Multi-sensory illustrations make a point stick. Evernote can keep up. Video, web, image, and print can all be captured. The workflow is not huge. The payback is having great illustrations accessible when you need them.
Clip Online Illustrations
When I find something online that I think will be a great illustration, I use Evernote’s web clipper to snag it. The clipper automatically fills in the title of the Evernote note with the title of the online resource I am saving.
Usually, that title is sufficient to summarize the content. When it’s not, here is a tip: add a keyword or two to the front of the Evernote note’s title followed by a special character to separate it from the source’s title. This will set you up to perform powerful ‘intitle’ searches (see below).
I mentioned the value of multi-sensory illustrations. Youtube videos can be easily saved by Evernote’s web clipper. In fact, there is a specialized option on the web clipper just for that.
Images can be handled a few ways. I save photos by choosing the “Bookmark” option on the web clipper. This will save a thumbnail view of the picture and its URL. When I am ready to download and use the image I access it by using the URL.
Snap Printed Illustrations
Not everything is online, well not yet. I still find great illustrations in printed books and magazines. A mobile or tablet version of Evernote will facilitate easy collection. I initiate a new Evernote note and choose the camera option. Both the Android and iOS versions enable me to take a regular photo or a document photo. It is best to pick the latter if the printed material is text. Evernote will make that text searchable.
As I suggested above, you might want to add key words to the title of the Evernote note. You also might find it handy to classify your illustrations using Evernote tags. For example, quotes, statistics, and stories might be useful labels. This will set you up to be able to search via a particular tag (see below).
Search Your Collection of Illustrations
At first your clips and your snaps are few enough that you can easily browse them. But what do you do when your collection is too big for that method? No problem, you just let Evernote take over and search your cache of illustrations. If the search results generated by a basic Evernote search are still too large to browse, then use Evernote’s advanced search features.
Evernote can restrict its search to the content of a note’s title (i.e., ‘intitle’ search). This is why I include keywords in the title of the note; it will enable an ’intitle’ search on those terms to return high-quality results. The search syntax is straight forward: “intitle:<search terms>”.
One can also perform an advanced search using tags. Let’s say that I am looking for a great quote. I can have Evernote return results that show all the illustrations I tagged as ‘quotes’. The syntax is: “tag:quotes”.
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