Evernote is an amazing tool for lawyers. With folders, tags and the ability to search within documents, it makes it amazingly easy to find any document in any case either at your desktop, from your phone, or on a tablet.
UPDATE: since I drafted this post, Evernote increased the maximum folder limit to 250 folders. Thanks to Brooks Duncan and DocumentSnap for the heads up!
The biggest problem with Evernote is the 250 folder limit. Unless you are just starting out as a lawyer, your law firm probably has more than 250 files. There are several ways to deal with this limitation including using TAGS as case names. However this really turns the program on its head and means you cannot use several of the nice features of notebooks in Evernote such as sharing.
Since you can select whether a notebook is synchronized or not, you would think you could simply turn off synchronization. Unfortunately, you can’t do that! Evernote lets you select whether a folder is online (synchronized) or offline only when you create the folder.
Best way to deal with Evernote’s 250 notebooks limit: EXPORT!
A better solution is to export folders out of Evernote. This has several benefits:
- Keep only active notebooks in Evernote.
- Preserve inactive notebooks as exported files while keeping all of your tags.
- If you ever need to review the old file, simply re-import the notebook.
Of course, if you have more than 250 active notebooks this will not help you. You will have to pick and choose among your cases to put into Evernote.
Steps to export notebooks in Evernote:
Step 1: Right click (Cmd-click) the folder to export, and select EXPORT from the menu.
Step 2: Name the file, and the export format. You can either export the notebook as an html file or as an Evernote .enex file. You can view the html file in any browser. However, if you want to keep tags (and if you want to re-import into Evernote later) select Evernote XML format. If you choose the .enex format, make sure the “Include tags for each note” box is checked!
Finally, click the SAVE button.
Step 4: Delete the folder in Evernote.
Now, you can keep your folder count in Evernote below the 250 folder limit AND still keep archived versions of your folders and tags!
BONUS: It gets even better. Remember how I said you could re-import the backup into Evernote, and how you can choose whether a file is synchronized or offline when created? If you re-import the exported .enex file you can create a new, off-line folder!
To re-import the file, simply double-click the backed up .enex file:
Evernote will ask you if you want to import the file. Before you click CONTINUE, make sure “Import Tags” is checked.
Evernote then asks you if you want to folder to synchronize. Click NO.
Now, the folder is back in Evernote (on this ONE computer) but is not synchronized with the Evernote servers or other Evernote clients. Rename the folder to remove the “imported” pre-fix.