Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tech Tuesday - Evernote for Genealogy

I am a very big fan of the website, Evernote. I was first introduced to this site during a random search for organization apps for my phone. At the time I had no idea how helpful this app would become.

Evernote is a collection of products focused on organization. The company offers a multitude of different applications designed to help people get organized and communicate with each other. One of the first times I used Evernote I was helping my husband with a project for his master's degree. I had found a lot of links on the Internet that may be relevant for his project, but just sending the link to him was not a very efficient way for him to quickly weed out the sources that he wouldn't be able to use. With Evernote I was able to create "notes" for my husband that included not only the link to the source, but also a screen shot.

Evernote works by allowing you to capture information on the Internet in a digital notebook. You can download the application to your home computer and add the application tool to your web browser. You are then able to easily create a "note" within the application based on anything you find online that you want to remember later. There is also an application for smart phones and tablets. The best part is that you can sync all your notes through one account in the cloud. This means that notes created from your desktop can be viewed on your smart phone, tablet or laptop. A great option for carrying research queries from home to the library, historical society or on a cemetery visit.

With Evernote you can create "Notes" within a notebook all along a particular topic. You can then share your notebook with other Evernote users. A perfect option for joint genealogy research.
The above screenshot shows an example of a notebook. In the left hand column you can see the various notes I have created on this particular topic. The right-hand screen shows one note in full.
A basic Evernote account is free or you can upgrade to a premium account for $5/month or $45/year. You can download Evernote software here for free.
I use my Evernote account to keep ideas for my blog in one handy place. Whether it is an interesting website or a note I write to myself with possible post topics, they are all in one location. You can also create tags for your notes to help categorize them.
You'll note above that I have tags for various topics such as "Genealogy" and for specific tags like "Celia Butler," one of my ancestors.
Click here for a starter's guide to Evernote.
The uses for Evernote in genealogy research seem to be endless and I'm just scratching the surface. Have you used Evernote for your research?


Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

I signed up for Evernote some months back and played around with it for awhile mostly using it for my blog. I just couldn't seem to grasp the intricacies of it though. Your article makes me want to go back and try again. Thanks!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Teresa, I'll admit that it took me a while to find a useful way to use the program. But once I added the Evernote button to my Favorites Bar it made it easy to make notes based on web pages I came across. I also found a link to a starter's guide for Evernote which I have added to my post. Thanks!

Jody Clark Jones said...

Thanks for the information and the link. I have been intending to use Evernote for organizing and was overwhelmed by the "bigness" of it. Your post helped break it into practical utility. I appreciate it!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Jody, thank you for the feedback! I think you'll find the program very useful.

dmsbr549 said...

I have Evernote on my Nook Color and smartphone. So far I have used them for jotting down quick notes. I also used my Nook at the NGS Conference in Cincinnati for taking notes during the presentations. Some of the meetings were so tight, using my laptop would have been difficult. I do need to play around with it more and see what other things I can do with it.