I’m excited about spending the $34.99 on Evernote. If you haven’t, I recommend it. I was running into using up all of my bandwidth in Evernote on the free plan (usually ten days into it). So I resolved to go ahead and spend the money.

I spend the money, and was excited to do it. Really, Ever note’s plans are very inexpensive – I was just unwilling to spend $70 a year for more bandwidth than I use. If my use increases, I’ll double my plan gladly.

Now, here’s some things to keep in mind with Evernote. What works for Michael Hyatt may not work for you. Michael a few years back found he simply couldn’t get everything organized within Evernote in a way he was comfortable with. So, he streamlined, and compacted almost all of his notebooks into about 4, and reduced all of his tags to about half a dozen. Other people adopted his system, and it worked wonders.

I need a different system. Absolutely nothing wrong with how Michael Hyatt does it. nothing at all. But I need a different system, something that works for me.

My wife is something of an unofficial expert on mindsets. She’s read a lot, trying to understand how I can create piles of stuff everywhere, but I know where everything is. so she investigated, and found that there are all kinds of people who think in different ways. I work best SEEING what I have. That’s why I create piles of stuff subconsciously. Although I’ve been working over the last 10 years to get my piles of stuff neatly put away, my brain still works best seeing things.

Other people need to get things put away, but you just know, “I threw it all in that drawer. It’s in there somewhere.”

Someone who hides things as part of their organization strategy will NEVER be able to adopt the “99 notebooks and 113 tags” system that some people use. And I can’t use Michael Hyatt’s minimalist approach. Works for him, not me. Be sure to visit his blog and read that post for yourself. Decide if it works for you. If so, great! If not… here’s my system.

I have 55 notebooks and notestacks, all organized in a way that makes sense to me, and would probably drive someone else crazy, unless they think how I do.

I have 192 separate tags, nested and stacked in a way that makes sense to me.

So, here’s how I did it. I made a notestack “Writing”, and then I stuck a bunch of folders in it like “magazine articles” “Writers’ College Notebook”, etc.  To put an article in two notebooks at once, just right click on the article inside Evernote, and “Copy to”.

I then load up each article with as many tags as are relevant.

I hate the word relevant, by the way. It’s so post modern, and I get very annoyed by post modern philosophy.

Anyway, what ends up happening as I clip a million things into Evernote is that very often, I don’t tag anything. Just assign a notebook or notestack. Why? I know how I work. Don’t interrupt my research phase, or I’ll stop researching.

Then I plan out one admin day a month. I go through and edit, change fonts, and tag. If I’ve done fifty clippings over the last month, then I’m planning on doing… well, eventually, my entire Evernote collection. I may only get the ones I added over the last month. But every two or three moths I scroll down to the bottom and begin checking – did I put enough tags on this? does it need editing? Change the fonts for readability? Did I put it in the wrong notebook?

Tagging really is the key to effective Evernote use. The more tags you load a clipping with, the easier it will be to find it. Now, often a clipping will only have one applicable tag. That’s the way it is!

But I find that over six months, I’ll add one or two more tags to the mix, and some of my old clippings could use that tag as well!

Plan out an admin day for Evernote.