How-to: Transition from Evernote Basic or Premium to Evernote Business

How-to: Transition from Evernote Basic or Premium to Evernote Business
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How-to: Transition from Evernote Basic or Premium to Evernote Business

Note: This guide is intended for Evernote Business accounts created before September 15, 2017.

Transition from Evernote Basic or Premium to Evernote Business

If you’ve been using Evernote on your own, you know it’s an amazing tool to help you centralize all your work. Evernote Business brings the benefits of Evernote to your entire team and adds a shared, central workspace for everyone. If you’re moving from using Evernote on your own to Evernote Business with your team, this guide will help you understand some of the key differences and give you best practices for a smooth transition.

How is Evernote Business different?

Evernote Basic and Premium are designed for individuals. Evernote Business builds on all the features and benefits of Evernote, but is designed to help your team work together and let your company centrally administer the account and its data.

Separation of personal and business content

When a team member works on a project for a company, in most cases that content belongs to their organization, not to them personally. With this in mind, Evernote Business gives companies a place for team members to create and work on business content (projects, meeting agendas, client work, and so on) that is separate from the content that each person may create for their own personal use (recipes, travel plans, family projects, etc.). If a team member leaves the company, all the work they created will remain with the company’s Evernote Business account, and the individual team member can take their personal content with them in their individual Evernote account.

  • Business content is owned by the company, and will remain with the company when someone on your team leaves. Both the creator of content and the company’s admin(s) can access business content.
  • Personal content is owned by each individual, and remains with them if they leave your company’s Evernote Business account. Nobody at your company can see your personal content unless you explicitly share it with them. You can still create personal content even after joining Evernote Business.

To make business content clearly separate from personal content, Evernote Business has several features to help identify and organize each type of content. Some of these will be familiar to you as an Evernote user, but with the addition of a new layer of business-oriented tools.

  • Business notes are owned by the company. Business notes appear in your company's business account. New notes that you and your team members create that are work-related should in most cases be business notes.
  • Personal notes are owned by the individual. Personal notes appear in your personal account. Personal notes include all the notes created before joining an Evernote Business account.

Business notes in Evernote for Mac


Business notebooks are owned by the company. They can be shared across the entire business, selectively with relevant individuals or they can be kept private so only the individual who created them and your company’s admins can access them.

Business notebooks in Evernote for Mac


Personal notebooks are owned by each individual, and when they leave your company, the contents of their personal notebooks will leave with them. Personal notebooks cannot be shared with your entire business. Personal notebooks include all the notebooks created before joining an Evernote Business account.

Personal notebooks in Evernote for Mac

It’s important to note that what each team member sees in their notebook view may vary, as they can be invited directly by someone to join spaces or can request to join one from the Space Directory. They can also create their own set of spaces.

Business tags are owned by the company. As you add tags to a note your company account, any tags you create will automatically be added to your company's set of business tags.

Business tags in Evernote for Mac

Personal tags, like personal notebooks, are owned by each individual. If you add tags to a note in your personal Evernote account, any tags that get created will be added to your set of personal tags. You cannot use business tags in a personal notebook, or vice-versa. Personal tags include all the tags created when you previously used Evernote before joining an Evernote Business account.

You can switch between viewing business and personal notes, notebooks, and tags on the sidebar or using the toggle at the top of the notes, notebooks, and tags screens.

For an example of how a business may set up their Evernote Business notes, notebooks, and tags inside a space, view a sample organizational structure. As team members are creating content for your company, encourage them to create notebooks and tags in your company's business account. If you and your team members were familiar with using Evernote before your team started using Evernote Business, make sure they understand the differences between personal and business content.

Business trash - When a team member deletes a note from a business notebook, to prevent unintentional data loss Evernote Business doesn’t automatically erase them. Instead, it puts them in the business trash. Only a company’s admin can erase and restore notes that are in the business trash, and they do this via the Admin Console.

New ways of viewing team content

Spaces, in Evernote Business, are a great way for teams to view everything that everyone is working on. From What's New area, you can get an overview of recent note activity within your team. From the Pinned Notes area, you'll have quick access to frequently accessed and important notes.

Administrative control

If you’re the company’s admin, you’re able to manage your team’s Evernote Business account from the Admin Console. The Admin Console includes settings for people, spaces, notebooks, tags, billing information, and so on. You can also manage your company’s business trash from the Admin Console. We’ll explore more about the Admin Console later in this guide.

Create a new Evernote Business account

When you set up a new Evernote Business account, you become the account admin, by default. After you’ve invited your team, you can designate someone else to be the account admin or you can even have multiple admins. Account admins have access to the admin console to view business-wide settings, manage business content, and invite team members to join. Learn more >>

To get started:

  1. Go to the Evernote Business website and click Get Started.
  2. Fill out the form with your full name, the name of your business, your business email address, and an account password.

If you already have an Evernote account and would like to use the email address associated with that account for your new Evernote Business account, you’ll be prompted to sign in and choose a different personal email address for your existing account so you can use your business email address for the new account.

Account Summary

As you invite your team members to your Evernote Business account, make sure to encourage them to use their existing Evernote username and password (if they have previously used Evernote) and to set a business email address in their account settings.

Administering your team’s account

Since Evernote Business is designed for a team, there needs to be one or more people in charge your team’s account. These people are your company’s admins - people who have the ability to oversee and manage your company’s Evernote Business account.

