Newbury Branch meeting held via Zoom on 9th June 2021

Speaker: Phil Isherwood

Evernote is an app which allows you to collate and store your family history research findings in a variety of formats: certificates, lists, tables, correspondence, press cuttings, photos in the form of paper, MS Office documents, email, pdfs, saved web pages and images. Research data on paper needs to be scanned for input.

As a web-based tool it can be synched across your different devices, enabling you to access and add to your research by phone and tablet on the move, or display your findings to distant family members when you are away from home.

Evernote is one of several such applications, others including MS One Note, Google, DBox, Together, Quip and Yojumba. Some are priced, some free.

Evernote comes in three account types: free, and premium or business, the latter two being by monthly or annual subscription. The free account has a monthly upload limit which is easily reached, but it is nonetheless the best one with which to start and test to see if the app suits you. There are frequent offers on the priced versions.

Evernote version 10, launched in October 2020, did not prove popular (partly because of search engine inadequacy). While it is being improved many users prefer Evernote Legacy, which preserves the benefits of versions superseded by v10. It is possible to have both at once.

The app structures data into Notes, Notebooks and Stacks, each category having unlimited capacity. Each Note, the basic unit, should be carefully tagged with metadata, because this is the way it will be found again. Tags will include surnames, placenames, dates, sources and categories, and allow you to cut through the data in multiple ways.

The recommendation is to have fewer Notebooks and Stacks, and more Notes. All is stored in cloud backup.

Evernote has additional tools for organising your research in the form of task lists, correspondence trails, subscription maintenance, records of presentations, web bookmarks and more.

“How to use Evernote for genealogy” by Kerry Scott is a useful guide, but now out of print.

Picture of Penny Stokes

Penny Stokes