6 Powerful Evernote Search Tips

Man standing in front of maze with Evernote logo

Evernote is great for a lot of reasons. From organizing your home to handling email better, it really can do it all. Most of these amazing uses rely on one key feature in Evernote: search.

Evernote’s search capability is what makes it so useful, and it’s that search feature that makes Evernote the perfect home for just about every piece of digital information you have.

Just like everything else, though, it takes a little practice to get your search-fu up to speed, so check out the six Evernote search tips below to help you unlock the real power of this amazing app.

1. Use Plain Words in Descriptive Search

If you only take away one tip from this list, make it this one. Unlike in traditional searches, Evernote allows you to describe what you’re looking for instead of requiring the exact wording or file name.

For example, you could say images from Pittsburgh and the results of the search would be any images you’ve added to Evernote that are geographically tagged to Pittsburgh. Or search for notes since 2012 tagged with work to see all the post-2012 notes that have the tag “Work” attached to them.

Important Note: Right now this feature only works with English-language users on Evernote for Mac.

Learn more about Descriptive Search from Evernote here.

2. Tag Your Notes

Speaking of tags, tagging your notes helps you find notes in different notebooks that are attached to one another.

Let’s say you organize your notes by location and you want to easily find all the vacation notes and images across those notebooks. Just tag each note with “Vacation” and now when you search for the Vacation tag you’ll see them all. To search by tag, type Tag: before your query.

If you have a specific tag you want to search for, place it inside a set of quotes and you’ll only get that exact tag back in the results.

3. Creation and Updated

You can also search for notes based on when and where they were created. If you know the exact date a note was created, you can search for it by typing created:yyyymmdd. So, for example, typing created:20130118 will show you all notes you created on January 18, 2013.

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The same goes for when a note was last updated. If you remember when you last added something to a note, you can find it by searching for updated:yyyymmdd. Thus a search for updated:20140913 will show you the notes last updated on September 13, 2014.

Just make sure to use a four-digit year when doing either query.

4. It’s All About Location

Just as you can find notes based on when they were created or updated, you can find notes based on WHERE they were created. This type of Evernote search works as long as you have location services turned on for the device you’re making the note in.

Location services showing map of Minneapolis

There are a few things to know about this process, which the Evernote folks explain best. Check out this Evernote Knowledge Base article to learn more about searching by location.

SEE ALSO: 7 Tips for Using Google Search Like a Pro

5. Checklists

If you use checklists in your notes (which you totally should be doing), then you can use a special search query to find notes that do or do not contain checklists. This helps you filter out to-do lists in a standard search, or only search to-do lists so you can find that one item you forgot to complete.

All you have to do is add an extra bit to your Evernote search. By adding todo:true to your search query, you’ll only return notes that both fit your search query and have checklists in them. By adding todo:false to your search instead, you’ll omit all notes with checklists in them.

6. Save a Search

With all these searches floating around now, you probably want to start a new notebook with just your favorite searches in them. While this isn’t a bad idea, there’s a much easier way.

You can actually save common searches so that you can quickly access them whenever you want. The actual steps for creating a saved search vary depending on the platform you’re using, so check out this Evernote Knowledge Base article to get the specifics for your system.
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