10 Easy and Productive Evernote Tips

Evernote is a pretty powerful app that you can use in many ways on both the personal and business fronts. Simply put, Evernote can help you remember everything — but it can do much more.

But, before you jump down to see exactly what you can do, I would suggest that you pick one or two tips to try. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed and give up before you get started. So, be strategic about which tip you’ll test first.

Btw, there’s a free version of Evernote (referral link) so you won’t have to come out of pocket to give a few features a try.

10 Easy and Productive Ways to Use Evernote

Whether you’re just getting started using Evernote or have been looking for more productive ways to integrate it into your routine, check out the 10 easy-to-use Evernote tips below.

1. Remember the stuff you always forget

Use Evernote to collect things you use often, you know, the stuff that’s on the tip of your mind that often seems to slip out.

  • Phone numbers and addresses
  • HTML code (I do this!)
  • E-mail templates
  • Any content you want to tweet/post/share/read again

Pin this post to your Evernote board

2. Remember stuff when you’re “on the go”

While you’re out and about, use Evernote to capture information you don’t want to forget by taking a picture of them.

  • Your parking space (floor and space number)
  • Train map
  • Conference agenda
  • Flyer or business card on a bulletin board
  • Checklist of things you need do while you’re out and about (see #3 to find out how to create a checklist)

3. Collect your brain sparks

Sometimes your brain comes up with clever and innovative ideas. Don’t lose them! Evernote can help you collect all the stuff in your head. All of it.

  • Brain or idea dumps
  • Images (or image links) for your blog posts or other projects
  • Hand-drawn mind map (just take picture of it)
  • Handwritten notes
  • Audio notes or reminders

4. Manage projects

Use Evernote to track tasks related to your projects.

  • Create project task lists (insert checkboxes) to keep track of actions you need to take
  • Use reminders to alert you of task deadlines (scroll down to see how this works)
  • Use the Web Clipper to collect and/or share research findings
  • Group project tasks by category or milestone (create Stacks and nest related notebooks, like “Book Launch” or “New Website” <specific notebooks> under “Business Projects” <heading>)

5. Manage your pieces of paper

Love taking notes on paper? Are you enamored with sticky notes? Want to keep that drawing your child made for you?

  • Snap a picture of your handwritten notes (they’ll be searchable!), sticky notes, and drawings and toss the paper
  • Use the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine (affiliate link) to take notes and take photos of pages you want to send to Evernote (the pages are designed to be used specifically with Evernote and, of course, your notes will be searchable and shareable)

6. Share your notes

Drop things in Evernote that you want to share with your best peeps. You can share via Work Chat, e-mail, or social media.

Here are some ways you can share information:

  • Create notebooks for each one of your clients and share it with them as you collaborate
  • Create a notebook to collaborate with a colleague on a project
  • Share your favorite recipes with your bestie

Pin this post to your Evernote board

7.  Present your notes

Not a fan of slide decks? Maybe you just don’t want to transfer your notes in Evernote to slides (who can blame you?). That’s okay. You don’t have to. Instead, use the presentation feature for your next team meeting or speaking gig.

Btw, if you’re interested in trying out this feature, you’ll have to pull out your wallet for the Premium Plan (currently $69.99/year) or Business Plan (currently $12/user/month).

Source: Evernote

8. Keep in touch*

If you tend to get a lot of business cards, use Evernote Hello to scan them (Premium feature) and return the card to the owner or throw it in your recycle bin.

*Update: Evernote Hello has been retired. but you can still use the Evernote iOS or Android mobile app to scan business cards to your Evernote Premium or Business account.

9. Save important e-mails (Gmail)

I’ve already mentioned that you can use the Web Clipper to clip and store the data you find on the web. Did you know that you can use it to save e-mails?

Grab the messages that you don’t want “lose” in your inbox. Perhaps it’s an e-mail thread between you and the colleague you’re collaborating with. Or, maybe it’s your back and forth messages with a book publisher. Or, the action steps you sent your accountability partner.

Yeah, Evernote’s got you covered.

