The Fastest, Cheapest Way to Learn Evernote

I am an Evernote junkie. I use it everyday. It is a major part of my workflow. In fact, I have written twelve blog posts about it.

Evernote Essentials, Version 3

But often people are overwhelmed by it. They aren’t quite sure where to begin. I always recommend that they read a copy of Brett Kelly’s awesome e-book, Evernote Essentials.

Brett just released Version 3 a few weeks ago. It is completely updated to correspond with the most recent updates to the Evernote interface.

Here are a few ways in which Brett improved on an already invaluable tool:

  • This is an almost complete re-write. In fact, it is nearly twice as long as the previous version.
  • Brett included several new use-cases (e.g., Evernote for parents and travelers).
  • He added several new chapters, including, “How to go Paperless with Evernote,” “Import/Export,” and “Writing your History Book.”
  • He added lots of tips for power-users.
  • He re-designed the-ebook from the ground up.
  • He removed chapters that likely wouldn’t be of interest to a more general audience (e.g., “Evernote for Programmers”).

What’s the same? Brett’s direct, easy-to-understand style. There are lots of screenshots to help you understand the program and get the most out of it.

Whether your new to Evernote or a power-user, Evernote Essentials, Version 3 has something for everyone. While it might seem expensive at $29.00, it’s a bargain compared to the time it would take you to learn this stuff on your own.

This is the fastest, cheapest way I know of to get up-to-speed on Evernote. I highly recommend it. If you don’t agree, Brett offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Question: How has Evernote helped you in your business or personal life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Christelle

    Thanks for the reminder Michael. I downloaded the updated version a couple of weeks ago but never actually went through it yet. I’m sure I’ll learn so much in it, I need a refresher.
    With regards to the design though, I think I prefered the older version…

    • TorConstantino

      I’m in the same boat with you Christelle – I’ve dabbled in Evernote with little success in the past. It’s about time I get some help from someone who wrote the book on the topic….literally ;-)

  • Daniel

    My comment has nothing to do with Evernote, although I recently converted all my work notes over to this app. I just wanted to say how nice it is to read your blog in my RSS reader. I browse my favorite headlines and blogs in the morning over coffee and it has surprised me how many sites have RSS subscription features that don’t integrate we’ll into readers. It’s so nice to not have to open the post in safari and the post is still attractive in my reader. Typical wow standard from you and your team. Thanks.

    • TorConstantino

      Daniel, quick question – I plan on getting the new edition of the Evernote guide but was the conversion process easy/intuitive? Just curious…

      • Daniel L.

        I thought it was pretty easy. I use it on my phone and iPad much more than on my MacBook Pro. In the past I had tried Evernote and didn’t see what all the fuss what about, however, the new layout is much more attractive and I think simpler to use.

        So to answer your question. Yes.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Daniel. I appreciate your very encouraging comment!

  • sespring

    I confess that I am one of those people who knows that they should be using Evernote, but finds it a bit overwhelming. I use Evernote for some things such as organizing future blog posts using your blog post template, but I don’t use it to organize my life. I have been using David Allen’s material since the 1990’s and would like to find a way to integrate GTD with Evernote. Any suggestions?

    • brian gray

      check out It covers ways to create tags in Evernote that correspond to GTD concepts

      • Michael Hyatt

        I learned a lot from this website. I ultimately decided against using Evernote for task management, but I still learned some valuable concepts.

        • jbledsoejr

          Michael, I’m curious…why did you decide against using as a task management system.  I currently use a modified version of TSW…love it!

          • Michael Hyatt

            I just found it too cumbersome, especially in light of Evernote’s recent interface changes.

    • Dallon Christensen

      Brian’s recommendation is very good. I would also recommend Daniel Gold’s excellent e-book on implementing GTD within Evernote. I tried TSW, but Gold’s method was a little easier for me to follow (the link is an affiliate link, but this is the GTD method I currently use).

      • Michael Hyatt

        This is the actual product page if you want to read about it first.

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  • Susan Bailey

    I probably only use a fraction of Evernote’s capabilities but that fraction is really helpful. Evernote makes a great dumping ground for ideas. It’s comforting to me to know I can pick up any device (iPhone, iPod, computer) and dash down an idea wherever I am. It’s also a wonderful way to save emails without having to keep the inbox constantly full. Thanks for turning me on to this program.