Add additional admins

If you’re an admin on your company’s account, it’s important you familiarize yourself with the Admin Console. Even if you’ve used Evernote on your own, the Admin Console will be new to you as you transition to Evernote Business. From the Admin Console, you can:

  • Add or remove users
  • Change user permission levels
  • Monitor which users have accessed business content
  • Manage spaces, business notebooks, notes, tags, and the business trash
  • View and update billing information and transaction history
  • Enable security features like single sign-on
  • Manage integrations like Salesforce

Admin console

Spend some time getting to know the various tools inside the Admin Console, as only you and the other admins on your company’s account have access to it and its functionality.

Your account should always have at least two admins. That way, if one person is unavailable, there’s always a backup person to access and administer your team’s workspace. An admin could be an officer at your company, someone trusted in IT, HR or finance, and so on. All admins have the same level of access and can monitor and manage your team’s business content, users, and billing information, so you’ll want to choose your admins carefully. You generally will not want to make all users on your account admins; instead, choose a small set of trusted individuals to maintain governance of your Evernote Business account.

To add additional admins, from the Admin Console select ‘Manage Users’ and choose the person or people you’d like to make admins. From the ‘Actions’ drop-down, select ‘Make an Admin’ to give each person admin-level access to your company’s Evernote Business account.

Evernote Business and your team

Organizing your team’s workspace

On your own, how you choose to organize your Evernote workspace is solely at your discretion - you can organize as much (or as little) as suits you. With a team, planned and structured organization is essential for success. On a team, you’ll need to think through how your team’s workspace in Evernote Business will be organized and set things up to help your team be successful. For guidance, review the step-by-step guide for how to set up your team’s shared spaces. Once you’ve set up your team spaces in Evernote Business, then it’s time to add content. Start by adding new content. Move notes into shared spaces.

For Evernote Business accounts created before September 15, 2017:

If you already have content in your personal Evernote account that would be more applicable to your business, first convert it into business content from any Evernote desktop client.

To convert a single note, just move it from a personal notebook to a business notebook. It will then be available to anyone who has access to that notebook.

To convert an entire personal notebook, from Evernote for Mac or Windows Desktop, right-click or control-click on a notebook, and choose 'Convert to Business Notebook.’ The notebook will then be removed from your personal account and will be converted to a business notebook owned by your company. A couple of important things happen when you convert a notebook:

  • Note history and creation dates are reset to the date and time when you perform the conversion.
  • If you’d previously shared the notebook with other people, you’ll need to re-share it with them after the notebook is converted.

Deploying Evernote Business to your team

In addition to thinking through your team’s organizational structure for content, you’ll also want to plan for how you’ll actually roll Evernote Business out to everyone. For instance, you’ll likely have some people who are familiar with Evernote, and others who haven’t used it yet. You’ll want to plan a strategy to let your team know that Evernote Business will be available to them, explain the goals behind bringing it to your team, set expectations for its use, and determine a timeline for deploying to and training your group.

For a full set of guidelines on how to successfully bring Evernote Business to your team, review the Evernote Business Deployment Guide.

Sharing content with your team

Once you’ve deployed Evernote Business to your team, it’s time to share content with them. Although Evernote Business is designed for sharing and collaboration within your team, by default, all spaces, business notes and notebooks are not shared - only the creator and the admin(s) can see or access that content. When you’re ready to share content, you have two primary options - sharing with individuals or with your entire company.

Sharing with individuals - Spaces is the easiest way to share notes and notebooks with others. Just click the ‘Share’ button. You’ll be prompted to add individuals to share with, and to set the level of sharing access they’ll receive. They’ll be able to see the contents you’ve shared, and if you’ve given them permission, to edit or edit and share as well. This is a great option if you’re working on a project with your team and you want everyone to be able to view and create content together in one central spot. You can always revoke and/or change access permissions later as your needs change and your project(s) evolve.

Use spaces to share with your team

Sharing with the entire company - List a shared space in the Space Directory so everyone at your company can access it and all its contents. This helps add to your company’s searchable knowledge hub in Evernote Business. Great examples of company-wide spaces that could be useful to share are HR forms, employee handbooks and corporate schedules, press clippings, and so on.

Share a space with the entire company

Generally speaking, if you’re working on drafts of a project and it isn’t ready for public consumption, you can work on it in a space that you haven’t shared. When it’s ready for your team to see it, you can either share the space or move your note(s) into a shared space. You can let your team know that you’ve given them access to your notes by clicking the ‘Share’ button.

New ways of finding content across your business

In addition to collecting and sharing business content, Evernote Business gives your team new ways to find and access the content that members of your team have been working on.

You’re probably used to searching and finding results from your own notes and notebooks. When you perform a search in Evernote Business, you’ll see results from your notes along with results from notes and notebooks your team members have shared. You’ll even see suggestions about who in your company may have expertise on a given topic that you’re searching for. Evernote Business only includes search results from content that has been deliberately shared either with you or with the entire business.

Account Summary


Maintaining your team’s Evernote Business account

On your own, you don’t need to spend too much time maintaining your Evernote account. On a team, it’s useful to make time for removing outdated notes, deleting unused tags, and and so on. Since you and your team will be sharing a workspace, keeping it organized and updated will make it easier for everyone to contribute and find content so they can complete their work.

Set aside time on a regular basis to:

  • Rename any spaces, notebooks, tags, or notes that don’t follow your team’s organizational guidelines
  • Check notebooks for notes that are duplicates, outdated, and/or no longer useful
  • Review your team’s tags, and remove any that are redundant or unused
  • Adjust sharing permissions for shared spaces, notes, and notebooks

If you’re an admin, you can perform some of these actions yourself, both directly in Evernote or via the Admin Console. You can also ask people on your team to help maintain content they’ve shared.

Tags in the admin console

Downloadable templates

Related resources