Evernote for Genealogy: Quick Tip #2


Welcome to the second installment in my series of Quick Tips on using Evernote for Genealogy.  One of the most popular uses for Evernote is to clip information from the interwebs.  Webclips are especially useful in genealogy, because we come across so much information that we want to keep and refer back to in the future.

In the past, you may have “bookmarked” interesting information – either into your browser favorites or using an online bookmarking site like Diigo or Delicious.  Evernote web clipping is a bit different.  When you bookmark a site, you are simply saving a link to that site.  With an Evernote web clip, you can save the whole web page (or any portion of the page).  If the original web site or post disappears at some point in the future, you still have the text and images saved in Evernote.

Get the Evernote Web Clipper

The Evernote Web Clipper can be downloaded from Evernote.com.  There are versions available for most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.  The Evernote website will recognize which browser you are using and default to the correct web clipper for you to download.  If you use Internet Explorer, there is no need to download anything, as the IE web clipper is installed with the Evernote for Windows program.

The web clipper for each browser is slightly different.  I use the Chrome Evernote web clipper.  If you use another browser, things may look a little different on your screen, but the basic functionality is the same.

Clip a web page

After installing the Evernote web clipper, you end up with a little elephant head in your toolbar.


The little elephant head is Evernote’s logo, so every time you see it, you know that you are looking at something related to Evernote.

Click on the little elephant head and (in Chrome), this window pops up (you have to log in the first time you use it):


The name of the web page is automatically captured as the title of the note.  From here, you can assign a notebook, add any relevant tags, and add comments – all before you actually clip the note.  You can also choose to save the article, a selection of the article, or the full page.   When you click on Save, the note is clipped into Evernote, directly into notebook that you specified, with the tags and comments included.  If you choose not to assign a notebook, add tags, or add comments, that’s okay.  The note is still saved.

Here is how the page looks after it is clipped into Evernote:


A date and time stamp are added, so that you know when you clipped the page.  The url of the original web page is automatically captured.  This is a live link – as long as the page exists, you can click on the link to go back to the original page.  The whole web page is included in the note – even the part that didn’t appear on the screen when I clicked save.

Web Clip Ideas

Some examples of things that genealogists might clip from the web include:

  • Information found on personal genealogy websites
  • Blog posts
  • How-to articles
  • Index entries
  • Emails
  • Message board posts
  • Original sources, like census documents, vital records, or estate records.

Future posts in this series will cover different ways to use Evernote and the Evernote web clipper to help you with your genealogy.


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