How to Create Structure in Evernote Notebooks with Note Linking
I use Evernote for almost everything.
It's a tool that's meant to be versatile, but sometimes I curse Evernote's lack of structure.
Evernote gives me a few basic options for organizing all of the notes in each of my many notebooks. I can sort by date updated, date created, or note title.
Generally, I like organizing by date updated. If I'm accessing certain notes all the time, I prefer to have those notes placed at the top of each notebook.
When I started blogging, though, I started organizing more things in Evernote by month. For instance, I have a notebook with my editorial calendar, another notebook where I'm charting my analytics, and another notebook for blog post ideas and research.
So the notes I access more changes every month.
And I get a notebook like below that looks all wonky to me. My OCD is not happy about how the months on the left are all out of order. I'm twitching slightly just adding this screenshot.
Well, I was watching an Evernote webinar about task management and I learned about this lovely feature called Note linking. Note linking is easy, versatile, and completely addictive!
Note linking gives you the ability to create the structure you want within Evernote.
I started with linking something simple. I decided to organize the above mess of calendar notes, so I created a table of contents for my editorial calendar. The entire process took less than five minutes.
- I opened the desktop version of Evernote. You can't note link from the app.
- I added a new note to this existing notebook and titled it Table of Contents: Editorial Calendar 2015.
- I clicked on my note for January, the fourth note down on the above list.
- From the Evernote menu, I clicked on Note and dropped down to Copy Note Link.
- I clicked back into my Table of Contents note and right-clicked in the text area. I pasted the link, which auto populated the name of my note: January.
- I repeated this procedure for all twelve months. Here's a screen shot of my much more organized editorial calendar.
Every one of those green underlined links allows me easy access to the original note in Evernote. Click and I'm there. I don't have to search around. I can place these links in whatever order I like. I can add comments I want around each of those green links. If I wanted to share this note with anyone, I could.
Now I plan on keeping this note in my Editorial Calendar notebook, but I'm not done with organizing my digital filing cabinet.
I created a new notebook which I named Blog Management. This Blog Management notebook will be my new go-to for keeping up with my monthly managerial tasks. So far, I've just added three notes. I copied the Table of Contents: Editorial Calendar 2015 note into this notebook.
Then within my Analytics notebook, I created a Table of Contents: Analytics & Stats note because I'm tracking this information every month. Copied that note into Blog Management too.
I'm not sure how many templates I may end up creating, so I decided to be thorough and create a Table of Contents: Templates note as well. I like having each template in the original notebook the template was created for, but I'm going to guess that when 2016 rolls around, I'll be happy that I have one place where I have links to all of these templates.
My plan is to continue to explore the benefits of note linking.
I chose Table of Contents as my naming convention for organizing this particular aspect of managing my blog. However, for other aspects of my life, I may decide to call a centralized note an Agenda, To Do List, Tasks, or My Bookmarks. Now that I see how easy it is to note link, I will be revamping how I manage my Evernote notebooks. Stay tuned for updates on my progress with this fantastic feature!
11/21/15 Update: I've been using my iPhone much more recently. I'm a clutz when it comes to a screen as small as my iPhone, so I've used note linking to create quick access to my most frequently used Evernote notes.