How to use tags in evernote

The power of Evernote is that there is no right or wrong way to use it.

From audio notes to websites, it’s the perfect place to capture and store the content you need to be productive.

The question we get from many users is how to organize the material they bring into Evernote. From notebooks to tags, you have the option to decide your own personal classification system. That taxonomy can be as simple or complex as you need, but it’s remarkable how powerful Evernote becomes when you find the right system that works.

Yesterday, we discovered a post on Medium that provides a clear example of how one user has successfully structured his Evernote account to help make the most impact in his work with an emphasis on tags.

Thomas Honeyman is a student at the University of Southern California and co-founder of a music collaboration platform. Recently, he found that focusing on tags gave him the most flexibility by associating the notes he creates to his tags.

Much like author Michael Hyatt, tags have become the engine that helps power the organizational success with how Thomas manages content in Evernote.

Let’s take a look at the ways Thomas has used tags.

Simplified notebook structure

By having fewer than five notebooks, Thomas is able to manage the flow of notes much like you would in an email inbox. Content is initially processed in an Inbox Notebook and then moved into a Cabinet Notebook.

How to use tags in evernote

Tag hierarchy

With notebooks, you can have stacks. With tags, you can have hierarchies. Thomas organizes his notes within three major tag categories:

.Descriptors – the source of notes, media types, and conversations.
.Knowledge – what kind of information is contained within a note.
.Projects – notes that are associated to the type of work he is actively completing.

Power tip: Tags appear alphabetically. Use symbols such as hashtags, periods, and numbers to force them into an order that works for you.

How to use tags in evernote

Adding Tags in Evernote

All Evernote users can have up to 100,000 tags per account. Your notes can be associated with multiple tags.

1. Open the note you wish to tag
2. Open the tags editor
3. Type to add your tags. Tag suggestions based on previous tags in Evernote will appear as you type.
4. Press Return to add a tag
5. To delete a tag, backspace over the tag text

Adding tags by platform:

Mac or Windows Desktop: On the top of the note, to the right of the Evernote notebook name, click to add tags
iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch: Under the note title, select the (‘i’) icon, and then tap Add Tag.
Android: On the top bar of the note, select ‘…’ and then Tags
Web browser: On the top right of the note, select Info and then click ‘+’ Tags

How are you using tags to organize content in Evernote? Share your tips in the comments.

How to use tags in evernote

If you use tags to organize your information in Evernote, it can be handy to periodically go through and find the notes that aren’t tagged. That way, you can make sure that you have tagged everything.

By the way, this tip came from Don McAllister in the Evernote episode of ScreencastsOnline. I definitely recommend checking out his service. I learn something from every single episode.

To find all untagged notes, go to the search box in the top-right corner of the Evernote window and make sure you have selected All Notebooks[1].

Quick tip: if you want to quickly do this from anywhere on your computer, hit Ctrl-Cmd-F on your Mac or Win-Shift-F on Windows. It will automatically jump to the Evernote application, select All Notebooks, and go to the search bar.

To find all untagged notes, type the following in the search bar:

-tag:*

As you can hopefully see here, the search has brought back all my Evernote notes without tags. I can then go through and selectively tag the ones that I want. .

How to use tags in evernote

Give it a try and see what you find.

Assuming, of course, you want to search all notebooks. Otherwise, just select the one that you want to search.

How to use tags in evernote

How to organize Evernote is an important part of how to remember everything in your digital life. After all, if you are going to send all your business documents, clipped websites, favorite quotes, pdf’s, inspirational pictures, favorite songs, kids artwork, and digital memories for quick recall inside Evernote, you need to have a good organizational system to find it all.

Here’s how to Organize Evernote to retrieve everything quickly:

Evernote Notebooks

Are for important parts of your life. Each person in your immediate family, a school, a business, current projects, a career search or a blog. Think of Evernote notebooks, as the verticals in your life.

What you do not want is too many notebooks. Notebooks become difficult to scroll and hard to make sense of once you get above 30 notebooks. You should maintain the practice of keeping your notebooks in Evernote for active projects or ongoing endeavors.

