This is a tutorial for the amazing organization application Evernote. If you’re new to Evernote, you can: Get the app here, Get started using the app here and See more tips & tutorials for using Evernote here.
There’s a little trick in Evernote that not many people are familiar with. It’s called, The Table of Contents. Now, all of us know what a Table of Contents is but have you ever thought about using one to organize your own information? Here are a few great ways to use a Table of Contents within Evernote.
Ideas for Utilizing a Table of Contents in Evernote
- Shared Notebooks: Use a Table of Contents for notebooks that you’ll be sharing with others. For example, if you’re planning an upcoming trip and have a travel notebook that you’ll be sharing with family, a Table of Contents makes it really easy for them to reference information within your notebook and locate things that they may need.
- Research: Use a Table of Contents for notebooks with all of your research. For example, if you’re compiling a big collection of research articles, a Table of Contents can easily create your own mini and personalized book on the topic right in Evernote.
- Records: Use a Table of Contents for notebooks that contain records. For example, if you’re compiling all of your home records, a Table of Contents makes it really easy to pull up any necessary documents.
- Certain Criteria: You can also easily create a Table of Contents for any notes within your account that meet a certain criteria. For example, notes that contain certain tags, notes that were created on a specific day or notes that contain certain information.
Luckily, Evernote makes generating a personalized Table of Contents simple and fast! Here’s how it’s done.
How to Create a Table of Contents in Evernote
- Within a Notebook: If the Table of Contents is for a notebook then navigate to that notebook.
- With a Tag: If the Table of Contents is for a tag then navigate to that tag.
- Notes that meet certain criteria: If the Table of Contents is for certain criteria then populate those notes using the Search Function.
Once your notes are in the Note View Section, select all applicable notes that you’d like to include in your Table of Contents.
- To select Notes one-by-one: Click on one Note in the Note View Section, hold down Shift and then select the other notes that you’d like within your Table of Contents. Once a note is selected, there will be a blue highlight around the edges.
- To select all Notes in your Note View Section: Click on one note then navigate to Edit in the top menu bar and choose Select All.
Once your notes are selected, as you can see below, you will see the following chart in the main editor section. All you have to do is click the button that says, “Create Table of Contents Note.”
Immediately, you’ll have a new note populate that will look like this. All of those links will be internal links. Once you click on a link, you’ll automatically be directed to the applicable note.
Where your new Table of Contents note shows up depends on how you currently have your notes sorted. If you sort your notes by Most Recent, then it will show up right at the top of your list of notes. If you have your notes sorted in alphabetical order, then it will show up in order of the alphabet, so you may need to scroll down a bit to find it.
And voila! Now you have you’re own customized and personalized Table of Contents right in Evernote.
Utilize Your Table of Contents
Here are a few tips for utilizing your Table of Contents.
- Add it to Shortcuts: You have shortcuts on the left-side bar of Evernote. You can easily add tags, notes and notebooks by dragging them right into your Shortcuts side-bar. For easy access to your Table of Contents note you can select and drag the note right into your Shortcuts.
- Pay Attention to Sort By: In the small toolbar right above your note view section in Evernote you can select how your notes are sorted. You should consider the title of your Table of Contents based on how you’ll sort your notes. For my notebook below, which is in the Simplify Days Mindful Life Kit, I have my notes sorted by title and by alphabetical order. So on my Table of Contents notes I added asterisks around the title (like this *Table Of Contents”). This ensures that the note is always visible near the top of the list for notes within that notebook.
Be Aware: No Auto-Updates
When you generate a Table of Contents, the note is static. Which means that it will not automatically update as you add more notes that may be fitting for that Table of Contents.
For example, the Mindful Life Kit displayed above is a notebook. I generated a Table of Contents for that specific notebook.
If I add an additional note to that notebook it will NOT reflect in the Table of Contents that I have already made. You can easily add new notes to your Table of Contents by following the same steps as outlined above and generating a brand new Table of Contents each time. Or, you can add singular notes to your already populated Table of Contents by using Evernote’s Copy Classic Note Link Function.
Copy Classic Note Link Function
When you’re in your note view section right click on the new note that you’d like to add to your Table of Contents. A new menu will appear. The option of interest is called Copy Note Link. But don’t click that option quite yet.
If you select Copy Note Link, then Evernote will populate a link for that specific note; however the link will take you to your note within Evernote’s web-based version, which we don’t typically want. To stay right in your Evernote desktop app, you need to copy the Classic Note Link.
To do so, keep the window opened that appears when you right click on your note, then press and hold your Option/Alt key. Where it said Copy Note Link, it will now say Copy Classic Note Link. Select that option.
The link is now copied to your clipboard and ready to paste into your Table of Contents. Navigate back to your Table of Contents note and paste the link using your paste keyboard shortcut or by going to Edit > Paste.
Play with the Possibilities!
Table of Contents’ have so many possibilities and are a great way to keep things organized and easily accessible within Evernote. Play around with the feature to see how you can use it best for your workflow and be sure to tell me in the comments below how you’re making Table of Contents work for you.
Simplify by Getting Digitally Organized
If you have Evernote but don’t feel like you’re using it to it’s full capability then be sure to check out my free Evernote guides right here. I also have a collection of free Evernote Templates for ultimate Evernote organization. My signature course teaches Evernote structure and organization. It also focuses on integrating Evernote with other digital tools for ultimate organization, productivity and clarity of mind. If you’re just getting started down the road of digital organization then you may be interested in my free email course: Simplify with a Life Digitally Organized. Join below and you’ll get 7 emails for 7 consecutive days with specific and actionable steps for cutting the clutter and getting digitally organized.