Multiple Contexts

This deserves re-mentioning. Adding more contexts to an item gives you more ways to find it when you are in various frames of mind, and is what gives TSW the power over many other solutions. Drag and drop the item into additional contexts when applicable.


  • Use “Forward to Evernote Contact” to quickly move items into EN.
  • Use iPhone to then move email to Email Cabinet.
  • Use audio note to capture meetings for later review.
  • Use Saved Searches to quickly see specific contexts.
  • Add contexts to newly entered notes. Once saved, select note, then select Tags!, and add them.
  • Use photo capture to grab reference data quickly, such as labels, signs, and text in magazines.

Merging Notes

Evernote has a feature which allows you to merge any number of notes. One of the ways this comes in handy is when you get email updates on an existing Action Pending item. Send it to EN. If pre-tagging, add keywords in Title or add them once there. Find original note (same keywords). Select the original note, CTRL key down and select the new note, right click and select Merge Notes from the drop-down menu. Now both are combined into the first note, and the second email-turned-note appears under the first.


When responding to an email that you know is already an Action Pending, or should be one, BCC your Evernote address, and it is added to EN, complete with your reply text. Now merge if necessary.


This is a very powerful context. Unfortunately, other people don’t necessarily have a good system to get pending actions done (you should show them!). If you have sent an email to someone, as in the above example, tag the new note with 6-Waiting to remind you to circle back with them at some point in the future. If they forget, you won’t. Many of our pending actions are waiting for others. Now you won’t lose those while you wait, and can tactfully remind them from time to time that they still need to get back to you. A good diplomatic way to do this is to go to your Send Email 2011 cabinet, keyword search on that person, find the original email you sent, then select Forward. Enter your reminder text, and forward the email back to the original recipient. Now the new reminder contains the original email you sent them, to which they have not yet replied. A little guilt can go a long way to getting them to reply with what you need.

Converting the Analog World

Once you have all things digital in order, you can start looking at your non digital system. For most of us, we create “visual cues” in our home and work areas to remind us other things we need to do. We might put document or folder we received in a meeting on our desk as a reminder to review it, or a broken piece of the chair on the counter to remind us to fix it. Walk around each room of your house. What visual cues exist? Now take photos of those you find via your EN phone app, and add them to your new system. For those “analog documents”? Go buy a Fujitsu ScanSnap double sided color scanner. Once installed, google search Fujitsu ScanSnap and Evernote. You will find a small downloadable profile that causes any scan to go directly into Evernote once you press the blue GO button. No further action necessary, and now your analog document is in your system, and the paper can be archived or recycled. I changed the settings to cause all documents to be multi page PDF files. Otherwise you get a note for each page as a .jpeg file. Now I get one multipage PDF in one note. Evernote even displays the file in the note for you.

Proper Equipment

The best setup we’ve seen so far is a 30” Dell monitor or equivalent, running 2560×1600. What is nice about a large screen is that you can maximize the program and see all contexts expanded without the need for scrolling. This works on both Macs and PCs.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Evernote can be driven almost entirely using only the keyboard. This will speed up your ability quickly add notes and other actions considerably.
The list of Mac keyboard shorcuts is here:
The list for Windows is here:

Vaughn Donahue

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Vaughn Donahue

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