Tag Archives: evernote

Evernote Post-It Notes – Crazy Like A Fox?

Evernote Post-It NotesI have to admit that when Evernote announced their partnership with 3M and released Evernote-branded Post-It notes, I thought it was more than a little goofy.

Post-It notes? Really? I am not a sticky note person myself, but I know many people are. What is so wrong with normal Post-It notes that there needs to be a special Evernote version?

I was happily living my life ignoring these products, until I attended a few conferences and talked to people who use them all the time and they all seemed to really like them.

I decided it is time to try them out for myself, so I ordered a pack on Amazon (they are a bit cheaper there). I decided to buy the 4-pack because it comes with three months of Evernote Premium.

I also decided to test it with non-Evernote sticky notes. More on that below.

Evernote Post-It Notes

Why Are These Post-It Notes Evernote-y?

As far as the products themselves go, there is nothing too different about them. You use them like you would any sticky note (I assume you know how to do that).

The key is the four colors that the notes come in. You might call them blue, pink, green, and yellow, but you would be wrong. In fact, they are “Electric Blue”, “Neon Pink”, “Limeade”, and “Electric Yellow”.

The magic happens in the Evernote mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. They have a special Post-It camera mode that is specially designed to recognize Post-It notes.

You use the Evernote app, put it in Post-It mode, and take the picture.

Evernote Post-It Camera

The Evernote app will recognize the sticky note, clean up the image, and create a nice looking note in Evernote for you.

Evernote Post-It Yellow Note

Post-It Automation

That’s interesting and all, but many apps will auto-detect the edges of a document and clean up the image. Big deal.

This is where the special Evernote Post-It colors come in. Buried in the settings of the Evernote mobile app[1], you can have Evernote take actions based on the color of the Post-It.

Evernote Post-It Note Rules

For each color, you can have the note automatically go to a certain notebook, add a certain tag, and/or create a reminder.

Evernote Post-It Automation Rule

For example, in this screenshot I had all four colors set to go to a Sketches notebook, and for Limeade (aka “green”) notes I asked it to tag it with Project4.

Evernote Post-It Notes Tagged

Capture Quality

Whenever I have seen the Evernote Post-It Notes online, the examples have always been written/drawn with big chunky black marker.

I decided to try it with a blue ball-point on an “Electric Blue” Post-It.

Evernote Post-It Blue Ballpoint

It turned out surprisingly well. If the text looks a little sketchy, that is due to my pen running low on ink and not due to Evernote’s app.

What About Normal Sticky Notes?

I know what you are thinking – do you need to use special Evernote-branded Post-Its?

I wondered that too, so I gave it a try.

First I tried a “normal” yellow sticky note. No electricity here.

Evernote Normal Yellow Sticky

The Post-It camera did crop and clean up the image, but even though it is yellow, apparently the yellow is not “Electric” enough. It didn’t move it to the Sketches notebook and it did not tag it.

I was at the dollar store and noticed this pack of off-brand sticky notes that look suspiciously like Electric Yellow and Neon Pink.

evernote-postits-dollar-store

 

Would the Evernote Post-It camera recognize a $1.29 CAD 2-pack? Let’s find out.

Evernote Sticky Yellow
Evernote Sticky Pink

Amazingly, the Evernote app on iOS does see these dollar store sticky notes as Electric Yellow and Neon Pink and files them away. Wow!

I Am Almost A Believer

As I said earlier, I am not really a “post-it note guy”. I mostly make notes digitally or in my Wipebook.

I still think the idea of Evernote-branded Post-Its is a little goofy, but I have to admit that the execution is excellent.

If you are someone who uses sticky notes and you are an Evernote user, it may be worth giving it a try (again, it is cheaper on Amazon). The free Evernote Premium months make it almost worth it if you don’t stumble across a dollar store find like I did.


  1. On iOS, at the time of writing tap on the gear icon near the top, go to General, then Camera, then Post-It Notes.  ↩
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Evernote Premium Users: Share Notebooks With Non-Premium Users

Evernote PouringEvernote is a great way to store information for your own reference, but it becomes even more powerful when you use it to share with others.

