Notes in Evernote start out as empty containers, and you are free to put whatever you’d like into them. Sometimes that emptiness and unstructured space can actually make it a little difficult to know what to do. You don’t need a template to make the application work for you, but it doesn’t hurt! All of these templates can be found in my shared notebook at https://www.evernote.com/pub/mayo-christopher/public.
I used to use the templates below in order to add a little bit of color to my account. One nice thing about the templates is that you don’t have to use the titles, fonts, or even the text! Feel free to change them as you see fit. I should note that I use the reference codes at the bottom of each code in my organizational system, and they may be extraneous in yours. The idea is that by using the codes in saved searches I can find all of the notes of this type. If you prefer a more polished experience, I highly recommend KustomNote, which won second place in the 2012 Evernote Developer’s Cup.
How Do You Use Them?
I find it easiest to name them YYMMDD + keyword + template (for example, 130820 journal template) and keep this as a saved search (“intitle:”journal template”). On the Mac or iPad (with an external keyboard) I click on the saved search, press CMD + a to select everything in the note, press CMD + c to copy it all, open a new note, press CMD + v, and start writing. It only takes a couple of seconds.
Alternatively, you could create a bunch of these templates (right click on a note in the Mac, copy to the notebook, select those two notes, repeat the process, select those four notes, repeat, etc.) and just start writing in one of your templates. When you are done, rename it and file it wherever you would like.
For notes with background color, you can use these as templates: #CCCCCC (gray), #FFE5CB (red-orange), #FFFFCB (pale yellow), #CBE5FF (blue-green), and #CCCCFF (periwinkle). I have included images so that the colors appear in the snippet view as well. If there is a background color you would like to see instead of these, please let me know.
I create a journal note every day in order to write down my schedule, record my research, keep personal notes (diary), and track my health. These notes also serve as a calendar for me, because post-dating the title enables me to schedule events in advance. See my page on organizing in Evernote for more about how this works.
Person (Farley File)
My version of the Farley File is basic contact information along with categories relevant to people in my field. I make these for authors I read and people I meet. If you are outside of academia, you may want to edit some of the content to fit your needs. Also, you may want to consider trying out Evernote’s Hello application for a unique twist on keeping notes about people.
This note template is a version of the Farley File for historical figures. Unless you are a historian or a student, this template probably will not appeal to you!
Reading Note (Secondary Sources)
When I was preparing for my general exams a few years ago, I stopped taking my notes in the margins of books and scribbling them onto handwritten notes, and started typing them up into reading notes that I could edit over time, browse, and link together. I liked these so much that I have kept on doing it for everything I read.
Evernote Fitness Challenge
I put this together after the fitness challenge we had last February so that I would have a template ready for the next time. I just read today that we will be having another one in June. Looking forward to it! The template is based on one that BurgersNFries prepared.