Convert emails to notes in seconds
Following on from my previous post about how and why I use Evernote, I would like to draw your attention now to a really cool feature of Evernote – emailing notes directly into your Evernote account. We’ve all had emails we’ve wanted to save. Bits of important information or email attachments that we want to add into one of our notebooks. Fortunately you can create a new note or add to an existing note by using your personal Evernote email address.
Why I use Evernote emailer
Clients send important emails which you want to save, a supplier sends you information on a new product, you’ve sent an email to a client which you want to preserve in case you need to refer back to it. These are just some of the reasons why I use the email feature of Evernote.
Finding your Evernote email address
Account > General Settings > Evernote email address
I suggest you save the email address provided to your Contacts address book for easy recall when sending an email to your Evernote account.
The easiest way to send new notes to your Evernote account
If you want to preserve the contents of an email you have received, simply forward the email to your Evernote email address. In my previous post I suggested you do as I have – create a notebook named _INBOX and make this your default notebook. Now every time you send and email to your personal Evernote email address, your new note will go straight into your _INBOX notebook to be organized later. The subject line of the email becomes the title of the note.
Those clever chaps at Evernote have also added some very cool functions which you can add to the email you are sending:
- Specify the notebook where your new email note needs to go;
- Assign tags for easy searching later;
- Set reminders for notes.
And you can do all these in the subject line of your email.
Specify a notebook
Sometimes, especially when you’ve created what seems like a million, you can’t be bothered with the chore of organizing notes into their correct notebook. Fortunately you can tell Evernote where to put your new email note by simply adding @notebookname to the subject line of the email you are about to send.
For example, your original subject line reads:
Fwd: The meaning of life
All you need to do is add the name of the notebook to the subject line preceded by the @ symbol:
Fwd: The meaning of life @Philosophy
In this example adding @Philosophy puts the emailed note into the preexisting ‘Philosophy’ notebook. Personally I like to delete the ‘Fwd:’ part of the subject line for a cleaner note title.
Tags make searching notes easier. The trick is to use them sparingly and to remember the tags you’ve previously used. I scan and save all receipts and invoices into Evernote, both business and personal. If I am buying a gift for someone I add a tag to the note with the person’s name. That way I can search for the tag and see every purchase I have made for that person.
Adding tags to the subject line is very similar to specifying a notebook. Instead of using @ you use the # symbol for tags:
Fwd: Receipt for purchase of doll house #Gabriella
It is important to note that this feature only works with existing tags already used in your Evernote account.
You receive an invoice from a supplier and you want reminding when you need to pay it. Using the ! symbol you can set a reminder straight from the subject line of your email. There are three ways to do this:
- Specify to be reminded tomorrow;
- Specify a day of the week;
- Specify a date.
Remind me tomorrow
Simply add !tomorrow to your subject line to set the reminder for tomorrow.
Remind me next…
Add !day-of-the-week to the subject line e.g. !wednesday to be reminded next Wednesday.
Remind me on…
To add a specific date reminder to the the subject line the function must be in the format !YYYY/MM/DD e.g. !2014/02/24 to set a reminder for 24th February 2014.
You probably won’t want to use just one of these functions at a time. You may combine functions but they must appear in the following order:
Subject (- note title) !reminder @notebook-name #tags
For example, here we have received an email informing you when a new book by your favorite author is available. You want to save this email as a note as it contains a summary of the book. You also want to be reminded on the day the book is released to go out and buy it.
Original email subject line reads:
Fwd: New Terry Pratchett book ‘Raising Steam’ available
Delete extraneous words, add your functions and it becomes:
New Terry Pratchett book ‘Raising Steam’ !2013/11/17 @books #discworld #pterry
Adding email to existing note
Another cool trick is to add the body of your email to an existing note. At the end of the subject line add + symbol followed by the name of the note and your email will be added to that the most recent note with that title.
Fwd: Further thoughts on our project +Project Notes
Evernote also offer to automatically sort your emailed notes for you. Go to Personal Settings and enable ‘Smart Filing’. I have only used this feature once and didn’t like it as I prefer to have greater control on where my notes are filed using the methods above.
Getting into the habit of using the methods above makes it very easy to add and organize emailed notes with a few taps of your keyboard. If you find it difficult to remember these methods you can always use my suggestion of having a default notebook _INBOX so you can file your notes into their correct notebooks later.
In case you were wondering, I am not affiliated with Evernote in any way whatsoever; I just love the app and find it very, very useful!
Share your thoughts
Have you found this post useful? Do you email notes to your Evernote account? Do you use the functions shown above? Comment below and let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.