Friday, March 6, 2015

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Evernote – Change the Way You Take Notes

by fouts

Productivity software? Tried it. It never does what I need it to do and I spend more time setting it up and loading stuff into it than I do actually using it. Most of the apps I’d tried also had accessibility issues. Sometimes they synced, sometimes they didn’t and I was constantly maintaining the tool that was supposed to make my life easier.

Until now. In a recent blog post, Steve Rubel made a casual remark about a product called Evernote. Always on the lookout for a new app, I couldn’t help but take a look. This, my friends, is a very cool app. In a nutshell, Evernote lets you add information to a database that is accessible through the web, a desktop app, and your iPhone, Blackberry or smart phone. Items are tag-able and fully search-able so you can add pretty much anything, run a search, and quickly find it again wherever you are.

Evernote Web: Untitled Note

Now when I say you can upload things, try to visualize this. You’re at a networking event and you suck at remembering names. With Evernote you can take a picture of a person with your phone, tag them with their name and they’re saved for future reference in your database. Even more interesting, include their name badge in the snapshot, even a handwritten name tag, and evernote will recognize the handwriting and enter it as searchable text!

Evernote can find text within images, recognize it and make the text search-able. The image at right is a snapshot of the bag given out at N2Y4 Mobile Challenge. The highlighted yellow text is the result of a search for the words “Mobile Challenge” in my Evernote database. I hadn’t even tagged it yet. I also found my notes from Raj Singh’s lecture, the images of the slides he put up, the website homepage with session info, and a reminder to connect with one of the people I met at that talk.

Never again will I collect a bunch of paper at trade shows just to remember the product offering. A few quick photos of the booth, and not only do I have faces to relate to later, but the booth itself, logos, products and the text of the brochures ready to use in my post. all in one swoop. This is going to make blogging after conferences a breeze.

Evernote does more.

  • You can clip a snippet of a web page or the whole thing, screen shots, emails. downloaded PDFs, scanned receipts or even business cards are recognized, tagged and filed.
  • Record an audio message to listen to later, take a photo and tag the two to record an event or item to remember.
  • Drag and drop content like a PDF right into Evernote from your desktop and it’s filed (and searchable).
  • You can even save your precious Twitter Tweets (public or DM) directly into Evernotes database by simply including @myENin the message (quick set up required)

Evernote constantly syncs with the database, so you are only seconds away from totally available information.

Did I mention it’s free? Yes, you have to put up with some small rotating banner ads, but believe me it’s worth it. Odds are very good you’ll upgrade to premium anyway, not to get rid of the ads, but to get more storage (up to 500Mb added per month). For $45/year it’s a steal, trust me.

Are you using Evernote too? share some tips and tricks, I’m just getting started here. Got an even better app? Tell me, I love finding new toys!

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  • cjlise

    I’m a huge fan of Evernote. I use it to collect Web pages, photo and Tweets. The character recognition in photos feature is amazing. I just regret they don’t have a full version on Linux (Only a bookmarklet to capture web page is available for Linux).


  • K Rowland

    Even in Linux, yes, I use the web clipper for FireFox to post stuff to Evernote, then use the web interface to actually use evernote. It can do most of the routine stuff you’d want to do in Evernote.

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  • Aarni Heiskanen

    You have found creative ways to use the tool, thanks for the tips! Evernote is my daily companion as well. I use it on two Macs and my mobile.

  • Megan Keane

    Thanks, this post gave me a lot of new ideas for how to make the most out of Evernote. It’s very handy to have it synch seamlessly between iPhone, desktop, and laptop and both Mac and Windows platforms. I like using it for note-taking, as the client can be used offline. It’s a great place to store important information I never seem to remember (i.e. the voicemail code, that conference call #). I find it handy for saving screenshots for later use and for storing templates.

  • Troy Malone

    You have made a great find here! Evernote rocks. If you want to have the ability to port your notes into a project management software solution, you should look at Pelotonics. It is integrated with evernote and it comes in handy! Think about taking a voice note on your cell phone and then assigning that out to someone as a task…with that voice mail attached.

    Here’s some examples:

  • Janet

    Great to see so many Evernote fans, and thanks for al lhe tips you posted here, emailed and tweeted!I’m off to check out pelotonics now!

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  • Dale L.

    There is a LINUX version of Evernote – it's called Nevernote and you can find it here:
    There's just a few requirements to get it running… follow the instructions and visit their forum!

    You can choose between 32 bit or 64.

    I got it working fine and it runs well…!

    After that, you can add the evernote webclipper to your browser…

  • Clarayovi

    has tested with Evernote??

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