Getting Started with Evernote for Mac
Welcome! Evernote is the easy and powerful way to remember everything, from lifelong memories and vital information to daily reminders and to-do lists.
Everything you store in your Evernote account is automatically synced across all of your devices, making it easy to capture, browse, search and edit your notes everywhere you have Evernote, including smartphones, tablets, computers and on the Web.
This guide will introduce you to the basics of using Evernote, including how to create, organize, sync, search and share notes.
What's New in Evernote 5.0 for Mac
Evernote 5.0 introduces a number of new features and improvements that make the Evernote experience better than ever.
Evernote 5.0 brings a beautiful, more intuitive UI to the Evernote experience. Now you can save, sync, search and share your memories easier than ever.
The new Sidebar gives you quick access to everything in your Evernote account.
Faster Browsing with Shortcuts
Easily add Shortcuts to the Sidebar so that the notes and notebooks you use most are always at-hand.
More Powerful Search
Search has always been one of Evernote's most powerful features. Now Type Ahead search makes finding notes even easier by suggesting keywords and phrases, searching all Shared Notebooks, and offering advanced search filtering options.
More Accessible Shared Notebooks
All of your Shared Notebooks and Joined Notebooks are now browsable in the same place as your personal notebooks.
We often associate memories with place. The new Atlas feature groups your notes around common locations, and lets you browse them on the new map view.
Create Your Evernote Account
Evernote offers two account types: Free accounts and Evernote Premium accounts.
Don't have an Evernote account? Create a Free account now!
Anyone can create an Evernote account for free. Free accounts include the core Evernote features covered in this Getting Started Guide and more.
Evernote Premium offers many great additional features that let you get more out of Evernote, and is available for a monthly or yearly subscription. To learn more about everything that Evernote Premium has to offer, check out our Evernote Premium page.
Get Evernote for All Your Devices
Evernote is available for just about every device and platform, including smartphones, computers and on the Web, making it easy to remember everything and access it anytime, anywhere.
To download Evernote, visit the Evernote product page.
Evernote is available for all of the following:
- iPod Touch.
- Windows Phone.
- Windows 8.
- Mac OS X.
- Windows Desktop.
Get started by learning about the Home Screen.Next
The Home Screen
From the Home Screen you can create new notes and notebooks, as well as browse, organize, and search your Evernote account.
- Sidebar: Offers many ways to browse the contents of your Evernote account.
- Note List: Displays all of the notes in your Evernote account, with the most recently updated notes shown first. This is also where search results are displayed. Learn more.
- Note Editor: Where you view and edit the note currently selected from the Note List. By default, your most recently updated note will be displayed when you launch Evernote. Learn more.
- Search: Search your notes for keywords, locations, tags and more. Evernote searches the titles and contents of your notes, as well as text inside images attached to notes. Learn more.
- New Note Button: Creates a new note in a specified notebook. When clicked, a blank note will appear in the Note Editor where it can be edited immediately. You may also click the menu icon on the right side of the button to select what notebook you want to create the note in. Learn more.
- Activity Stream Button: Click to view your Activity Stream, which shows updates that have occurred in your Shared Notes, Shared Notebooks and Joined Notebooks. Learn more.
- Sync Button: Click to to manually sync your Evernote account. Evernote automatically syncs regularly, so using this button is optional. Sync ensures that everything in your Evernote account is available anytime and anywhere that you have access to Evernote, including on your phone, tablet, computer and on the Web. Learn more.
- Account Info Button: Click to add a new Evernote account, sign out, or view information about your account, including your current monthly usage, your Evernote email address and more.
Time to create your first note!Next
Create and Edit a Note
An Evernote note can capture just about anything, including text, images, files, audio, Web Clips and more. All notes are searchable, making them easy to find when you need them. Evernote even searches for typed and handwritten text inside attached images.
Creating a New Note
To create a new note, click the + New Note button, located at the top-center of the application window. By default, the note will be created in your default notebook. You can also click the drop-down to create the note in another notebook.
Once created, your note will automatically be saved to Evernote and synced across all your devices.
Just about anything can be attached to a note, including files, images and audio. You can even attach snapshots taken with your Mac's front-facing camera.
