1. Take advantage of Evernote’s organization levels: notes, notebooks and stacks.
By using notes, notebooks and stacks to sort your data, you can optimize Evernote’s organization capacity. Some obvious possibilities for setting up your genealogy note-keeping scheme include:
- by record type: Set up notebooks for censuses, vital records, etc.
- by family branch: You could have a stack for each of your four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, or 16 great-great-grandparents.
- by activity or project: See the sidebars on pages 25 and 26.
2. Never miss a beat with reminders.
3. Track your data with tags.
To create a tag, open the note you wish to tag and navigate to the little tag icon at the top of your Notes screen C. Type in the name of the tag you want (tags can’t contain commas). You can also create tags without opening a note: Click on the Tags link on the left side of the Evernote screen, then click the + New Tag button at the top.
Evernote automatically searches the titles and text content of notes, so you won’t need to create tags with words or phrases that are already within the text. Rather, use tags for cross-referencing, analyzing and grouping similar notes together. Consider adding these types of tags:
- record type, such as census or death
- surnames, including variant spellings of family names
- ancestral locations
- repositories holding records related to your research
- “to-do” research tasks
4. Check off research tasks with to-do lists.
5. Trim your search time using Shortcuts and Recent Notes.
6. See your data differently.
Part of staying organized in Evernote is figuring out the right way to view your data. Screen views are like bathing suits: You have to try them on to see which one fits you best. To change your view, either choose View from the top menu and make your selection, or click the View icon at the top of your note list G. You have five choices:
- Snippet View (the default): The first two or three lines of text are presented in rectangular boxes and sorted by month last updated, with the full note to the right.
- Card View: The first two or three lines of text are presented in square boxes and sorted by month last updated, with the full note to the right.
- Expanded Card View: The notes are sorted and displayed as they are in Card View, but more notes are visible at once, and the full note isn’t on the right.Side List View: Only the notes’ Date Updated and Title are listed, with the full note to the right.
- Top List View: The notes’ Date Created, Title, Date Updated, Size and Tags appear at the top of the note, with the full content of the note beneath.
You might find that you prefer a certain view depending on the notes you’re looking at. For example, you might get the best look at a text-heavy note by using the Snippet or Card View. Within each view, you can also sort notes by Title, Date Created, Date Updated, Source URL and Size, giving you more flexibility in viewing your data.
While its bread and butter may be text notes, Evernote offers powerful tools that can aid you in your never-ending quest to finding ancestors. The app, like Evernote’s elephant mascot, never forgets, making it an invaluable companion for genealogists of all skill levels.
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Guide to genealogy apps for mobile devices
Toolkit: How to Web Clip with Evernote
Quick Guide: Evernote vs. Microsoft OneNote
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Tutorial: Note-Taking and Organizing With Evernote
Organize Your Research With Evernote webinar