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Review: Evernote

11 Jun

I am an Evernote devotee.

In fact, I am going to go all out and declare that I consider it one of the most useful computer applications.  Ever.  And I try out a lot of applications.

Evernote is a notebook application that allows users to create and multiple notebooks with multiple pages.  Users can type in text, add in images or pull in clippings of all or part of a webpage, as well as take video snapshots with their computer’s built-in camera.  The paid version of Evernote (a monthly subscription) also allows users to attach files  of any type to their notes.  The program also has an image recognition feature ( the ability to decipher and search text that is captured inside of an image), so you can search for text located inside your pictures as well.  Twitterers can also record their tweets into their notebooks as well using a new Twitter integration feature.

Now, this may sound somewhat impressive to you, but is it enough to make Evernote one of the most useful computer applications ever?  EVER?

It is once you realize that with Evernote, you can not only organize your entire life into these notebooks, but you can access this information…anywhere.

Evernote is actually a collection of applications, desktop-based, web-based and smart-phone based, that sync together to ensure that you can create, edit and view your notes anywhere, anytime.  If you just want to try Evernote out, or are unable to download and install the desktop software (available for Mac and PC) or you just happen to be away from home but have access to an internet-capable computer, you can use the online interface at www.evernote.com.  Just sign right in and all of your notebooks will be available for you to view, edit, print, email or delete.

I use the desktop version most office, on my mac laptop.  I use it so often, it is almost always open.  I have several notebooks for projects, some for new technologies I’m learning (like my current javascript notebook), and I use it to organize workshops and information.  I also use it as my all-inclusive cookbook.  I’m an avid foodie and I add new recipes to my collection daily.  I started putting them all into Evernote and thanks to its searching and tagging abilities, it’s the easiest organization system I’ve ever had.  I especially like the web-clip feature, which allows me to use a Firefox plugin to just click a button and bam! The webpage currently open in my browser will be clipped and added into the Evernote notebook of my choice.  Or I can highlight the area of the page I want (for instance, I just want the recipe, not the adds or links) and with two clicks, that information is pasted inside a new note, just like that.

My Evernote collection because even more useful when I factor in the iPhone and Blackberry apps.  I’m an iPhone user (surprise, surprise) and the Evernote app is of course one of my favorites.  I can view and edit any of my notebooks, and I can create new notes on the fly—either by using my phone’s camera to take a snapshot picture note, or using the record feature to record an audio note I can play back later, or just creating a regular text note.  Not only is it great when it comes to grocery shopping (you know, when you get to the store and remember there was a great recipe you wanted to try but you don’t have the ingredient list…open Evernote, search, there it is!), or when trying to remember where your next Enriching Scholarship workshop is, it’s also useful for travel (keeping track of flight or hotel information, directions, things to see and do), creating lists, organizing meeting or study notes, or keeping a library of say, drafts of your blog posts for your work group’s fantastically informative technology blog?

The basic version of Evernote is free (all of it–the online account, the downloaded desktop version and the smart phone apps) and in the free version, you get as many notebooks as you like and an upload allowance of 40MB, which is how much data you are allowed to add to Evernote every month.  That’s about 20,000 notes, 400 mobile snapshots, 270 webclips, 40 audio notes, and 11 high res photos a month.  Not bad for free (particularly because, like I said, I use evernote avidly and have never even come close to the 40MB limit).  The paid version is $5 a month and comes with all the free features plus 500MB a month of data upload, you can upload and sync ANY file type (not just images), and you get SSL encryption.  I’m contemplating upgrading just the file feature.

So to recap:

Features
create, edit and view your notes anywhere with desktop, online and smart phone versions
type in text, add in images or pull in clippings of all or part of a webpage, as well as take video snapshots
image recognition
twitter integration
Curio integration
upload allowance of 40MB for free account, 500MB for paid
Cost
Basic service and all downloads: FREE!
Premium Service: $5 a month

If you’re looking for an easy way to organize your courses, your research, your recipes, your life…anything, really, Evernote is a good bet.  It’s extremely easy to use, reliable and hey, it’s free–doesn’t get better than that.

Evernote Interface

Evernote Interface

 

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