To add an attachment, drag and drop it into the body of your note, or use any of the following buttons in the Note Editor:
- Audio: Click to attach audio using your Mac's built-in microphone.
- Snapshot: Click to take a snapshot using your Mac's front-facing camera.
- File: Click to attach a file.
To format text in a note, use any of the formatting tools as you would in a normal word processor:
- Font Tools: Click to change the font, font size and font styles.
- Layout Tools: Click to align text or create bulleted and numbered lists.
- Special Element Tools: Click to insert a checkbox, table or horizontal rule.
Removing Text Formatting
Sometimes you may prefer to paste text into a note and remove all formatting on that text (remove bold, italics, sizes, and other rich text). Removing formatting is especially helpful when copying and pasting text from a webpage with a variety of fonts, layouts. Here are a few ways to eliminate the formatting:
- Paste as Plain Text: Instead of pasting into the note as usual, select Edit > Paste As Plain Text. The pasted text will be inserted into the note without any formatting whatsoever.
- Simplify Formatting: Select Format > Simplify Formatting to convert an entire note into a default font size, font color, and line spacing while retaining basic rich text formatting (bold, italics, underline, hyperlinks, and bullet points).
- Make Plain Text: Select Format > Make Plain Text to convert an entire note into a plain fixed-width font and size with no text formatting whatsoever.
Reminders are a great way to keep track of notes that contain time-sensitive information, or that you need in order to accomplish tasks.
Setting a Reminder
To set a Reminder for a note, do the following:
- Set a Reminder for any note by opening the note and clicking the Reminder icon.
- Reminders appear in a To-do List at the top of your Note List, where they can be sorted, ordered, edited and more.
- To add a due date to the Reminder, click Add a date in the confirmation box, then select a date and time for the Reminder.
- To reorder the Reminders in your To-do List, click and drag it to a different spot in the list.
- To mark a Reminder as completed, click the checkbox field to the left of the Reminder
Using Email Reminders
You can opt to receive emails on the day timed reminders are due.
The first time you create a Reminder, a dialog box will be displayed at the top of the Note List with the option to enable email reminders. To enable email reminders, click Yes.
To enable email reminders for specific notebooks, or to disable email reminders, go to Evernote > Preferences... and click the Reminders menu.
Editing and Removing a Reminder
To edit or remove a Note Reminder, do the following:
- Click the note you want to remove or edit the Reminder from to open it.
- Click the clock icon at the top-right of the Note Editor. An options dialog will be displayed.
- To remove the Reminder, click Clear Reminder.
- To edit the due date of the Reminder, click Change Date.
Editing a Note
To edit the contents of a note, click it in the Note List to display its contents in the Note Editor, then click anywhere in the body of the note to make edits. You may also double-click the note to open it in a separate window.
Deleting a Note
To delete a note, simply click it in the Note List to select it, then hit the Delete key on your keyboard. The note will be moved to your Trash Notebook.
Changing Note Details
To edit information about a note, click the Note Info button at the top-right of the Note Editor. You can change a note's location details, created and updated dates, view Note History (Evernote Premium feature), and other details.
Now that you have a note, let's sync it so that it's available across all your devicesNext
Sync Your Evernote Account
Sync ensures that everything in your Evernote account is always available to view, edit and search everywhere you have Evernote, including smartphones, tablets, computers and on the Web.
Your Evernote account is automatically synced across all of your devices at regular interval whenever Evernote is running. By default, this happens every 15 minutes.
To change how often your Evernote account automatically syncs, do the following:
- Select Evernote > Preferences.
- Click the Sync icon.
- Click the Sync my account with Evernote drop down menu.
- Select how frequently you want your account to automatically sync.
You can sync your Evernote account at any time by clicking the Sync icon located at the top of the application window. Manually syncing is helpful when you want to immediately access content created on one device, for example your phone, onto another device, such as your computer.
Evernote makes your notes easy to browse. Let's take a look at the different ways available.Next
Browse Your Notes
You may browse notes easily by note, notebook, tag, location, and more using the Sidebar.
