I have plenty of Evernote notes that I need to organize in my daily life. I also own a windows computer, the latest iPad, and iPhone. I clip articles with ranges of different topics such as digital marketing to WordPress. I get articles from Feedly, or I use the regular Evernote clipper chrome extension. I’ve been using Evernote since 2008, and back then, Evernote was simple. It now has evolved into something I can’t live without as more features are being added. Evernote is simply a generalized notebook system. It’s up to on how you use it based on your needs.
The way my brain works is this: I always have a different urge to organize all the things I have in my life through categories. I like seeing these categories in front of me because I can’t always remember the source of what I need. I can only remember what I’m trying to do if it’s right in front of me. Here is another analogy: There are people out there that if they forget their grocery list, they go through every aisle in the grocery store. That’s just how my brain works.
How I organize Evernote as a whole
I have what I call Main Notebooks. These notebooks are what helps me organize Evernote. These main notebooks consist of:
Categorize (AACategorize) – a place where I dump all new notes and clippings.
Ideas (AAIdeas) – Ideas I have randomly throughout the day.
Templates (AATemplates) – Evernote note templates, printables, excel sheets
To do (AATo_do) – notes that contain things I need to do.
Each of these notebooks has the letters AA at the beginning so that they shoot at the top of the notebooks list. All these notebooks are in one stack called AAStart Here.
Basically, you can name your notebooks however you want.
The Table of Contents Evernote Template
As mentioned earlier, I have note templates that are saved in my AATemplates notebook. One important template is the AATable of Contents template. Each notebook must have this note otherwise I will not know how or why a notebook exists
Explanation of the Table of Contents
Purpose – usually just one sentence. Examples: To keep all my notes from MGMT 302 in one place.
How to Organize – usually saying, “by alphabetical order” or “by date.”
Table of Contents – contains all the links of the notes.
Tag Information – How I organize tags in the notebook.
What my Table of Contents Note Looks like
The title helps me, as it stays up to the top of the list when I put them in alphabetical order. Whenever I search for a note, I search for it on the table of contents to check if I have saved the link or I sort my notes in alphabetical order.
A General Research Notebook
There are times we have to do research on a certain project or have a notebook with its main purpose is to collect articles from all over the internet. I used to have a massive, unorganized notebook filled with articles with different titles which don’t seem to reflect the content for each of the note as they are “optimized” to be click-worthy. In using the Evernote Web Clipper, I edit each note to be saved by:
My Evernote App Customized View
Like I mentioned before, I may not find what I’m looking for if it’s not right in front of me. This means that there needs to be a considerable amount of things in front of me, but I make sure that I’m not overloaded with data. Think of it as an entire a bookstore. The shelves are my books, while the book titles are my note titles. If you enter a library, you’ll see that each book on the shelf is closed so you can’t see what’s on the inside. If every book were open right in front of you when you walk in the bookstore, you’d go mad. That’s why, my view only shows the notebook name, date (when the note was created), and title.
My view is side list, with columns Created Date and Title respectively.
This photo shows all my notes being sorted. Have you noticed that none of the titles have numbers on them? I will tell you why in a few minutes…
There are times when I have to do research on a certain project or have a notebook with the main purpose of collecting articles from all over the internet. I used to have a massive, unorganized notebook filled with articles with different titles that don’t reflect the content for each note as article headlines nowadays are optimized to be “click-worthy.”
I tend to put all my notes in alphabetical order, so I make sure none of my note titles have a number on it. Leaving notes that begin with a number will shoot them at the top of the list whenever I put them in alphabetical order.
What it looks like in alphabetical order, without editing the titles. I can’t organize it because it starts with a number.
Examples of Titles with numbers:
3 Brilliant Copywriting Formulas
6 Great Resources to Learn about Social Selling
8 Quick and Dirty Website Persuasion
I usually rewrite them to:
Brilliant Copywriting Formulas
Resources to Learn about Social Selling
Quick and Dirty Website Persuasion
Why do I rewrite them that way? So that it’ll be easier to see. Check it out.
Now it looks a lot cleaner.
A Notebook Example
Below is a picture of what my Marketing stack looks like.
I name my notebooks with the stack name, dash, the name of the notebook.
Marketing is the name of the stack. Within those stacks, I have Affiliate, B2B, Content, Copywriting, Email, General, Guest Post Sites, Inbound, Local SEO, Mobile, SMM (Social Media), and Web design. The reason why I put Marketing then a dash is so that it’ll be easier for me to find them when using other applications.
One instance to where this becomes helpful is when I add a note from safari using my iOS device. Safari organizes the notes in alphabetical order, without showing the stack name. The notebooks show up like this:
This is what saving a webpage on safari looks like. All the Notebooks are in alphabetical order.
I hope this blog post helps you organize your Evernote notebooks and notes. If you haven’t gotten the chance to switch to pro, I would recommend that you do as Evernote has helped me organized my life.
How do you organize your Evernote? I’d love to learn how other people organize theirs. Let me know in the comments section.