Tuesday, 29 April 2014

To do lists in Evernote

I have enjoyed reading how others use Evernote to help with their family history research.

Screenshot from my desktop version
My main collecting point for my family history is my tree on ancestry.com synched with a tree on my desk top computer using Family Tree Maker and also on my iPad using the ancestry.com app.

For research projects though I use Evernote. In particular if there is a book, a manuscript, a database I want to look up and explore I add it to Evernote with the questions I want answered and tag it with the relevant surname  and the repository plus to do.

The same to do list on my phone - I can click on a note to bring up the content
For example if there is a manuscript in the State Library of Victoria, I will tag it with SLV to do. When I get down to the SLV then all my to dos can be grabbed together by retrieving notes that are tagged. Once I have completed the to do I might collect my findings against that note and updating the tags by removing the to do tag but replacing it with the repository, ie the tag SLV to do is replaced with SLV.

I use this for interstate repositories too, for example the State Library of South Australia which I get to visit less than once a year. It is really useful to have collected in advance all the things I want to achieve there as I think of them.

Evernote is synchronised across my desktop computer, my iPad and my android phone. Thus I have my to do list with me all the time.

See also  Diane Hewson's post in February on collaborating with Evernote: http://worldwidegenealogy.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/evernote-collaboration-sharing-of-tips.html


  1. Thanks for the tip. I hadn't thought to use it as a to do list. I am making a trip this summer to find graveyards and this would be a great way to organize their locations and the names I want to look for.
    Going to get started right now. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Ann. The nice thing about it is you can add items to remember as you think about them and if you have it installed on your phone, you are very likely to have the list of things to look at when you need it.

  2. Wow- this looks like a great organizational tool! Thank you.

  3. I love Evernote. I have to do lists but I also break them down by library/repository. That way when I visit a particular library, I pull up that ToDo and see all the books or records I want to look up that are stored there. Makes it much quicker. I also have Notebooks per family and sometimes for an individual.

    1. Thanks Laren - yes my to do lists are by repository so I will have "SLV to do" as a tag for items I want to look at in the State Library of Victoria for example. All the items with this tag then form my to do list next time I am at the SLV. When I have looked at the item, I will change the tag to just "SLV" so I remember where I found it and also remove it from my to do list. The note will probably also be tagged with the surname being researched as well.

  4. Anne, this is a great tip, thanks for sharing, I love Evernote. And I really appreciate finding out other ways to use it.

  5. Great post. A promising new resource is a blog from Cyndi.


    1. Thanks Jill, I will be watching Cyndi's blog with interest

  6. What a fabulous idea. Thanks! I am always saying I'm going to get organized and then I get distracted by something. This way I can find my way back to where I left off.


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