find the Cox cable bill from May of 2007, I'd simply do this search:

intitle:cox 200705*

and boom...out of thousands of notes, the one note I'm looking for pops up, no matter what notebook it was in. And no tags involved.

I find it too easy to get caught up in the process of organizing things, getting it just right, filing everything precisely. For me, that ends up being a big time sink.

I agree that can happen. Another reason I don't like using too many tags or worry about which notebook to put something in. (Although I do use more notebooks than some of the other heavy users.)

And I think it's probably easier if someone has background in organizing physical papers/notes/documents before jumping into Evernote b/c I think it's too easy for someone to blame EN (or any digital organization tool, perhaps) b/c they can't find something. OTOH, if you've been filing paper for a while, sooner or later you realize you need to have structure in your organization so that you always know to look for your AT&T cell phone bill under "AT&T" rather than "telephone" or "cell phone". Or however you decide to file it. It just needs to be consistent or else you spend time looking for something you already "filed."

I think this post by John Pierce (jmpsfs) is accurate & well thought out & applicable to this thread, too. (I Evernoted it.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Me too. I think people new to Evernote have a tendency to over tag (I did) and not utilize the EN search engine. I have hundreds of documents in my EN & almost never tag them. But I'm diligent about using an accurate title. I always include the date of the bill/letter in YYYYMMDD format as well as the company or the name of the sender/recipient (if it's something I sent). So if I need to find the Cox cable bill from May of 2007, I'd simply do this search:

intitle:cox 200705*

and boom...out of thousands of notes, the one note I'm looking for pops up, no matter what notebook it was in. And no tags involved.

Finally after reading 5435 of your posts Ms. Fries - I can finally use one of your suggestions on a daily basis :D

Excuse the sarcasm- I'm a bit of a wise guy. Keep on posting and doing what you do. This really is helpful.

Share this post


Link to post

Here are two previous posts describing what works best for me:

I chose keywords in titles over tags because title is more visible, regardless of the Evernote client you are using. I also didn't want to worry about the issue of tag maintenance, etc.

Me too. I think people new to Evernote have a tendency to over tag (I did) and not utilize the EN search engine. I have hundreds of documents in my EN & almost never tag them. But I'm diligent about using an accurate title. I always include the date of the bill/letter in YYYYMMDD format as well as the company or the name of the sender/recipient (if it's something I sent). So if I need to find the Cox cable bill from May of 2007, I'd simply do this search:

intitle:cox 200705*

and boom...out of thousands of notes, the one note I'm looking for pops up, no matter what notebook it was in. And no tags involved.

I find it too easy to get caught up in the process of organizing things, getting it just right, filing everything precisely. For me, that ends up being a big time sink.

I agree that can happen. Another reason I don't like using too many tags or worry about which notebook to put something in. (Although I do use more notebooks than some of the other heavy users.)

And I think it's probably easier if someone has background in organizing physical papers/notes/documents before jumping into Evernote b/c I think it's too easy for someone to blame EN (or any digital organization tool, perhaps) b/c they can't find something. OTOH, if you've been filing paper for a while, sooner or later you realize you need to have structure in your organization so that you always know to look for your AT&T cell phone bill under "AT&T" rather than "telephone" or "cell phone". Or however you decide to file it. It just needs to be consistent or else you spend time looking for something you already "filed."

I think this post by John Pierce (jmpsfs) is accurate & well thought out & applicable to this thread, too. (I Evernoted it.)

How come when I click on the John Pierce link it just brings me back to the opening evernote discussion home page?

Share this post


Link to post

How come when I click on the John Pierce link it just brings me back to the opening evernote discussion home page?

Hopefully someone who knows for sure will see this, but I wonder if that is a link to the old forums which are going away so it just brings you to the default location.

Share this post


Link to post

I went searching through some of jmpsfs' notes and unfortunately couldn't pull up the specific one. Will have to rely on BNF to pop back in if she still has it Evernoted somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post

How come when I click on the John Pierce link it just brings me back to the opening evernote discussion home page?