 10. Search for anything

One of the best things about Evernote IMHO is the powerful search feature. Not only will it save you a bit of time (no more endless sifting through files), you can even search for text inside:

  • Images (even images of handwritten notes!)
  • PDFs *
  • Office documents*
  • iWork documents*
  • Presentations*

You can also use Evernote’s advanced syntax search to drill down to precisely what you’re trying to find. How’s that for smarter, quicker searches?

*Premium and Business accounts only. Note: Evernote Business has all the features of the Premium plan and includes more options specifically for teams. Use this blog’s Evernote referral link see and compare all the plans.

Pin this post to your Evernote board

Bonus Evernote Tips!

Here are a few more Evernote tips (for a total of 13!) that will make the app easy for you:

11. Organize your notes

You can add a bit of customization to Evernote. Here are two easy ways to structure your notes so that they make sense to you.

  • Float notes to the top the notes pile. Keep your eye on your most used notebook by putting the “@” sign in front of your notebook name so that it jumps to the top of your Notebooks list. You can also use special characters or a period. Examples: “%ProjectX,” “@Recipes,” or “.Blog”
  • Use tags to organize related content. Tag notes to group similar topics together. For instance, you might have a notebook named “Blog Posts” that includes individual notes with the titles of each of your posts. Then, you could use tags to identify the related categories.

Here are some examples from the D. Allison Lee blog:

Notebook name: Blog Posts

Another benefit of grouping like topics together is that they’ll be easier to find. Simply search by tag.

12. Drag and drop files into Evernote

If you want to add a file to Evernote, you can quickly drag and drop files into a notebook from your desktop (Mac and Windows). Easy peasy!

13. Set reminders

One of the most helpful features is the ability to set reminders. If important tasks fall out of your brain from time to time, this will come in handy.

When you enable the reminder for a specific note, you’ll get an in-app alert or you can have an e-mail sent to your inbox on the day that the reminder is due.

Okay, that’s all for today. Don’t worry, though. Evernote is one of my favorite apps, so I’ll be back with more ways you can use it effectively.

Now, over to you. What are your easy tips for using Evernote to stay productive? Please share in the comments below.

Pin this post to your Evernote board

This post was written in July 2013 and updated July 2017.

Comments ( 11 )
  • Janet Barclay says:

    Thank you – I really needed this! I’ve only recently started using Evernote and am still trying to figure out what I can do with it. #9 is going to be especially useful as my To Do app on my laptop doesn’t sync too well with my phone, and the iPhone Reminders don’t sync with my (PC) laptop at all – this could be just the right solution for those random thoughts that pop into my head while I’m watching TV or am out and about.

  • Sabrina Quairoli says:

    Great tips, Deb. I love to collaborate with my admin clients this way. It helps give them and me a visual outlet and helps us get to the conclusion that much quicker.

    • Deb Lee says:

      Such a great point, Sabrina, about being more efficient. Lots of us need to see or visualize a project (and project steps) so that it can make sense. How long have you been using Evernote with your clients?

  • Stacey Agin Murray says:

    I ‘Heart’ Evernote! Life before Evernote was a sea of post-its and loose papers everywhere. Segments of my whole life–past, present and future is now in Evernote. Even the manuscript for my book is in Evernote! Can’t imagine life without it…

    I ‘Float’ my notes, too! I use an asterisk * to get them to the top and sometimes I even use two**.

    Thanks for sharing all these tips. I know I don’t use all of them. I’ll be bookmarking this post as a resource so I can learn to use what Evernote has to offer. 🙂

  • Deanna Friel says:

    Great article. Thank you for posting it. I really needed this! I’ve only recently started using Evernote and am still trying to figure out what I can do with it. #9 is going to be especially useful as my To Do app on my laptop doesn’t sync too well with my phone, and the iPhone Reminders don’t sync with my (PC) laptop at all – Because it gave me the answers I was looking for – after scouring the Net for who knows how many hours.

  • Erin Dana says:

    Loved the article Deb — I’m a big Evernote fan who uses it for pretty much everything in my business.

    Did feel there was one critical piece missing: Evernote’s templates and workflows.

    Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. Evernote has the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time.

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