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Use Evernote to Quickly Find Anything in Your (Music) Magazine Collection

My 1st Keyboards magazine from November 1987

Hello, my identify is Marko and I used to be a music journal addict. ?

No kidding.

It started in 1987 with my first (German) “Keyboards” magazine.

A yr later, soon after I had started enjoying guitar I additionally bought my first guitar magazines. Within the early 90s I had a subscription to “Guitar for the Practicing Musician” and was getting the magazine shipped to Austria until I moved to California for my music studies.

On my bookshelves there’s issues of:

  • Guitar Player
  • Guitar One
  • Guitar Faculty
  • Gitarre+Bass
  • Guitar Methods
  • Sound Verify
  • Keys
  • Electronic Musician
  • and numerous different mag experiments

Loopy, I do know.

If you find yourself young(er) with much less duties and fewer bills to pay, it’s straightforward to throw some money around for stuff like music magazines, books and CDs – you don’t have as many pesky payments to pay but.

Fortuitously I’m not a hoarder in another facet. My passions are virtually solely about music and books. And I seem to have turn into  more selective and some years in the past settled down to principally “Guitar Techniques” and German “Keyboards/Sound and Production” to stay in the loop.

So, it’s superior to have all those magazines with their great info at your disposal, proper?

Properly, sure and no.

How Quickly Can You Find What You Are Wanting For?

Keyboard magazines in bookshelf

Principally Keyboard magazines in this bookshelf.

Yes, all the knowledge is here, however is it really at your disposal? What good is all that info when you’ll be able to’t discover what you’re looking for whenever you want it?

As an example…

Typically a scholar asks me a few specific track he needs to study. So we begin transcribing but need to double-check particular segments of the piece. I do know I’ve seen it transcribed in one of the magazines – however which one?


I keep in mind seeing some great workshop a few sure method getting featured – but which yr and difficulty was that again?

Having to look by way of dozens of magazines is time-consuming, annoying… and what about those instances if you find yourself wanting by way of the mistaken journal folder to begin with?

Some of my Previous “Solutions”

Right here’s what I have tried in the past…

1) Magazine Index Summaries

I made copies of index summaries offered by the publishers as a particular service in the print journal.

Those summaries have been actually useful, but they occurred occasionally. Not every journal offered them, or they have been incomplete and just summarized interviews and check critiques and omitted transcriptions and workshops.

2) Web sites With Index Created by Some Consumer

Some type, sharing soul revealed a detailed index they created themselves on their website.

Superior, till in fact the updates cease sometime in 2004. Hey, I don’t blame them – it’s tedious to hold an index and a website up-to-date.

3) Cloud-database Service

A few years ago, I got here across an internet service referred to as, which promised to make databases attractive and enjoyable with an easy-to-use interface that was intuitive and yet highly effective. Blist was a merger of spreadsheet and visual database creation service, all manageable on-line at a time when cloud providers have been just getting began.

In all probability too early, as a result of over the course of a few weeks I observed the downsides – sluggishness as my knowledge entries grew and unfortunately there were some bugs as properly. Nonetheless, I had hopes that it was simply initial growing pains of a start-up firm, but soon they switched their focus and became a public sector service supplier.

Thankfully, I used to be in a position to export my knowledge and continue with a alternative service ( that didn’t supply that many options and after a while closed store as nicely.

At that time I had it with unreliable cloud providers and shifted my search in the direction of an offline desktop answer.

What A few Desktop Answer?

After some looking I stumbled across DatabaseOasis and because the program was/is fairly inexpensive bought a replica.

Comparable to my initial Blist expertise, right here I might design my own knowledge model without programming. With some experimentation over the course of a weekend I designed my own model with all the info I needed to monitor and obtained going.

screenshot of DatabaseOasis data entry interface

Perhaps not the prettiest UI design, nevertheless it captures all of the related knowledge.

Thus far so good – the database designing truly was fun. However getting the info in was tedious and boring. I tried the focused-push technique of sacrificing some days of my summer time break getting into knowledge into my intricate model.

I did get quicker and decreased my entry time to roughly 10-15 minutes per magazine. Not too dangerous, but the prospect of ending someday in 2016 (getting into 1 mag/day) was an actual downer.

590+ knowledge sets in, however in my thoughts that venture died 2 summers ago.


DatabaseOasis is a cool program, and I do use it for other smaller tasks, but undoubtedly not this monster music journal undertaking.

If you need to design your personal offline databases, DatabaseOasis is an effective selection – the web site hasn’t been updated in some time and I don’t understand how lively the developer is in persevering with to help this system. However I by no means had a problem and the software is operating secure on my Windows 7 PC.

So, what’s the solution?