To browse all the notes in your Evernote account, click Notes in the Navigation pane. The Note List will be displayed.
Note View Options
The Note list can display your notes in three different views. To switch between these, click the Note View Options button at the top-right of the Notebook list, then select a desired view.
- Cards: Displays your notes as cards that include excerpts from the note above a thumbnail of an attached image. This is the default Note List format.
- Expanded Cards: Displays the Cards view without the Note Editor.
- Snippets: Displays your notes as a list that includes excerpts next to a thumbnail of an attached image. This was the default Note List format in previous versions of Evernote.
- List: Displays a list of your notes that includes the note title and other information about the note.
Click Notebooks in the Sidebar to see the list of all notebooks. To view all the notes in a notebook, double-click it.
Your private notebooks will show the notebook name and the number of notes they contain. Shared Notebooks will looks similar to your own notebooks, but will also display the Shared Notebook icon and the Shared Notebook owner's Evernote username. Notebook Stacks will have a white banner that shows the number of notebooks contained in the Notebook Stack.
You can view your notebooks in two different views. To switch between these, click either of the Notebook View buttons at the top-right of the Notebook List.
- Grid View: Displays each of your notebooks and Notebook Stacks as a card.
- List View: Displays a list of your notebooks and Notebook Stacks that includes the notebook name and note count.
To view all of the tags in your Evernote account, click Tags in the Sidebar. The Tag List will be displayed. Please note that if there are no tagged notes in your Evernote account this option will not be visible in the Sidebar. To view all of the notes associated with a tag, double-click the tag. The notes will be shown in the Note List.
Another way to explore the notes in your Evernote account is to single-click any tag in the Tags List, which will highlight all of the tags that have been used in conjunction with the selected tag.
Atlas lets you browse your notes based on where they were created. To open Atlas, click Atlas in the Sidebar.
Place Card View
In Atlas, you can view the location of all your notes at once by clicking the All Notes card. Atlas also creates Place Cards for groups of notes that are located in and around the same place, making it easy to browse by more specific locations.
The map view will be displayed when you click any of the Location Cards. This view displays the locations of your notes on an interactive map that allows you to zoom-in and zoom-out. You may also move around the map by clicking and dragging or using the Current Location button on the bottom-left.
Numbered flags indicate how many notes were created in a given location. To review notes, click any of the flags. If multiple different types of notes are listed in one flag, you may select your desired note type from a list of options. You may also click the Note Count button in the lower-right corner of the map view to display all of the notes that are currently shown on the map in the Note List.
Click any note, notebook, Notebook Stack, or tag in the Shortcuts portion of the Sidebar to display it in Evernote. Shortcuts are the easy way to navigate directly to the items in your Evernote account you use most.
Shortcuts to notes, notebooks, Notebook Stacks and Tags will each be indicated by a corresponding icon. You can create up to 250 Shortcuts in Evernote.
Click any note in the Recent Notes portion of the Sidebar to open that note in the Note Editor.
The Recent Notes list displays the last 5 notes you edited.
The Activity Stream lists all of the activity that has taken place in any Shared Notes or Shared Notebooks that you have shared, as well as Joined Notebooks that others have shared with you. The Activity Stream includes information about what notes others have created or updated and when.
When new updates are posted to your Activity Stream, the Activity Stream icon will turn blue, and show the number of events that have occurred since you last opened your Activity Stream. Click on the button to show a list of which notes were updated.
There's lots of ways to organize your notes to make them easier to browse and search.Next
Organize Your Notes
Evernote gives you many ways to keep your notes organized, so that you can browse, search and remember in the way that works best for you.
Notebooks are the most common way of organizing notes in Evernote, and are commonly used to separate notes by category, location or purpose. For example, you might create one notebook called 'Work Notes' and one called 'Personal Notes' to keep these types of notes separate and easier to find.
All Evernote accounts have one default notebook that is automatically created when the account is created.
Shared Notebooks can also be used to selectively allow others to see and edit the contents of your notebooks.
Creating a New Notebook
To create a new notebook, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Notebooks. The Notebook List will be displayed.
- Click the + New Notebook button. A new notebook will appear in the Notebook list.
