4 More Feature Suggestions for Evernote

Not long ago, I suggested a feature for Evernote that would capture the last time a note was viewed. This, I thought, would be useful in determining whether a note is worth keeping around. Since then, I’ve been playing around with the new Evernote, trying to drum up some of my original enthusiasm for the tools. As I’ve played around with it, a few more feature suggestions have occurred to me, and I thought I’d share them here. If anyone at Evernote is reading, feel free to take these ideas.

Note aliases

Most operating systems have a mechanism for aliasing a file. Windows calls this a shortcut. MacOS calls this an Alias. Unix calls this a symlink. The nice thing about this feature is that a file can appear in many places, even though there is only a single copy. This would be incredibly useful in Evernote.

Imagine being able to create an alias for any note. If a note exists in your School notebook, and you want it to also appear in your Commonplace notebook, you could create an alias to the note in the latter notebook. The alias points to the original so any changes you make change the original and the results are reflected in any alias.

You could always make a copy of the note, but that isn’t the same thing because updating the copy doesn’t change the original and vice versa. You can also make a shortcut to a note, but there isn’t much you can do with it aside from putting it into a shortcut list.

How might this be useful? Well, it would be really useful if Evernote coupled it with a…

Note board

One of the views in Evernote lets you look at notes in “card” view. One thing I’ve often wanted to be able to do is take notes and organize them in ways that are meaningful to me. If you think of notes as cards, then you can think of a note board as a surface on which you can arrange you notes however you like.

Right now, this is almost impossible. Notes are attached to a notebook. Not only that , you are limited to how those notes can be sorted within the notebook. A note board would allow you to pull note aliases onto a board and arrange them any way you like. You can pull notes from multiple notebooks. Since you are only pulling the alias of the note, the original is safe and sound in its notebook.

A note board would serve the purpose of taking index cards and arranging in some useful manner to you.

I imagine that you can save boards and make shortcuts to boards just as you can do for most other objects in Evernote.

Custom sorting

Within a notebook, there are only 3 ways to sort note: by title, date updated, or date created. It would be really useful to be able to drag notes around in the notebook to make a custom sort.

Note automation

I would like to see Evernote add some automation capability. Since the notes are all centralized on the server, this seems like it would be possible. I imagine there are lots of use cases for this, but the one I have in mind is fairly practical. I’d like a way to automatically delete notes based on certain criteria. And I’d like this to be able to run on a. set schedule.

My use case involves Skitch notes. I do tons a screen grabs with Skitch and they all go into a notebook. Probably 95% of these are one-and-done, but they accumulate until I have thousands of these clippings in this notebook. It would be nice to have automation that would do something like the following:

  • Once a day:
    • Delete notes from the ‘Skitch’ folder with a createdDate > 10 days in the past

This is highly specific to my needs, but as I said, there’s probably a ton of use cases in general automation.

Those are my suggestions. Now that Evernote integrates with Google Calendar, I suppose a nice-to-have would be the ability to integrate with Apple’s iCloud calendar, too. (I use the latter.) But that seems like I’d be asking too much, especially after make my case for these other four features.

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