Tips & Stories

Did You Know? — Get More By Using Evernote On Your Desktop

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 05 Apr 2011

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 05 Apr 2011

Hi, Kasey here with the first installment of our ‘Did You Know?’ blog series. Ron (of Ron’s Tips) and I will be writing about different Evernote features and how to make the most of them. We hope that both new and existing users will find some useful nuggets in these posts to help maximize your Evernote experience.

Many of us are so mobile these days that we sometimes forget about the desktop–we’re really concerned with having something available to us on our mobile phones. It’s no surprise that the majority of Evernote users come to us from mobile devices. But all of you probably also have a desktop computer that you use every day…that you’re likely working on right now. If you haven’t tried Evernote on your desktop, you’ve only seen half of what Evernote has to offer.

Let’s talk about why you should get to know Evernote on your desktop:

1. You Can Create Long-Form Notes

Unlike your phone, your desktop is great for creating and digesting longer content. Similarly, Evernote on your desktop is perfect for taking long-form notes and working on projects that may contain pages and pages of text, images, and attachments. Use Evernote for meeting agendas, to take notes in class, draft blog posts, and organize a research project.

2. You Can Attach Files

Your desktop experience is, naturally, more integrated with your other desktop tools. When you’re on your desktop, you can easily drag and drop images, audio and PDFs into Evernote (Premium users can save any file type), making them instantly available on any number of devices that you use when you’re away from your desktop. You can also bring in scanned documents and handwritten notes thanks to integrations with personal scanners, smartpens, photos from your digital camera and lots more.

3.  You Can Clip Content from the Web

The Evernote Web Clippers, available for all major browsers, allow you to quickly and seamlessly capture content as you’re surfing the web. You can clip text and images by selecting what you like and then clicking on the browser extension. The Web Clipper preserves the source URL in your note, so you’ll always have it for reference later. You can clip a recipe from the web and create a grocery list for it, then access it on your phone while you’re shopping. When you’re home cooking in your kitchen, you can pull it back up on your laptop or your mobile device. We can’t live without the Web Clipper.

The desktop versions of Evernote also allow you to take screenshots of your full screen or a small portion of it, dropping these images directly into your Evernote account.

4. You Can View Your Memories in a Super Visual Way

When you’re on the go, you have your phone, but when you’re at your desk, you tend to be in front of your computer. So, take advantage of the most powerful and feature-rich experience Evernote has to offer. See more notes on your screen, browse notes visually, access the Trunk and drop in integrations that make Evernote even more customizable (for example: making voice notes searchable), and see of your memories in the full glory of your computer’s screen.

Evernote, Everywhere

Having Evernote on your desktop and your mobile device(s) ensures that you never have to think about how to capture or search through your memories. The beauty of Evernote is that it seamlessly connects your computer, mobile device and the web. No more worrying about where to look for your notes, documents, audio files, or photos because they’re all in one place.

If you’ve never tried using Evernote on your desktop, give it a whirl.

If you have questions about Evernote or specific features you’d like explained, let us know in the comments.

Install Evernote for Mac
Install Evernote for Windows
Download the Evernote Web Clipper
Access Evernote on the Web, from any computer


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55 Comments RSS

  • Dave P

    For those of us with Windows Tablets, EverNote also offers something that dates back to WinXP Tablet and the original EverNote (back when it was paid shareware):

    5. You Can Hand Write Notes! And Search Them!!!

    • Mike

      ohhh.. I want that on my mobile…

    • Angie

      I want that on my iPad.

  • John F

    My desktop is where I use Evernote the most, because I use it primarily to keep track of information I collect for investment research. Some of my notes have quite a number of tags and that gives rise to a couple of problems that only emerged with Evernote version 4.

    On the desktop, as opposed to on the Web, one can only add the number of tags that can fit on one line when using the Add Tags function on the note itself. I get around this by closing the note window after I’ve reached the limit of the one line of tags and dragging tags to the note in the 3-panel view.

