How to Email Your Documents Directly to Evernote

Since making the decision to go paperless, I have gained a lot of experience with Evernote. It has become my digital filing cabinet for literally everything. As a result, I am now working in a clutter-free environment.

Green Computer Key Reminiscent of Evernote - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Pgiam, Image #8866318

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Pgiam

Once you have organized Evernote for maximum efficiency, it is time to start filing your documents into Evernote’s digital repository. There are a number of tools for doing this. However, I find that I use the email-to-Evernote function more than almost any other method.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, Second Edition. It is worth setting aside a couple hours to work through this brief, 95-page book. It will save you DAYS of learning Evernote on your own.

Yet, surprisingly, I have met many Evernote users who don’t even know this capability exists. Once you get the hang of it, this input method transforms Evernote from an interesting software application to an indispensable one.

Here are five steps you need to take to use this feature:

  1. Find your unique Evernote email address. When you signup for an Evernote account—whether free or premium—you are assigned a unique email address. You can find this in the desktop version of Evernote under Evernote | Account Info. Your email address will look similar to this:
    [username].12345@m.evernote.com [example only]
  2. Add this address to your contact list. I created a new contact in my Address Book called, “Evernote” and assigned this email address to it. Now when I want to send a message to Evernote for forward an email I have received, I simply send it to my new Evernote contact.
  3. Set your default notebook in Evernote. When you email something to Evernote, it is automatically filed in your default notebook. Mine goes to a notebook named “!Inbox.” (I start it with an exclamation point, so that it appears at the top of the sorted list of notebooks.) However, you can set this to anything you want. You can do this in the desktop version of Evernote under Preferences | Clipping.
  4. Learn the email syntax. You can simply forward items to your default notebook and then move and tag the note within Evernote itself. However, it is far easier if you learn how to do this in the subject line of the email itself. Here’s how:
    • Forward the email to the Evernote contact you set up in step #2 above.
    • In the subject line of your email, write the title of the note as you want it to appear in your account. (I usually begin by just deleting the existing subject line.)
    • In the same subject line, add an @ symbol followed by the name of your destination notebook.
    • You can also add a # sign followed by the name of one of your tags. If you want to use multiple tags, proceed each one with the # sign.

    Note: both the notebook and the tags must already exist within Evernote. Also, this feature will not work for notebook or tag names that contain an “@“ or a “#” in their name.

    Here’s the correct syntax:

    [Title of the note] @[folder name] #tag1 #tag2 #tag3

    Here’s what it might look like:

    Email to evernote example

  5. Start using it! The easiest way to learn something is by forcing yourself to use it. Once you get everything set up, this process is remarkably simple. Even the email syntax will quickly become second-nature. Try it a few times and then check the notes in Evernote to make sure you are getting the hang of it.

Evernote is one of those applications that becomes more valuable the more you use it. I have found that the email-to-Evernote function is the fastest way to start populating my notebooks with the content I need to reference most often.

Questions: Have you tried this feature with Evernote? How has it worked for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Stephen

    Michael…Do you know if you can send one e-mail to multiple notebooks? ie Repeat the @ code in the subject line?  Any help gratefully received…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I’m afraid I don’t. You can, however, send an e-mail to multiple tags. This is why I have restructured my Evernote database to use very few notebooks and more tags. Thanks.

  • Suzanne Dameron

    I have been using Evernote but wasn’t using this feature. I followed all the steps – found my unique evernote address, set up the contact info, created a new default notebook called inbox. however, when I forward an email to Evernote, nothing shows up in my default notebook. Please advise. Suzanne

  • http://www.tombush.co.uk Tom Bush

    Does anyone know if there is a way to add a reminder using this method?

    Update: Answered my own question

    !Reminder: Use the exclamation point (!) to set a Reminder. To add an alarm to the Reminder, add the word tomorrow, or a date with numeric year, month, day separated by slashes. For example: !, !tomorrow, !2013/06/24

    http://evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#/article/23480523

  • Not_from_around_here

    Michael, thank you for the great tips and tricks. I travel and relocate often through work, and Evernote has quickly become a lifesaver. No longer to I have to pack my bags with documents and notepads!
    On a note related to this ‘emailing to evernote’ topic, you can also find your evernote email address on the web application. For those who might now have the desktop app installed.
    Regards.

  • sony

    Your article cleared the doubts I had before in this field….. I was in search of information related with your post… Now the doubts were cleared .. So thumps Up!!! Make Money , Blogging Tips

  • Monty

    How do I forward through emailing from Evernote?

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Hi Monty, To forward a note via email from Evernote, go to the note, click Share at the top, and select Email. Hope this helps!

  • Angela Rose

    Hi Michael,

    Thank You for sharing your Evernote tips! I do have a question I have searched high and low with no answer yet to be found :(

    I would like to send a large quantity of emails to the same notebook, but would prefer them to be in individual notes.

    So far when I have tried this Evernote automatically groups ALL the emails into ONE Large note.

    Any tips on separating them for easier reading & deleting?

    Thank You for your help in advance!

    Blessings,

    Angela Rose

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have never heard of that behavior. When I send emails, it creates a separate email for each. You might try posting on the Evernote User Forum.