Streamline Evernote Experience with Keyboard Shortcuts

After upgrading Evernote to version 5 on Mac, I found that they completely revamped the interface with a new sidebar and a new shiny editor. It looks more beautiful but I felt confusing because it’s too different from last version.

Evernote snippet view

The first thing I did was to close the guide and switch to the old style snippet view. This way it looks a bit familiar to me. But the new sidebar is nearly useless. I used to switch to different notebooks from the old sidebar because there’s a list of all notebooks. Now the new sidebar only lets you choose recent notes, and switch among notes, notebooks, tags and other views. If you want to switch to another notebook, you have to click the notebook title above the notes list – one more click!

So I thought about using shortcuts to simplify the actions needed. Luckily and unexpectedly, the new Evernote has a complete list of shortcuts.

You don’t have to google for it. What you need to do to find all these goodies is just to click each menu item (especially View, Note, Format) of Evernote, and all the shortcuts are shown alongside the actions.

So to select a notebook with Evernote 5, you just need to press ⌘-J, type in a few words and use arrow keys to navigate the list if necessary. You don’t even need the mouse or trackpad! If you want to further edit a note, just navigate to it using arrow keys and press ⌘-L and the note title gets the input focus. Press Enter, and the note editor gets focused.

Other useful shortcuts I just learned:

  • ⇧-⌘-H — Insert horizontal rule. I use horizontal rules a lot to mark section beginnings in notes.
  • ⇧-⌘-U — Unordered list
  • ⇧-⌘-O — Ordered list
  • ⌘-K — Create link. You can select some text and it will become the anchor text.

Now Evernote works more smoothly for geeks, right? You may argue that other apps like Notational Velocity or nvALT are more geeky, but the best part of Evernote is that you never need to think about/take care of synchronization or backup, yet you can access your notes anywhere, from any device.

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