Putting your Information into Evernote Part 3 – At the Library

Evernote can be handy in a couple of ways when you are doing genealogical research at the library.  First, you have access to all the notes you have already saved.  More importantly, you can add what you learn to Evernote to make it easy to find later.

Typing Notes into Evernote

One way to keep track of what you have found is to type your findings into Evernote.  This will of course work best on the Mac or Windows rather than on a smartphone.  Just type Ctrl-Cmd-N on the Mac or Ctrl-Alt-N on Windows to open up a new note and then write down what you have found.  You can also use it as a research log to track what you have looked at to help keep track of your thorough search.  Remember to write down where you found any information in your notes, ideally in proper citation form.  Either way, include enough information so you or someone else can find the source again later on.

Smartphone/tablet cameras

Writing notes can be handy, but a lot of work.  Also, it may be helpful to be able to refer back to the original text.  Rather than transcribing the text or making photocopies with paper that has to be kept track of,  just take pictures of the pages with your smartphone camera from Evernote.  The resolution on modern phone cameras is pretty good so you will get good, readable photos of the pages you photograph. This will also give you an original copy for your record rather than a derivative one if you were otherwise taking notes.   You can then organize the page photos in Evernote with your other genealogical notes, and after the servers index the snapshots you will be able to search through the text in the photographs.  And since Evernote makes the picture an item in the note, you can add your citation to the note itself, something that is not easy to do if just taking plain pictures from the camera software on the phone.

Laptop cameras

Finally, you can also use your laptop camera to take pictures of books at the library.  The pictures may not look as good as from a smartphone but they will get right into your computer and you can type in your citation on a regular keyboard.  On the Mac hit the icon at the top for a new iSight note.  When you click on the button to take the picture you will have a few seconds to line up the page in front of the camera before the computer takes the photo.  On Windows create a New Webcam Note from the New Note menu or hit Ctrl-Shift-W.  Once you click the button to take the picture it will do so right away.


Once the pages and notes from your library trip are in Evernote, your filing issues are solved.  You don’t have to figure out how to file paper notes when you get home, and hunt through them months later when you want to look something up.  You just search through Evernote and you can easily bring back what you learned on your trip to the library, even if you have forgotten you found it in the first place.




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2 Responses to Putting your Information into Evernote Part 3 – At the Library

  1. Denise Olson says:

    I have enjoyed your series on Evernote. It’s one of my favorite research tools too. Have you taken a look at Skitch – the latest addition to the Evernote family? It’s a fabulous screen capture app. Unfortunately, right now it’s only available for Mac, iOS and Android systems, but I’ll bet we’ll see a Windows version very soon.

  2. Thanks. I have Skitch on my phone but haven’t done much with it yet. I see it lets you mark up photos. How have you used it?

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