Last October, I posted my framework for searching in Evernote. The framework illustrated the four most common questions I ask when I’m trying to find something in Evernote: who, what, when, where. If you haven’t seen the framework, here is the high-level illustration from that post:
I’ve talked about how I use tags for the “who”, and the date fields in Evernote for the “when.” I’ve talked about how I title my notes, which helps me find the “what.” But I haven’t written much on the “where” part of the question, so I thought today, I’d provide 3 ways I capture where I’ve been using Evernote.
1. Automatically capture location with location services
Every note in Evernote has a “Location” field. If you have location services enabled on your device, the location where the note is created is captured automatically as part of the note. I have location services enabled on my iPhone, iPad, and my iMac at home. When I’m traveling and using my iPhone or iPad, notes that I create automatically get a location based on where I happen to be at the time. For instance, last summer, when I was in San Antonio for the World Science Fiction convention, I notes I created all automatically received a location:
Location is actually captured as a set of latitude and longitude coordinates. Evernote will then look up those coordinates for a location and try to make the best possible match. On the back end, however, the data is stored as the actual coordinates. This is useful because you can use Evernote’s Almanac feature to see where your notes have been created on a map. When I looked at my Atlas this morning, here is how it looked:
By clicking on any of those location, I can drill down into the set of notes that were captured in that location. So far, it looks as if about 1,100 notes have a location, out of a little more than 8,100 notes total.
The Evernote Atlas will also organize the notes by location in neat little blocks, like this:
You can also use the Search bar to search by location. It is even easier on a Mac, where you can type plain English searches like “Notes from Chicago” to find all of the notes created in Chicago:
Manually add a location to a note
Sometimes, you may create a note for which no location is captured, but for which you want to add a location manually. To add a location manually to Evernote you need the latitude and longitude coordinates of the location. It is actually pretty easy to get this information using Google Maps. Let me give an example. I work near the Pentagon City mall. Suppose I wanted to add a location to a note for the Pentagon City Mall. Here’s what I’d do.
- Go to Google Maps and search for Pentagon City Mall.
- Right click on the part of the map for which you want the coordinates.
- Click the What’s here? option on the popup menu.
- The coordinates will appear at the bottom of the information box for that location. Copy the coordinates.
- Open the note in Evernote, and go to the Location field.
- Paste the coordinates into the Location field.
Now, when I look at the note, I see that Evernote’s translates the coordinates into a location:
2. Automatically send Foursquare check-ins to Evernote with IFTTT
Sometimes, I just want to remember that I was at a place, for one reason or another. I like capturing this information on in my Timeline notebook, where I keep odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else. Maybe it’s a restaurant, maybe it’s a museum, and maybe it’s someplace I just want to remember the name of later.
I will check-in to the location using Foursquare. I do this because it is quick and easy. It takes just a few seconds to do this from my iPhone. Foursquare usually figures out exactly where I am, and all I have to do is click “Check In.”
I have an IFTTT recipe that sends all of my Foursquare check-ins to Evernote automatically. I don’t have to take any additional action. I just check into Foursquare, and a few minutes later, the note appears in Evernote. Here is what a Foursquare check-in looks like in Evernote:
This does not fill in the Location field in Evernote, so these notes won’t show up on the Atlas unless I manually add the location, but these notes also serve a different purpose from notes I want to be able to see on a map. Also, since all of these posts are tagged “Foursquare”, I have an easy way of narrowing them down to find what I am looking for when I need it.
Here is the recipe I use to send my Foursquare check-ins to Evernote:
3. Automatically capture where I’ve driven in Evernote with my Automatic Link and IFTTT
Back in May, I wrote a post on how I use my Automatic Link and IFTTT to capture my business mileage in Evernote. A nice little side-effect of this automation is that I can see where I’ve driven, and when. And I even get nice little maps that show the route I drove:
You can check out the post from a few weeks ago to see how I have automated this, but I’ll include the IFTTT recipe below for easy access:
These are a few of the ways I remember where I’ve been with Evernote. Have suggestions for other ways of remembering where you’ve been? Drop them in the comments.
If you have a suggestion for a future Going Paperless post, let me know. Send it to me at feedback [at] jamietoddrubin.com. As always, this post and all of my Going Paperless posts is also available on Pinterest.
Last week’s post: 10 Ways I Used Evernote to Plan and Track our Kitchen Remodel.