Evernote for Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos · How To Videos

Using Evernote for genealogy: my Evernote library (a video)

Have you ever bought the same book twice? Me too! Here’s how I stay on top of my reference library, using Evernote.

How I did this video

I’m having a blast with all the new tech tools. (Might as well polish some skills while we’re all in CV19 lockdown.)

I shot this video using Zoom on my new 2020 MacBook Pro. I downloaded the Zoom video to my desktop, snapped a quick photo of the books with my iPhone 6, and combined the .mp4 and .jpg files in iMovie. Next I did some quick editing, adding titles and transitions, and edited the painfully long bit where I filled in a note from 3 mins to 20s. After the movie was done, I uploaded it to YouTube, waited an hour for the automatic subtitling, then lightly edited the captions. From there, it was simple to copy the link from YouTube into WordPress.

Total time from conception to final piece: 4 hours.

My book template

If anyone would like a copy of the template shown in this video, let me know.

6 thoughts on “Using Evernote for genealogy: my Evernote library (a video)

  1. It was very cool to see you almost in person! I’ve seen your photos, read your blog posts, and heard you on the radio – but getting all three together is so cool!

    Thanks for the video. I use Zotero rather than Evernote, but were I just starting out, I can see how doing it in Evernote would be helpful too. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to make a video!

    Funny thing – I immediately looked in your list for Chop Suey Nation and then you held it up. Ditto, The Woo Woo – I saw both Ann and Lindsay at the Sunshine Coast Writers Festival last year. Ann almost filled the pavilion at 9 am on the Sunday morning! I enjoyed both the books – especially Ann’s 🙂

    *sigh* McNally Robinson…I had hoped to get to Saskatoon this year, but C-19 had other ideas.

    Finally, Ian Macdonald’s Referencing for genealogists is another great resource…used in tandem with EE, I finally got a full (well, as full as most can get) grasp on creating citations.

    1. Hi Teresa, what a lovely note. Thank you for it, and for the recommendations.

      About citations: phew! I did some citation work yesterday with my new copy of EE.

      Here’s a doozy: how would you cite documents with no citations from a CD that was attached to a self-published family history book? Here’s my citation for 1 of the 22 documents on the CD.

      Lord, Heather L. “Reminisces: history and genealogy of the Shavers of Ancaster – a collection of poetry and essays on the descendants of John Shaver of Ancaster, Upper Canada and their U.E.L. heritage” Book with accompanying CD. Published by the Shaver Family Reunion Committee of 7 Mary Street, Branchton, ON, N0B 1L0 Canada. Copyright June 2010. Book given by Gord Maw and Ann Maw née Shaver to Linda Yip and Sean Maw in Jul 2020. High resolution scan of a photo. Corresponds with artwork on page 193 with the caption, “Photograph from 1937 Shaver Family Reunion Picnic”.

      1. The idea is to give someone else the tools to work back to the source…now if someone inherits your work and that particular CD, you’ve achieved that…I’ll check Macdonald’s book tomorrow (sooooo tired tonight – busy day at work) and see what he says about that.

        Both he and Elizabeth Shown Mills stress that there is no perfect citation and that there is no formula or template we can apply for each and every instance – we have to take the building blocks they provide and arrange them according to the “item in hand” (the latter being a cataloguing term).

        Also good is Melissa Corn Finlay’s video available here: http://boundlessgenealogy.com/tutorial/complex-citations/

      2. I know Melissa! Thanks for sending the video link. I hadn’t seen it before. I like the way she breaks it down into its basic components.

  2. Ian Macdonald’s book grew out of this document:


    The best option for you might be the section: Citing a chapter in an edited book. You could adapt as necessary.

    My citation style is combination of those of Macdonald and Mills.

    The guide referenced above is the one used by those in the Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies programme at the University of Strathclyde.

    1. Informative! I can see why you like combining the two methods. My issue with citing is that I’m rarely handling original documents. EE’s technique helps me clarify the layers. I also found when writing those citations on the weekend that the act of writing them highlighted their weaknesses as genealogical proof, since the provenance of the original document, valuable as it is, is unknown. Speaking of which… I have a valuable document somewhere in my files I need to find..!


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