Integrate Evernote: Add a Note to Evernote for Every New Calendar Entry
It’s no secret that I’m an Evernote fanatic. The reason is really simple. Because you can integrate Evernote with so many other applications, you can automate a lot of small but necessary tasks and save time. This allows me to focus confidently on other more important things, which is a key to being more productive both personally and professionally. As author and financial advisor, Nathan W. Morris, has noted, “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”
In this post, we’ll discuss how to integrate Evernote and Google Calendar using a tool called Zapier. (By the way, the same principles discussed here can be used to connect Outlook to Evernote). This can be a time-saver if you find it helpful, as I do, to take notes on important calls and meetings.
Think also about how many times you have wanted to remember to ask a specific question or bring up an important idea in your upcoming ABC meeting. Because there’s already a blank note for that meeting sitting in Evernote, you can easily make a note about your question or idea. (And if ABC is a recurring meeting, you can give your notes a tag that will allow you to easily find them all, sort them by date, and quickly search for specific information, as I’ve outlined in my free guide, Be More Productive: 7 Simple Steps for Integrating Common Email & Calendar Programs with Revolutionary Note-taking & Task-management Apps). Let’s take a look at how this works.
1. Get a zapier account
This integration, as I have set it up, depends on having a Zapier account. Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect apps you use every day to automate tasks and save time. You can connect any of its 1,000 plus integrated apps together to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build an integration.
To understand how the tool and its pricing work, we have to review some vocabulary. First there are “zaps,” which are connections between two or more apps that automate tasks. So, for example, a zap might consist of sending myself a text message every time I receive a certain email.
Then there are “tasks,” which involve the movement of any piece of data, e.g., sending me the text message containing the email. Zapier is free for up to 5 zaps and 100 tasks per month. The cheapest paid plan, which covers up to 20 zaps and 3,000 tasks per month costs $220, billed annually. You can learn more about plans and pricing here.
Another completely free app for doing the same thing is IFTTT, which stands for “If This Then That.” I use Zapier because it supports other more complicated integrations that IFTTT does not support. You can learn more about how these two tools compare here.
2. connect your apps to zapier
Step 1 in using Zapier is to connect the apps you want use in Zapier to your Zapier account. This is easy. Just go to “Connected Accounts,” find the apps you want to add, provide your login information, and you’re set. In this case, you'd want to connect Google Calendar and Evernote to Zapier.
3. create a zap to integrate evernote & google calendar
Once you connect your Google Calendar and Evernote Accounts to Zapier, you can specify various ways of integrating them. I want to show you how to tell Google Calendar to send information about certain calendar appointments to Evernote.
A. the trigger: specifying which calendar should be used for the zap
I have several Google Calendars, including one that pulls everything from my task and project software, Nozbe, into Google Calendar. So this zap is pulling just those events into Evernote. You can see from the image below that Zapier refers to this step as a “Trigger,” meaning that when something lands in my Nozbe Google Calendar, the zap will be triggered to run. (Zaps run every 15 minutes for the plans described above).
b. the "action:" specifying the evernote fields where the google calendar information should go
The next step in setting up a zap is specifying the “Action.” The Action, in this case, is for Evernote to create a new note in my “Meeting Notes” notebook. Here’s what the step looks like in Zapier:
You can see, above, that when you click on “Edit Template,” you get a preview of the typical, available Evernote fields on the right side of the page. The first task is to choose the Notebook where you want the calendar information to go. Above, I’ve chose the “MEETINGNOTES” notebook.
The next task is to specify which Evernote fields to assign to the calendar information you are transferring. Below, we’ll look at how to specify what calendar information will go in the Evernote “Title” field.
When the notes are created in Evernote, they land in my MEETINGNOTES notebook, as shown below. In Evernote, I've created a shortcut to that Notebook and formatted the font purple so that I can quickly find it.
4. sharing your notes with others
I’ve waxed poetic before about using Evernote for meeting notes. I especially like it for this purpose because the notes are so easy to share. Think about how many times you’ve jumped onto a conference call or attended a meeting where there’s no formal agenda and no one takes any notes about key points of discussion or next steps. Chaos is often the only thing achieved.
With Evernote, you simply copy the note hyperlink into an email or text and your notes are instantly sharable to all in attendance. So, if I open my “MD LINE TRAIL” note, shown above, I just click on the dropdown menu next to “Share” and then click on “Copy Share URL:”
The final step is to paste the URL from your clipboard into your email as a hyperlink and send your notes to the meeting attendees:
I’ve written a lot of posts about Evernote, which you can find here. Check out this post to learn about the various free and paid versions of the software available for almost any platform out there. It’s a huge productivity tool on its own, but when you integrate Evernote with other apps, it has almost endless possibilities to improve your efficiency and peace of mind (and quite possibly that of your colleagues with whom you choose to share your notes).