When reading or writing, I like the view to be a simple one. If I’m reading a Kindle book, I turn the popular highlights off. When I’m writing a blog post, I open a new window almost no tabs. When I’m creating notes in Evernote, I want to see just the note I’m working on. This desire for simplicity led me to use and enjoy WorkFlowy. Evernote has a feature that mimics this, links.* Links in Evernote can take you to notes within Evernote, or pages on the web, here’s how I use each.
Linking within Evernote
I recently did this with my 2014 goals. I started with a list of four main areas to work from and then wanted to include more details below those. I didn’t want to do this all in one note though.
First I needed to grab the Note Link from from the note I was linking to. This was right clicking on my ideas note and select Copy Note Link. Then I went to the relevant text (Start new site), highlighted it, and selected Hyperlink Add. I pasted in the code and viola, the link appears.
I use linking in Evernote with the mindset of of having a table of contents or endnotes. When I’m creating notes like my daily journal, I’ll link to other notes that were relevant that day like phone calls I had or book notes that I read. I also try to link about ideas I have. This section is from my notes on Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series). On page 94 there was an idea that reminded me of something Penelope Trunk wrote about that I had recently added to Evernote. For as useful as this feature is, it doesn’t help my egregiously poor spelling.
Linking outside of Evernote
The second way I use links is to connect to sites outside of Evernote. If linking to items within Evernote keeps things organized and clean, then this lets things be powerful and deep.
As I’ve been using Evernote for all of my digital storage, short of email, there are a many things I can link to. This note below was an outline about the power of narratives. I wanted to collect all my ideas in a single place before writing so I created this list and added links as I remembered things that would fit what I was writing about. Each circle is a link to a webpage, but even here with the box, I’m linking to another note.
Evernote’s linking feature makes staying organized easy and keeps my notes clean (though all that red above does not). Linking also lets me collect things I want to note before diving into any writing that I’m doing.
*One final thought, Evernote doesn’t do this as well as WorkFlowy does. The simple interface it offers has a great appeal to me, but I’m so deep into Evernote and enjoy minimal apps, that I’m not sure how to use both.