Overview: For those of you who use both Gmail and Evernote, here is a little tip combining some of their lesser-used features for an easy productivity boost: Use Gmail’s Filtering and Forwarding capabilities to create an Evernote Email address that is easy to remember! For seasoned veterans that already use both, the following instructions should suffice:
- In Gmail, setup your Evernote Email address as a Forwarding Address.
- Decide upon an easy to remember “plus address” version of your gmail account
- Create a Filter to Auto-Forward these “plus address” emails to your Evernote Email account
For example, if my email address is [email protected] – I could filter and forward any email to [email protected] into my Evernote account, making it easy to create “evernotes” from any email account or email client. And there you have it! The easy way to use Evernote Email is to never use Evernote Email (not directly, anyways)!
Bonus Tip for Seasoned Veterans:
- Take the next step in improving your Evernote productivity and refer to the Google script produced by Harry Oosterveen to automatically tag and organize your notes when they are sent to Evernote. See more at harryonline.net.
Objection 1: Why not just add my Evernote Email address to my contacts list? True, that makes it easy for one email account, but I have numerous e-mails for work and home – I don’t want to add Evernote Email as a contact to all of them.
Objection 2: We are not all seasoned veterans, and even seasoned veterans need refreshers and tips! True, so I give you…. the details:
In short, this Tip utilizes the following:
- Evernote’s Email-to-Evernote feature
- Gmail’s “plus address” feature
- Gmail’s forwarding feature
- Gmail’s filtering feature
E-mail to Evernote
Every Evernote account has an email address associated with it. When you send email to this address, Evernote automatically stores the email as a new note. A wonderful feature for filing order confirmations, itinerary emails and more! Let’s get started. To find your address, check the “Account Info” menu option in your desktop app or click on “Settings” in the upper right-hand side of the web interface:
Your Evernote Email has the following format:
[username].[email protected] (example)
Once you have your e-mail address, do a quick test by emailing yourself a new note to that address. Evernote Email Tips.
- The Subject of the email becomes the title of the new note.
- By default, emailed notes will appear in your default Evernote notebook with no tags.
- Specify the notebook for the new note by appending @notebook-name to the subject.
- After the notebook, specify tags for the new note by appending #tag-name. If you want multiple tags, specify multiple.
- Email attachments will automatically attach to your new note as well.
Example: Send a new note to Evernote entitled “New Test Note”, filed in the notebook “Post-Ideas” and tagged with “productivity” and “software”…
That’s how to use your Evernote Email! If only the address was easier… Moving on to Gmail!
Gmail’s “plus address”
Gmail’s email service has a feature that allows you to append information onto the end of your username. The e-mail still finds its way into your inbox, like usual. How is this useful? We’ll cover that next. For now, let’s consider some examples. If your e-mail address is [email protected], the following emails will all arrive in your inbox:
Think of them as “subaddresses” to your email address. When you sign up for newsletters or give donations on the internet, you could give the first variations as your address. When you e-mail blog post ideas to yourself, you could use the third. When you e-mail “evernotes” to yourself, you could use the fourth, etc. This is fantastic, but doesn’t do much for us until we filter them! We’ll get to that.
Gmail allows users to filter their e-mails according to where they come from, what their subject heading is or (as it applies to us here) – the specific address they are sent to. This means that we can Filter e-mails sent to any of our “plus addresses” and automatically perform specified actions. We can “star” them, archive them, apply labels, mark them as read – or Forward them. There is plenty of information about these Gmail features on the internet, so we’re only going to discuss how they apply to today’s Tip.
Next, Click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” which you see in the upper-middle of the previous screenshot. That leads you to a screen with the following:
Click the “Add a forwarding address” button and you will be presented with a box where you can enter your Evernote Email address, found above. Copy/Paste your Evernote Email address into the box and click Next. Review the address in the confirmation screen and click “Proceed”. This process sends a confirmation key to your Evernote Email address.
Since it went to Evernote, expect to find the confirmation key in your default Evernote notebook as a new note! In the Mac client, this note looks something like the following:
Copy the confirmation code and go back to your Gmail screen. In the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” screen there will be an entry box for you to Paste the code. Do that and click the “confirm” button. Once that is finished, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” screen. Now your Evernote Email is setup as a Forwarding Address in Gmail and ready to use.
Back to your Gmail Settings screen! Click on “Filters” (shown in #1 below) to get to the Filter settings.
Then click on “Create a new filter” as shown in #2. In the pop-up window, you specify the “matching” criteria that determines which e-mail to filter. Any incoming emails that match these criteria will get filtered. Enter your “plus address” in the “To” field as shown below, then click “Create filter with this search”. This tells Gmail that you want to filter any incoming emails that match your “plus address”.
The resulting box lists the available actions that you can perform on emails that match your filter, as shown below. The one that we are interested in today is the “Forward it to:” field. Click that checkbox.
If you click the dropdown, you should be able to select your Evernote Email as the forwarding address. Select it, then click the “Create filter” button at the bottom. You should receive a message telling you that “Your filter was created”, and it should now be listed in the Filter settings screen. There you can edit it or delete it in the future, if necessary. For now, though, you are done!
You have successfully added your Evernote Email address as a Forwarding address in Gmail, Filtered incoming messages to your “plus address”, and told Gmail to forward all of those e-mails to Evernote. All that remains is a test! Send an e-mail to your “plus address”, sync your Evernote client, and you should see the new note appear. If you have further questions, read on through the Bonus Tips below and ask your questions in the comments. The Reference materials below should give you further information about every step of this process and may be helpful. Enjoy your increased Evernote productivity!
- Add security to your filter: While setting up your Gmail filter, enter your own email address(es) in the “From” field. This way, only emails from YOU to YOURSELF will end up in Evernote. No sense in letting somebody else spam your Evernote account!
- “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)”: When creating your filters, Archive these messages as well as Forward them. Then you don’t need to manually sort them in gmail later.
- Use a Text Expander: Do you commonly file items into the same folders with the same tags? Use a text expansion app like TypeIt4Me (Mac) or PhraseExpress (Windows) to append your subject lines.
- Refer to the Bonus Tip for Seasoned Veterans above for further possibilities
References & Suggested Reading
- Evernote Website
- 2 hidden ways to get more from your gmail address via Gmail blog
- Using an address alias via Gmail Help
- Boolean operators via Gmail Help
- Using Advanced Search via Gmail Help
- Emailing Into Evernote Just Got Better via Evernote Blog
- Emailing Into Your Evernote Account via Evernote Blog
- Gmail Hacks That Will Change Your Life via Buzzfeed.com