Sharing is easy to do, but it becomes slightly complicated because there are different types of Evernote accounts:

  • Free: Self-explanatory.
  • Premium: Additional storage, sharing ability, and other features. $5 USD a month or $45/year.
  • Business: Additional features for businesses who want more administrative control.

A common question that comes up is how sharing works between different types of accounts. Can Free members share with Premium members? Are the notebooks read-only or can they be edited?

This post will run through some of the permutations.

What This Post Does Not Cover

  • Sharing individual notes: Any account can create a link to share an individual note with others. That’s not what we’re talking about here – we are only going to cover sharing entire notebooks.
  • Evernote Business: We won’t be getting into sharing business notebooks here. We’ll only be talking about sharing Evernote notebooks between Premium and Free users.

Sharing Notebooks From Free Users

Free Evernote users can share notebooks with Premium users and other Free users.

There has been a notable change in behavior recently (as far as I am aware).

Previously, Free users could only share notebooks and have them be read-only.

Now it appears that Free users can share one notebook and allow other users to view and modify notes.

For example, here you can see that I am using a Free user to share a notebook with another Free user. I am able to allow the recipient to View notes and activity and Modify notes.

Evernote Free User Sharing First Notebook To Modify

Now when logged in using the recipient’s account, I am able to modify the note and those changes are synchronized back to all users.

Evernote Free Shared Notebook Modified

When I try to share a second notebook, I can still share it, but the recipient will only be able to view the notebook contents and will not be able to make changes.

Evernote Free User Sharing Second Notebook Read Only

Sharing Notebooks From Premium Users

When you are an Evernote Premium user, you can share a notebook with anyone (Free or Premium) and give them the ability to view or modify notes.

Evernote Premium User Sharing Notebook

In this example, a Free user added a note to my Premium-shared Recipes notebook.

Evernote Premium Notebook Note Created By Free

So there you go: Premium users can share notebooks with anyone, and allow anyone to modify them. Free users can also share notebooks with anyone, but can only create one notebook that can be modified by others.

(Photo by Heisenberg Media)

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Going Paperless With Evernote Webinar Replay

Going Paperless With EvernoteLast week, I did six (!) webinars with Steve Dotto on Going Paperless with Evernote.

Steve has now put the replay online along with the bonus materials that I developed and the chat logs from a few of the chat sessions. You guys ask some great questions.

Click here for the Going Paperless with Evernote replay.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Doing the webinars was a lot of fun. If you have suggestions for other topics, feel free to let me know.

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Make Direct Evernote Note Links Again

LinksA few months ago, Evernote made a change to the way note links work when they are copied and pasted outside of Evernote.

A note link is a special link that will go directly to one of your Evernote notes. This can be helpful if you want to go directly to one of your notes from another application (for example, a calendar or to-do app).

Many power users were up in arms about this change, because when you click on one of these new note links, the note now opens in your browser in the web version of Evernote (https:// links for you nerds out there).

The previous behavior was to open the note directly in whichever Evernote application was installed on the computer or mobile device (aka evernote:// links). For example, the table of contents in my most recent newsletter issue is made up of evernote:// links.

Some may like this new change, but I am among those that do not. Thankfully, Jason Frasca put together a guide to creating note links as our forefathers did: Open Evernote Note Links Directly On The Desktop Again.

If you are like me and like to work exclusively from the desktop you have found this change to be frustrating.

So I tracked down the old Classic Note Links to force your Evernote Notes to open on the desktop directly.

Great tip.

(Photo by John)

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Going Paperless With Evernote Webinar

Going Paperless With EvernoteReaders of the DocumentSnap newsletter will know that I have been talking about doing an Evernote webinar for more than a year.

I’m happy to say that it is finally going to happen, and best of all, it is going to be totally free.

You can learn more and sign up here.

There is a huge amount of interest in going paperless with Evernote, so I have teamed up with technology host Steve Dotto to put on this webinar where we’ll take you through everything you need to know to do it successfully.