- Enter a name for your new notebook and press the return key. You can add notes to your new notebook immediately.
Adding Notes to a Notebook
By default, all new notes will be saved to your Evernote account's default notebook. To learn more about creating notes in a specific notebook, go to Create & Edit a Note.
To add notes to a notebook, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Notes. The Note List will be displayed.
- Click the note you want to move. The note will be displayed in the Note Editor.
- Click the Notebook selector drop-down in the upper-left corner of the Note Editor. A list of all your notebooks will be displayed.
- Click the notebook that you want to move the note to. Evernote will automatically save and sync the change.
Renaming a Notebook
To rename an existing notebook, select it in the Notebook List, then click and hold on the notebook name. When you release, the name will be selected and editable.
Deleting a Notebook
Please note that when a notebook is deleted, all the notes it contains will be moved to the Trash Notebook.
To delete a notebook, do the following:
- Click the Notebooks icon in the Sidebar.
- Control-click or right-click the notebook you want to delete in the Notebook List. A menu will be displayed. Please be aware that this only works in the Notebook List, not the Sidebar.
- Click Delete Notebook... A confirmation box will be displayed.
- Click Delete. The notebook will be deleted and any notes in it will be moved to the Trash Notebook.
Notebook Stacks are an optional way to organize multiple notebooks by grouping them into sets. Notebook Stacks are commonly used for grouping notebooks that have a similar broad topic or theme. For example, you might create a Notebook Stack called 'Recipes' then add Notebooks to it called 'Breakfast Recipes,' 'Lunch Recipes,' and 'Dinner Recipes'.
Each Notebook Stacks appears in the Notebook List as a notebook with a white banner that displays the name of the Notebook Stack and the number of notebooks it contains.
Creating a Notebook Stack
To create a new Notebook Stack, do the following:
- Click the Notebooks icon in the Sidebar.
- Drag and drop one notebook on to another notebook. A new Notebook Stack containing both notebooks will be created automatically.
- Drag and drop any other notebooks you want to include on to the new Notebook Stack.
Adding a Notebook to a Notebook Stack
Adding a notebook to a Notebook Stack is easy. Just drag and drop the notebook on to the Notebook Stack you want to add it to.
Deleting a Notebook Stack
Deleting a Notebook Stack will not delete any of the notes or notebooks contained in the Notebook Stack.
To delete a Notebook Stack, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Notebooks.
- Control-click or right-click the Notebook Stack you want to delete. A menu will be displayed.
- Click Delete Stack... A confirmation box will be displayed.
- Click Delete.
Shortcuts are the fast, easy way to access your most frequently-viewed notes and notebooks.
Shortcuts are listed beneath the SHORTCUTS heading at the top of the Sidebar. You can create Shortcuts for notes, notebooks, Notebook Stacks and Tags, which will each be listed with a corresponding icon.
Adding a Shortcut
To add a shortcut, just drag and drop a note or notebook to anywhere on the Sidebar. You can create up to 250 shortcuts.
To create multiple shortcuts at the same time, hold the Shift key, then click multiple items from your Evernote account to select them and drag them to anywhere on the Sidebar.
Deleting a Shortcut
To delete a shortcut, click and drag it to anywhere outside the Sidebar.
Tags are an optional way to associate keywords to notes and improve searchability. One or more tags can be added when a note is created or at a later time. Common uses for tags include associating notes with categories, memories or locations.
To view all of the tags used in your Evernote account, click the Tags icon in the Sidebar
Tagging a Note
To add a tag to a note, do the following:
- Open a new or existing note.
- Click the click to add tags field.
- Begin typing the tag you want to add. A list of suggested tags will appear.
- Click the tag you want to add.
- Hit the return key. The tag will be highlighted in blue.
Creating a New Tag
To create a new tag, do the following:
From the Tag List:
- In the Sidebar, click Tags.
- Click the + New Tag Button in the upper-left corner of the Tag List. A new tag will appear in the Tag List.
- Enter the name for the new tag.
From the Note Editor:
- Open a new or existing note.
- In the Note Editor, click the click to add tags field.
- Type a name for the new tag.