    However, there’s another, related problem with viewing notes that have a large number of tags in the desktop app – ie, there is no way, that I’ve been able to find at least, that allows one to see all the tags assigned to each note. In the full, single window view of each note one can see only a single line of tags and one sees even fewer tags in the 3-panel view. If I want to see all the tags I’ve assigned to a particular note, I have to open the Web app.

    Any comments or suggestions?

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Thanks for the feedback, John.

  • Mark Colan

    One reason for using EverNote on the desktop is to manage work information – some of which may be confidential. For this reason, I am still using a really ancient v2 version.

    Why? Because when I heard about the new version, it seemed to be all about using the Web, and I can’t put sensitive info on the Web. Also, I don’t want to be dependent on a Web site to use Evernote; I often use it when I am offline.

    Can you set me straight on how/whether Evernote desktop uses the Web, and what control I have over my content?

    • jefito

      The Evenote desktop clients use the web for sync’ing to the cloud, but also maintain your notes in local storage. In fact, you can designate notebooks that remain local to your own hard drive and do not sync to the Evernote servers.

      • Mark Colan

        Thanks jefito. Can syncing between two of my own computers be done directly, without the cloud intervening?

        • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

          Mark: You need to connect to the Evernote service to sync.

    • antoonvdr

      I have the same concerns. Version 2.1 was better than v4 in some ways: storage of info and the implementation of keywords. At the moment a keyword in v4 is treated in a search as just just another word in your note. Obviously there are advantages on having your database on “the Web”: accessibility from different sources. For me that is really just a minor advantage. Intellectual property is quite a bit more more important.

  • Mark Colan

    Put more simply: can Evernote 4.x be used in a local-only mode, without having an Evernote account, so that information is ONLY stored on my local hard disk?

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Mark: in order to use Evernote, you need to have an account. However, if you use Evernote on your desktop, you can choose which files you want to sync and which files you don’t want to sync. If you create a local notebook, any files you place in it will stay on your computer and will not synchronize with the service.

      • Mark Colan

        Thanks, Kasey! As for an existing Evernote 2.x notebook… I assume I can import it to the newest version and keep it local too? Will 4.x still read old 2.x notebooks?

        • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

          Mark, please contact support:

  • Daniel Gold

    Great post! In fact, I just posted on my site yesterday how much I love the new share features in the beta version of the desktop app! It’s awesome! Take a look! Here’s the draft that I wrote in Evernote’s Desktop App I wrote & shared via Twitter before I posted it to my blog. It’s fantastic!

  • Jeff

    There is one feature that would make Evernote so much more useful to me – simple outlining that can be entered and/or read on both my mac and iPhone. I think in outline form but evernote doesn’t. I don’t need the super smart outlines of omni outliner, but simple cascading indention and numbering.

    • Stefan

      I do not understand why until now there is no service that provides a simple outlining-functionality that syncs between Mac and Windows-Desktops and the iPad / iPhone.
      That would be another Killerfeature for Evernote.

    • Paul Z

      Add me to the “they want outlining” list the product team is keeping… in Evernote, I presume.

  • DigitalRob

    I’ve essentially replaced my documents folder with Evernote. The search is faster than Spotlight on my Mac and I can add information about the files I include with notes. Everything is automatically backed up too! I don’t keep anything in my documents folder anymore.

    Now I just have to go back and move all of my old files into Evernote, and it’ll be a perfect world.

  • Jalin2

    The ice cream would be if a mind mapping application was developed for both desktop and mobile, or alternatively a compatibility to an existing ipone/ipad software “ithoughts”

    • Mary

      Amen! iThoughts and also iAnnotate. If they are feeling warm and fuzzy toward Evernote.

    • fivekitten

      Oooo I love mind mapping…

  • Tony

    The part of evernote I use the most is the evernote outlook plug in. Not only have I replaced my “my documents” I’ve also completely eliminated the folder tree in outlook as is is much easier to search in evernote and also my files are always with me.