We are going to be doing the webinar six (!) times to make sure that there is a time that almost everyone can make. Here are the dates:

Thursday June 5 2014, 10am PST
Thursday June 5 2014, 1pm PST
Thursday Jun 5 2014, 7pm PST
Friday Jun 6 2014, 10am PST
Friday Jun 6 2014, 1pm PST
Saturday Jun 7 2014, 9am PST

I’m really excited about this, especially because Steve and I have agreed that there isn’t going to be any charge or sales pitch at the end the way there is with many free webinars. This one is 100% content. I hope to see you there.

Click here to learn more and reserve your space in the webinar.

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How To Automate Evernote

How To Automate EvernoteA few weeks ago, a gentleman named Kosio Angelov contacted me about a new book he has released that takes you through how to “automate Evernote, save boat loads of time, and make your life easier and more organized”.

Nothing like a modest claim. On the flight down to Macworld I finally had to read it on my iPad, and it is quite good. Kosio’s book is called How To Automate Evernote.[1]

It is a quick read (76 pages) without a bunch of filler. I like how it is broken down between universal tips, Mac tips, and Windows tips. That way you don’t need to waste your time with tips that don’t apply to you.

If you are a super Evernote power user already, there are a lot of things you will be familiar with, but my test for these types of books is “did I learn something new?”

I’m happy to learn that I did pick up some ideas that I hadn’t thought of doing before. There’s some clever stuff in there, especially around calendars and import folders.

You can learn much more about How To Automate Evernote on Kosio’s site. It’s $7, so whether that is worth it to you depends on how much you want to supercharge Evernote.


  1. That’s a referral link by the the way. If you pick up the book you’ll be buying me a coffee so thank you.  ↩

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How To Scan Business Cards With Evernote iPhone And Add To Your Contacts

Evernote iPhoneThe Evernote iPhone app recently added the ability to scan business cards and create a note with the information from the card.

Did you know that you can have the information automatically added to your phone’s contacts?

The option is a little buried, so this video shows how to set it up.

View the video below, or click here to watch it on YouTube. If you are able to, I recommend that you watch it with HD turned on.

This video on scanning business cards in Evernote is part of a series of quick videos on paperless tips and topics. View more in the series here.

(Photo by Heisenberg Media)

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How To Move Evernote Database To A New Computer

Evernote ProjectorSo you are an Evernote user and you want to move your database to a new computer. Maybe you’re moving from Windows to Windows or Mac to Mac, or maybe you’re switching to an entirely new platform.

Moving Evernote can be easy, but there are some things you should think about before you start to make sure that you don’t lose data.

Evernote Web Users

A surprising number of Evernote users only use Evernote via the website. In fact, in many cases people don’t even know there is software you can install.

If that is you, everything you need is already stored on Evernote’s servers. Just start using Evernote via your web browser on the new computer, and you are good to go. The most you may need to do is create a new shortcut.

Mac Or Windows Users – Synchronized Notebooks Only

If you are a Mac or Windows user and all of your notebooks are synchronized, it means that they are on Evernote’s servers already. There are ways you can move your data over to a new computer (more on that later), but by far the easiest way to go is:

  1. On the old computer, make sure all your notes are synchronized. If need be, hit the Sync button.
  2. On the new computer, Go to the Download page on the Evernote website and install the Mac or Windows client.
  3. When you log in with your userID and password, all your notes will synchronize down to your new computer. If you have a large database, this might take a while.
  4. You’re good to go!

Mac Or Windows Users With Local Notebooks

If you have some or all of your data in local notebooks, it means that they are not synchronized to Evernote’s servers, which means that the data exists only on your computer.

In other words, if you are going to lose data when moving to a new computer, it is probably going to be in these local notebooks.

One option is to move over your Evernote data files entirely (more on that later), but Evernote’s recommended way to go is the following:

  1. Follow the instructions above to migrate your synchronized notebooks to your new computer.
  2. On your old computer, right-click on each Notebook and choose Export Notes. Save in ENEX format, and if you are asked, check to preserve tags. Save to a thumb drive, Dropbox, or whatever method you have to copy the files over to the new computer. It would be nice if you could just export all your local notes in one shot, but unfortunately the ENEX format doesn’t preserve the notebook structure. You need to make one ENEX for each Notebook.
  3. Rinse and repeat for each local notebook.
  4. On your new computer, go to File > Import Notes. It might have slightly different terminology depending on whether you are on Mac or Windows.
  5. Import the ENEX files one by one. You may need to rename the Notebook afterwards, as it puts the word “Import” before the name.
  6. You’re done!

