Making Your Genealogical Research More Efficient with Evernote

by , under How To

Evernote is a free, note-taking/capturing technology useful for collecting results during your research, whether online or on location. It also helps you organize what you have collected.

In a nutshell, Evernote is designed specifically to capture or record quickly what you are finding, and thus speed up your research and make it more efficient. Then, you can shift gears and take your time evaluating your findings and adding them to whatever genealogical database program you use–or even your online family tree on or FamilySearch.

In her most recent Genealogy Gems newsletter (14 Oct), genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke points out two tips for using Evernote for genealogical research:

1) Create a New Note: When you’re working on your computer and you want to make a quick note of something in Evernote, you can get there with lightening speed by pressing these quick keys simultaneously: Ctrl+Alt+n.

2) Instant Note Search: What if you are knee deep in your research and you have a note that you need to quickly reference? Simply press Win+Shift+f from anywhere on your computer and Evernote will instantly open with your cursor in the search box ready to type a keyword and search!

Lisa states: “Evernote is certainly the fastest-growing (and FREE) note-taking technology out there, so it’s no wonder that it is incredibly popular with genealogists. But there’s a lot packed into it and I’ve noticed that many genealogists aren’t taking full advantage.”

I have been using Evernote daily for about three years now, and I must admit that I was one of the “many genealogists” who weren’t taking full advantage of this handy technology.

In September, Lisa announced that she was publishing Evernote for Windows for Genealogists, a four-page, laminated Quick Reference Guide. I ordered a copy and received it yesterday (19 Oct). It includes several categories of tips such as:

*Getting Started Checklist
*Quick Keys to speed up your use of Evernote
*Specialized Note-taking Actions
*How to Get the Most Out of Clipping
*Tips for Maneuvering the Desktop Client
*Genealogical Organization Suggestions
*Little Known Search Strategies
*Source Citation Tips, and
*Using Reminders

I’m going to be spending time studying Lisa’s guide, and adding what she points out to my Evernote toolbox. I expect some of what she suggests for genealogy will spill over into organizing and keeping track of my everyday activities as well. Thanks Lisa, for creating your helpful guide!

The guide, Evernote for Windows for Genealogists, is priced at $8.95. You can order it online at

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