Thursday, February 9, 2012

Evernote power-user tip - 8 useful keyboard shortcuts


The faster you can make Evernote work, and the more it works just the way you want it to, the more valuable it becomes.  Enter keyboard shortcuts - key combinations you can use so you don't have to slow down and reach for a mouse.  Here are the 8 shortcuts I've been using most often:

1. tag list (ctrl + alt + t) - when inside a note, or when selecting a note (or multiple notes) from the notelist, this brings up a full list of tags.  You can quickly add & remove tags from these notes.

2. bullet points (ctrl + shift + b) - probably half of my notes have bullet points.  They help me organize my thoughts, and the tab / shift-tab work very well for indentation and un-indentation (I've found some of evernote's formatting to be a bit quirky.)  It's a quick & easy way to group various thoughts and sub-thoughts together.

3. list view (ctrl + F5) - brings up your notes in list view, with the note preview pane at the bottom of the screen.  Perfect for perusing a longer list of notes and/or sorting by a specific column.

4. snippet view (ctrl + F6) - brings up your notes in snippet view, with the note preview pane on the right of the screen.  Perfect for perusing a shorter list of notes.  I also like the preview pane in this view better for drafting & editing notes.

5. hide / unhide preview pane (ctrl + F11) - especially useful with the list view, this removes the preview pane altogether and gives you a full screen of your listed notes.  Pressing it again toggles the preview pane back into view.

6. view notes from a specific tag (ctrl + shift + t) - from the notes list, this will bring up a drop-down list of all tags.  Typing the first couple letters of the tag you want will quickly bring up that tag.  Hit enter, and your screen displays only the notes within that tag.

7. print screen / screen clip (windows + prtscrn) - allows you to use the mouse to grab any part of the screen, and create a new note conatining that exact image as an image file.  You can click to open, right click to save as, copy, etc.

8. copy screen clip (windows + prtscrn, then ctrl with mouse) - same as screen clipping above, except if you hold down the ctrl key while you clip, the screen clip will be copied to the clipboard, where it can be pasted anywhere - email (and then a blog post!), a different note, word / excel, paint, etc.

I find that with keyboard shortcuts, like a lot of other things in life, it's difficult to digest them all at once and completely change how you're using evernote.  It's probably better to work on using one or two of them until you become fluent with them, then add another.  lather, rinse, repeat, until eventually your hands don't leave the keyboard anymore!

-Chris Butterworth