Discover Evernote's Powerful Descriptive Search


Discover Evernote’s Powerful Descriptive Search

Posted by on 04 Feb 2014

Posted by on 04 Feb 2014

Imagine walking up to a bookshelf in your home. If you know where your desired book is, you see it and grab it. If you don’t know where the book sits, then you’ll try to recall the color of its spine, neighboring books, chronological placement, or any number of other attributes of the book until you find what you need.

Evernote’s search has always been great at providing the first part. If you know what you’re looking for, type in some keywords and the notes appear. Today, as part of our drive to create great experiences for users with a lot of notes, we’re introducing a new approach called Descriptive Search, which will let you find those notes, even if your memory of them is fuzzy and contextual.

Check for updates or Get Evernote for Mac »

Descriptive Search

Descriptive Search works by allowing you to describe what you’re looking for using common terms, which makes creating a complex search incredibly straightforward.


Here are some example searches. Just type them into the Evernote for Mac search bar:

“Images from Prague since 2012”
This search will bring up all of your notes since 2012 that contain images that have Prague as the location.

“Recipes with photos tagged vegetarian”
This search will show any notes that Evernote classifies as a recipe that contain an image and have the tag ‘vegetarian.’


“Powerpoint from last week”
This search will return all notes with attached Powerpoint presentations since last week.

Half the fun is discovering all the ways that you can now surface content in your account, the other half is actually finding what you need faster than ever before.


Descriptive Search is available first for English in Evernote for Mac, and will be making its way into other languages and versions of Evernote soon.

And More

In addition to the new search features, Evernote can now add business cards scanned with the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner to your address book, along with numerous other fixes and improvements to the app. Let us know what you think in the comments.


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21 Comments RSS

  • Sean Oliver

    This is a huge improvement on search. Very exciting!

  • T-Will

    Pretty freakin’ sweet!

  • Henrique

    This is a powerful feature… hope it is applies to other Evernote versions soon…..

  • AV

    This is admittedly great. However, I can’t get over how Evernote has such basic outlining capabilities. After all, it is called Ever-NOTE. The lack of multi-level outlining is perplexing to me. FYI, I am an Evernote Premium user who loves your product; it’s just that I can’t get over how such basic functionality is eschewed for these more advanced (and nice) features.

  • Brian

    This is great.

    As a general theme for Evernote – You need to improve on how you communicate these improvements to better identify if these improvements are being made to the other OSs.

    I use a OS X for personal and Windows for work. Work is a much more important to have these types of improvements since I’d like to spend less time at work and finding information can solve this problem.

  • Drew Vogel

    Would be nice if it stated “MAC ONLY” at the very top of the article, to save the time of reading it only to get my hopes up for the cool new feature — that is not available on my platforms (Windows or Android)… (yet?).

  • John

    Dear Evernote,

    Those of us that do not play in the sandbox of Steve Jobs, are sick of your patronizing of Apple and Mac over Windows and/or Android.

    It seems that every single time there is something new for Evernote, it is always for the other (Dark) side!

    “Availability – Descriptive Search is available first for English in Evernote for Mac…”

  • Ricky

    Why can’t you update such a simple feature like this on multiple versions all at once?  Mac getting special treatment is not enough to convince me to buy their overpriced, over hyped products.

  • pete

    The thing is, I pay $45 per year for the premium service but if I don’t have an apple product, I have to wait for premium services. Please make it equal for all paying customers and not just the ones whose brand you like best!

  • Jacqueline

    I like it!

  • RJ

    Any improvements to searching are welcomed – this one looks pretty cool. I hope someday to be able to do true Boolean searches as well. And I hope to have more accurate searches that return actual matches. It’s amazing that the current search engine returns notes that have no matches whatsoever to the search criteria.

  • Noah

    Doesn’t understand “movies” or “videos” as nouns to find .mov files in documents, so, meh.

  • Rich

    Wow, great feature, you must have spent a lot of time testing it and honing it to perfection? I immediately tried the recommended “notes from Paris” and immediately found 4 notes. Yippee!

    I’ve never been to Paris in my life. Doh! 🙁

    Please excuse the sarcasm. I actually do love Evernote 🙂 But speaking as someone who works in software QA I did find it almost embarrassing that not even a simple smoke test works. Hate to think of the repercussions if *our* software went out with bugs like that!

    • Rich

      I couldn’t help but laugh just now as I spotted that one of the 4 notes found (from almost 2000) is a PDF book from Wikipedia entitled… wait for it… “Software Testing” 😀

  • Barb

    It works perfectly. BUT you should be very specific that one of the “are you searching for…” options that appear must be selected. Merely hitting return causes a search for all words. Hence, “with” is highlighted in every note.

  • Darren

    I’ve updated to the latest version but I’m finding, even when I use the suggested searches, Evernote gives me nothing for suggestions to click on. Just a big old empty magnifying glass and “Search suggestions appear here.”

  • John Crisostomo

    Only for EN for Mac. Meh.

  • homeion

    Great. Note: the system language of the Mac has to be English for this to work. Anyway searching is much more fun now.

  • Jonathan Gardner

    Is this still only avail. for EN for Mac? I would really like to create one of the searches above. Specifically the “Notes from last week” on my EN for PC.

  • nelson

    Where is the search feature in the new version for OS X?

  • Andy Dent

    This is driving me crazy. If you want to find notes ABOUT Android, descriptive search is as annoying as Clippy. It keeps suggesting I might want to be searching for notes from a mobile device. PLEASE add a switch to turn the !@#$!@#$ thing off.