Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Do I note everything in Evernote?

Evernote ( is a great program that is supposed to save everything in the world to one place and have it at your fingertips. It's the newest piece of software that I've tried, and so far, I'm liking it. I have the app on my phone, and the program on my laptop. I bit the bullet for the premium account, since it allows for more uploads and I haven't yet hit my limit. I find that the most useful thing that I've been able to do so far is to take pictures of documents on my phone and save them directly into the correct "Notebook" on my Evernote account and after I "sync," I then have the photos added to my laptop files in the right client files.

For now, I'm mostly using it as a research log for various client projects. If I'm at a particular repository working on a surname, I'll save images of various documents into a file, and then have that file or "note" put into a notebook. I can then annotate the note with citation information, and highlight significant areas of the document with arrows or notes. The date the note was created is supplied directly to the note so you know when you looked at the materials (hence it's usefulness as a research log).

It's very simple to use, and it helps me stay organized. Probably one of the most useful research log-type features is the ability to create a note directly from a website. You can just make note of part of the site or the whole thing, which makes creating citations a lot easier, since you have the web address as well as the date you accessed it automatically added to the note. It allows me to put all my notes for one research project into one file including web searches, textual notes, and images of documents. You can tag the type of note it is to allow searching when you have bazillions of notes. I've been categorizing things by surname, first name, record type and location so far. I may add tags as I continue such as repository tags (so I know where I was), and I'm always looking for helpful suggestions.

There are a ridiculous number of ways that I've been using it (including for types of cheese I want to try) and I'm sure that I'm not even maximizing its value for a professional researcher. That's why I plan to attend Lisa Louise Cook's Evernote talk at the FGS/RootsTech conference coming up in Salt Lake City in February (

Next time, I'll talk about the latest social media site that I use primarily for my personal life, though am thinking about leveraging for research, Instagram.

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