Over the past few years, I have tried to find a tool that allows me to become more organized in my professional and personal life. I currently have a full-time job, do some computer support on the side and have a wife and two kids (ages 2 and 6). I tend to have a briefcase with two computers and countless notebooks, pieces of mail and other odds and ends in regards to this.
I find that I will make a note about something one place and forget where it is, or print something out and then forget about it and find it months down the line when I no longer needed. While I was able to utilize Google Contacts/Mail/Calendar for the scheduling aspect along with Reqall and Remember the Milk for Tasks, what I was missing was a tool to organize the notes.
This is where Evernote comes to the rescue. I had tried One Note and Google Notebook, but One Note was cumbersome and lacked a web component and Google Notebook was too simple and ultimately canceled by Google. Evernote on the other hand provided me the tool that I had been looking for.
I wanted the following features to be present in my notes tool:
1. Ability to store multiple types of data (images, PDFs, documents, text).
2. Needed it to be encrypted.
3. Multiple tags/categories.
4. Search capability.
5. Easily accessible from any computer/browser and from either my iPhone or Blackberry.
Evernote provided all this and more. I currently have multiple notebooks setup for work, freelancing, miscellaneous and personal. These notebooks are used for blog ideas, code snippets, bookmarks, personal information, work projects and anything else that I have found that I want to keep track of. I use Evernote from a browser, from my phone and have both the Windows/OS X client and even have the Windows client running under Wine on my Linux netbook.
I no longer worry about where that piece of information is, as I have started to train myself to put it into Evernote if I want to remember it. This is where I think Evernote shines. There are a number of different ways to get information into Evernote. I can snap a photo on my iPhone, web clip in IE or Firefox, or copy/paste utilizing the web app or client app.
I originally was using the free account, but upgraded almost immediately, to show my appreciation to the developers for such a fine piece of software. The application is powerful enough, but remains simplistic in its approach, which sometimes is not the case with applications on the web. It understands that the majority of people who will be using the application just want an easy way to enter information and categorize it.
So, what is wrong with the application? Well, I am not sure I would classify the following as wrong, but rather annoyances to me. Some of these may just be the way it is today, and I am sure Evernote is working on some of them also.
1. What is with the advertising on a Premium account? This is one item that bothers me about applications across the web. If I sign-up for your premium account, remove the advertisements.
2. Mass export ability into a format that is application agnostic. Not that I am thinking of leaving, but just in case Evernote gets bought out by some evil congolmerate, I want my data.
3. Native Linux version. I know there are not many of us, but running it under Wine is frustrating at times.
4. On the iPhone app, is there a way to show only the notebooks and not a listing of notebooks and items. Maybe I am just missing this feature.
All in all though, kudos to the developers of Evernote and keep up with the good work. I encourage everyone who wants to organize