- Hit the return key. The new tag will be highlighted in blue.
Deleting a Tag
To delete a tag, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Tags.
- Control-click or right-click the tag you want to delete. An options menu will be displayed.
- Click Delete Tag.... A confirmation dialog will be displayed.
- Click Delete.
Check out how Evernote's powerful search makes it easy to find your notesNext
Search Your Notes
Everything in Evernote is searchable, including the contents of notes, tags and attachments. Evernote even searches for typed and handwritten text inside attached images.
Type Ahead Search
Type Ahead Search makes finding the exact notes you're looking for easier than ever. Just start typing in the Search notes field, and a drop-down will display search suggestions based on the contents of your Evernote account, including:
- Keywords and phrases
- Recent searches
To use any of the Type Ahead Search suggestions, click them in the list.
Document & PDF Search (Evernote Premium Feature)
Evernote Premium and Evernote Business subscribers may also search for typed and handwritten text inside the following attached file types:
- Scanned PDFs
- Documents (Microsoft Office, and iWork)
- Spreadsheets (Microsoft Office, and iWork)
- Presentations (Microsoft Office, and iWork)
Adding Search Options to your searches allows you to limit what and where Evernote searches for in your account. Search Options are great if you have hundreds or thousands of notes in your Evernote account, but can be useful for anyone.
The following Search Options can be applied to a search:
- Notebook: Specifies a notebook the note must be in.
- Tag: Specifies a tag the note must be associated with.
- Contents: Specifies a content type the note must contain, e.g. image, audio, encrypted text.
- Source: Specifies what type of Evernote client was used to add the note to your Evernote account, e.g. Mobile, Web, Desktop.
- Created: Specifies a time period for when the note was created.
- Modified: Specifies a time period for when the note was last modified.
Adding a Search Option
One or more search filters can be added to a search. To add a Search Filter, do the following:
- Click the Search notes field. The Type Ahead Search drop-down will be displayed.
- Click Add Search Option. The Search Options menu will be displayed.
- Select the type of Search Option you want to add, e.g. Notebook, Tag, Created.
- Select the specifics for the Search Option from the drop-down menus, e.g. if you chose 'Notebook' for the search filter type, you would now choose a specific notebook that you want Evernote to search in.
- Click Add. The Search Option will be displayed in the Search notes field, and updated search results will appear in the Note List.
- Repeat these steps to add more Search Options, if needed.
- Type any additional keywords or phrases you want to include in the Search field to further narrow your search.
Removing a Search Option
To remove a Search Option, delete it in the same way you would delete text in the Search field.
Evernote automatically saves your five most recent searches and makes them available with just a couple clicks.
To use a Recent Search, do the following:
- Click the Search notes field to display the Type Ahead Search drop-down. Your five most Recent Searches will be displayed under the Recent Searches heading. Recent Searches will only be displayed if you click the Search notes field while it is blank.
- Click the Recent Search you want to use. All of your notes related to that search will be displayed in the Note List.
In Evernote for Mac, whenever you create or view a note, Related Notes from your Evernote account will appear below the note editor. Evernote chooses Related Notes by analyzing the content of your new note as you type relative to all of the notes in your Evernote account. You can open any of these notes by clicking the displayed preview.
Related Notes will also be displayed any time you clip content from the web with Evernote Web Clipper, and when you view webpages with Evernote Clearly.
Related Notes are currently available in Evernote for Mac as a Premium feature, as well as Evernote Web Clipper for Chrome and Evernote Clearly.
Now let's look at all the ways you can share memories captured in EvernoteNext
Share Your Notes
Evernote is more than a tool for remembering everything, it's also great for sharing the information and memories you capture with others, as well as collaborating.
Any individual note can be shared through Evernote, as well as email, social media and on the web, even if the recipient isn't an Evernote user.
To share a note, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Notes to open the Note List.
- Click a note in the Note List to open it.
- Click the Share Menu icon and choose from any of the following:
- Post to Facebook: Click to post the contents of the note to your Facebook wall. You will be redirected to Facebook and asked to confirm that you want to post the update.
- Post to Twitter: Click to tweet the contents of the note. You will be redirected to Twitter and asked to confirm that you want to post the tweet.
