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How to use Evernote

Evernote is a commitment. Not in the sense that you will be spending every waking moment pouring over ungodly selfies and a heaping of absurd hashtags — that’s best reserved for the likes of Facebook and Instagram — but in sense that using it religiously is the real key to harnessing the note-taking software’s true potential and exceptional capabilities.

There’s an overwhelming abundance of note-taking software available at your fingertips, from Simplenote to Springpad, but Evernote’s robustly superior feature set make it the one to beat. Notes can be saved and synced across devices in a variety of formats including text, photos, voice memos, and uploaded documents, and additional utilities are readily available for viewing and sharing said notes with your friends, family and colleagues. It’s organizational tools make it ideal for quickly archiving and locating anything that enters your digital life, from intricate business documents and precious travel photos to recipes for tortilla soup and lengthy receipts, all within notebooks that function akin to folders on your computer. And although the interface is not the quickest on the note-taking market, it’s still elegantly minimalistic without the overly-distracting flare that’s become the crux of once-capable apps. In fact, some might say it looks better than the native apps shipping with iOS 7.

Here’s our guide on how to use Evernote so you can store all life’s little experiences in a universal inbox that’s always close at hand. Although our how-to is specifically tailored for using Evernote Web and the mobile iPhone app, the process should be relatively the same no matter which device you choose to use. Security breaches aside, we got you covered.

Choose part of the setup:

Signing up

It seems like no application service works these days without a little setting up and signing in. Evernote, as simple as it may be, is no different. The software suite is currently available as a web-based and desktop application, as well as a gorgeously-redesigned mobile app, all of which will automatically sync your notes across platforms once you’ve finished with the initial setup.

Step 1: Download, install, and launch the app

Evernote Web — Head to the main Evernote login page to begin. The Web-based software does not require you to download, install, or launch any external software like the desktop and mobile service does, so accessing the page is as far as you need to go for the time being.

iPhone — Begin by tapping the blue App Store icon from your home screen and selecting the search tab located in the bottom navigation bar. Afterward, type “Evernote’ in the text field located at the top of the app window. Evernote should be the first app to appear in the results (its icon depicts a grey elephant), but if not, swipe your finger to the left to pan through the search results. Once located, click the gray Free button followed by the green Install app button in the top-right corner of the window to download and install the app. When finished, tap the app icon on your home screen to launch Evernote.

Evernote iPhone

If using neither of the platforms outlined in our guide, click the appropriate link housed in the table below to download the application for your respective platform. Afterward, launch the installation software and follow the onscreen instruction to install and open Evernote on your device.

Step 2: Sign in or create a new account

Evernote Web — Sign in using your chosen login credentials or click the blue Create an Account link located in the upper-right corner of the window. Afterward, enter a valid email address along with your desired username and password. Click the green Register button when finished, enter the supplied confirmation code given via email on the following screen, and click the green Confirm button to create your new account.

Create Evernote account

Confirm Email Address in Evernote

iPhone — Tap the light-green Get Started button located near the bottom of the app screen and enter the email address you’d like to have associated with your Evernote account before tapping the green Next link located to the bottom-right of the text field. Afterward, enter your desired password in the text field on the following screen, view the Terms of Service if desired, and tap the green Create Account link located to the bottom-right of the text field to continue.

Evernote Screen iPhone Screen 3

Next Page: How to create notes

Creating notes

As you might have already imagined, Evernote was not named purely out of coincidence. The note-taking app brilliantly revels in its exhaustive utilities for quickly crafting text, image, and audio clips with a few simple clicks. The freemium version of the software is rather lax on restrictions, offering virtually unlimited storage space, but it does only allow users to upload a mere 60MB of data a month. If you find yourself lacking in the space department, additional storage is available through Evernote Premium ($5/a month) and Evernote Business. However, the free account should suffice for most users.

Creating a text note:

Evernote Web — Click the the gray New Note button located at the top the of page and directly to the right of the search bar. Then, title the resulting note and type your desired text in the body field directly underneath. Evernote will automatically save the text note when you finish typing.

Evernote text note

iPhone — Tap Type a quick note in the Quicknote Bar located at the bottom of the app homepage to access the initial note editor. Then, tap Note at the top, enter your desired note title in the resulting text field, followed by your desired text in the body field directly underneath. Evernote will automatically save the text note when you finish typing.

Evernote Screen iPhone Write Note

Creating a image note:

Evernote Web — Click the the gray New Note button located at the top the of page and directly to the right of the search bar. Then, title the resulting note, enter any desired text in the body field directly underneath and click the paperclip icon located to the right of the text-editing options. Select the image(s) you wish to upload, up to ten at a time, but the total size must not exceed 25MB. Alternatively, simply drag and drop an image into the body field directly beneath the note title. Evernote will automatically save the image note when you finish typing or adding the image.

Evernote Web image note

iPhone — Tap the camera icon in the Quicknote Bar located at the bottom of the app homepage to access your iPhone’s camera. Then, capture a photo using one of the Evernote’s three camera modes (Post-It Note, camera or document mode) and tap the thumbnail grid in the bottom-left corner of the app screen to access the captured photo. Alternatively, tap the photo icon in the Quicknote Bar located at the bottom of the homepage to access previously-taken photos stored in your iPhone’s camera roll. Afterward, select your desired photo from the resulting thumbnails  and tap the white check mark in the bottom-right corner of the app screen to save the image note. If desired, tap the newly-minted note from the app homepage to change the note title and add body text, or tap the photo and the markup icon beneath to access a suite of markup tools. Evernote will automatically save the image note when you finish.

Evernote Screen iPhone Image Attachment

Creating an audio note:

Evernote Web — Evernote’s Web software doesn’t feature a dedicated recording utility like those featured in the desktop and mobile versions of the software, but if you want to add a prerecorded audio clip, click the the gray New Note button located at the top the of page and directly to the right of the search bar. Then, title the resulting note, enter any desired text in the body field directly underneath and click the paperclip icon located to the right of the text-editing options. Select the audio file(s) you wish to upload or simply drag and drop the file into the body field directly beneath the note title. Evernote will automatically save the audio note when you finish typing or adding the audio.

iPhone —  Tap Type a quick note in the Quicknote Bar located at the bottom of the app homepage to access the initial note editor. Then, tap Note at the top, enter your desired note title in the resulting text field, followed by your desired text in the body field directly underneath. Afterward, tap the green paperclip icon above the keyboard, followed by the green microphone icon from the resulting pop-up options, and record your desired audio. Tap the gray Done button in the upper-right corner beside the scrolling equalizer when finished prior to tapping the green Save button.

Evernote Screen Audio Note

Creating a Web clip:

If using Evernote Web, there’s a good chance you’re using a browser capable of donning the Evernote Web Clipper. The extension, available for all four modern browsers featured below, allows Evernote users to conveniently save Web snapshots or entire articles while retaining all text, links and images originally embedded in the page. It’s incredibly handy, especially in the event the website in question is unavailable.

To use it, download and install the extension for your preferred browser. Once installed, click the Evernote note button located in the top of your browser’s tool bar and log in using your given credentials. Click the Evernote button again, select the portion of the page you wish to capture or choose an additional selection option from the drop-down menu located in the bottom right corner of the resulting extension window. When finished making your selection, click the light-green Save Article button to add the Web clip as an Evernote note.

Evernote Web Clipper

Next Page: How to edit and organize notes

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