Evernote Addicts: A Friendfeed Room for Evernote

Apart from the Funny Pics and Video room (which helps me kill some time, as well as find something to post on Facebook) I haven’t found much use for Friendfeed rooms. In fact after a good year or two’s use, I’m still struggling to work Friendfeed into my workflow – which is a shame as it’s actually a great service that’s always being improved upon.

However, I’ve just found the room Evernote Addicts. It appears to be home to decent content and discussion with a community of people who know what they’re talking about where Evernote is concerned. It should prove a good source of inspiration and help.

I’m now trying to work out how I can fit it into my work flow (eg. rather than me going to the Friendfeed site every day, how can I view new items without it cluttering up Google Reader, Instapaper )? I think Yahoo! Pipes is the key. I just need to spend some time on it.


August 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

Improve your IMDB experience on the iPhone with Movie Genie

The double tap zoom of the imdb.com via Safari doesn't work the best.

The double tap zoom of the imdb.com via Safari doesn't work the best.

One of the few sites that has disappointed me when viewing via iPhone’s Safari browser is IMDB (Internet Movie Database) – which is a real shame as that’s one of the sites I visit most via my mobile (usually right after I’ve finished watching a film so I can read up on the trivia – or to find out what film I’ve seen that actor in before).

My only issue with the IMDB website on the iPhone is the fact that when you double tap the appropriate content (namely the main body or the cast list) it doesn’t zoom in too well (ie. either not enough or way to much). I appreciate you can manually zoom in, but its not as convenient as the double tap – it’s not how the iPhone is designed to be used.

Movie Genie display's IMDB's content in an iPhone friendly way.

Movie Genie displays IMDB's content in an iPhone friendly way.

I’d performed a few searches for IMDB in the app store but nothing useful showed up. Then somehow (I can’t remember how) I found Movie Genie.

Movie Genie acts as a front end to IMDB for the iPhone, and it works really well.

Its quick and easy to access the trivia, cast list and other details regarding all the films viewable via the IMDB web site.

If you use the IMDB web site via the iPhone its well worth buying this app.

[ Download Movie Genie ]

August 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

Evernote: Using Extended Search Syntax

When performing searches in Evernote, you are able to include special syntax which enables you to focus your search terms.

At the time of writing, this information required to do this isn’t easy to find (the only place I could find it was in the API documentation), so I thought I’d write up a post which explains how to use the Advanced Search Syntax.

This information isn’t as useful for certain implementations of Evernote (eg. iPhone), as an interface is provided to set the appropriate options. However, such an interface doesn’t currently exist for the Windows client. What’s more, some people (myself included) would rather type than click.

Searching solely by Tag

I’ve found ‘searching by tag’ to be the most useful of these, and it was this requirement that inspired me to find out how to perform advance searches in the Windows app.


The syntax to search by tag is:

tag:"tag name"


This will return all notes tagged ‘evernote’:


This will return all notes tagged ‘advanced search syntax’ (notice that its quoted – this is to combine the three separate words):

tag:"advanced search syntax"

This will return all notes tagged ‘advanced search syntax’ and contain the word ‘notebook’:

tag:"advanced search syntax" notebook

Searching by Exclusion of Tags

As well as searching for notes that only contain certain tags, you can also search based on the tags not included by prefixing the minus sign to ‘tag’ (ie. ‘-tag’).


-tag:"tag name"


The following will return all notes that don’t contain the tag ‘read’:


You can also use wildcards (ie. *). The following will return all notes that have no tags:


Searching with the Wildcard Character

As the previous example showed, you are able to search with the wildcard character (ie. *). However, its worth noting that the wildcard character can only be used at the end of a word. Not at the start or in the middle..

So… this is legal and would potentially find “google reader” if such a tag existed:

tag: google*

However, the following two are illegal:

tag: *google


tag: g*gle

Searching by Notebook

If you only wish to search a certain Notebook, you can use ‘notebook’.

The same can be achieved by simply selecting the notebook from the GUI and then performing a search.


notebook:"notebook name"


The following will search the ‘knowledge base’ notebook for all notes tagged ‘evernote’:

notebook:"knowledge base" tag:evernote

Note: the notebook parameter must precede other parameters. For instance, the following is illegal as ‘tag’ comes before ‘notebook’:

tag:evernote notebook:”knowledge base”

Searching only the Title

To only search the title, use the ‘intitle’ parameter.


intitle:"search term"


intitle:"Evernote: Extended Search Syntax"

Searching for ‘any’ of the Words (not all)

If you want to find one of any of the search terms provided, use the ‘any’ parameter.


any:"search terms"


The following will search notes for either grep, egrep and fgrep:

any: grep egrep fgrep

The following will search notes with a tag of unix for either grep, egrep and fgrep:

tag:"unix" any: grep egrep fgrep

Note: the ‘any’ parameter must be after other parameters but before the search terms.

Searching by Creation Date

To search by the creation date, use the ‘created’ parameter. The examples below highlight the different ways you can specify the actual date.




To specify the actual date (based on the client’s timezone), the following will search for notes created on 5th of August, 2009:


To find all notes prior to the 5th of August, 2009 use the ‘-‘ symbol:


Finding all notes created before today:


To match all notes that were created yesterday:

created:day-1 -created:day

To match all notes created in the past 60 days and today:


To match all notes created this week (Sunday through to Saturday):


And similar for finding all notes created this month:


And finally, this year:


Searching by Updated Date

You can also search for notes based on when they were last updated. Simply take the examples for ‘created’ and replace ‘created’ with ‘updated’.

