Evernote Housekeeping: Rationalising Notebooks


Just like your email inbox, desk or kitchen utensil drawer, your Evernote account may fall into disarray. Essentially this is not a bad thing for it usually means that you are at least using Evernote however for the more obsessive users the chaos can become disruptive to ones sense of order.

What do you do with all those old notebooks containing material that is no longer current? 
First of all scan your notebooks and their contents to see what could be safely deleted. Deleting is my preferred option rather than storing inside a current Evernote account because it reduces the number of notebooks that may appear in searches.

Here are three ideas of how to remove some of the digital clutter you may be experiencing in a well-used Evernote account:-

1. Create an archive stack to store completed project notebooks.
Name a stack Projects-Archive or z-Archived Projects and drag your notebooks containing completed projects into this stack. It is preferable not to call the stack 'Archived Projects' because stacks and notebooks are arranged alphabetically and the word 'Archive' will always by default be one of the first in the list possibly getting in your way. You could rename each of the notebooks going into this stack with a z- in front of the name to alert you that if something is found in that notebook that it is indeed an archived one rather than current. This is the quickest option.

2. Create one or more archive notebooks and tag the notes with the project name
Create an archive tag for each project eg z-Project Name then add that tag to each note in the project's notebook. Then move the notes to your archive notebook eg Project Archive or z-Project Archive and delete the notebook you have moved from. This reduces the number of notebooks significantly but still makes it quick to find notes related to a historic project. Feel free to use symbols or different letters in the naming convention. It's completely your choice if you prefer to use an 'x' over a 'z'. The main thing to do is to be consistent and share the naming convention with your team if you are collaborating with others.

3. Export your notes
This is a more lengthy solution but the attraction is that it is also a cleaner one. Group notes together by notebook or tag, select all (CTRL+A or COMMAND+A) the select File-Export Notes. You then have the choice of importing into a separate Evernote account that stores all archived work or backing up the files to keep outside Evernote. If it is not likely that you will ever be accessing the notes but you would like to keep a copy consider storing the resulting .enex files in a folder on a hard drive or cloud storage facility. Saving the notes this way means that you will also be able to access any attached files when you import them for viewing.

Good luck with the tidy up! If it seems to daunting consider contacting me for a virtual Evernote maintenance consultation. I can guide you through the process and get you back on track and your Evernote will feel like new again! Please contact me if you would like to learn more.