Archive E-mail to Evernote


Evernote is a great tool for genealogists. Did you know you can archive e-mail directly to Evernote folders for later retrieval? Watch this short video to learn how:

However, Evernote announced three days ago that this would become a paid feature beginning July 6, 2015. Here is the link to the available plans, pricing and features.


From iPhone or iPad to Evernote

Evernote App
The Evernote App

If Santa brought you a shiny new iPhone or iPad for Christmas and you’re wondering which app to download first for genealogy, might I suggest Evernote?

Evernote is often described as a digital note-taking application, but it is so much more than that. Think of it as a digital information management system.

“Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.”                                                                                — Evernote Product Description

Although not created specifically for genealogists, its rich feature set lends itself well to a genealogist’s research and writing process. In fact, in the March 2012 issue of the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Quarterly, the Evernote app was called a “must-have app for genealogical professionals“. I cannot recommend it enough; it truly is the one app that I use daily in both my personal and professional life.

When doing on-site research, for example, I like to use the camera on my iPhone to take photos of the title pages of books and microfilm. I then upload those images to Evernote for later use in developing source citations. Also, it is often quicker to snap a photo of a microfilmed image when sitting at the microfilm reader than removing the roll and taking it to a separate scanner to create a digital image and save to USB stick. Storing these images in Evernote, along with text, clipped web pages, and voice notes, I can access much of my genealogical research in one spot.

If you are at all intrigued by the possible uses of Evernote, I encourage you to sign up for a free account and download the Evernote app to your Apple smartphone or tablet from the iTunes app store.

To get an image from an iPhone or iPad into Evernote, follow these simple steps.

  1. With Evernote open, click the plus button to add a new note.
  2. Click the photo icon to go to your Camera Roll (if using a pre-existing photo). Alternately, to snap a photo and attach it to a note, click the camera icon instead.
  3. Tap the image you want to save to Evernote. (Note the paperclip with the number next to it. That’s the number of photos that have been attached to the note.)
  4. Tap Done.
  5. Sync up.

While the above directions are specific to the iPhone/iPad, there are Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone versions of the app available, as well as desktop versions of the software and a cloud-based version of the software. The versions I have used have each been fairly intuitive to use despite subtle differences.

One potential “gotcha” is the size of digital images created with a smartphone and the upload limits with a free account. You get 60 MB of space with a free account per month. If you find you need more space you can upload up to 1 GB per month with a premium subscription ($5.00/month or $45.00/year). Check out the details at

Census image from iPad camera roll attached to a note in EvernoteDigital 1860 census image photographed with an iPad and added to a note in Evernote.

iPhone image added to Evernote

Image of microfilmed Virginia tax roll, photographed with an iPhone and added to a new note in Evernote.

From PDF to Evernote

In my presentation entitled “Evernote for Genealogists” given at the Seattle Genealogical Society last Saturday (10/6/2012), I demonstrated some ways in which genealogists can use Evernote to record their research as it unfolds. Even though I had 90-minutes and a three-page syllabus, it still wasn’t enough time or space to delve into some of the details. Since I find Evernote to be an indispensable tool, I have decided to use this blog to share the occasional tip for genealogists (or any researcher, really) wanting to incorporate Evernote into his or her digital research process. In this example, I will use the NGS Magazine to illustrate this useful application.

One of the benefits of membership in the National Genealogical Society (NGS) is a subscription to NGS Magazine, a quarterly publication filled with useful articles for genealogists. Members are able to access PDF copies of the magazine by logging into the “Members Only” section of the website. You could download and store the entire issue in Evernote, but that would take up unnecessary space, and invariably include material like advertising that you may not wish to archive.

Today’s Evernote tip is how to extract a few pages from a larger PDF file using Adobe Acrobat and save those pages in Evernote for later reference. There are several different ways to accomplish this task that come readily to mind. I will share one method here. In my example, I am using an older version of Adobe Acrobat Standard (version 6.0 for Windows) and the free Evernote desktop client version 4.5.8.

  1. Download the complete PDF file to your computer.
  2. Open the downloaded file in Adobe Acrobat (not the free Adobe Acrobat Reader – there is a difference).
  3. Click the Pages tab on the left side of the window to expose thumbnail images of the pages within the file.

    Adober Acrobat | Pages tab

  4. Click the first page you want to extract, then press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard. Click the other three pages (then let go). You should see blue borders around the four thumbnail images indicating your selection.

  5. Right-click and select Extract Pages.Acrobat | Extract pages
  6. Press OK to confirm your selection in the Extract Pages dialog box.
  7. Save your extracted pages somewhere you can find later by going to File > Save As on the Adobe Acrobat menu. Browse to the location you want to save to, rename the file if you like, and click Save.
  8. In Evernote, click New Note.Evernote | Toolbar showing new note
  9. Right-click in the newly created blank note and click Attach File.Evernote | Attach Files
  10. Browse to the location you saved the file to in step 7, then click Open. Your extracted PDF article will appear in Evernote as a new note!

Evernote | Extracted pages from fileExtracted PDF article attached as a note in Evernote.1 The article text and a portion of the photograph have been deliberately blurred since I do not have permission to republish the article. The attached article in Evernote is for my own personal research.

The photograph used by the author in the above article is part of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs housed at the Library of Congress. See a close-up of the image here:

1 The article of interest was authored by Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, “Compiled Military Service Records, Part III: The record of events,” NGS Magazine, September 2012, 28-31; downloaded from the National Genealogical Society website ( : 07 October 2012.

[Post edited 2 Jan 2018]