How to Add Text and Links to an Evernote Note From Anywhere in iOS (Using Drafts and Workflow)

Khamosh Pathak

If you’re a serious text-based note taker, chances are, you use Evernote. It’s fast, clean and ubiquitous across all major platform. If you spend a lot of time reading/researching on your iPhone/iPad there are times where you just want to copy some text or send the current web page to a note in Evernote.

It can be a note where you’re compiling recipes or just researching a topic. You’d usually just copy the text/link manually, go to Evernote, find the note, tap Edit, scroll and paste the text. After the 3rd try, this can get tedious.

Add text to Evernote

Also, when you have a new awesome idea, you need to write it down immediately. But going to Evernote, tapping a note and then writing it down might turn you off. Instead, just use Drafts that opens with a text field and a keyboard. Then send it to the Evernote note, or create a new one. It’s easy.

These are of course two very different use cases and we’ll use two different iPhone and iPad apps for each. Workflow ($4.99) and Drafts ($9.99).

All things Evernote: Learn about the best ways to integrate different apps with Evernote, how to search in Evernote like a pro and how it compares with Microsoft’s OneNote and Notability.

Using Drafts To Quickly Jot Down Ideas And Then Send To Evernote

Drafts is a great brain dumping app. You don’t need to figure out where the text will go. Just open the app, and type it out so you don’t forget about it. Today we’ll set up a way to send the text to an Evernote note called “New ideas”. If there is no such note, Drafts will create it for you. For this to work, you need the Evernote app installed and when prompted, give Drafts the permission to access Evernote.

Step 1: To set it up, open the app and tap the Drafts icon in the top-right. From the next screen click the Plus button and select Create Action.

Drafts Create Action

Step 2: On the next screen, give the action a name (this is an important step, give the action a sensible name that you can easily understand from a list of actions). Then tap the Steps icon and then the Plus icon. From the list, navigate to Service and select Evernote.

Drafts Create Action

Step 3: Now, in the Title field, replace the existing text with the title of the note. Which in our case is “New ideas” (it’s case-sensitive). If you want, specify the Notebook or add tags.

Drafts Create Action

Step 4: From Write type, select append and hit Save. Go back to Action, tap Done and your action has been created.

Drafts Create Action

Now, go back to the Drafts homescreen, write the text you want, then tap the Drafts icon and from the Basic list, select the action we just created. If you can’t find it, use the search feature.

Once it’s done, Drafts will show a confirmation and your text will be added to the end of the New ideas note in the default Notebook in Evernote. Yes, it took a couple of minutes to set it up and you should do this for 4-5 of your most used notes for jotting down ideas. But now that it’s set up, you have an excuses free, fast way to extract text from your brain.

Using Workflow To Add Clipboard and Links To Evernote Notes

We’ve talked about Workflow a while back and if you’re even the slightest bit interested in automating simple or complicated tasks on your iPhone, you should buy Workflow. It’s a $4.99 app available for the iPhone, iPad and also the Apple Watch. (If you want a free alternative, take a look at our comparison of Workflow with IFTTT.)

You don’t even need to be an automation wizard to get the most out of the app. The developers have already created a Gallery of workflows that you can just simply adapt (with a little bit of customization). And right now, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Find Workflow

Step 1: Tap the Gallery button at the top and then tap the Great Action Extensions from the carousel on the top. From the list, tap Append to Evernote and choose Get Workflow.

Find Workflow

Step 2: When you try the workflow, you’ll first need to grant Workflow access to Evernote. Then, tap the Actions button, search for Get Clipboard and drag it to the top of the Append to Evernote workflow. While you’re at it, feel free to rename the workflow as well.

Workflow Clipboard

Step 3: After tapping the Workflow, you’ll see the parts of the workflow. Tap the Note Title option and type in the name of the note. Which in my case is “Links to check”. But for this to work, you’ll need to go to Evernote and create a new note with the exact same title.

Step 4: Now that it’s set up, go to any app or Safari and tap the Share icon, scroll to the right of the bottom segment, tap More and turn on the Run Workflow option. It will now show up in the Share Sheet.

Run Workflow

Step 5: Now after you’ve selected some text or the web page, tap Run Workflow. This will bring up all the extension workflows. Choose Append to Evernote. The copied text will be added to the Evernote note instantly.

More Tips

You can create multiple workflows, depending on the notes in questions. Plus, you can mix and match parts of the workflow. Instead of getting stuff from the clipboard, you can get the title of the web page and the link as well. Play around with all the actions in Workflow. The same goes with Drafts.

Do you think this quick way of notetaking is going to affect your note taking process? Share with us in the comments below.

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#automation#evernote

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