  • Nils

    I love the Evernote desktop client (Mac) and use it daily. My only gripe is the formatting of notes – it sometimes produces weird results, e.g. when indenting bullets or when pasting content that uses another font. I wish the formatting was as reliable and easy as in MS OneNote. Please improve the formatting – everything else about Evernote is great.

    Oh, and please add a feature to password-protect a note or a notebook.

  • Adrian

    This is exactly what I do.

  • Jose A.

    I did not know why Evernote for windows does not have the ability to see shared folders??

  • Kathy J

    I loved being able to drag and drop files from Evernote onto my desktop. Wish that was still available!

  • Mary

    I use the desktop, iPad, Blackberry and web apps. The desktop is certainly the “power app” of the group. My hard drive is almost completely cleared of anything outside of Evernote. A large file cabinet is empty- scanned and shredded. However, at some point this is going to be more than I want to have on my hard drive. The desktop needs an option to archive folders to the cloud.

  • pariuri online

    This is a really excellent read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

  • Brian

    Amen, I use the desktop version of Evernote far more than web/mobile. It is very good for writing simple but nice looking documents.

    I have been using Evernote daily for a few years now. Over time almost all my important computer related information has migrated its way into Evernote. I like it so much I pay for it even though I don’t need to do so for storage requirements. And that is saying something because I am quite cheap otherwise. 🙂

    PS: any chance you’ll restore subject date? I’m still on 3.1 for that one reason.

  • Audrey

    Do you need to start a new notebook per subject? How do you do that? I’m a teacher’s aide mother of 6 and have a lots of activities. I need help organizing all this.

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Audrey, you don’t need to start a new notebook per subject – it’s up to you. You can choose to create notebooks for all subjects/activities, or simply tag notes. You can also do both and search by tag, notebook, or keyword. Everything in Evernote is super searchable.

      • linda

        HI Thought I would pop in this part of the conversation – at this stage shared folders can not be accessed on ipad or iphone – am i correct??? We are using Evernote at our work place we also travel alot. Our staff meetings ect are in evernote as shared folders but it seems they can only be accessed when on a computer not mobile device. You can have you own folders but just not the shared one, does this make sense? Any ideas/help…..

  • Bryan

    One great feature would be the ability to designate a note as “text only”. I find, all too often, that my notes somehow acquire formatting that I didn’t intend. Once that happens, editing them on the Windows client becomes difficult and non-intuitive. Editing notes with formatting on my Android phone becomes an exercise in futility.
    There are notes in my Evernote account that are totally screwed up (line spacing, fonts, etc.) and which I cannot fix. I would love to be able to say, “Never apply formatting to this note.”
    Of course, I’d rather that the formatting features worked and that the Android client supported editing formatted documents, but “text-only” would work for now.

  • ruth

    I am at work, so can’t add programs to my PC but I have EN as one of my homepages, so it’s there to put all my personal info in, instead of printing it out. Articles, links, ideas, lists, rants, anything I might want at home and might NOT want seen at work.

    I have it on my netbook, though, and use it a lot. And on my iPod Touch. Maybe you should come out with a paper Evernote…a little notebook for jotting things down to be later copied into EN. Place for folder, tag.

    Thanks for making this available.

  • Timothy

    Just used evernote for my latest blog post! Its’ on this elusive notion of Qi in Chinese health arts. Check it out Here

  • Nancy Keep

    Over the weekend I found another “cool” use of Evernote…. a garden notebook of what I was buying that day (i.e. 32 plants in 4 inch pots). I took a picture of the tag with the name on it on my Iphone and put it into Evernote…. When I got home I went to the web catalog for the nursery, and clipped the culture note for each plant into Evernote on the desktop. I then pasted the name of the plant into the garden notebook/database from Evernote, along with the culture and where it was going in my Garden (in my desktop garden noteook/database I have the location of every plant I have ever bought and how it did in the location I put it.)

