The desktop can only hold so many files at a time and it doesn’t take too long before it can gets cluttered up. Depending on how you arrange items, snippets of code, images and text clipping for articles can get lost. Plus it isn’t uncommon to be working on more than 2-3 articles at the same time. Evernote adds some organization to your madness and helps you from going completely insane.
Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms (including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and WebOS), and also offers online synchronization and backup services.
So you are never too far away from your notes. You can access them from your iPad, laptop, Android phone, just wherever you might happen to be and the synchronization service automatically syncs all of your devices when you make any changes.
I think I saw one of their slogans as “Evernote Remember everything” — which is especially handy for those of us who are 50+ and alone. Chances are, if we forget something, there isn’t anyone to remind us.
Have a look at the introductory video below to get a better idea of what all it can do.
I know you’re thinking it’s a desktop application but it’s sooooo much more than that. When I spoke about synchronization, this is where the program really shines:
While Evernote is immensely useful as a desktop note-taking application, its true power lies in its ability to synchronize your notes to the Evernote on the Web. This allows you to create and find your memories on virtually any computer, web browser or mobile phone.
This means that you can clip a cornbread recipe from the web on your Mac, read it on your iPhone when you’re at the grocery store buying the ingredients and look it up from your friend’s Windows PC when you’re at his house preparing to bake the cornbread. Evernote on the Web is constantly updating all of your computers and devices with the latest versions of your notes, so you’ll always have the right information, wherever you are.
All of the Evernote applications are in regular contact with Evernote on the Web. Whenever a new note is created or edited on any of your Evernote-capable devices, the note is uploaded to the Evernote on the Web where all of your other devices will download it the next time they sync.
There is a paid for version but the free version allows you to use up to 60 MB/per month. That’s large enough for my meager needs. Of course once an article has been published, I can delete all of the notes out of Evernote that I no longer need, and this makes room for your next project.
Evernote isn’t hard to get started with either. They have a get started section on the website and a video library full of tutorials if you need it. I must admit, I haven’t seen the tutorials. Once I downloaded the program and installed it, I just went straight ahead and started using it. I did discover a tool called the web clipper which is an add-on for your web browser to make it easier to grab stuff online and save it to your Evernote page. Another handy resource is a the free download of the application from the iTunes store so you can install it on your iPad. They also maintain a blog which is full of tips and tricks.
If you feel you are a bit technically challenged and feel you need a lot more help, there is a book you can buy called Evernote for Dummies. Written in the fun and informative For Dummies style, Evernote For Dummies introduces you to the key features of Evernote, from getting started and opening your own Evernote account to the essentials of capturing information and creating a simple text note. The book shows you how to capture everything—clip a web page, create a voice note, scan a note, even capture a note from a picture.
I must admit though, I won’t be buying Evernote for Dummies. I’m fairly technically minded and I’m a man. We all know men don’t read the instructions, just like we don’t ask for directions.