  • Gary Morland

    LOVE Evernote. Have used it for three years grabbing every idea and thought that I formerly put on 4×6 notecards. Ended up with thousands of notecards but no real system so I couldn’t find anything (headslap)! Evernote’s search – even when I don’t file or label – makes it way easier. But I could still do better with more of a system.

    BTW, it might be beneficial if you gave your take on the security/password reset thing over the weekend. Doesn’t spook me at all, but a potential new user might have questions/doubts.

    • Michael Hyatt

      As you may know, several major tech companies were attacked, including Apple. I don’t see it as a problem either. I was pleased with how fast Evernote responded to it.

  • Matt Crawford

    Thanks Michael. This might be just the nudge I needed to get more out of Evernote. I use it everyday too, but I’m sure that I’m just scratching the surface.

  • Robert Kennedy III

    Although they had that security breach this weekend, I am STILL a huge Evernote fan and user.  I refer to it as me outsourcing my brain :-).  How has it helped me in my business?  Well, for one, when I go to the gas station, I simply take a picture of my receipt with my Evernote app right there.  No more keeping receipts in folders and losing them in the crack of the car seat or washing receipts in those pants that I forgot to clean out all the pockets (yeah, those pants, you know the ones, the ones with the $20 bill that my wife found and now won’t give back to me…finders keepers she says, :-)).  But I digress, I have organized most of my personal life into Evernote and it is a huge help in my business.

    • TorConstantino

      All, in case you missed it – here’s a Wall Street Journal story from this weekend that provides an overview of the security breach and Evernote’s steps to protect users.

  • Wade_Thorson

    I just started using Evernote maybe 3 months ago, I have only been using basic functions at this point.  But I have been looking for something like this for better methods to use Evernote to improve my workflow.  Thanks, I will probably start by reading your previous blog posts.  I started using it based on your recommendation and it is very nice.

  • Jennifer Bernstein

     I’m totally hooked on Evernote and just downloaded the newest version. Now I need to update my copy of Brett’s book.  I run Get Yourself Into College, and I just created a YT video about how the students in my program can use Evernote to stay organized while they’re in the research phase of the college application process.  (

  • Caleb

    Wow, I just signed up for Evernote yesterday and was browsing around on your blog to find some info on how to use it because I know that you have talked about it before. The timing of this post couldn’t have been better, I’m seriously thinking about getting Brett’s book now.

    • Brett Kelly

      I may be biased, but I think it’s pretty good :)

      Don’t forget — if you don’t love it, you have a month to return it for a full refund. Ping me if I can answer any specific questions you have!

      • Caleb

        Great, thanks for the reminder!

  • Andrea

    Probably easier to list what I don’t use Evernote for… but for me I have been using it for over 3 years and I can’t remember how I got along with out it. 

    I work as a computer consultant  and my avocation if fiber crafts so here’s my list

    Tracking client-specific notes
    Lists of questions for clients for our next meeting
    Documents I’ve created for the client
    Storing Templates that I use in my professional life as well as my personal life
    Design Ideas
    Things to do (following the “Secret Weapon” methodology
    Pet files (scanned in shot records, notes on health issues, etc.)
    Travel documents (itineraries, confirmations, cancellations, etc.)



  • Brian

    how do you download the updated version?

    • jbledsoejr

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • Michael Hyatt

        You should have received an e-mail announcement. You might check your spam folder.

        • jbledsoejr

          Thanks. Will check it out.

        • jbledsoejr

          Never found any email, but I Twitter @mentioned Brett Kelly, and he immediately responded, which is awesome!  He is working on getting it to me.  

  • jbledsoejr

    HUGE Evernote fan/user and HUGE Evernote Essentials fan/user as well!

    Michael’s post about Evernote and Brett’s book were catalyst in reorganizing my Evernote and helping me to maximize it’s use. It is hands down the best and most useful tool for me.

  • Kim Hall

    I got rolling with Evernote after reading one of your posts, thanks so much. I love the flexibility and accessibility of this software. While I use it mainly for my writing and keeping track of ideas, quotes and sources, I use as well for home projects. It is a simple, yet tremendously powerful tool!

  • Dan Erickson

    I have not tried Evernote, but might at some point.

