in Evernote

Advanced search in Evernote


Did I tell you that I am a heavy Evernote user, well I am. At the time that I am writing this article I have 2254 notes in all my notebooks. I put a lot of stuff there, all my resources, work and personal notes, receits my applicant tracking system and other.

advanced search evernote

A black hole

A problem with Evernote is that it can easily become a black hole for all your notes, a place you put stuff that you will never find again because there are just too many things.

Notebooks and tags can come in handy but if you create too many of them they lose the purpose of finding stuff easily. That is why I think search is important and in this article I want to dig deeper into this.

Stupid searches that are not always stupid

Yes, there are stupid searches that we can do, for example: notebook:inbox tag:ebook. So why are these searches stupid? let me ask you a question: why don’t just open that notebook and tag? it is much easier. These searches are stupid used by themselves and not stupid when combined with other search terms.



One word search

We will start slow to get you started:

  • Ever – matches Evernote
  • Note – does not match Evernote
  • *note – matches Evernote – no it doesn’t, thanks doublecheck_me_uk for the heads up
  • -Evernote – shows all the notes that do not contain Evernote

Multiple word searches

  • Evernote search – shows me all the notes that have both words
  • “Evernote search” – shows me all the notes that have both words one after another in a sentence
  • any:evernote search – all the notes that have either evernote either search

Tags

  • tag:recr* – matches all notes that have a tag that starts with recr, like recruitment
  • -tag – matches all notes that have no tags

Searching only in the note title

  • Intitle:Evernote – all the notes that have Evernote in the note title

Searching by date

You all probably know that Evernote automatically puts a date on all note as we create them. And yes, this date can be changed.

  • created:20140506 – notes created in the on 6th of May 2014 or after
  • -created:20140506 – notes created before that date
  • created:day/week/month/year – notes created today/this week/this month/this year
  • created:day-1 – notes created yesterday and today

Searching by source

  • sourceApplication:food – notes that were created by Evernote Food
  • sourceApplication:hello – notes that were created by Evernote Hello
  • sourceApplication:skitch – notes that were created by Evernote Skitch

Searching by todo status

  • todo:false – shows all notes that have unchecked todo items
  • todo:true – shows all notes that have completed todo items

The point for all this syntax

Mastering these search terms can help you find really speciffic items within your notes and create saved searches so you can use them later.

To give you an example one saved search that I use shows me all the candidates in my applicant tracking system that have unchecked todo items, so I know that action is needed from my side.

Your turn now

Tell me, what did I miss?


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  • juwlz

    You missed reminders: todo:true/false/*
    … with the same weird logic as ToDo boxes, ie. True means done

  • doublecheck_me_uk

    In One Word Searches – “*note” won’t work. Evernote doesn’t search within strings of characters, only for the start of the string. “Ever*” will find Evernote; “*note” won’t.

    • You are right, i updated the section, thanks 😉

  • jbenson2

    notebook:inbox, tag:ebook
    “So why are these searches stupid?”

    Stupid? A real classy way to alienate your readers! That search method is actually very powerful for users who prefer the keyboard to the mouse.

    By the way, this is wrong:
    -tag – matches all notes that have no tags

    The correct statement is:
    -tag:* – matches all notes that have no tags

    • I just find typing into search notebook:inbox much harder and time consuming than actually clicking on that notebook, it’s just my oppinion.

      PS: in my Evernote at least, searching -tag: and -tag:* yield the same results

  • jbenson2

    One additional comment – using the search term notebook:inbox, tag:ebook is not a good idea due to the comma you inserted into the search terms.

    • You are right, that comma should not be there, I made an update, thanks