Giving Evernote another try

Evernote logoI know that people rave about Evernote, for genealogy and for other aspects of life. Over the years, I keep dipping my toe and withdrawing it quickly. The user interface has just never clicked for me.

I blogged back in February of 2013 that I was exploring Evernote for genealogy. That didn’t really pan out, but late in 2013 I started using Springpad, which has a more graphical interface than Evernote. Thanks to Springpad, I became hooked on cloud-based, synching organizing and storage systems. After Springpad announced it was shutting down this month, I exported my data, including my family history research logs, to Evernote.

So now I’m ready to give it another try. I’m trying to be open minded about Evernote’s interface. I bought and read the e-book Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly, and I’m going to be checking out genealogy-specific information about Evernote. (This morning, I found this great page on Cyndi’s List with genealogy templates for Evernote.)

I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime I’m wondering whether any of you have either great tips using Evernote in genealogy or  recommendations of more resources to help me learn to use and love Evernote. If so, I’m all ears!


  1. Jane Down says:

    Lisa Louise Cooke has a pamphlet on Evernote. Perhaps it might be helpful?? I have not looked at it but have been interested in learning Evernote too. If Tech-savvy you cannot figure it out, there is no hope for me. Here is the link to her pamphlet…

    Let me know if the pamphlet is helpful and then maybe I’ll get it.

    I have been enjoying your blog. I love organization and appreciate your tips.

    • Thanks, Jane! How nice of you to provide the link. That pamphlet is laminated, and I don’t think that’s going to work for me. I’ll look for an electronic version–I don’t know where I’d store the laminated one!

      Thanks for your kind words about the blog! I appreciate your reading and commenting.

  2. Lisa Louise Cooke, has some great EverNote resources, I highly recommend checking them out.

  3. Patti Cancellier says:

    Are you finding the book “Evernote Essentials” worthwhile? I searched through Amazon for a good book on Evernote and couldn’t find one that seemed really good. I’d love something that helps me discover the great things that everyone says about this app. Meanwhile, I’m using it, but not liking it half as much as Springpad.

    • Hi, Patti! I thought Evernote Essentials was a good primer and it helped me understand some aspects of Evernote that I hadn’t understood. Since it’s an e-book, it’s kept up to date, which is nice.

      I’m more suited to Springpad, too, but having used it so successfully, it’s helping me understand the utility of Evernote better, which is something. I’m finding more uses for Evernote than I did before I used Springpad, if that makes sense.

  4. Hi, Janine, – I was dismayed to see Springpad go down the tubes. But, beware … all my text notes migrated with no space between words where there was a linefeed. – Ted.

  5. Jeff Lutz says:

    I have been using Evernote for a couple of years now and love it. It’s like having a notebook for everything right on my phone, tablet and PC. You can save websites, emails, pdfs, documents, photos…it’s awesome. Honestly, I tried SpringPad after you blogged about it several months ago and I just couldn’t get used to it… I’m guessing because I’m so used to Evernote. In addition to notebook for Genealogy, I have them for gardening, food, chickens, vacation, conferences…I even have notebooks for each of my kids and my wife that I share with them. I think once you get used to it, you’ll love Evernote! 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Jeff! I bet you’re right! I certainly love what I know it can do. I think I just need to give it time to get used to the interface.

      I appreciate your commenting!

  6. Hi Janine-I use Evernote a lot for everything! I want to give you some links and a FB group that I am a part of. One link is:

    The FB group is the Organized Genealogist (I personally think this is an oxymoron but that’s just me…). It’s a closed group. Once you are a part of the group search the forum by using the search word, Evernote and you will see discussions on how some of us use Evernote.

    This link is for the purchase of a webinar-it’s a bit pricey for me but I will throw it out there:

    So that’s what I have. You could check You Tube too for any videos. Good luck, love your blog! Judy

    • Judy, thank you so much! I’m glad you like Evernote and I appreciate your sharing those links. I already belong to the Organized Genealogist FB group–though I have to disagree with you about that being an oxymoron :). I hadn’t considered doing a search there! (Palm smacks forehead.)

      Thanks for the link to the blog post and the webinar, too! And for your kind words about my blog.

      I really appreciate our taking the time to share those resources.

  7. I’ve used Evernote daily for about 6 years and use it heavily for my genealogy (as well as other research areas). I’ve been doing an Evernote for Genealogy blog series at:

  8. Some people who don’t like the interface of Evernote do like the interface of OneNote. So you might want to try OneNote before you commit to anything.

    • I appreciate that suggestion, Louis. I’m a Mac user so that I thought that One Note wasn’t available to me. I see now that they’ve made a Mac version, but it doesn’t appear to be very robust. But I’ll look into it! So far, though, I’m adapting to Evernote.

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