Quickly send files to Evernote

Just about everyone who knows me knows that I am, to say the least, an avid Evernote user. I've been looking through the various local and network folder in which I have stored files and cleaning house. I've found, quite literally, hundreds of files that would make a whole lot more sense to store in Evernote than in a bunch of different folders out on these file systems (e.g., docs, presentations, spreadsheets, archive files, etc.). Why? Well, mostly so I can capitalize on Evernote's powerful search features (it'll even search inside those attached files). So, I needed a quick way to get these files into Evernote, and I wanted the workflow to be relatively simple. There are several ways to do this.

First, perhaps the simplest way to add a file to Evernote on the Mac is to drag the file to the Evernote dock icon, assuming you have Evernote in your dock (this tip was featured a while back in "Ron's Evernote tips"). When you do this, Evernote automatically opens a new note with the file attached to it. Just add a note title and whatever tags you want, and then save it to the notebook of your choice. If you drag multiple files all at once to the Evernote icon, multiple notes will be created, each with a file attached (part of me wishes it would create single note with all the files attached to it). This is really simple and very useful.

I've found myself using second method particularly when I want to attach multiple related files to a single note (e.g., class lecture outline or manuscript and accompanying Keynote file). In this situation, I will go into Evernote and create a new note. I'll give it the name I want, the tags I want, and save it in the notebook I want. I will then switch back to Finder, select the files I want attached, and simply drag them all at once to the newly created note. Done.

It's also possible to use Automator on the Mac to create a workflow (macro) that will run when a specific folder(s) receives files. I've done this myself; it's not terribly difficult (not much on the Mac is), but the first process I described above sort of renders this one obsolete. Nevertheless, if you're interested in this method, check out the following, first check out How to use Folder Actions in Automator for the basics. Then, set up your workflow details as follows:

Automator Workflow for Sending Files to Evernote

If you set up your workflow like I've done here, when you drag files into the folder to which you've assigned the workflow, Evernote will open a new note for each file (not one note for all files) and attach the file. Then you can name your note, add tags, and store the note in the notebook of your choice. I'm sure that if you search the Web, you'll find someone who has created a much more complex workflow that will do various extraordinary things.

I want to close this post with one last workflow suggestion. Sometimes, for whatever reason, I still get files sent to me as email attachments (I much prefer files be shared via some cloud service!!). I could forward those messages to my handy-dandy private Evernote email address, which would get the file attachment into a note, but often I don't want the message body text in the Evernote note. Instead, I can click and drag the attachment icon (this works from the Gmail Web interface, too) to the Evernote dock icon. A new note opens with the file attached. All I have to do is add whatever details I want into the note.


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