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I have been using evernote for a very long time but not been able to use it in an effective way.

I save articles in evernote but never read them again which doesn't make any sense. Recently, i started saving articles related to ubuntu as i installed it on my system.

I read Ubuntu articles on my evernote but never touched anything else.

So, just wanted to know how to use evernote in effective way. Please share your experience.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use tags or notebooks to divide up what content you want to review. Once it's reviewed, ask yourself "will I ever need to reference this?" - if the answer is "no" delete it. I usually only save often referenced material or material that is hard to find if I lose the source.

To expand on this. Say I have a few projects - writing a book, fishkeeping and personal finance. When I clip or find an article that I don't have time to read, it goes into the inbox. When I process my inbox, each article goes through the GTD workflow. Do I need to read this? Can I read it now? Do I need to read it later? From there it is deletion, a next action or read.

The great thing about evernote is the tags. Say you decide to read it now or later. Tag it with fishkeeping and next for reading. Title the note read this fishkeeping article. Put it in your next actions folder.

Say you are clearing your to do list and you run across review this personal finance table note. You take a look at it and read it. You come across some useful information - maybe you want to jot it down into your personal finance notes and delete the article, no problem. What about the review this academic paper for book note? Well, you read it, it's full of information that you need to reference as source in your book. This, you say, I'm keeping! So you adjust the tags - remove next add #files keep book. Now you title the note Reference from Cambridge University paper on Astrophysics take it out of next actions and toss it into the File Cabinet notebook you have.

You went through three articles, pulled information out of one, saved one completely, and read and tossed out another - all based on what you want out of the information from the articles.

The key is how you manage the notes with the articles. Tag them appropriately. Most importantly, for me, is to title them with action verbs. Right? Every note that needs to be processed is titled read this or review this. Once I've done the action, its title is changed to the next action or it is given a final title explaining the content of the article and is filed away.

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A lot of document management systems have expiration or review dates to allow you to determine what to keep and what can be thrown out. Since Evernote has added a reminder system, you could put one on a note 6 months to 2 years in the future for evaluation. If it is something you know you'll keep, don't bother.

A simple way would be to have a Review tag. You may be able to search your notes by tag along with the add date to find candidates for deletion. This would be something done once or twice a year.

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My suggestion:

Quickly scan article, and get what you want from it in 2-3 sentences. Save your note; forget the article, you've got what you needed. Move on.

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But referencing the article may be needed if the note is to be put in an article for publication. In the future, you may need more from the original article than the note taken. –  Mohamad Fakih Jul 15 '13 at 7:59

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