When talking about Evernote the first question asked is usually what can I use it for? What can I store? The normal answer – Everything! is very good as far as it goes but it does lead to the second question – how do I find things?
The way that people organise their Evernote accounts can be extremely varied, from Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin saying that “the majority of these  notes are in my single, default notebook.” to a highly detailed tag system used by The Secret Weapon but it boils down to tag and categorise (notebook) your notes when you enter them and then use search to find them later.
So that presupposes that you can find your note using search. To help with this Evernote has published a complicated list of search sytax for the power user here, but what about the novice?
The first thing to realise about search is it works slightly differently if you are a normal or premium user. Normal users can search in notes, tags and notebooks while premium users can search inside attachments such as PDFs or even in images.
So what syntax can I use?
Searching for a specific notebook:
notebook:”Open University” T100
This would limit my search to notebooks that have the exact phrase Open University in and would find notes with the term T100.
Searching for a specific tag
tag:backup tag:old Kim
This would search for any notes which have the tag of backup and the tag old and contain the word Kim.
Searching for a note created at a specific time
This would show all notes created in the last 30 days
The syntax carry on like this for almost every not attribute that you can think of. intitile: looks in the title, updated: looks at the last update date, latitude: , longitude: and altitude: lets you search by location notes were made and so on and so on.
Next we can add qualifiers. A – sign before a search such as -intitle:hats will search for notes which do not have the word hats in them; tag:* shows every note that has at least one tag; “Happy Days” shows every note with the phrase Happy Days. In combination you can specify almost any condition of note that you could ever want.
It sounds complicated and it is not simple, but if you can master search Evernote can really start to shine.