The Grand Evernote Reorganisation

I’ve been an Evernote user for a few years now, and its really changed how I keep track of “stuff” I need to keep stored for the future, be it scanned copies of my rental contract for my house or that 5 line how-to guide I found to fix an annoying issue I have. I don’t think I could last a week without checking in with the reference i’ve built up over time.

I’m by no means a heavy user, my Evernote store consists of around 350 well curated notes, most of which have a large PDF scan or image attached. My notebook collection has evolved naturally with my usage and its ended up with around 50 notebooks for my very meagre number of notes, so it was time to simplify.

The last day or so i’ve been reading a few blog posts from various Evernote users, from the heavy hitters down to the people who use it as a scratch pad for ideas. What I found is that a lot of people seemed to share the same consistent view; split down the important bits into notebooks, the rest can live in one “filing cabinet” size notebook as long as they’re well tagged. Jamie Rubin documented his notebook reorganisation and his method really made sense to me. After around of poking around I had the following layout:

  • Personal
    • Medical
    • Banking
    • Documents
  • Professional
    • Certifications
    • HR
    • Job 1
    • Freelance
    • Payslips
    • P60s
  • Reference
    • Contracts
    • Receipts & Warranties
    • Repairs & Service
    • Filing Cabinet
  • Travel
    • Europe
    • North America
  • Shared
    • Public Notes

I still have some crossover between the notebooks, but its a lot better than the previous 50, i’ll have to let this bed in for the next few weeks to see how this works, but i’m already experiencing the advantages of having a single “Filing Cabinet” notebook with all my miscellaneous clippings in. I’m sure in the near future i’ll have to start mass tagging items instead of depending on flicking through the list of notes, but thats for another post…