How to open your most useful Evernote content with one click
Though my Evernote account stores thousands of notes, there are a handful that I refer to repeatedly. Shortcuts are the fastest way I’ve found to zoom between these frequently accessed notes, notebooks, tags and searches. You can recall items from your Shortcut list with one click or keystroke — even complex search commands. Shortcuts also synchronize to your mobile devices so you can use them where ever you are.
Here’s a few examples from my Evernote database:
- @Inbox links to my default notebook. I jump to this view often, so it’s at the top of my Shortcuts list.
- Weekly review checklist links to a note with my customized weekly review.
- Blog post ideas links to another note where I record ideas for future blog posts.
- Recently edited notes runs a saved search showing notes edited in the last 7 days. It’s a quick way to get to entries I’ve been working on recently.
- Draft displays any notes with the draft tag. I add this tag to blog posts that are in the planning stages and replace it with published once the post is live. I use a similar approach to manage articles I’ve saved to read later with the read tag.
How to enable shortcuts
Shortcuts are enabled by default and appear at the top of the sidebar on the left of the Evernote window. If you don’t see Shortcuts listed in the sidebar, select View, Sidebar Options, Shortcuts from the menu to redisplay them.
How to create shortcuts to individual notes
Any note you repeatedly use is a candidate for a shortcut. This could include daily or weekly checklists, software cheat-sheets, routines or activity logs.
- Find the note you want to create a shortcut to.
- Drag a note from the note list to the sidebar or right-click the note and select Add Note to Shortcuts.
How to create shortcuts to notebooks or notebook stacksThis may seem redundant since notebooks are already listed in the sidebar. But the first ten shortcuts are accessible with the keyboard for swift navigation (more on this later). I go to my default notebook (@Inbox) more than once every time I use Evernote so it’s at the top of my Shortcuts list.
- Find the destination notebook for your shortcut in the sidebar under the Notebooks heading.
- Drag that notebook name up to the Shortcuts region of the sidebar. This also works for notebook stacks, but this is something I’m yet to find a use for.
How to create shortcuts to tags
Tags are another potentially useful shortcut target. I’m sure you’ve already got this figured out but just in case…
- Select Tags in the sidebar to display a list of all your tags.
- Drag the tag you want to create a shortcut to into the Shortcut section of the sidebar. Alternatively you can right-click the tag and select Add Tag to Shortcuts.
How to create shortcuts from saved searches
Saved searches let you save a search expression for future use. This works well for searches you run regularly or for saving complex search expressions you might need to use again. You can also shortcut a saved search for even faster access. If you’re not using saved searches already, I’ll cover this in the next post.
- Click the Search notes box in the toolbar to display a list of your saved searches.
- Drag a saved search to the sidebar to create a shortcut to this search.
Just click one of the entries you just created to display the associated note(s). You can also use the keyboard to access the first 10 entries with cmd + 1 through cmd + 0 on a Mac or ctrl + 1 through ctrl + 0 on Windows. Put your most frequently used shortcuts near the top of the list for fast keyboard-based navigation.
How to remove unwanted shortcuts
You can remove obsolete shortcuts by right-clicking the shortcut and selecting Remove from Shortcuts.
Question: In a recent reader survey I asked which application you most wanted to use more effectively. Evernote was the run-away favorite. What do you find confusing, difficult or frustrating about using Evernote? Leave a comment below or send me an email via the contact page and I’ll use your feedback as input for future posts.