Evernote for Beginners: Tag, You’re It

Six Reasons to Use Tags for Organization

So far, in our Beginner’s Guide to Evernote, we’ve learned about two important elements – the note and the notebook. But now it’s time to learn a key feature in getting all those notes organized with less headache. Do you want to find out what it is? I think I heard a “yes” so keep reading!

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Paralyzed by choice

Before Evernote, I would dread organizing files. Just a little. And that’s saying something, because I like to organize. The reason for this dread was those files that could be placed into more than one notebook. Does it go in finance, or in auto, or in taxes. Yes! So I would sit there for a moment too long, paralyzed by the decision.

Enter the Tag

I’m sure you’ve experienced that decision paralysis too. It applies to more than just organizing. The more choices we have to make, the less likely we are going to make it! Evernote’s tagging system solved this organization problem for me and added other benefits. With Evernote’s tagging system, it went from “either/or” to “both/and.”

You may recall, I stated last week that I only use a handful of notebooks. I do, however, use many tags. And I recommend you do the same if you want to reduce organization frustration.

Here are six reasons tags are a superior to notebooks for nitty-gritty organization:

  1. One note, multiple tags.
    This really is THE reason. You can apply multiple tags to one note. A note can exist in one notebook, but it can have several tags. This gives notes different contexts. For example, you may have Personal, Work, Family, and Business notebooks, but need to have access to tax information from all of them. Using a tag called “taxes” will pull up everything with that label, regardless of which notebook it is in.
  2. Virtually no limit.
    Tags have a greater limit than notebook. 100,000 tags compare to 250 notebooks to be exact. Although if you come anywhere close to that, we’ll need to talk.
  3. Add, remove, and rename.
    There’s no need to relocate files. You can return to a note to add or remove a tag at any point without losing the previous organizational structure.
  4. Categorize your tags.
    If you do end up with many tags, you can add some organization to them by grouping them into categories. This doesn’t have an effect on the organization of the notes. Only the tags.
  5. Search by tags.
    You can search by several tags together to narrow your results down to specific information. For example, continuing with the tax example above, let’s say you have tax items from various states. As long as you tagged the notes by the different states, you can combine the tags “tax” + “VA” to get all your Virginia tax information.
  6. Shortcut your tags.
    Just like notes and notebooks, tags can be added to your shortcuts. And as an expert feature that we’ll explain, you can add the tag combination (as explained above) to your shortcuts as well.

Watch here for a short demonstration on creating and applying it to several notes across different notebooks.

Now that you know how to use a tag and that they have their advantages over notebooks, next week we will take a look at some ideas for building a tagging system.

Question: Have you ever been hit by decision paralysis? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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