    • Michael Hyatt

      It is an indispensable part of my workflow.

  • Bill

    Michael, Evernote had a major security breach this past week and everyone is being advised to change their password.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that is true. Actually, you don’t have a choice. Evernote is requiring you to change your password.

  • Terry

    I learned about Evernote through Michael Hyatt and learned how to use it through Brett Kelley’s excellent Everynote Essentials. As a a pastor, Evernote is perfect for coordinating hundreds of illustrations and thousands of quotes. I can clip from the internet and post directly to Evernote, scan a story from a book or magazine and post it, or type in shorter notes and clips. The tag and search capability make it the perfect resource tool and it is available wherever I travel.

    • Jim Martin

      Terry, I have also found Evernote to be very helpful to some of the same reasons.  It is great for organizing stories, illustrations, etc.  As you note, is it is especially nice to be able to access these when traveling.  

  • Stephanie

    I love Evernote! And am so thankful that I took the plunge after reading your blogs about it a few years ago.

    I write my blog posts and the bi-weekly motivational emails I send out in Evernote so that I can easily find them and keep them organized. I keep track of internet purchase receipts, business receipts and snap screenshots of the payment confirmation screen for online payments I make. I love using it for travel confirmations and itineraries. I know that I’m only scratching the surface, but it’s a handy tool and so helpful to know that I can access everything in Evernote on my iPhone.

  • TorConstantino

    Thanks for the resource Michael! I’ve tried to decipher Evernote on my own, but I felt supremely overwhelmed. As a result, I typically use similar functions. I may have to get this insider’s guide to finally figure out Evernote – everyone I know who uses it says it’s an extremely useful tool.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Tor, I think you have to distinguish between Evernote and a task-manager like Toodledo. Evernote is not a task manager per se (though some people use it for that). Instead, it is more of a filing system or digital repository where you store stuff you might want to reference laster. Thanks.

      • TorConstantino

        Thanks for clarifying!

        • jbledsoejr

          Tor, buy the book!  Best $20-$30 you’ll spend.
          Tor and Michael,  I have found a way to use Evernote as a task management system.  And so far, I am more pleased with this system than any system I’ve used.  I have tried several…RTM, Task List, Astrid, Any.DO, GTask…you name it and I’ve probably tried it (keep in mind still a PC user & Android phone).

          The main issue I had was most didn’t sync across all devices, or if it did it was just too clunky.  Using Evernote is comfortable to me, and of course it syncs w/all my devices.

          • TorConstantino

            I’m sold – thanks Jackie!

  • Jon Stolpe

    I’ve been using Evernote to help me write my first eBook.

  • Mike DeVries

    Michael, I had Evernote on my computer, iPhone, and iPad for at least a year (maybe two), before discovering how useful this application was to me.  In December I decided to purchase Brian’s book as a way to find out how I could use this program or I was going to trash it.  Boy, I’m I glad I found Brian’s book.  Today I use Evernote to journalize my work, I have implemented more of “paperless” home record keeping system, I keep notes, forms, and other information on projects I’m working on, and I have created business systems that allow me to work more effectively with my clients.  These are just a few of the ways in which I have found Evernote to be helpful.  I’m still discovering more and Brian’s recent update to the book is just another opportunity to learn more.  Thanks!

  • matthew laker

    I started using it last fall (2012), as a friend recommend it for me.  Still have lots to learn, but am finding it very useful.  I am using it store study notes to prepare speaking, use it on my phone to take notes from meetings.  Two new things I am trying to use it for are bookmarks for webpages and journalling.     

    • Joe Lalonde

      I’m with you Matthew. Evernote has so many features it’s a constant learning situation. Let us know how bookmarking and journalling goes with it.

  • Margaret Feinberg

    Thanks for the suggestion, Michael!

  • John A. Taylor

    I’ve used Evernote for years (have notes going back to 2008 and increasing yearly). Outside of Evernote Premium, the best productivity purchase I’ve made was Brett’s Evernote Essentials. My only problem with Evernote is getting others to move past the learning curve to give it a try. Once they realize its potential, they’re quickly hooked.

