Technology Tool – Evernote

Continuing on my series of posts on technology tools to help you work and live, this next tool is great:

What does it do?
Kind of like a notebook that lives in the cloud, but also has web, desktop, Android and iPhone apps. Take notes, clip webpages, upload photos from the apps and it will sync contents to the web so that no matter where you next access Evernote, all your notes are up to date.

The great part is that you can save notes in to different folders (notebooks) so that you can keep everything relevant together. Planning a bathroom makeover? Keep everything related to that in one notebook. You can have a note with the room dimensions, keep notes on design ideas, clip screenshots or photos of things you see and like. Everything altogether and accessible were ever you are.

In a meeting where the team has been brainstorming ideas on a whiteboard? Take a photo of the whiteboard, upload it and Evernote makes the text searchable – right from the photo! Recorded the meeting too? Upload the recording to Evernote and you have the entire meeting saved. At a conference and getting business card? Take photos of them or scan them later, upload it to a notebook and all that text is searchable.

Another great feature is the ability to tag all your notes. Sometimes a note could be relevant to more than one notebook, so give it more than one tag. You can sort notes by notebook, date, tags or search through them all.

So how much does this cost?
How does FREE suit you? There is the premium version too for a whopping $5 a month, or $45 for a year. The free account gives you unlimited notes, but max of 40mb of uploads a month, premium ups that limit to 500mb a month. Free allows certain file extensions like images and PDF, premium enables them all. Going premium also gives you some nice features like secure encryption, ability to share notes with others for editing and PDF searching.

I haven’t gone premium just yet, but probably will soon. Right now I am writing this blog in Evernote so that I can add to it whenever the mood strikes. Now that I have a smartphone I am playing with the photo taking of receipts, whiteboards, etc and uploading them and testing out how good the text recognition is. Happy to report that it is damn fine for free!

A new feature I just noticed they have available form premium accounts is the ability to add Microsoft Office documents. Then you could access and edit(?) them from anywhere too. That in itself is almost worth the $5!

Not always got wifi when you need to access a note? On the Touch app you can favorite a note and that makes it available offline. The iPad caches all notes visited so they are always available. This was great for me when I was traveling – could keep my itinery, boarding passes, luggage tags and maps of visiting areas all as a favorite in my Touch. Even took scans of my passport and credit cards in case they got stolen. Even if my Touch was to have got stolen, I could access these documents from any Internet cafe by logging into the Evernote website.

Last month I cleared the clutter out of my filing drawer and scanned all those car service invoices. Now they are all in a notebook, tagged by the year of the service.

I installed the firefox clip tool which let’s you automatically add a note of either the whole webpage you are on or just the text you have highlighted. It can connect to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that you can save information from your streams. Like RSS feeds? There is a connection for that too so that you can save the feed and edit to keep just the important links.

When you signup for an account you will get an Evernote email address to use so that you can automatically add notes via email. Looking in the user forums there also looks liken there is a way the automatically sync a local folder to upload new files automatically to Evernote. However, it does seem to involve a little scripting, so may not be ideal for a new user.

How stable is the company?
Seem to be doing well and they are always developing new extensions or adding to the apps that will work with them. Don’t really see a downside to it, even at $5 a month.


One response to “Technology Tool – Evernote

  1. Great finding! I’ve consolidated all my old yahoo notepad notes and the native notes on my iPhone into EverNote and it works really well. In fact, now I wonder how Yahoo and Apple can cling to such archaic note systems…

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