Note: If you use internal note links, this method won’t work. You’ll need to move the data files (see next section). If you have no idea what internal note links are, you don’t need to worry about it.

Moving Data Files

It is possible to move the Evernote data files. I typically don’t recommend this unless you really know what you are doing, because you can mess things up.

However, if you really want to…

Windows

The Windows Evernote database is contained in one big file called username.exb. Of course, replace with your own user name.

There are many Evernote forum threads describing the process of moving the database to a new location. Here is one of them, and here are the instructions from user Wenn:

  1. In EN go to Tools > Option > Open database folder.

  2. Copy the username.exb file and store it somewhere on your harddisk (or stick)

  3. Install EN on your new computer

  4. Do step 1 again (on your new computer) and replace the username.exb file with your backup.

  5. Disable internet and Open EN

  6. Check if these are the notes you require and then sync.

Mac

The Mac database is a bit trickier, because the location of the database depends on where you downloaded Evernote from.

Here is an Evernote forum thread which describes where the Mac files are stored. As user Metrodon says:

If you downloaded directly it’s in ~/Library/Application Support/Evernote
If you downloaded from the app store it’s here ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote
And, if you have an iMac with a fusion drive, it might be here
/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote/account//

Install Evernote on the new computer, quit the app, rename or move the existing folder, and then copy over the folder above from the old computer.

Do A Test

If you still have your old computer, compare note counts and do some random testing of notes to make sure things have moved over correctly. The greater the percentage of notebooks you have synchronized, the easier all this will be.

(Photo by othree)

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Evernote Descriptive Search

Evernote Descriptive SearchI am a heavy Evernote user, and my primary way to find the note or document that I am looking for is to use the software’s search functionality.

It has always worked very well, but the syntax has always been slightly arcane. If you knew the magic words you could get what you were looking for, but it was just something else you needed to learn.

I was elated and surprised to see the release of Descriptive Search, which for now is only on the Mac platform but I assume will be coming to Windows soon.

The company did a blog post describing it, but even more useful is this knowledge base article which gives some more examples.

If you’re not sure what Descriptive Search is, it is the company’s attempt to translate plain English (for now) searches into Evernote searches.

For example, one of the biggest wins is how easy it is to find notes that contain a PDF. Previously you had to do some pretty wacky search syntax, but now it is as easy as typing notes with pdf.

Evernote Descriptive Search PDF

This is a fantastic addition to Evernote, and I am sure it will get even better over time. If you’ve tried it, how is it working out for you?

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Fix For ScanSnap Evernote Failed to start up Evernote for Mac Message

Failed to start up Evernote for MacAt the moment, a number of people are having problems using the Fujitsu ScanSnap’s built-in “Scan To Evernote (Document)” functionality. I’ve received many emails, the forums have a number of complaints, and the people who are hit by the issue are getting the following error message:

Scan To Evernote (Document)
Failed to start up Evernote for Mac.

Make sure that the selected application is installed correctly.

For some, a bit of voodoo-like rebooting or re-installing appears to have fixed the issue, but for others nothing has helped.

I stumbled across this blog post by software developer Aaron Douglas: Fix ScanSnap on Mac not opening Evernote properly. In it, he figures out what exactly is wrong and how to fix it (at least until the next Evernote update).

Turns out Evernote is broken. EvernoteHelper.app is an embedded application that runs while Evernote is running (or while it’s in the background) and if you’re set to English, its name is the same as the main Evernote application. Technically, the CFBundleName is being overridden in the InfoPlist.strings file.

If you have no idea what you just read, don’t worry about it. Check out his blog post for the step-by-step instructions. It’s slightly technical, but not too too bad.

One note: awesome DocumentSnap reader Jeff Knouse pointed out on Twitter that in Step 2, you need to be careful to select the entire string all the way to the end. It might not be obvious that there is more that you don’t initially see.

Did this tip work for you? Please leave a report in the comments.

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