How To Automatically Create Time Based Notes in Evernote

evernote automation iftttIn the “How to Automate Evernote” ebook, you read about a lot of different ways to automate the importing of information into Evernote. From complicated systems like using Hazel to import your online statements, to more basic ones such as sending all starred emails from Gmail to Evernote.

As a way to say “thank you” for investing in my product, and to continue making your life easier and more automated, I want to share with you another IFTTT recipe that I use on a daily basis that has saved me a lot of time.

A lot of people, including me, use Evernote to journal every day. Some use it to write down their thoughts during the day, others to keep track of what they eat and how many calories they’ve consumed, or as “to done” list of all their accomplishment for the day. My personal favorite is the “to done” list where I keep track of all that I have done during the particular day. After I finish something, whether it is to send an email, write a blog post, or finish a call with a consulting client, I simply write it down as bullet point in the note for the day. This way I have a basic list of the things that I’ve done and I can review it on a weekly basis. Keeping track of your activities prevents you from ever having the awkward feeling of “where did my week go, what the heck did I do the whole week?”. You simple fire up Evernote, find the correct note and review exactly what you have achieved during that time period. It is a great technique I learned from the team at Buffer.

The “problem” with keeping any type of journal in Evernote is that you need to create a new note and format it every single day. While it only takes a few clicks of the mouse, it is tedious and often boring, especially when you do it so often.

Luckily, there is a way to completely automate it using IFTTT.

Using the recipe below, you can configure IFTTT to create a new note, every day at a specific time, in a specific notebook, with tags and you can even format the body of the note to fit your needs. This way, your journal notes will be automatically created and you don’t have to waste your time every day. All you need to do is just journal.

Here’s how to set it up:

Login to IFTTT and click on Create:

evernote automation

Step 1) Click on the “this” link to select a trigger. From the menu with all the services, click on Date & Time:

ifttt recipe for evernote

Step 2) In step 2, you need to select when you want your note to be created. You can do it hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, or specify the day of the week where this recipe will be triggered. Click on your selection and this will take you to the next step.

Step 3) Configure the days and the time for your notes and click on Create Trigger when you are done.

Step 4) Click on the “that” link and select Evernote from the list of channels (services):

evernote automation with ifttt

Step 5) You have a few choices with Evernote. Create a note, append a note, create a link note, etc. The one that works for most people in most cases is to create a new note, but if any of the other choices fits your style better, feel free to select them. They all work in a simillar way.

Click on your choice and this will take you to the next step.

Step 6) This is the configuration panel for your notes.

Depending on what you selected in step 2, the default title will be different. You can change it to say whatever fits your needs best. By clicking on the plus sign you can add the date to your title as well.

The Body section is what your note will actually say. You can leave it blank for a blank note, or enter any type of formatting that you use. The best way to enter some sort of a template is to copy one of your previous notes into an HTML editor and delete all the content leaving just the formatting such as titles, bullet points, etc. This way all your notes will follow the same format and you don’t have to spend the time styling them.

In Notebook, type the name of the Evernote notebook where you want your notes to be created.

In Tags, enter the tags (if any) that you want to be appended to your new notes.

When you are all set, click on Create Action.

Step 7) In the description field enter something that will remind you what this particular recipe is about. You can leave the default text too, it really doesn’t make a big difference.

Uncheck the box that says “Receive notifications when this recipe runs” to prevent your email from getting an extra email each and every day.

Click on Create Recipe.

That is it, you are all set! Now every day (or week, or whatever time interval you specified) your notes will automatically be created for you and you don’t have to waste any of your precious time.

Over to you now

Go through the process and set a recipe for yourself. It is pretty easy and it will take you just a few minutes. The only tricky part is to get the formatting of the body right (unless you are using a blank note). It might take you a couple of tries to get the perfect format, but when you are all done, the feeling of seeing your new notes automagically appear when you need them is quite great.