Evernote for Genealogy: Quick Tip #1

Evernote-Genealogy

Some of you know that I presented a webinar for the Southern California Genealogical Society last weekend. The topic was “Transform Your Note-taking and Remember Everything with Evernote.” There was so much interest in the topic and so many questions from participants that I’ve decided to start an occasional series of Evernote Quick Tips.

Before I get to today’s tip, let me put in a plug for the SCGS. In addition to their fantabulous conference, Jamboree, they also offer webinars throughout the year. The webinars are free to the public if you watch them live; to see the archived version, you need to be a member. Membership is only $35 a year and is totally worth it, just to be able to watch the webinars whenever you want (but they have other benefits as well).

And now to the main event. One of the most commonly asked questions from Saturday’s webinar was “how to save emails in Evernote.”

It’s so easy.

But first, why would you want to save emails in Evernote? Well, as genealogists, we get a lot of emails. And often, they are about ancestors. Before I started using Evernote, I struggled with how to maintain that information. Did I just keep it in my email box? What if I changed email clients? Then what would happen? For a while I saved each one as an .rtf file, but then it had to be named in such a way that I could find it later (within the limitations that Windows puts on the number of characters in a file path and name), put in a folder, etc. Then, for a while, I saved them as pdfs, but that had the same disadvantages.

Then Evernote came into my life and I realized I had the perfect solution. Now I have a notebook in Evernote called “Gen Emails” and any email related to my family tree goes in that notebook. I also subscribe to a couple of genealogy mailing lists and sometimes I want to save those emails, so they go into my “Gen-Resources” notebook.

But how do the emails get into Evernote?

There are several ways that you can save emails in Evernote, but the absolute easiest is simply to forward them. Every Evernote user has a unique Evernote email address. To find yours, click on Tools* in the Main Menu.

Evernote-Main-toolbar

 

Then choose Account Info from the drop-down menu.

In the Account Info window, you’ll see some information about your email account, including your unique Evernote email address.

Evernote-email

Your email address will be in the line “Email notes to” and will be kind of weird looking, but it will end in m.evernote.com. (I’ve redacted most of my address.)

Click on the email address and it will automatically open up a new email in your default email provider. Then, just save that email address as a Contact. If you want to save it in other email accounts, just copy and paste it. Mine opens up in Outlook by default, but I’ve copied it into both of my Gmail accounts. Name your contact “Evernote.” Then, whenever you have an email that you want to save in Evernote, just click on Forward and type Evernote in the To: field.

It really is as easy as that.

*Note: these screen shots are from the Windows Desktop version of Evernote. If you use a Mac, your screen may look different.

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