Silly puzzle!

Silly puzzle!

There is one thing that Evernote users, Metallica fans and experienced riddle enthusiasts who solved the two-stage puzzle in the image above (solution at the end of the post!) know: Evernote is better than you at remembering things. Moreover, it is better than anything else at RETRIEVING things, a far more useful ability than having eidetic memory by itself! Let’s have a look at the first of the three most important things to know about search tools.

In the last post (The Right Note, I told you to perform some simple exercises to get you going with using Evernote. In particular, I asked you to write at least three notes with some unique words in them. Now it’s time to retrieve those notes: go looking for the search bar in the upper part of your PC screen, or in the app, and type the word one at a time. As soon as you start typing, Evernote will present a list of notes containing the word (or fragment of the word) that you wrote. When you have finished writing the particular word, only the note containing it should be presented on screen. This feature, by itself, seems pretty neat, and it is very similar to what you do within Gmail.

Analogously, you can try the following types of search (list not exhaustive):

  • Search for multiple words: Evernote will search for notes containing all of the words you wrote (if you want to look or them in that exact sequence, you need to enclose them in quotes, e.g. “The Emission Impossible”.)
  • Search for single words in a list: a less strict condition than the item above, if you want to look for notes with at least one of the words you specify, put “any:” before the terms (e.g.: any: Evernote Emission Impossible)
  • Search for words present only in the note title: put “inTitle:” before other words
  • Search by date of creation or update, using “created:” or “updated:” and putting the date in format YYYYMMDD (number of the year, month and day respectively). This kind of syntax will find every note created on that day or later.
  • You can also use “day”, “month” or “year” as words for pointing to the current day, the current month or the current year. For example, “updated:day-7” will find every note updated during the last week.
  • The use of a minus sign will exclude notes satisfying a particular condition. For example, “the emission impossible -created:20151221” will search for notes containing all of the words The, Emission and Impossible in any position but not created on or after December 12th, 2015.

The list above is by no means exhaustive; there will be more search operators described in future posts.

One of the most shocking features of Evernote is the possibility of searching text included in pictures! After uploading a photograph, Evernote servers will perform an OCR recognition of the text inside he picture and store that information for future searches. This fact means that you can take a quick photograph with your phone at basically any written text and have it searchable shortly after in your account! I do this daily for receipts, business cards and posters of events to name a few. You see? Our automated back office is already working for us!

One last bit of information, searches can be saved and recalled instantly without having to retype them from scratch. So, for example, you can write your “show me all the receipts for grocery saved last month” search once and recall it as many times as you want. More on this to follow.

You may start to think that just relying on words is not the best thing when it comes to file describe, file and search for notes: you are perfectly right! In one of the next posts, I’ll try to describe more powerful ways to do that, using Notebooks and Tags.

As usual, if you have any question, remark or suggestion feel free to contact me and to write a comment below!

Until next post, take care and stay sharp!

Puzzle solution: “The Memory Remains”, which is a song by Metallica.

P.s.: Even “Better Than You” is a song by Metallica

P.p.s.: No, I’m not a Metallica fan, and I don’t even know those two songs!