Finding notes generated via Twitter

I’ve added this entry as a result of this Tweet by @MikeWills.

To find all notes added via Twitter, include the following search term:


Further Reading

The API documentation contains a further set of useful exampes and additional detail to what I’ve written here. Its well worth checking the document out, even if you aren’t actually dealing with the API.


7th August, 2009: Added ‘Finding notes generated via Twitter’

August 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm 21 comments

Reading your Google Reader Starred Items in Instapaper

I’m getting software has an excellent post explaining how you can read your Google Reader Starred Items in Instapaper.

As the writer points out, both Instapaper items and Starred Items in Google Reader act as ‘to read’ lists. Its not ideal to have more than one such list and this technique combines the two.

August 5, 2009 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

PureText: Strip formatting without using Notepad

Until recently I’ve almost always had an instance of Notepad open in order to strip formatting when I’m copying text from one application to the other.

With PureText this is no longer required. Once the app is installed (assuming the default settings) you can paste the contents of the clipboard and strip the formatting simply by pressing the windows key+v (as opposed the the usual ctrl+v).

Installing PureText

Unfortunately PureText doesn’t have an install wizard. Once you’ve downloaded the application, extract and copy it to a location of your choosing (eg. program files\puretext\) and create a shortcut to it.

Configuring PureText

Once you execute the file you just created a shortcut to, an icon will appear in your system tray:

PureText System Tray Icon

Right click and select ‘Options’. You will be presented with the following dialogue box, where you can choose the hot-key you wish to paste with and (quite importantly) tell PureText to launch every time you start windows.

PureText Options

PureText is now ready to use.


The trickiest thing about PureText is getting into the habit of using it when you want to strip formatting from the clipboard. I’m so use to ctrl+c, ctrl+v that its hard to get use to anything else.

This app is a great example though of dropping steps from a process. No more copy n paste into Notepad! :-)

Hat tip to HowToGeek. That’s how I found out about it.

August 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Evernote Tip: The ‘Inbox’ Notebook

This post explains how to set up an Evernote notebook titled ‘Inbox’, and how you might use it…

What Purpose does the ‘Inbox’ Notebook Serve?

For me, the Evernote Inbox notebook is used to store notes that you (for one reason or another) don’t have the time or means to act on or do justice. In a way it acts as a drafts folder.

When and How to use your Inbox

I initially set up my inbox as a bit of an experiment, but I now find I use it frequently and would struggle without it.

There tends to be two outcomes of notes being added to my inbox:

  1. The note is expanded upon, tags added and placed into an appropriate notebook.
  2. The note is a call to action and that action is performed (eg. the note tells me I want to subscribe to a web site, so I do so when I have the chance) – these notes are deleted once actioned.

I find I add notes to my inbox when:

  • I’m unable to dedicate the time to do a note justice
  • When I’m on the iPhone and I don’t have a keyboard to do the note justice.

Acting as a Drafts Folder

My Evernote InboxAs you’ll see below, I have the Inbox notebook set as my default notebook. This means that whenever you add a note but don’t specify a notebook (eg. this is the case when adding a note via an email) it will go in to your Inbox. This is ideal as it means notes won’t find there way into other notebooks unless you’ve explicitly placed them there (the fact you’ve placed a note somewhere also implies you are happy with the note – until that happens you can consider the note a Draft).

It’s worth getting into the habit of initially creating all notes in your Inbox. Then when you’re happy with it you can move it to the appropriate notebook. I realise I’m making a note out to be a work of art, but it’s all relative. A single line note maybe all that’s required, but until you that line of text up to scratch then its ideal to keep it in your inbox.

When to Check your Inbox

Personally speaking I don’t set a set time/frequency to check my inbox. Some people might take it upon themselves to check twice daily for instance. The less Evernote feels like a chore, the better it works for me.

Setting up an Inbox Notebook

An Inbox Notebook isn’t something that comes pre-defined with Evernote. Creating one is simple though:

  • Create a new notebook titled ‘Inbox’
  • Set your Inbox notebook as your Default Notebook

That’s it! :-)

How do you use yours?

The idea of the ‘Inbox’ certainly isn’t new. In terms of how I’m using it, the nearest and earliest example of an Inbox being used this way that I’m aware of is part of Getting Things Done. No doubt it pre-dates that too.

Given that it’s quite a common concept, I’d be interested to know how you use yours?

August 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Useful Firefox Add-ons

Add-on Collector LogoThe right Firefox Add-ons can make the browsing experience far more enjoyable and can also help you to be more productive.

I’ve created a Firefox Addons Collection containing all the add-ons I use and recommend. I hope you find it of some use.

Over time I hope to write about each of the add-ons mentioned, as well as add to the list.

The list was created with the handy Mozilla created add-on Firefox Add-on Collector. While we wait for a feature in Weave to be created to allow you to sync your Add-ons across devices, an Add-on Collection acts as a make-do solution to (at the very least) help you the next time you perform a fresh Firefox install. Certainly an add-on worth installing [here].

Incidentally, I found out about the Firefox Addons Collector service through the following SuperUser.com Question. Unfortunately the site is still in private beta at the moment, but if you do have access, it’s well worth a read.

July 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

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