Saturday, November 28, 2015

EVERNOTE ~ How it keeps my genealogy organized

Evernote logo

I don’t know about you, but I use Evernote every single day.  Not just for my genealogy items, but for travel, gardening, recipes, receipts and more.  But we are here to talk about one way that I use it to keep track of genealogy items I need to return to.

This morning I was clearing my PC desktop of a few items that I had saved there for easy access.  I don’t like my desktop to be cluttered, so I try very hard to keep items to a minimum. That is true of both my PC desktop and my real desktop.
Here is a view of what my PC desktop looked like this morning.


At least half of those items need to be moved.  I’ve circled all that need to go.  My desktop will look much better by this afternoon.

desktop with circles

Of course it’s never just one, two, three.  Because the first item I went to was the little icon that is only identified as Img_0555.


I opened it up and it turned out to be a document about a possible ancestor who served during the Revolutionary War.

TIP:  Don’t do what I did when I saved this image.  I did not note where it came from.  As a result I began by going online and trying to find this image and other information about Joseph Thorp from Livingston County, Connecticut.

I found quite a bit of information in a book I located on Google books, but I don’t want to work on that particular project this morning.  This book is viewable in part, on Google books, but is still in copyright as it was published in 1932.  Therefore, I cannot download a copy.


This is when I find Evernote invaluable.

I created a note titled “Book About the Revolutionary War Records of Fairfield, CT.” 

In it, I have put notes and links so that I can return to this information and take the time to record it.

Click here to see the note I created

I currently have 2393 notes in Evernote.  I am a premium subscriber because I want to support the company.  I rarely use the upload limit available to me, but for $5 a month I like knowing I have that option.

What other types of things have I saved to Evernote that might be valuable to us as researchers?  Here are some examples from my own notes in Evernote.

Examples of Old German Handwriting and Type and a page from a yearbook that was sent to me by a cousin.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150819 230725 CULVER  1920   1

How about a newspaper article I found about my 1st cousin 4x removed marriage in 1855?  Or a list of members of the 105th infantry from the Civil War listing one of my Gillen ancestors?

17661-0   resource
I also use Evernote to keep track of all correspondence to and from cousin connections.  I found it very difficult to keep track of which contact was connected to which surname or family.  Now that they are all collected in Evernote and tagged with the surname connections, it’s very easy.  I can either forward the email to Evernote or copy and paste the text of the email or message into a note.
Tagging is the key to everything in using Evernote.

There are SO many other ways I use Evernote on a daily basis.  How do you use it?
There are many YouTube videos and books about using Evernote.  There is even a Facebook group that I belong to where we share our tips with one another. The group is Evernote Genealogists.

I look forward to hearing from you about how or if you use Evernote.


Evernote - A Very Useful and Free Tool to Help You Organize Genealogy and Everything Else

Facebook - How It Can Be Very Useful in Your Research

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2015   Diane Gould Hall


  1. I just got a promo to upgrade my Evernote. Do you think the upgrade is worth it?

    1. I think if the program is currently meeting all your needs, then why upgrade? If you find yourself near or exceeding the monthly upload limit, or wishing you could forward emails to your notebooks directly, then it would be well worth it. I use the program so much that I personally don't mind paying the $5 monthly fee just to support them.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I have Evernote but I have been hesitant to use it. Thank you for your post and great ideas. I'm going to give it a try.

    1. Bernita,
      Jump in. You will find more uses for it each day. It too was hesitant at first and thought "what do I need this for?" As I kept hearing my friends in the genealogy world rave about it, I figured I should at least try it. Once it did, there was no stopping me. It has proved invaluable in all areas of my life. Even keeping the records for my mother who is in assisted living. I frequently need to produce the power of attorney and medical records, which are always with me, since EN syncs to all my devices. You can record audio, add photos, annotate any record, link to any site. It's an incredible program. Good luck and have fun.
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. I am finding that I am using Evernote much more than I used to as I try to get more organised. I have recently upgraded with an offer as I needed to use the email facility and know that I will soon be wanting to use the search capabilities for pdf files. The newspapers available from the British newspaper archive are downloaded as pdf files and are an invaluable source.

    1. Hillary,
      I agree. I find new ways to use it all the time. It certainly is a wonderful tool for us.
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. I agree that Evernote is fantastic! I had used it for the rest of my life but once I started using it for genealogy- wow!

    EN can read words inside documents and images, even some script- it does wonderful, thorough searches.

    Do be careful with EN for personal info- it is not secure. Any sensitive info should be encrypted if you want to use it in EN.

    I highly recommend upgrading- it adds functionality, syncs more frequently, and besides, if people don't pay for it, they will go out of business. $5/month is not that much for the time-saving and useful functions of EN. It seems like it was made for genealogy research!

    1. You echo my sentiments exactly. I want to support the company even though I don't come near using the upload quota per month. I do use the search function and the email option also, so I'm happy with a premium membership. My $5 is well worth it to keep this company offering what it gives us all. Who ever thought of this program? I can't think back two years ago before I began using it because I use it every day.
      Thank for stopping by.

  5. I just recently (a couple months ago) returned to Evernote, and somehow this time, it's sticking ;p Enjoyed this post and especially the link to the note you created. Even more, I enjoyed your previous post about Evernote (Useful Tool...). I did up a post on my own blog as I found myself writing out how I was using it and sort of cementing it in my brain anyway, so why not make a post, right?

    The thing with Evernote is that it can be as fluid as you and as you make changes to your process or find better ways to do things, Evernote is excellent at adapting to your new ways. As a way of managing the "in between" stages of research, it can't be beat.

    I rambled, but the tl;dr is: thanks for a helpful read :)

    1. Jennifer - Thank you for leaving a comment. It sounds like you were similar to me, in that I didn't "get it" at first. Then I determined to try to use Evernote and wonder now how I lived without it. It is that perfect tool for those in between stages of research, and so many other things in my daily life. Have fun.
      Thanks for stopping by.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.