An example of Evernote notebooks might be: current business Ideas, medical, bills, Julie, school course work, your business, Inc., blog, travel, etc… Any interest or business you are actively researching, exploring or participating in should be considered for a notebook. Notebooks should have 20 notes or more to qualify.

Multiple notebooks in the same category can be grouped together, called an Evernote Notebook Stack. Drag one notebook onto another and a stack will automatically be created. This is helpful if you have more than 1 blog, a few kids, etc…

Example: Julie, Chris, James = Family Stack and each have their own notebook. Blog 1, Blog 2 = Blog Stack. Running a business and you are responsible for the finances and marketing? That would be 2 notebooks. Drag one on top of the other to create the company stack.

What you want to avoid is a notebook for each class you are taking each semester, it is not necessary. There are better ways to organize your data to maximize Evernote’s productivity.

If you find a notebook is no longer active, you discontinue a blog or the trip to Italy has passed, tag (more on tags in the next section) every note in that notebook and move it to your main notebook. Now delete that notebook as it has now become cumbersome and inefficient to remain in the notebook list.

Keep in mind Evernote limits the number of notebooks any account can create to 200 at a time. Once you are fully committed to Evernote as a tool, several thousand notes are just the beginning. Over committing to too many notebooks will quickly limit your options.

Evernote Tags

Are like manilla folders. Clicking on a tag in Evernote is similar to opening a manilla folder. Inside is everything you tagged or “put inside that folder.” Put it another way, tags are granular segmentation of topics. You can never have enough tags. I encourage you to tag frequently for 4 reasons:

  1. You can search by tags. You can search by multiple tags.
  2. Once you have over 1,000 Evernote notes you will begin to forget some of what you have saved, though you know you saved it to Evernote. While Evernote has an amazing search engine, you can not search for something if you can not remember what you are looking for. If you use Evernote tags extensively, you can scroll through the tags list in Evernote much quicker and find more meaning than you can in 1,000 note titles. You will find what you are looking for this way.
  3. Tags can create very specific filing systems.
  4. There is no limit to the number of tags you can create.

A tag can be a year, month or day (some people use this method exclusively.)

A tag can be a file # for a business (I have done this and it works great). #1234

A Tag can be the year. Some pundits will argue it is not necessary since you can search a note by the year a note is created or updated. Again, you may not remember. Tagging a note with the year ensures the date will not change. Keep in mind, if you make a change to a note, the update date changes and will alter your search. Tagging with a year will prevent note alteration from impacting results. Further, if I have a client interaction in 2012 & 2013, I can tag it with both years.

Evernote Tags can be for people, places, things, topics, teams, it is endless. Tags can duplicate names of notebooks. They can replace notebooks, and they should.

As I mentioned, if a notebook is dormant for more than 3 months, highlight the notes in the notebook, give them tags of the same name as the notebook they are replacing and move the notes to your main notebook. Now delete the dormant notebook. You will still be able to see all the notes from the deleted notebook together by the tag you just created and free up valuable notebook space.

The most important tag in Evernote: “++”. The ++ tag is for the most significant notes you need to access frequently. Drag this tag to the top of the sidebar in the Evernote Application for quick access to what’s of note to you. On the tags list, you will see ++ as the first tag in your list. You can add a ++ to other relevant tags like ++ jobs or ++ ventures, etc… You can change which notes require the ++ distinction as you see fit.

How to use tags in evernote

Final Analysis: Evernote notebooks are for the verticals in your life and you want to keep them to a minimum. Tag, Tag, Tag to maximize Evernote’s usefulness. Tags are for granular segmentation of topics.

How to use tags in evernote Download The Getting Started Guide to Evernote by Jason Frasca

The power of Evernote is that there is no right or wrong way to use it.

From audio notes to websites, it’s the perfect place to capture and store the content you need to be productive.

The question we get from many users is how to organize the material they bring into Evernote. From notebooks to tags, you have the option to decide your own personal classification system. That taxonomy can be as simple or complex as you need, but it’s remarkable how powerful Evernote becomes when you find the right system that works.

