Getting Started with Evernote for Windows Desktop
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.
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. Learn more
- Note List: Displays all of the notes in your Evernote account, with the most recently updated notes shown first by default. 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
- Account Action Toolbar: Contains buttons for commonly used account actions, including initiating a manual sync, viewing account info, viewing Activity Stream and exploring the Evernote Trunk
- Note Action Toolbar: Contains buttons for commonly used note actions, including creating and sharing notes
Time to create your first note!Next
Create & Edit a Note
An Evernote note can capture just about anything, including text, images, files, audio, Web Clippings 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 in the Note Action Toolbar. By default, the note will be created in your default notebook.
To create the note in a different notebook, click the notebook drop-down, located next to the note title field. Once created, your note will automatically be saved to Evernote and synced across all your devices.
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.
Just about anything can be attached to a note, including files, images and audio. To add an attachment, do one of the following:
- Drag and drop the attachment into the body of your note
Use the attachment icons in the Note Editor:
File: Click to attach an image, document, or any other file type to a note
Audio: Click to record audio and attach it to a note
To format text in a note, use any of the formatting tools in the Note Editor as you would in a normal word processor.
- Font Tools: Change font, font size and font styles
- Layout Tools: Change text alignment, create a bulleted or numbered list, and indent text
- Special Element Tools: 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 Text: Instead of pasting into the note as usual, select Edit > Paste As 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).
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.
View & Edit Note Details
To view and edit information about a note, open the note, then click the More Info button, located at the top-right corner 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 30 minutes.
To change how often your Evernote account is automatically synced, do the following:
- Select Tools > Options
- Click the Sync tab
- Click the Synchronize automatically drop down menu and select the frequency that you want your Evernote account to automatically sync. You may also disable automatic syncing by unchecking the box
You can sync your Evernote account at any time by clicking the Sync button located at the top of the application window. Manual 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 availableNext
Browse Your Notes
There are many ways to browse the notes in your Evernote account. You may browse notes easily by note, notebook, tag, or shared activity stream.
To browse all the notes in your Evernote account, click Notebooks in the Sidebar, then click All Notes. All of your notes will be displayed in the Note List.
The Notebook List
Click Notebooks in the Sidebar to see a list of all the notebooks in your Evernote account.
To view all the notes in a notebook, click it. All the notes contained in that notebook will be displayed in the Note List.
The Tag List
To view all of the tags in your Evernote account, click Tags in the Sidebar. The Tag List will be displayed.
To view all of the notes associated with a tag, click the tag. The notes with that tag will be shown in the Note List.
The Activity Stream lists all of the activity that has taken place in Shared Notebooks that you own or have joined, and 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 display the number of events that have occurred since you last opened your Activity Stream. Click the Activity Stream icon to show a list of which notes were updated.
The next section will explain ways to organize your notes and 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, right-click Notebooks
- Click Create Notebook. The Create Notebook dialog box will be displayed
- Enter a name for your new notebook and click OK. 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 change the notebook a note is saved in, do the following:
- Click Notebooks in the Sidebar to display the list of notebooks in your Evernote account
- Drag and drop the note you want to move from the Note List to the notebook you want to move it to in the Sidebar
Deleting a Notebook
Please note that when a notebook is deleted, all the notes it contains will be moved to the Trash.
To delete a notebook, do the following:
- In the Sidebar, click Notebooks
- Right-click the notebook you want to delete. A menu will be displayed
- Click Delete... A confirmation box will be displayed
- Click Delete Notebook. The notebook will be deleted and any notes in it will be moved to the Trash
Notebook Stacks are an optional way to organize multiple notebooks by visually 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'.
Creating a Notebook Stack
To create a new Notebook Stack, do the following:
- Click Notebooks in the Sidebar to expand the list of notebooks in your Evernote account
- Drag and drop one notebook on to another notebook. A new Notebook Stack containing both notebooks will be created with the name 'Notebook Stack'
- Drag and drop any other notebooks you want to include on to the new Notebook Stack
- To rename the Notebook Stack, right-click it, then select Rename...
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:
- Click Notebooks in the Sidebar
- Right-click the Notebook Stack you want to delete. A menu will be displayed
- Click Delete... A confirmation box will be displayed
- Click Delete Stack
Favorites are the fast, easy way to access your most frequently-viewed notes and notebooks. Favorites are displayed in the Favorites Bar beneath the Account Actions Toolbar at the top of the application window.
Adding a Favorite
To add a Favorite, just drag and drop a note or notebook to anywhere on the Favorites Bar.
Removing a Favorite
To remove a note from the Favorites Bar, just drag and drop it to anywhere outside the Evernote application window.
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 tag... field
- Begin typing the tag you want to add. A list of suggested tags will appear
- Click the tag you want to add, or enter a new tag name
- Hit the Enter key
Removing a Tag
To remove a tag from a note, do the following:
- Open the note
- In the Note Editor, place your mouse cursor over the tag you want to remove. An X will appear on the tag
- Click the X. The tag will be removed
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. Evernote Premium users, can also search inside attached PDF files.
To search your Evernote account, enter the text you want to search for in the Search Field, located at the top of the Note 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)
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:
Sharing a Note
- Click the note that you want to share in the Note List
- Click the Share button and choose from any of the following:
- Send By Email: 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
- Post to Facebook: Click to post a Public URL for 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 a Public URL for 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 a Public URL for 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
- Copy Note 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. Please note that Share URLs can be accessed by anyone who has the URL.
Stop Sharing a Note
To disable a Public URL so that it is no longer public, do the following:
- Right-click the shared note in the Note List. An options menu will be displayed
- Select Share > Stop Sharing. A confirmation box will be displayed
- Click Stop sharing note
Shared Notebooks let you share your notebooks and the notes they contain with anyone, whether they are an Evernote user or not.
Any time another Evernote user offers to share a Shared Notebook with you, you will receive an email notification with a link to view the Shared Notebook. The first time you view the Shared Notebook, you will be given the option to Join the Shared Notebook.
Shared Notebooks that you have shared with others will appear in the list of Personal Notebooks with a blue notebook icon.
Joined Notebooks (notebooks that others have shared with you) will appear in the Notebook List, separated by owner, below your Personal Notebooks.
Sharing a Notebook
To turn a notebook into a Shared Notebook, do the following:
- Right-click the notebook you want to share in the Notebook List
- Click Share Notebook. The Sharing menu will be displayed
- Click Start sharing, next to the Notebook you want to share. Sharing options will be displayed
- Click one of the two sharing options:
Allows you to share the notebook with specific Evernote users. Evernote Premium users can also allow others to edit their Shared Notebooks. Anyone that you invite must login to Evernote to view your Shared Notebook. If they do not have an Evernote account, they 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
- The recipient of a Shared Notebook invitation will have the option to View Notebook (only look at contents in a web browser) or Join Notebook (add the Shared Notebook to their Evernote account). Users must Join a Notebook to synchronize notes with their Evernote account and, if allowed, make edits or contribute notes to the notebook.
Modify Settings for a Shared Notebook
To stop sharing a Shared Notebook, do the following:
- Right-click the notebook you want to modify in the Notebook List
- Click Share Notebook. The Sharing menu will be displayed
- Invite new users or create a Public URL to the Shared Notebook as you normally would.
- Remove users from the Shared Notebook by clicking the X to the right of their name.
There's lots of ways to get more out of Evernote. Let's take a look at a few of them.Next
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. To subscribe from inside the Evernote application, select Tools > Account Info then click the Upgrade to Premium... button.
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 Windows:
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.
Watch introductory videos and walkthroughs.