Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Clear Advice - Maybe not.

In a comment on my post, Google Docs and Evernote, Chris said "Now this is interesting. But it wasn't till you said you'd dropped Delicious in favour of Evernote that I really sat up and listened and was moved to comment!

Have been wondering what everyone raves about evernote for. Haven't had time to really dig into it and how to use it but REALLY want to move on from Delicious without losing all those filed urls. Have you got a suggestion for some good clear advice on the uses of Evernote and getting the best out of it?

Many thanks Chris".

I don't know that I am equipped to give clear advice but I will certainly expand on my use of  Evernote for Chris and anyone else who may be interested.



Firstly I have Evernote installed on four devices and I use it on each of them.

On my laptop and netbook I have installed the Evernote for Windows program which gives me the ability to have all of my notebooks accessible should I find myself without an internet connection. This application synchronises via the internet with the Evernote apps I have on my Android devices. I also have the Evernote web clipper extension installed on my Chrome browser on the two computers. Additionally I can access my Evernote notebooks by logging in to my account on the Evernote website.

On my Android phone (new Galaxy S3) and tablet (old Galaxy Tab) I installed the Evernote app from the Google playstore. Providing I have an internet connection these seem to sync whever I open them I also have the Android Dolphin Browser Evernote addon installed on my tablet (but I don't use it much).

Having Evernote available on all of my devices enables me to access my Notebooks (Folders) and Notes (files) from each of them. If I find myself devoid of a device I can log into the website from a foreign computer and see my stuff. 

Evernote's catchcry is "Rememember Everything: Capture Anything, Access Anywhere, Find Things Fast". As an avid collector of information and trivia I need help for my failing memory; my cerebral storage facility has reached capacity; Evernote provides me with the crutch that I need.

Ditching Delicious where I had several thousand links stored was not a decision I took lightly but I was aware that I had stuff stored in all sorts of places and Evernote gave me an opportunity to bring all sorts of media together in one big virtual filing cabinet.

There was no easy way to import my Delicious links into Evernote so I imported them into Google Bookmarks and am slowly evaluating whether they are as valuable as I thought when I saved them five or six years ago. Those that I deem worthy of saving I save into Evernote.

My advice (which doesn't fit into the clear department) is to play, explore and read what others who have been Evernote disciples longer then me have to say. Denise Barrett Olsen of the Moultrie Creek Gazette is a genealogist who has written quite a bit about Evernote. Other devotees are Thomas MacEntee of Hi-Definition Genealogy and Lorine McGinnis Schulze of The Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. If you can find a webinar about Evernote sign up for it and also take a look at the slides from this presentation at Rootstech 2012.

I did not start using Evernote seriously until several months after I installed it.So what have I saved into my Evernote notebooks? Lots of genealogy related bits and pieces and a few personal things. These are all tagged and some are annotated. 

My Evernote for Windows Homepage
Evernote on Android Screen Dump
Two of my notebooks,  Genealogy and Technology  (the ones with genealogy related information), are public and the others are private. 

Some of the things I have in the Genealogy notebook are web links (just like Delicious), handwritten notes to myself, pictures of books that I come across in my travels and want to remember, personal notes to myself when a thought appears (I need to grab these), articles from newspapers, .pdf files, newspaper clippngs, handouts from talks, lots of links to blogs, text from selected blog posts and screen dumps of some Twitter, Google+ and Blog posts for use in my presentations. Many people use Evernote to take notes at presentations and it is eminently suitable for this - I just happen to use Google Docs for this purpose. I haven't made my audio files public (yet).

The things in my Technology folder are similar but there are lost of links to howtos and guides to the various apps I use for genealogy purposes.

I find that because I have tagged all of these things with my terms I can retrieve them quickly. I guess I look like a bit of a Smart Alec when I whip out my smartphone to get and share details of a resource. It's not that I am smart - it is Evernote that makes me appear smart.

1 comment:

Chris said...

As the aforementioned Chris I'm REALLY appreciative of these insights!!

You've definitely got me inspired though I'm appalled at the thought of having to go through all my Delicious bookmarks. Mine are in the thousands as well though mine are all tagged so that might help!

Think I'll ask around and see if anyone can recommend a simpler way to get them into Evernote!!

Thank you so much for writing up this terrific review. Much appreciated!

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