People organize notes in different ways, but the organization mostly involves notebooks and tags. Sometimes I’ve found that tags and notebooks are not specific enough to what I need. But I don’t want to create more tags or notebooks. For example: I will tag notes related to meetings as “meeting notes.” That makes it easy to filter my notes down to just the meetings.
But what if I was giving a presentation on a particular project? Okay, well, I suppose I could add a tag for every project I had, but for me, that would become unruly. Take it step further, what if I was giving a presentation on a collection of projects, what then?
Evernote for the Mac has a cool little feature buried in its guts that lets you generate a “Table of Contents” note automatically for an arbitrary set of notes. It works like this:
Step 1. Select any notes by Command-Clicking the notes in the note list:
Use the Command-Click to select multiple notes from your list of notes. These can be the result of search, or just picking and choosing arbitrary notes as you go along, like this:
Step 2. Click the Create Table of Contents Note button
Once you’ve selected all of the notes you want to collect together, click the Create Table of Contents Note Button as shown below.
The Results: A Table of Contents Note
That’s all there is to it. Evernote will automatically generate a Table of Contents note from all of the notes you selected. In the example I used above, my Table of Contents note looks like this:
Click on any of the links in the note, and Evernote will open up the related note in question. The Table of Contents function uses the title of the notes to build the list.
Some uses for the a quick Table of Contents
I’ve found this hidden feature to be quite useful in a number of places, for instance:
- Collecting together a list of arbitrary notes for a meeting.
- Having a quick jumping off point for references for a story.
But where I’ve found it most useful is in giving presentations.
I give presentations on Evernote every now and then. I’ll produce a slide deck, but do realtime demos within the Evernote application. I’ll use the Table of Contents feature to create a note that can quickly get me to the notes that I want to be able to show to demonstrate some feature or function within Evernote.
There are probably a lot more ways to use the Table of Contents note function, but I just wanted to provide a few example.
I checked on my Windows machine and I cannot find this function there, so it looks like it is Mac-only at this time. Still, for folks using Evernote on a Mac, it is a pretty cool little function, and a real time-saver.
ETA: In the comments, Dan Kerschen provides an easy way to do this on Windows systems.
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Last week’s post: My Process for Keeping Evernote Clutter-Free.