How to Create Project Support Notes in Evernote

An integrated record is just a click away

Evernote is great at taking notes, including notes with information to support projects you are tracking in OmniFocus. Thoughts on the desired outcome, notes on what you’ve accomplished so far, and information you’re going to need.

OmniFocus can add notes to a project, but if the notes are complex or will still be useful after the project is complete, you should consider storing the project support information in Evernote.

When set up properly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in OmniFocus or Evernote, you’re just a click away from the right place in the other app. The best part is, it works on both OS X and iOS.


Here’s how to create project support notes in Evernote.

  1. Create the project in OmniFocus. You may have already done this.
  2. Copy the project URL. Select the project, then click Edit > Copy as Link. It’s also available through the contextual menu.
  3. Create a note in Evernote. Give it the same name as the OmniFocus project. Your Planner notebook is a natural place for this note.
  4. Create a reminder for the note. Notes with reminders get listed at the top of the note list, where they’re easy to find. They won’t get buried. If the project has a due date, set the same due date on the reminder.
  5. Set the note’s source URL to the OmniFocus project. Click Note > Show Note Info. The sixth field down is URL. Paste the OmniFocus project URL (copied earlier) here. Now, the omnifocus:// URL will be visible at the top of the note.
  6. Copy the Classic Note Link. Right-click on the note in the list and hold down the Option key. Copy Note Link will change to Copy Classic Note Link. (Thanks to Josh for pointing this out in the comments!)
  7. Add the URL to the project’s notes field in OmniFocus. Add “Note name <paste evernote:// URL here>” at the top of the notes field. Putting the URL in angle brackets helps OmniFocus identify the start and end of the URL.

There you have it. Your OmniFocus project is linked to the Evernote note, and the note is linked back to the project. Whichever app you’re in, you’re just a click/tap away from the other.

When you complete the project in OmniFocus, don’t forget to check off the reminder in Evernote. It’s easy to forget this step, but your weekly review is a great time to make sure all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.

You can do this for individual tasks, too. Instead of having a single project support note for Buy Christmas gifts, the task for each person (Buy gift for Mom, etc) could have its own note with gift ideas (and a history of what you have given them recently).

One more thought on note links. When you select Note > Copy Note Link, you get a URL that is an evernote:// URL when used in Evernote, but is a link to Evernote Web (starts with https://) when used in another app, like OmniFocus. This is the URL you want to use if you’re going to share the note with someone else. They’ll open in the Evernote web client. For personal use, if you want a link that will open in Evernote itself, you want the classic note link (starts with evernote://).

You can also use the following script to copy the classic note link to the clipboard. Install the script in Evernote’s scripts folder, then you can assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

Question: Do you use OmniFocus and Evernote together? How do you integrate them? Share your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

About

Colter writes software and blogs about personal growth and productivity. He lives in Silicon Valley (California) with his wife and children, recently took up golf, and watches mostly British TV shows.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. For more information, see my comments policy.

  • Josh Sullivan

    I’m not sure if this is what you mean, but if you right click on a note then hold Option, it changes to “Copy Classic Note Link” which is the default for ‘evernote://’ link. I think that is what you were looking for, there must be an AppleScript that can pull this link instead of the other.

    • Thanks, Josh! That’s the link I’m looking for. That’s easier than installing the AppleScript. I’ll update the post.

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