If you’re not careful you might be having ‘fun’ with Evernote collecting all kinds of stuff but your cache of data is not making you any more productive. Why? Because you don’t know what you have and you can’t find what you’ve saved. One easy step to ensure that doesn’t happen is to purposefully title your notes.
Simple Guidelines for Evernote Titles
- Clarity – Take enough time to give a note a title that makes its content clear to you. When you scan down through a list view of notes, if the note titles don’t sufficiently identify a note than you need to expand the title. Otherwise you are forever opening up a note to find out what it is about.
- Sufficient Comprehensiveness – You can err on the other side, spending way too much time including all sorts of information in the note title. Keep the title simple and include only what information adds value to you.
- Searchability – Evernote has great advance search capabilities, including the ability to search for notes based on the content of their titles (see below). If you are creating a note to archive a piece of information then ensure the title includes one or more key search terms. My practice is to append these to the end of the title.
- Functionality – Evernote’s list view of notes can be sorted by title. This feature can be leveraged to present certain notes first. For example, when I view all notes tagged for a particular meeting I want the meeting agenda note to show first in the list view. I manage that by intentionally giving this note a title that begins with a special character (i.e., %).
Searching by Evernote Titles
The advance search capabilities of Evernote is what distinguishes it from other note taking applications. The syntax to do a title search is: intitle:<search terms>.
For example, intitle:agenda will return any note that literally contain the word <agenda> in the note title. This kind of search is not case sensitive. Similarly, the search intitle:”team meeting agenda” will return any note that literally contains the phrase <team meeting agenda> in the note title.
To be able to search for notes that do not contain particular words in their title the following syntax is used: -intitle:<search terms>. This means the search -intitle:agenda will return any note that does not contain the word <agenda> in the note title.
It’s Your turn
I would love to hear what practices you have in place. How do you keep your titles simple but clear?by