  • Myself

    Most people access via the Mobile clients? That surprises me.

    I use the desktop client pretty much exclusively.

    I’ve tried the iPhone app a couple of times, but haven’t really found it useful. It seems to be geared towards quick note-taking, to-do lists and the like, whereas my use of Evernote is more for larger scale research and reference — storing full articles, full web-pages, substantive information.

    It surprises me that so many people use Evernote for to-dos and as a small-scale note-taking app. Seems like using a cannon ball to kill a mosquito, given how useful I’m finding it for things that involve more heavy lifting.

    Just goes to show Evernote’s flexibility, I suppose 🙂

  • Kees

    Are there plans for a Linux/Ubuntu version? I definitely buy a premium acc if there’s a Linux version.

  • Pete

    I love Evernote on my Mac desktop. However, I find I constantly find myself wishing for an extra hierarchy level within the notebook structure. Is this feature already in the works for a future version?

  • RJ

    This post must be talking about me!

    I use the desktop version of Evernote 90% of the time both for work and for play. I like that it helps me keep an up-to-date “To Do” list. I also find these as I work and paste them into a note or clip them so I can look at them later. I only wish I had found Evernote earlier. I even tell all of my family members and friends about it. I hope to become a Premium subscriber in the Fall.

    Thanks Evernote! I love you! 🙂

  • xavier


    Exactly how do you write long notes in Evernote?


  • peanutheadsdad

    How do I migrate all my notes, contacts, calendars, etc. from my old Palm X/T, Microsoft Office contacts and calendars as well as Google contacts and calendars onto the “EverNote Cloud?”

    • mauigal

      I agree with peanutheadsdad. I would like to import from google contacts, calendar and contacts. Any ideas?

  • Rino

    Hi. Since the desktop version will be installed in my local PC, how secure is it? Encrypted? I’m worried that should anyone have access to my PC they can play with my Evernote notes.

  • MCK

    My Q is this….how do you have a local notebook(s) that will not synch. I do not want to have everything I am scanning into my notebooks uploaded to “the cloud”. If you know how to do this ..please give directions. Also, my co-worker would like to know if EN can be used as an App and stay “locally only” to scan docs into a storage device and not use the cloud. Any help with these 2 Q’s would be great.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      When you create a new notebook in a desktop version of Evernote, you are asked whether that notebook should be local or synchronized. Select local and the contents of that notebook will never synchronize with the Evernote service. You cannot make an existing notebook local, but you can move notes out of a synchronized notebook into a local one.

  • Ingo

    I am still in need of true Drag & Drop.

    I used to scan things into Evernote as PDF, then drag the PDF into an Outlook compose message window to send it to someone.

    This functionality is STILL missing with the newest version. It just puts en-resource:///2011_07_12_11_50_34.pdf into my mail message, not helpful at all.

  • Mary Butler

    I would also like to know how to migrate/sync my memos, calender,expense, contacts etc from my Palm Zire 31 which has been a great PDA but is becoming hard to sync because of newer upgrades to Microsoft. It was also a great organizer and very convenient.
    I just use Evernote on my laptop.
    thank you

  • Simon

    Is it possible to use the “clip to evernote” to local notebooks?

    I would ideally like to be able to frame the area I want to grab and throw it into a local notebook but I notice on the Chrome version of Clipper, the local notebooks don’t appear in the dropdown to select there.

    • Peng

      I think you can do that with the Firefox web clipper.

  • Anita

    Is it possible to password protect the Evernote info on my PC? (if someone had access to my computer, would they have complete access to all my Evernote files?)

    • Chad

      Anita- I had the same concern.One solution is to Encrypt sensitive data. You create a password that is necessary in order to view the note or text within the note.

  • Randy

    Does the premium version feature entry password protection for all of its client software (PCs, Android, iPads, etc.)?

  • Astral Projection Forum

    Can I get this for my mobile too?