Evernote Update

Source: Evernote


I’m an Evernote fan boy. You may have guessed this from my previous Evernote posts on RestartGTD, or from my overthinking Evernote VS DropBox. Guilty as charged. 

The purpose of this post is to update the growth charts of my Evernote library for 2012 and 2013. Here is my library size over the past six years.

Note Growth:

The growth of my library is fit very well by a third order polynomial regression. This is interesting because the data clearly show plateaus, then punctuated periods of non-linear growth. For example the growth jump in the last half of 2012 was caused by Evernote’s purchasing of Skitch and the default settings to save ever Skitch screen capture. A couple of months of thousand note growth and I realized I was not using the saved notes, so I changed my default to not save Skitch diagrams. 

If you have not discovered Skitch, it is a very slick, very simple screen capture program that is integrated with Evernote. I had discovered Skitch before Evernote purchased it, and was DELIGHTED when Evernote made Skitch a free tool! The kinds of things Skitch does well can be seen in the next diagram:

So if you are using Evernote without Skitch, you are missing a great, easy to learn tool that you will use if not ever day, twice or more a week. 

How Did You Count By Month?

Great question! To count notes added by month, you can use Evernote queries (Thanks to JBensen2 on the Evernote Forums for this hack!). To find the notes created between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you would type into Evernote’s query dialog:

created:20130101 -created:20130131

and it would look like this as you typed:

Where Do Evernotes Come From?

In the beginning of my GTD Journey, the notes came from my Steelcase 5 drawer horizontal file cabinet. But once I caught up with my reference file backlog, my Evernote library kept growing due to Evernote Web Clipper and Evernote Clearly

Evernote’s One Best Thing:

For me, Web Clipper and Clearly are the one best thing of Evernote. What are they? Add-Ins for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer that allow you to process web pages. The elephant icon in the following picture of my Chrome task bar is web clipper.  The Luxo lamp is Evernote Clearly. 

Process web pages? Yes, process in the sense of GTD processing an inbox. Only Web Clipper and Clearly allow you to cut out useless information.  

For example, have you ever gone to PCMag.com and been mobbed by advertisements? For example this page for an Asus laptop with two popups and umpteen advertisements not to mention sound! Total invasion of privacy!!! 

One click on Evernote clearly transforms what you see from the above to the next image:

Handy! Never lose a web page again! I save a majority of web pages into Evernote with Clearly, and I use Web Clipper only when Clearly can’t figure out where the article I want to see is on the page. 

So What?

Web Clipper and Clearly are to the internet as my ScanSnap iX500 is to paper. And since cleaning up all my backlogged paper, I am growing my Evernote library with Clearly and Web Clipper. Cool! 

What Else?

The above graph shows:

  • Number of notes per month is growing somewhat over time. 
  • As I became more fluent in Evernote, the seasonality of my note capture is decreasing. 
  • 2013 did not have any of the disturbances (new Skitch defaulting to saving everything) of previous years and my use model for Evernote is stabilizing to a more even capture of notes across months. 


Evernote is the bulwark of my GTD trusted system. I use Evernote only for reference filing, but I capture reference information prolifically (I read therefore I am), and I refer back to Evernote often. And, to write this post I learned that Evernote has clever advanced searching commands. These include source:web.clip (2254 notes), source:clearly (1052 notes) [Oops I lied, I create 2/3 of my nots with Web Clipper not Clearly!]. 


bill meade 

3 thoughts on “Evernote Update

  1. Bill, do you have the premium version of Evernote so that you have a offline copy of everything that you scan.

    • To answer your question, yes I have the premium version. I’m glad you asked this question because “back in the day” I started with Evernote’s free version and that old free version would store files locally. I had not realized that Evernote had made the free version suckier by removing local notebooks. Learn something new every comment!

      One of the things I like about local storage is that Evernote does file replication across all my devices. I can change any note on any device and the change is replicated back to all my other devices. This scratches my backup itch, as well as prevents me from being dependent on streaming which *still* sucks for any interactive work.

      [email protected]

    • Ken,

      Sorry I did not see this until now. But the answer to your question is “Yes” I have had the premium version for 5 years now. I discovered Evernote right after they started and have paid without a *twinge* of regret ever since.

      [email protected]

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