    • Brett Kelly

      Thanks John — I appreciate the kind words :)

  • Kristi

    I have been going back and reading all of your posts about Evernote and am quickly becoming addicted.  I would like to know, though, your thoughts on how saving information in Evernote is different from or better than another application like Dropbox, Google Docs, or even having a very systematic filing system on your own computer.  I save information in a variety of ways (Pinterest, diigo, Dropbox, Google Docs) and would love save time by streamlining that to fewer locations.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Personally, I find it easier to clip things to Evernote as they have a plugin that allows you to grab text from webpages and automatically import it into Evernote.

      • Jim Martin

        Joe, what you describe is exactly why I find Evernote so valuable.  The plugin that allows you to clip and grab text from webpages is very helpful.

  • David A Specht

    I have purchased Evernote Essentials and it is great! I am working to become paperless in my own office. Going paperless is a lot more difficult than “being” paperless. Which brings me to a question. Do you maintain a “documents” folder on your computer, or are you using Evernote for those files as well? I have more than a decade of documents that “I need to keep” for one reason or another. Is there a point when you can have too much in Evernote?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I do not keep these documents in Evernote.

  • keithcrogers

    Hi Michael,
    I am an early adopter at most techie things as long as it fits with my budget (thank you Dave Ramsey & Larry Burkett!).  As a free app, Evernote made that an easy decision.  I have loved using it, however, not all is intuitive and I long to learn more.  I’ll try to work this ebook into next month’s budget.  Thanks for sharing (and for all of your earlier posts on Evernote – very practical).I have one specific question on using Evernote for blogging…My apologies if this is a naive question.  I’ve always been a heavy blog reader, especially in the servant leadership/entrepreneurial niches: such as yours of course, ChrisLoCurto’s (, Jon Acuff’s (, et al).  I was so inspired by your teaching on “Platform” that I finally just took the plunge and launched my own blog this week ( – By the way, I would love to use your WordPress Theme once you make it available, or become part of your beta-test group- yes, I signed up on the email list : ).

    As you have posted about Evernote as your “blogging workbench,” I tried writing my blog post drafts in Evernote, then copy/paste over to WordPress.  The main problem… None of the formatting or active hyperlinks come across when pasted into WordPress.  I realize you solve this by using a third application (MarsEdit) for all the formatting and SEO-type stuff, however, I am using a PC and sadly MarsEdit is MAC-Only.  Do you have any suggestions/best practices for Blogging using Evernote on a PC computer?  Especially as it relates to formatting & SEO issues?

    Grace, peace, and Start-up Blogger Cheers,

  • Phil Greely

    Michael…do you use the Evernote app on your MacBook Air?  Or just log into the website each time? My initial reaction is I like the web version better than the macbook app.  Thoughts?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I use the Evernote app on my Mac. It’s all what you get used to, I suppose.

    • Brett Kelly

      The web app is great in a pinch (like, when you’re using a computer you don’t personally own, for example), but the native application provides a *much* richer experience and offers several benefits as well as much better integration with the OS the computer is running.

  • Cristian

    I have never used Evernote but I am using a lot MS OneNote. Does anybody highlight some advantages of Evernote over OneNote?

  • Adam Collier

    thanks you for this, I am just discovering evernote and this ebook will help

  • Micki

    Michael, I have both Dropbox and Evernote. What are the primary reasons to choose Evernote over Dropbox.

    As always, I appreciate your guidance and wisdom!


    • Michael Hyatt

      The main reason is that Evernote is fully searchable. They are really two different kinds of software.

  • Pam Taylor

    I’m excited to learn how to use Evernote, so I used your click link for the Evernote essentials, Version 3 above. The site took my cc nicely and sent me a lovely receipt, but the book is not in my junk box nor in my inbox…at least not yet… any suggestions? (I used a different email to order the book.)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’ll see if I can give the author a shout. Thanks.

    • Brett Kelly

      Hi Pam,

      Brett Kelly here (the dude who wrote Evernote Essentials). I just checked my records and it looks like you were able to download Evernote Essentials. If this isn’t true or there’s anything else I can help with, send an email to Thanks!

  • Gabriel Ponzanelli

    Very true. I hear people complain about the price, but seriously, if the book saves you even a few hours of trying to learn Evernote by trial and error, it’s worth it to me. I went ahead and purchased the book a few months ago and it helped me a lot. And of course, saved me a ton of time. I even wrote a quick review of the book here