Evernote Review - A Perfect Compliment To Post-Its

Yeah, I'm that guy.  That guy that has Post-It notes scattered all over his monitor and desk, of all different colors.  I'll grab a piece, jot down a note, only to complete the task minutes later and throw away the note.  I'll think of something when I get a glass of water at 2AM, jot it down on my work desk, and go back to bed.

Since I can make these notes so quickly, and I'm so obsessive about it, it really boosts my productivity.  I don't forget things nearly as often, and frankly, I have about 1,000 things to remember at any given time, so that says a lot.  My note-taking has helped me amplify my multi-tasking and prioritizing abilities, too.

See, in my opinion, you can't replace the quick, jot-it-down, in-your-face nature of the Post-It.  Whether you do it with paper, Stickies on a Mac or Vista Gadgets on a PC, or even better, through innovative applications like the Notes feature of the HP TouchSmart (which is cool, interactive, and controlled by your finger - I'm a huge fan) - they have a value that can't be missed.

However... what if you want to create more detailed notes?  What if you want to capture a webpage or a portion of a webpage?  What if you want to save images or screenshots?

Furthermore, what if you want to access the same notes from muiltiple machines on multiple OS's?

In steps Evernote, chest puffed out, ready to save the day.  It's loaded with features, but I figured I'd touch on the ones that I have found the most useful in my everyday life.

Syncronization With A Remote Server

This is, by far, one of the most powerful features of Evernote.  I simply create a note in Evernote, sync with the remote server, and I can access this note from everywhere.

In this way, I don't have to mess around with different programs or any hassles - I simply install Evernote on the machines I want to access my notes on, and I'm done.  If I don't want to (or can't) install it, I can simply use the web client.  Powerful, fast, easy, and seamless from machine to machine.

I've gotten used to (and spoiled by) "cloud" computing solutions such as Exchange (which I used to use) and MobileMe (which I use now) and Evernote provides a similar experience, only tailored to notes and reminders specifically. 

It's Great For "Shared" Computers

Another benefit of the syncing feature is its relevance to "family" or shared computers.  Let's say you have a shared computer in your kitchen that everyone inputs their schedules into, so the family can stay updated.  Imagine if you had Evernote on this computer.  Imagine that your wife wants to send you a shopping list.  Instead of having a long phone conversation, she could simply type it into Evernote and sync it, and you could get it via your mobile.

Even better, she could take a snapshot of the list that you left at home using your computer's webcam and paste that.

Of course, had you put it in Evernote in the first place, you wouldn't have forgotten it... but I digress.

Compatible With Multiple OS's and Systems

Evernote is perfect for the user who has multiple OS's.  Have 2 Mac's, 1 Windows XP PC, 1 Windows Vista laptop, and a Linux box?  You can use Evernote on all of them, using either the software package, or in the case of Linux, the web based client.

Like Bookmarks, Only Better

Let's say that you're browsing the web and want to find a recipe for your favorite dish.  You find it and want to save it so you can access it while you're in the store, to pick up the ingredients you need.

All you have to do is go to the page, and either copy & paste the text into Evernote, or paste a screenshot of the webpage into Evernote.  Done.  Now, from your mobile phone, you can view this image or text while you're out - and it's saved for eternity, so you can access it anytime.

Mobile Phone Support

Speaking of mobile phones, Evernote has a Windows Mobile and iPhone client, allowing you to enjoy the features of Evernote on the go.  

One of the mobile features that I find indispensable is the "Photo Note" feature.  I used it recently while shopping for fixtures for my new home.  I snapped shots of different models of ceiling fans while in the store, jotted down quick descriptions, and uploaded them immediately.  I was able to retrieve this data later to see what I had looked at... I was amazed at how seamless and fast it was.

Extensive Organization Capabilities

For all of you out there who can't stand to have papers in your office that aren't perpendicular to the edges of your desk, or for those of you who Dymo label your Ziploc disposable food containers with contents and dates, the Evernote client is for you.

It gives you the ability to sort by category and also to tag your notes in addition to that.  I started with only one category and that quickly ballooned to five, and I'm sure there is soon to be more. 


I'm guessing you can tell that I love Evernote.  How could I not... it's free (for the moment) and really taps into my innate need to stay organized and focused.  It's a great compliment to basic note-taking and works perfectly in sync with my already-existent habits.  

Rare though it may be, I often stumble upon an application that does what it promises and provides "real" value, which can be measured by increased efficiency, less forgetfulness, and better time management.  They made it a huge point to cover all computer users and OS's, along with mobile phones - a huge nod to "minority" computer users and multi-OS geeks... an incredibly smart idea.  The designers of Evernote should be recognized for this, and even if you aren't a crazy note guy or girl, you should at least check it out.  See the official video below for more on how Evernote works.

[Check out the Evernote Official Site]



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