Yesterday, we discovered a post on Medium that provides a clear example of how one user has successfully structured his Evernote account to help make the most impact in his work with an emphasis on tags.

Thomas Honeyman is a student at the University of Southern California and co-founder of a music collaboration platform. Recently, he found that focusing on tags gave him the most flexibility by associating the notes he creates to his tags.

Much like author Michael Hyatt, tags have become the engine that helps power the organizational success with how Thomas manages content in Evernote.

Let’s take a look at the ways Thomas has used tags.

Simplified notebook structure

By having fewer than five notebooks, Thomas is able to manage the flow of notes much like you would in an email inbox. Content is initially processed in an Inbox Notebook and then moved into a Cabinet Notebook.

How to use tags in evernote

Tag hierarchy

With notebooks, you can have stacks. With tags, you can have hierarchies. Thomas organizes his notes within three major tag categories:

.Descriptors – the source of notes, media types, and conversations.
.Knowledge – what kind of information is contained within a note.
.Projects – notes that are associated to the type of work he is actively completing.

Power tip: Tags appear alphabetically. Use symbols such as hashtags, periods, and numbers to force them into an order that works for you.

How to use tags in evernote

Adding Tags in Evernote

All Evernote users can have up to 100,000 tags per account. Your notes can be associated with multiple tags.

1. Open the note you wish to tag
2. Open the tags editor
3. Type to add your tags. Tag suggestions based on previous tags in Evernote will appear as you type.
4. Press Return to add a tag
5. To delete a tag, backspace over the tag text

Adding tags by platform:

Mac or Windows Desktop: On the top of the note, to the right of the Evernote notebook name, click to add tags
iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch: Under the note title, select the (‘i’) icon, and then tap Add Tag.
Android: On the top bar of the note, select ‘…’ and then Tags
Web browser: On the top right of the note, select Info and then click ‘+’ Tags

How are you using tags to organize content in Evernote? Share your tips in the comments.

If you have used Evernote for some time you would have searched for a tag using the tag: operator. This works well when you are searching for one tag. The problem arises when you search for two or more tags. You may not get the results you were expecting. Here’s why…

When you search using two or more keywords, Evernote by default only shows notes that contain all the keywords in the one note.

If you want to show notes that contain any of the keywords, use the any: operator at the beginning of the search phrase.

This applies to both keywords and tags.

Keyword Example:

apple orange banana (enter)

Returns any note containing all 3 keywords.

How to use tags in evernote

any: apple orange banana (enter)

Returns any note containing any of the 3 keywords.

How to use tags in evernote

Tag Example:

tag:January tag:February tag:March

Returns any note containing all 3 tags.

How to use tags in evernote

any: tag:January tag:February tag:March

Returns any note containing any of the 3 tags.

How to use tags in evernote

To summarize this all you need to remember is if you want any of the keywords, use the any: operator at the beginning of your search phrase.

Related Posts

How to use tags in evernote

How To Rotate a PDF in Evernote

In this video I cover how to rotate a pdf in Evernote for Mac. Fast and Easy.

Evernote’s inline tags can make your notes more manageable! Here’s how to use them.

Evernote is a powerful note-taking tool. There’s no doubt about that. But one thing it has always been lacking is inline tagging. Until recently, kind of.

Evernote has a handy tagging feature that lets you assign tags to entire notes. Inline tags are essentially an advanced version of this.

What Are Inline Tags?

Inline tags let you add tags anywhere within a single note. For example, you could add a tag below a diagram, or at the end of a paragraph. By tagging your notes differently in this fashion, you open up whole new ways of getting your Evernote library organized.

Although there have been many requests, Evernote has yet to offer a fully functional inline tagging feature. For this, you’ll need to use another tool like Roam Research or Obsidian.

But there is a workaround.

Evernote’s Inline Tags Workaround

Evernote has powerful search features that will show you notes containing specific keywords. However, special characters apart from “_” (underscore) are not searchable. This is good news for us.

By adding an underscore to a keyword within a note, you are creating an inline tag for all intents and purposes. Let take a look at an example.

By including an underscore directly before keywords, for example, “_learning” and “_history, ” you ensure that these keywords are searchable.

