The best way to use Evernote is to set it up when you first begin. Remember, you can change it when you need to, but having some sort of system to begin with is always better than not. To begin, let’s break down some terminology.
Note: This is one note, one idea, so to speak.
Notebook: You carry multiple notes in this. these are just like a physical notebook and the notes in it.
Stacks: This is the one that’s a little bit different. Stacks are groups of notebooks combined together. When I show you my system, you’ll see how stacks work. I’m OCD about my stacks, I have too many stacks, in fact, I could have stacks upon stacks (are you listening, Evernote?).
Now that we have those out of the way, I’m going to show you a few systems that I’ve found online of how people set up their systems, but first, I’ll talk about mine.
This first page is the list of my notebooks, well, most of them. You can also see the stacks. For instance, I have a Blogging Stack, and a stack for The Assassin.
The first one I have is a notebook called “to File.” This notebook features ideas I write on my phone, or my tablet, and articles I may save on the internet to read later. Ideally, I would keep up with this notebook much more, but obviously I probably need to sort it out more.
Another thing I’ve done is split up my book’s stack. I have a stack for the book I’m working on and a stack for books I’m just thinking about. For school, I split it up by semester, and to kind of “create” a third layer of sorting, I use tags to separate the classes. So, for Spring 2015, i have all my notes, but for all my Audience Research and Analysis notes will feature a tag labeled “Audience Research and Analysis” so I can search that tag and only see notes from the class.
Now, here’s a list of a few other Evernote set ups I’ve found online that I think would work really well.
1. Nora Conrad breaks down her setup in this video. if you join her mailing list, you’ll get access to exclusive content, including her PDF on setting up Evernote.