- Post to LinkedIn: Click to post the contents of the note as an update to your LinkedIn account. You will be redirected to LinkedIn and asked to confirm that you want to post the update.
- Email Note: Click to send the contents of the note as an email. The email address associated with your Evernote account will be shown as the sender.
- Copy Share URL to Clipboard: Click to make the note available via a publicly accessible URL. The URL will automatically be copied to your clipboard and can be shared with anyone. The Share icon in the upper-right corner of the Note Editor will be blue for any note that has a currently active Share URL. Please note that Share URLs can be accessed by anyone who has the URL.
- To disable a Share URL so that it is no longer public, click the Share icon, then click Stop Sharing.
Shared Notebooks let you share your notebooks and the notes they contain with anyone, whether they are an Evernote user or not.
To turn a notebook into a Shared Notebook, do the following:
- Click Notebooks in the Sidebar to open the Notebook List.
- Hover your mouse pointer over the notebook you want to share. The Share icon will appear in the lower-right corner of the notebook's cover.
- Click the Share icon. The notebook sharing options will be displayed.
- Click one of the two sharing options:
Allows you to share the notebook with specific Evernote users. Invitees will receive an email notification with the option to View Notebook (only look at contents in a web browser) or Join Notebook (add the Shared Notebook to their Evernote account where it can be viewed, synced and edited).Evernote Premium users can also allow others to add and edit notes inside their own Shared Notebooks. Users must log in with an Evernote user ID unless you check "Allow notebook preview without requiring login." Users who do not have an Evernote account will be prompted to create one. .
Create a Public Link
Creates a publicly accessible URL that can be accessed by anyone, including those who do not have Evernote. Please note that anyone with the Public Link will be able to view the entire contents of this notebook. You can disable a Public Link at anytime by clicking the notebook's Share icon and then clicking Delete public link .
- Invite Individuals
Shared and Joined Notebooks are indicated by the Shared Notebook icon, and are displayed in the Notebook List with the rest of your private notebooks. Joined Notebooks will also display the Evernote username of the person who owns the notebook.
The Note Editor also indicates when you are viewing a note that is in a Shared or Joined Notebook with a banner below the format toolbar.
There's lots of ways to get more out of Evernote. Let's take a look at a few of themNext
Get More Out of Evernote
There's lots of ways to get more out of Evernote, from clipping websites directly into your Evernote account, to the increased benefits of Evernote Premium, to exploring the entire Evernote Family of Products and more.
Evernote Web Clipper
The Evernote Web Clipper is a feature you install into your computer's internet browser to quickly save text, images, and full Web pages directly to your Evernote account. Notes created using the Web Clipper are automatically searchable and include the URL address they were clipped from. Learn more and download Evernote Web Clipper.
Every day more than 15,000 developers worldwide are working to create and improve a wide variety of 3rd party apps, services, and products that help users get more out of Evernote. The Evernote Trunk is where users can browse these offerings, which include hardware, software, Evernote merchandise and more. To discover new apps and services that help you get more out of Evernote, take a look through the Evernote Trunk.
Evernote Premium offers increased storage, more features and improved functionality, so that you can get more out of Evernote. Some of the benefits of an Evernote Premium subscription include:
- Increased monthly upload allowance: Upload 1GB of data per month to your Evernote account.
- Top priority support: Get answers to your questions even faster.
- Editable Shared Notebooks: Allow others to edit the contents of your Shared Notebooks.
- Searchable PDF Attachments: Search inside your scanned PDF documents.
- Note History: View previous versions of notes.
Monthly payment and annual payment subscriptions are available. To subscribe or learn more about the benefits and features of Evernote Premium, check out our Evernote Premium Page or from the Evernote software select the Evernote > Upgrade to Premium
Congratulations! You've learned all the basics for using Evernote. Take a look at our Other Resources to find more ways to learn about EvernoteNext
Check out these additional resources to make the most of Evernote on Mac:
Search for answers to your questions, or contact the support team.
Read or join other users' discussion about using Evernote.
Get inspiration from user stories and product announcements on Evernote's blog.