Personally, I also bold these inline tags, so they’re more easily visible when scanning my notes, but this is not necessary.

Searching for Inline Tags

Searching your notes for inline tags is as simple as any other search in Evernote. Enter your inline tag, surrounded by speech marks, into the search bar and hit enter.

Only the notes containing your inline tag will appear. When you open the note, it will highlight the inline tag so you can quickly find the relevant note.

When you search for your tag without quotation marks, Evernote will not only search for your specific tag (_history), but also for all search terms with that word in them.

The Power of Inline Tags

As you can imagine, having this inline tag workaround gives you even more ways to get the most out of Evernote. You can now tag specific highlights from articles and book notes that you save to Evernote.

You can more easily organize long notes that were previously hard to navigate. And you can search different sections of your note for specific topics in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Is your Evernote a huge mess? We show you a simple tweak that’ll help you organize your notes like never before.

How to use tags in evernote

Rob Nightingale has a degree in Philosophy from the University of York, UK. He has worked as a social media manager and consultant for over five years, while giving workshops in several countries. For the past two years, Rob has also been a technology writer, and is MakeUseOf’s Social Media Manager, and Newsletter Editor. You’ll usually find him traveling the world, learning video editing, and experimenting with photography.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!

People read books for a variety of reasons. Me? I read books for knowledge.

I don’t read for entertainment, and have no interest in fiction or novels. When I read a book, I want to make sure I walk away from it with at least a handful of new ideas, case studies, quotes or inspirations.

I need to have learned something that will help me build my business, or improve my skills as a writer.

Which leads me to one of the biggest challenges I face when reading books: actually retaining the information I’ve just read.

My memory sucks, and always has. My younger brother is constantly telling stories of our childhood that I simply can’t remember, or only recall the details of once he starts telling them.

There’s no point in reading 2-3 books a month only to have the valuable information flow in one ear and out the other.

So, I developed a method of retaining ideas I get from books using Evernote.

Evernote, in it’s simplest form, is a note-taking app. But it’s much more than that.

It’s difficult to describe just how much you can do with Evernote. You can create and manage notes in such a large variety of ways that it really is an app for everyone.

I read how a few business personalities were using Evernote to organize their thoughts and ideas, but I often found them to be far too complicated. For example, Michael Hyatt’s post was insightful, but I’m not nearly as busy as he is and have no desire to be.

I needed a simpler system that I would stick to. My Evernote system comes down to two things:

  1. A Notebook Stack that contains all of my books
  2. A Tag Matrix that allows me to tag notes for future reference

Here’s how I made both of these:

1) Creating a Notebook Stack

Evernote allows you to organize your notes into digital “Notebooks”. You can think of these as categories, allowing you to separate and organize notes based on their content. For example, you could have Notebooks labeled as Marketing, Travel, Finances, Personal, Ideas, and so on.

Evernote also lets you “stack” these Notebooks into one “pile”. You could compile all of your business-related notebooks into one Stack called Business, for example. Think of Notebook Stacks as folders on your computer.

I like to create a separate Notebook for every book I read. I then combine all of these Notebooks into a single stack called “Book Notes”. Here’s what that looks like:

How to use tags in evernote

Apparently, Evernote has a limit of 250 Notebooks for free users, but allows up to 5,000 for a Business account. I’ll worry about that once I’ve read 250 books.

Now let’s setup that tagging matrix.

2) Building your Tagging Matrix

A Tagging Matrix is an organized list of tags. Tags allow you to easily find your notes later when you’re searching for ideas and inspiration.

Each time I save a note from a book, I insert a tag of both the Topic and Type of note.

Here’s how I organize my tags:

How to use tags in evernote

When it comes to Type of notes, they almost always fall under Case Study, Idea, Illustration, Quote, or Story.

I’m sure you can figure out what Topic tags are for. This list continues to grow as I come up with new note topics to save.

And that’s it! I’m now ready to start saving notes from awesome books I’m reading.

