Send Gmail to Evernote: an overview of the tools

Updated 28 June 2013: both Evernote Web Clipper and Powerbot have new versions, the table refers to these new versions.

In the creation and development of the Google Apps script to send Gmail messages to Evernote, I have looked around what other tools are available. These are the other tools that I found:

  • forwarding to the Evernote email address and using the InQloud service;
  • the Evernote Web Clipper (only tested on Windows/Chrome);
  • PowerBot, an extension for Chrome (also others versions available, e.g., for Firefox and Safari)
  • IFTTT and Zapier, tools that enable you to connect between other web services

I have looked at how well these tools keep the formatting of the message, whether they keep attachments, have a link back to the message in Gmail, whether they can be automated using Gmail filters, and whether you can select the notebook or tags, and edit/comment on the message before sending.

Tools

I have found and looked at the following tools.

Forwarding

Each Evernote account comes with an email address. You can forward messages to this email address, and they will be placed in the default notebook. Using ‘@’ and ‘#’, you can send it to a specific notebook or add tags.

InQloud

InQloud is similar to direct forwarding, but it creates additional mail addresses, added to your contacts, one address for each notebook in Evernote, so you can more easily send it to a specific notebook.

Gmail to Evernote script

The Gmail to Evernote script (gm2en) also forwards the gmail messages, but it does it in the background, after you have assigned certain labels, to select the notebook and to assign tags. It also inserts a link back to the message in Gmail.

Evernote Web Clipper

As each Gmail message can be seen as a web page, the web clipper can add this to Evernote. The web clipper has been updated in June 2013 and now includes the complete message thread, as well as attachments. Note: only visible messages are clipped, so if you want to clip the whole thread, expand all messages first.

Powerbot for Gmail

Powerbot for Gmail adds a button to Gmail, with which you can add the message to Evernote. In a dialog box, you can specify which notebook you want to use, and which tags to apply. You can also edit the title, and add comments. Powerbot has additional features than just forwarding messages to Evernote.

If This Then That

In If This Then That (IFTTT) you can create recipes or rules, that based on a trigger perform some actions. In this case, if a new email arrives, it can create a note in Evernote. You can filter on  labels, and specifiy what parts of the message you want to put where in Evernote, e.g. use the subject line as title for the note, or the sender, and also place these parts in the body of the note. There are many recipes available to forward Gmail to Evernote, either based on starring a message or assigning a label.

Zapier

Zapier is similar to IFTTT. For this specific purpose, the main difference is that IFTTT has already many recipes to choose from, I could not find any such ready-made recipes for Zapier. Zapier has a wider range of web applications, but both include Gmail and Evernote.

Criteria

I compared the tools on the following criteria:

  • Format: Will the format of the email message be retained in Evernote?
  • Attachments: Can attachments be copied into Evernote?
  • Link back: will the note in Evernote have a link to go back to Gmail?
  • Automation: can forwarding be automated using filters in Gmail?
  • Notebook/tags; can you easily assign notebook and tags for each message?
  • Editable: can you edit the title and/or add comments before sending to Evernote?

Results

See the table below:

Tool format attachments link back automation notebook/tags editable
Forward yes yes no yes both yes
InQloud yes yes no yes only notebooks yes
gm2en script yes yes yes yes both no
EN web clipper yes yes yes no both yes
Powerbot yes yes yes no both yes
IFTTT no no no yes no no
Zapier no yes yes yes no no

With forwarding, you can not directly assign notebook or tags, and with InQloud, you can not directly assign tags. However, you can edit the subject line of the forwarded message, and therefore add notebook and tags using the ‘@’ and ‘#’ prefixes.

With IFTTT and Zapier, you can assign a notebook for each recipe. If you want to sent messages to different notebooks, you have to create a separate recipe for each notebook.

Conclusion

I am not going to give a verdict here; by showing the differences you can make your own choice, as only you know what is most relevant for you.

