Getting Started with Evernote


Welcome to Evernote! We're glad you're here. Spend a few minutes going through this guide to learn some Evernote basics. We will introduce you to a number of useful Evernote functions and concepts that will help you start remembering everything.

Before we dive in, here are a few terms that will be used throughout this document:

Note : A single item stored in Evernote.

Notebook : A container for notes.

Sync : The process by which your Evernote notes are kept up to date across all of your computers, phones, devices and the Web.

Account : A username and password that allows Evernote to identify your notes and make them available to you anywhere.


Ready? Let's get started

Installing the Evernote Desktop Client

Our desktop client applications offer a complete, powerful interface for managing all of your Evernote notes and notebooks on your Windows PC or Mac. They only take a couple of minutes to install, so let's do that now.

First, download the installation software. Open your favorite web browser and visit the Evernote Web site at The Web site will automatically detect what type of computer you are using and provide you with the correct download option:

download option

Windows Users

Download the setup executable file anywhere on your Windows PC. When the download completes, double-click the file to launch the setup program. If you'd like, you can optionally configure the location of your Evernote installation.

Windows installer

After the setup program completes, click Finish. To launch Evernote, click the icon in your All Programs menu within the Evernote folder:

Evernote program icon


Congratulations — you have successfully installed the Evernote desktop client. Next, let's create your user account.

Creating your Evernote User Account

Note: If you have already registered for an Evernote account on, you can skip this step. Simply enter the username and password you chose when you completed the account creation process.

The first time you launch the Evernote application, you will be prompted to enter your username and password, or create a new Evernote account. To create a new Evernote account, click "Get a free Evernote account now":

Welcome to Evernote - launch screen

Clicking this link will open a new window where you can input your information and choose a username and password:

Choosing a username and password

Once you've filled in all of these fields, click "Register". This will create your account and immediately log you in with your new account in Evernote on your desktop.


Now that the Evernote desktop client is installed and you have created your account, let's take a quick look at creating simple text notes.

Creating Your First Note

Evernote can store many different types of content, and the most common is simple text; whether it's a note you write to yourself, a portion of a web page that you'd like to save or an email you've received that you want to remember, Evernote knows how to handle it. With that in mind, let's create your first note.

At the top of the main Evernote window, you'll see a large button labeled "New Note":

New Note button

Click that button and Evernote will create a brand new note and place the cursor into the body of the note:

Note body

You can give the note any title you like. For this example, a simple title:

Note title

Now, click in the main body of the note and start typing!

Text in the note body

It's as simple as that. If you like, you can style the text by changing the font, increasing or decreasing the size or changing the color. You can also bold, italicize or underline the text — all of these options are available in the toolbar above the note body.

New note toolbar

Once you're finished typing your note, you don't need to do anything else. Evernote will automatically save and synchronize your new note to Evernote on the Web. That same note will then be available on all of your devices where Evernote is installed.


There are many other ways to customize your note (adding tags, choosing the destination notebook, etc.), but this is a good start. Now, let's see how easy it is to add images to Evernote.

Adding Your First Image

Evernote is a great tool for saving all kinds of information, not just text. From funny pictures of your family and photographs of your favorite wine labels to the stack of business cards you collected at a recent conference and the whiteboard from the last strategy meeting, Evernote makes it extremely simple to add all kinds of images to your account and keep them forever.

Let's say you have an image file on your computer's desktop that you'd like to add to Evernote:

Image file on desktop

Open the main Evernote window, click that "New Note" button again, fill in a title for your first image note, and drag the image directly into the note body:

Image in note body

The same technique can be used when saving images from the web. Simply click and drag your image:

Image being dragged from browser window

And drop your image into the body of a note. That's it!

Dragged image being dropped into note

You can also drag images directly on a specific notebook and, if you're a Mac user, onto the Evernote icon in the Dock.

Just like with the text note we created in the last section, your new image note will be synchronized to Evernote on the Web automatically within a couple of minutes. After that, it'll be accessible from anywhere you've installed Evernote — including your smart phone or tablet.


Now that we've learned how to add images to Evernote, let's take a look at how Evernote Sync makes them (and all of your other notes) available anywhere.

Understanding Evernote Sync

While Evernote is immensely useful as a desktop note-taking application, its true power lies in its ability to synchronize your notes to the Evernote on the Web. This allows you to create and find your memories on virtually any computer, web browser or mobile phone.

This means that you can clip a cornbread recipe from the web on your Mac, read it on your iPhone when you're at the grocery store buying the ingredients and look it up from your friend's Windows PC when you're at his house preparing to bake the cornbread. Evernote on the Web is constantly updating all of your computers and devices with the latest versions of your notes, so you'll always have the right information, wherever you are.

All of the Evernote applications are in regular contact with Evernote on the Web. Whenever a new note is created or edited on any of your Evernote-capable devices, the note is uploaded to the Evernote on the Web where all of your other devices will download it the next time they sync.

Sync diagram

Evernote for Windows or Mac will automatically synchronize your notes with Evernote on the Web every few minutes, but you can manually sync any time by clicking the "Sync" button:

Sync button (on Mac)


Saving web content

Saving Web Content

Saving content from the web to your Evernote account is quick and easy with the Evernote Web Clipper. It works a little differently depending on the browser you're using, but it's as easy as highlighting part of the web page you're viewing and clicking a button in your browser's toolbar or, if you use Internet Explorer, right-clicking. Let's look at a quick example:

Here's some content I highlighted on a webpage that I'd like to save to my Evernote account:

Text selected in web page

I just click the Evernote button in my browser toolbar:

Evernote button in Firefox toolbar

And a brand new note is created for me with the content that I highlighted:

Clipped note

The Evernote Web Clipper functionality is available on all modern web browsers. To install the Web Clipper in your preferred browser, visit the Products page. No matter which browser you use, installation only takes a minute and makes saving web content a snap.


Setting reminders

Setting Reminders

Reminders are a great way to keep track of notes that contain time-sensitive information, or that you need in order to accomplish tasks.

Set a Reminder for any note by opening the note and clicking or tapping the Reminder icon.

a note showing the reminders button
a date picker

For time-sensitive Reminders, you can also set a due date.

Reminders appear in a To-do List at the top of your Note List, where they can be sorted, ordered, edited and more.

reminders listed above note thumbnails

Open a notebook to see only those Reminders or to create new reminders inside that notebook.

reminders listed inside a notebook

You can opt to receive emails on the day timed reminders are due.

reminders listed inside a notebook

Once you've completed a task associated with a Reminder, check it off in the Reminders list. Checking off a Reminder does not delete the original note. To check off a Reminder, simply click the checkbox, or swipe to the right on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

marking a reminder as done


Next steps

Next Steps

Now that you've successfully installed and played around with Evernote on your desktop a little bit, here are some of the next steps to fully integrating Evernote into your digital life:

If you ever have any questions, be sure to take a look at the growing collection of FAQs and support articles in our official Knowledge Base. If you need assistance, we have a dedicated support team ready to answer your questions.

Thanks for using Evernote!