Remember Everything: Lightroom and Evernote

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Remember everything. That’s the Evernote tagline. If you haven’t tried Evernote or if you tried it a while ago, go ahead and take a look. You can start with Evernote for free. Not only can you get a free account, all of the clients (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, etc.) are also free. Once you see the value Evernote provides you will probably upgrade to a premium membership. ($5 per month or $45 per year)

There are a wide variety of uses for Evernote. But, for now, let’s concentrate on how to use it for photography. Later I’ll show you a way to integrate Lightroom with Evernote.

Do a quick search and you’ll find some interesting uses for Evernote as a photographer. I mentioned it in my article Lucky 13 back in January of this year. Photographer Colson Griffith posted an article with a video describing how he uses Evernote to prepare for weddings. Matt Kloskowski wrote an excellent post, How I Use Evernote For Photography. I recommend you take a look at these to get some wonderful tips.

Checklists, notes, photography related web clippings, and location scouting are some excellent uses. If you are working with a group, shared notebooks can allow all of you to keep track of project notes and locations. So long as one member of the group is a premium member, you can have a shared notebook that everyone can access and add notes to.

While there is no plugin or Publish Service for Evernote in Lightroom there is an easy way to get images (and GPS data if applicable) from Lightroom into your notebook. It starts in Evernote.

 
 

In your account settings there is an email address that you can use to send items to Evernote using email. Keep this email address secret since anyone with this address can send items to your Evernote account!

Now that you have your secret email address you can bring Evernote and Lightroom together. Here is the basic web version of Evernote. (You can also access this information via any of the clients available for your platform)

 
 

You can easily see (1) your notebooks, (2) tags, (3) a list of your notes, and (4) the contents of the selected note. In this example we have a notebook called lightroom with a single note containing a checklist. We’ve also created two tags: location and project 1. It’s important to note the names of notebooks and tags since, as we will see shortly, Evernote provides a simple syntax to let us do a lot in our email if we know this information.

Let’s suppose that you have a few images and you want to put one or more into an Evernote note. Start by selecting the images in Lightroom. Then choose to email the images by choosing File>Email Photo, right clicking on the image and choosing Email Photo from the contextual menu, or using the shortcut Shift-Command-M.

 
 

You will then get the email dialog.

 
 

If you haven’t yet created an address book entry for your Evernote secret email address take the opportunity from this dialog by clicking the Address button and entering the information. Unfortunately, Lightroom doesn’t interface with your other contact applications and you need to maintain a separate address book within Lightroom.

When you click Send you will get your email, ready to send.

 
 

In the body of the message you can make any additional notes you want to include. The subject line is where we can make things happen when this email arrives at Evernote! Here is the syntax I referred to earlier.

 
 

The first part will become the title of your note. The next part begins with ! followed by a date in YYYY/MM/DD format. You can even enter temporal words like tomorrow or today. This section will set a reminder on the note. It is optional so if you don’t need a reminder leave it out.

The @ symbol indicates the notebook name. In this example we’re sending the note to our lightroom notebook. The important thing to remember here is that the notebook must already exist. If it doesn’t you will see the @notebook-name included in the title of the note to alert you to create the notebook and move the note there. This is also optional. If you leave this part out your note will be deposited into your default notebook.

To add optional tags precede them by the # symbol. Like notebooks, the tags must already exist. In this example we’ve added the tags project 1 and location.

Once the email is received by Evernote everything is filed and tagged and you will see your Lightroom image(s) in the appropriate notebook.

 
 

This can be an easy way to interface Lightroom and Evernote. Combined with shared notebooks it can be a great way for teams to keep up to date on your image based projects.