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Making and Keeping Lists in Evernote is Easy

Are you a List Person?

Do you always have a To Do list? Do you start every project by making a task list? In spare moments alone with a piece of paper and a pen, do you start creating lists automatically? Do you always jot down a list before heading to the store? You are a List Person. Congratulations! Without lists, confusion would reign. Lists are the first step in any organizational system. Make enough lists and you may become a planner / organizer. (More about Evernote and planning in the future.)

In Evernote you can create any kind of list you want, with checkboxes, if you want.

If you are new to Evernote, you might want to read our introduction of what Evernote is and what you can do with it.

The Great List of Lists

Here are some examples of lists you can create (or add to) in Evernote:

  • To Do lists
  • Shopping lists
  • Gift lists (with photos and price tags, and online links if you want)
  • Packing lists (for home moves and office storage, can include packing photos)
  • Travel agendas
  • Conference agendas
  • People to meet (hopefully you don’t need to list people to avoid)
  • Job descriptions
  • Books to read and/or books already read
  • Good restaurant meals (with photos)
  • Photos of wine labels or beer bottles
  • A diary / list of tea tastings, coffee types (or info on other tasty things)
  • Lists and / or photos of stamps, coins, lead soldiers, ceramics, and other collectibles, or
  • A list of collectibles you want to find
  • Ticket stubs (scanned or photographed)
  • Receipts for reimbursement
  • Tweets posted or collected
  • House or apartment hunting lists
  • Bucket lists
  • Blog lists

Advantages of Using Evernote for Lists

Of course, you don’t need Evernote to make lists, but there are some advantages for using Evernote to organize your lists:

  1. Filing, all your lists are in one place, and available on all your devices.
  2. Search, you can find your lists, or find out which list you put an item in.
  3. Tag your lists. You can tag lists by project, date, author, and / or topic; also mark as incomplete or finished. Tagging helps you find and group together lists.
  4. Centralize to Organize. Click once on a tag for a project and you can see all your lists and all the other notes and materials for that project, gathered together.
  5. Share your lists publically online or just with selected individuals. (If you have a paid or a business-wide Evernote account, you can give others write access to help with the creation of a list.)

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Do you already have long lists on paper? Instead of spending time typing them in, just photograph them with your Evernote-loaded cell phone or tablet. If legible, Evernote will extract the keywords from your list so you can search on those terms, too. Remember to tag them, also.

While you’re at it, take a photo of each of those sticky notes you have around your computer monitor and around the house and consolidate them into one Evernote page (or a big list of notes).

Evernote can work along side many other list tools. If you already use other To Do or task managers, you can email or export those notes to Evernote to keep with other project or organizational notes. You can also create lists with mind maps and export them to Evernote.

Many people keep lists or records for health planning and recording. Whether you are monitoring a diet, an exercise routine, a pregnancy, blood pressure readings, or other data, Evernote can help you record and find that data along with related documents.

You can also use many new sports and medicine apps as well as Evernote. Keep all the info in one place where you can access them when visiting your doctor.

A Brief Reminder about Security

Whenever keeping large amounts of very personal data – whether medical info, passwords, driver’s license numbers, photocopies of your family’s passports and visas, etc., consider the safety of your data online and on your devices. You can keep your personal info in a special offline notebook in Evernote that is not copied online. Text files in Evernote can be password protected and encrypted, but you might also consider a software vault for those private files that you wouldn’t want stolen from your phone, tablet or laptop. No need to be paranoid, just take a few simple precautions, especially when traveling.

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Archiving Your Lists

Evernote is also a great way to archive lists. If you have a recurring project to organize, say an annual event, keeping your lists organized can help you, or a successor, organize the next one.

Ready-Made Lists

If you are creating a list from scratch, you can find lots of lists online, ranging from grocery lists to disaster preparedness lists. Here are a few sources:

Simply Checklists is a great site for checklists ranging from Natural Disaster Planning to First Aid to Pantries, Parties and Pets. It’s a good way to begin your own plans. The site has almost 150 lists in all.

List Templates has list templates for many projects and tasks.

Printable To Do Lists is another list site.

Also, most spreadsheet or office program makers have their own templates for many kinds of lists and projects. (See the relevant Microsoft, LibreOffice, or Google support websites.)

For a common project, doing a Google or Bing search on the project, say “Wedding Planning” will yield lots and lots of lists.

More to Come

List Makers are only the first of several types of Evernote users we’ll be looking at in this series. Stay tune!

Do you use lists and Evernote? Share in the comments.


“Checklist with Red Check” courtesy of David Castillo Domenici and

“To Do List with Pen” by Andrew Brandt

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