I might have overlooked other tools, and perhaps features in the tools I described here. If so, please comment below. Also if you find that there are relevant criteria not discussed here, please let us know.

 

19 thoughts on “Send Gmail to Evernote: an overview of the tools

  1. Pingback: Re: Send Gmail to Evernote « One Yoxel

  2. Eric Lorenz

    I think there is amistake in your chart… you note correctly that you can forward to specific notebooks and add tags using EN’s forwarding address…but then you have ‘no’ under that column in the chart?

    Thanks,
    Eric Lorenz

    Reply
  3. Phil Friend

    Really useful summary Harry. I’ve tried just about all the items you’ve mentioned so far Powerbot seems to deliver most of what I need. One day Evernote must release a an email to task manager with due dates! Well done Harry.

    Reply
  4. Steve Kellam

    I used to use Tarpipe (now CloudWork) which provided a lot of flexibility and met the criteria above except for linkback and editable but their pricing structure was way too high for this kind of service.
    Your solution seems to be the best for me as it is lightweight and uses the native functionality of Gmail. The only downside to it is that it may be a little too technical to set up for many users.
    I was disappointed to find that Gmail doesn’t allow a filter to assign multiple tags at one time. This requires duplicating the filter several times to do the Notebook and Tags in Gmail but at least it works.

    Reply
  5. Hmmm

    I have tried Zapier to send emails & attachments from gmail to evernote. The final result: Gmail appears in evernote along with a button for attachments. I press the attachment button (again, I am still inside evernote). Here’s the problem: The gmail attachments are downloaded OUTSIDE of evernote to my chrome’s download folder. There are attachments acknowledgement button but no actual attachments stored in evernote. This results into two NEW HUGE problems: No email ACTUAL email attachment archiving in Evernote, only a button indicating there is some attachment 2) The critical relationship between gmail and the appropriate gmail attachments are lost in evernote due to the attachment being sent to my chrome’s download folder. Please help me in my understanding. Am I missing something here. Many thanks.

    jcbh

    Reply
    1. Harry Post author

      I have no solution for this, you may try a dedicated Zapier forum. What is nice about tools like IFTTT and Zapier, is that they can be used with so many different services. But for this specific purpose, gmail to Evernote, there are better tools.

      Reply
      1. Nathan Stretch

        No problem. BTW, you might want to add a price field to the table as well. Powerbot is $1.99/month or $14.99/year, whereas some other options are free. Obviously not a lot of money, but might be a factor for some.

        Reply
  6. Just Sturgis

    Great list and really keen assessment of these options. Like you I seem to have tried dozens of solutions and prefer a combination including Gmail and Evernote. I was surprised to see that IQTELL did not make your survey. Perhaps it is overkill compared to the options you reviews, but IMO it is a far superior and more efficient method for integration of Evernote and Gmail within a centralized GTD system. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. You might find that it meets your needs as I have.

    Reply
    1. Harry Post author

      I have briefly tried IQTELL, but the tool is different. It is a GTD tool that integrates both email and Evernote; that may suit your purpose, but it is not a tool to forward Gmail messages to Evernote.

      Personally, I like the simplicity of just Gmail and Evernote. I check my mail only few times a day, then I can close it, and rely on Evernote for the important messages. That way, I can focus better, as incoming email is completely off my screen.

      Reply
  7. Brian Davis

    First of all, thanks for making this table. I am using it to integrate Earth Class Mail and I may post my results back here. I decided to look into all of these options as well. It appears that InQloud now has default tags it can do. I haven’t tested it yet. But, I probably will. I would also add 2 more columns to the table. One for can be used with google groups. InQloud and Forwarding can be. The other would be can work with Evernote Reminders. Possibly a third category would be a gmail column to describe the nuances that each uses with Gmail. For instance, the new sent mail folder feature. Which services can do that? Can it be turned on or off?

    Reply

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