Here’s how that process works:

Step 1) I come across something in a book that’s super-duper cool that I want to save for later

Like, for example, this quote from David Bowie on creativity that I found in Auston Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist“:

“The only art that I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.” – David Bowie

Step 2) Use Evernote’s camera/scan feature to snap a pic of the quote with my phone

Evernote allows you to snap a pic, or even scan and convert that pic into a document, right within their mobile app:

How to use tags in evernote

Step 3) Add the appropriate tags

Tags are the most important part! You want to be able to find this note later, after all.

How to use tags in evernote

Step 4) Save the note to that specific book’s Notebook

How to use tags in evernote

Step 5) Bask in your wonderfully organized glory! (and try out the search feature

Now the note is saved, cataloged, and easily searchable for future reference.

So, next time I’m searching for a quote on creativity, I can search my library of notes with “quote creativity“.

How to use tags in evernote

This process has been vital in improving my writings. Being able to retain all of the valuable information you consume on a daily basis is priceless.

I have Notebooks setup for stuff I read on the internet as well. If I come across a great blog post, or a small nugget of gold I want to save for later, I can use Evernote’s Web Clipper Chrome extension to save it directly from my browser.

Have you used Evernote to organize some aspect of your life? Or all of it? Let me know below! I’m always looking for new Evernote hacks.

The only real benefit I see of nesting tags is to help organize the tags. For example, I have a parent tags called “Jobs” that contains hundreds of child “Jobs.(job number)” tags. When I go into the tag view, I can quickly and easily collapse all of them into that one parent tag, and not have to scroll through them all.

Some third party apps (Filterize is the only one I know of) can be used to also apply the parent tag to a note when a child tag is used, but Evernote doesn’t do that natively.

I don't think adding the parent tag to a note is necessary, only the child tag, especially if you apply multiple tags to a note [because then it could be in multiple hierarchies, and all the extra tags get messy really quick – and doesn't help with searching – in Windows, clicking on the parent tag selects all the child tags by default, when trying to search]. I think less tags are better, just gives high level organization, with search to help from there.

As others have stated, nested tags make it easier to find a tag, and remember the context you were indending to use it, without having to scroll through all your tags. One thing I picked up from others, was to start the hierarchy tag with a period to distinguish them from the tags I use for actually tagging a note. This also makes it easier to find a hierachy tag if I need to (just hit period in the tag search to narrow down the list)

So my hierchy looks something like.

[Also, as an aside, I start all "action" tags with an exclamation mark (!Future, !Review, !This Week, !Templates) ]

Thanks a lot ! But do you make nested notebooks for

as nested notebooks/stacked notebooks in this case?

The tag hierarchy is not available on all platforms, only Mac/Win/Web
And even then, it's not displayed in all menus.

I use the the tag page to organize my tags.
It's not a critical function, but I group like tags under a common parent.
I can then review my tag list at the parent level; instead of all 300 tags, I see the 10 parents.
I expand or contract the list entries as required.

I get the same effect using a prefix in the name; for example Colour-Red, Colour-Green, Colour-Blue
I also use the tag page and organize these tags under parent tag "Colour"

It's also available in the Android app.

I keep track of tickets, and have them nested like so:

I hope that helps! Let me know if I can be of additional assistance.

Thanks for explanation.

I have following hierarchy

Now my question is, suppose if I am saving a note called in iOS

Allocate only iOS tag or

Should I give multiple tags as Apple as well as iOS?

1: Kindly elaborate with reason, assuming there are/would be 100's of notes currently or in future in both the tags. How to mange notes in such hierarchy, name them for long term.

2: Also is there any need to create subfolder (stacked notes) as iOS In Apple Notebook (in above hierarchy)? Will it make sense to create a sub-folder? How to deal in such kind of situation? Sub-folder or nested tags?

3: When to use nested folder & when to use nested tagging?

I have many such hierarchy in my Evernote account like work, resources & all, I would like to know your experience/opinion regarding handling such thing. Right now I am confused, should I allocate single tag or multiple because of hierarchy.

4: One last thing, if the Evernote search is incredible, is there a situation that we can skip tagging? May be for few notes?

I am trying to understand all these things as I am restructuring all my notes into proper tags & hierarchy.