Evernote to the Rescue

Sorry if my blog seems to be turning into an Evernote fanboy weblog with me raving about or a minimum of recommending Evernote in posts like monitoring scholar progress and nice Android apps for musicians.

However what am I supposed to do? Ought to I hold quiet about this wonderful answer?

No, in fact not. Despite the fact that you won’t have that same music magazine info overload drawback, this may offer you an concept about solving one thing else.

When my girlfriend received a brand new HP Officejet Professional printer/scanner to print out her diploma thesis, this truly acquired me desirous about an Evernote Premium function. I’ve read about how nice the ocr (optical character recognition) and the search inside uploaded PDF documents work in Evernote Premium. However I hadn’t tried it myself but.

Now my practice of thought went one thing like this:

  • What if I scan the journal cowl and the 1- or 2-page index firstly?!?
  • I might virtually mimic my preliminary database model with out going by means of the effort of getting into all that knowledge.
  • Let’s say, I’m on the lookout for a selected track transcription – a quick search in my pocket book stack and Evernote’s ocr algorithm would do the rest of the magic.
  • All I’d have to do is go to my library to decide up the precise challenge.
  • No want for tags, authors, sort of article, and so on…

To my pleasant shock I came upon that Evernote’s ocr does not solely work with PDF, however jpg information as nicely. So I might check that search functionality without having to improve to Premium first.

A number of quick scans and checks was all I needed. I used to be blown away by the accuracy of the Evernote character recognition.

screenshot of a search query using Evernote

Evernote – the Stairway to Heaven?

I still did upgrade to Premium though, because scanning a number of hundred magazine covers and index pages at 300 dpi in shade uses up the regular 60mb month-to-month upload allowance quite shortly. ?

But hey, Evernote Premium is simply 5$/€ per thirty days and then you definitely get 1 GB of uploading. Best of all, you don’t even have to keep a Premium subscriber. Upgrade and upload and once your stuff is in the system you possibly can merely cancel the Premium membership with none hassles at all.

Your knowledge continues to be in there – and once you want extra uploading capacity at a later time, you’d merely upgrade to Premium once more.

Some Recommendations on Making the Process as Straightforward as Potential

I unfold the scanning out over a number of weekends, however most of my guitar magazines at the moment are in the system. The few left-overs I’ll get in over the subsequent few weeks. And a few later time I’ll do one other targeted push to get my numerous keyboard oriented mags in.

Scanning stuff in completely is just not as tedious as typing all that knowledge into some database software. And upon getting prompt entry (from desktop, tablet or cellular) by way of that superior search performance to all that worthwhile info (that you simply did spend your money on) and that you simply now can use – you realize that the scanning process undoubtedly has been value it.

Evernote notebook tack screenshot

My notebook stack in Evernote

Listed here are some things I discovered…

  • Determine if you’d like to use separate notebooks for the magazines or are going to use tags as an alternative. I selected the separate notebooks for each journal in a combined notebook stack. (take a look at the screenshot to the correct)
  • Choose and scan in your materials – in the case of music magazines I’d recommend the duvet and the 1, or 2 index pages most magazines use. I used 300 dpi colour scanning – perhaps overkill, and you might save various space for storing through the use of a decrease decision, but I figured that I only ever need to undergo the scanning process as soon as. So let’s do it at the highest decision attainable.
  • Rename your scanned information to something smart. Almost definitely your scanner will either use some bizarre numbering scheme or some progressive naming scheme a la scan 000001, scan 000002, and so forth…
    Evernote can be superb with that, however I feel it’s more useful to have the actual magazine info in the title of your notice. My naming scheme is: year-month-page-magazine abbreviation. For example: “2013-02-0-GT” would imply the duvet page of the Guitar Methods February 2013 situation. (For the web page number: 0 which means the duvet, 1 the 1st index, and a couple of the second index web page.)
  • Create individual new notes inside the suitable Evernote notebook for each scanned web page.
  • Elective: tag the notes with both “cover” or “index” tags. This provides you more granular filtering choices. Let’s say you’d simply need to visually flick through a certain virtual magazine stack. Merely go to the appropriate notebook, select the “cover” tag as a further filter and Evernote will only current the related cover scans of that specific journal to you.
  • Whenever you discovered what you’re on the lookout for, merely get the “real” magazine out of your bookshelf.

Any Further Concepts You Might Use Evernote For?

A magazine collection, a CD collection (if you haven’t gone 100% digital yet) or numerous music books that you simply’d like to index – give Evernote a attempt to create your private index system. You’ll get 1 month of premium options free of charge as a special sign-up bonus.

In the event you provide you with some other great concepts on how to use Evernote for organizing your music-related stuff, please share them in the comment part under.

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