Sorry, I didn't notice this earlier... It takes you to the main page because that's a link from the old, now defunct, message board. As Jenni said, any broken links now go to the main page.

if she still has it Evernoted somewhere.

You know it! (Glad I screen capped them - gives me some words to search for on the new board!)

Here's the post on the new message board. Click the icon in the top left of the quote to go to the full thread.

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Psssst.... there is no truth to the rumor that BnF has the entire old forum Evernote'd... I think...

Share this post


Link to post

Psssst.... there is no truth to the rumor that BnF has the entire old forum Evernote'd... I think...

Now you know why I go through so much upload each month...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Tags are another step so I rarely use them. I do wish Evernote had better organizing tools for notebooks. As things change I want to reorganize Notebooks and sub-notebooks but Evernote seems to make this difficult. Guess I have to bite the bullet and add a bunch of new locations, move a whole lot of notes one at a time and delete the old notebooks and stacks and rename the new ones. Evernote is supposed to be about organizing information but maybe it is time to move on?

Share this post


Link to post

Tags are another step so I rarely use them. I do wish Evernote had better organizing tools for notebooks. As things change I want to reorganize Notebooks and sub-notebooks but Evernote seems to make this difficult. Guess I have to bite the bullet and add a bunch of new locations, move a whole lot of notes one at a time and delete the old notebooks and stacks and rename the new ones. Evernote is supposed to be about organizing information but maybe it is time to move on?

 

Im going to have to reorganise EN too, which is daunting. But I dont think its EN's fault, read up on reviews and comparisons, I did and it helped. Also this page has helped heaps, if only to find what not to do (that isnt working for me), eg overtagging. I think OneNote seems to be good too, and works for some people better. Im having problems with it at the moment, but I want to use both eventually.

Share this post


Link to post

This is an older thread, but I am using Evernote more every day.  My notes now number over 1,000 and I have started using it for taxes.  I agree that tagging can be less frustrating that multiple notebooks and I will try to reduce the number of notebooks I maintain.  However, there is one drawback to limited notebooks: sharing.  I can email a single note, but I cannot email a collection of tagged notes.  I can share an entire notebook.  This has been very useful for taxes.  I place my secured documents in a shared folder and share that folder with my CPA.  

 

It does appear to me that you could load your taxes into a common notebook, tag them "Taxes 2013," and then move them to a temporary notebook for sharing.  

 

The main problem I find is too many returned notes when I forget the correct search term.  More practice may make perfect, but this is my view.

 

Now, I am using the ScanSnap scanner.  It is zero frustration and worth the expense to me, but it does move common document to a common notebook that later needs to be sorted with tags or moved to another notebook.  Still, it is the best solution I have found so far.

Share this post


Link to post

Roddy, thank you for posting and for mentioning what you've learned by reading through older threads. That's how I learned to use EN as well, and still do when I have new questions or problems.

This seems like such an obvious thing for new or casual users to do, but all too often people can't seem to be bothered and come onto the forum asking such basic questions that it's obvious they not computer illiterate, just too lazy to try finding the answer for themselves. Wanting, and often even expecting, other users to do the work for them....knowing this is a Users Forum where no-one is paid!

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind answering questions when I can. I've certainly asked plenty myself. But I do get more than a little annoyed with users who think their time and effort is worth more than everyone else's. Especially when they are free users like me.

Okay, mini rant over. But again, thank you for your informative post!

Share this post


Link to post

how do you save your data to computer ? pen and paper is looking more and more  likely  :)

Share this post


Link to post

I strongly suggest you create you own thread on this one, and that you move it to the General section, with a good descriptive title. It would greatly enhance your chance of faster help! Also, in your post, *clearl* state what your problem or question is. Also, state what client(s) (devices(s) their matching EN app. i.e., Mac, Windows Desktop or Touch, Android, iPad, etc.

Cheers!

how do you save your data to computer ? pen and paper is looking more and more likely :)

Share this post


Link to post

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...