Evernote is software that centralizes all of my stuff. I can store and access my notes, images and ideas on just about any device, and also share them with friends. Creating, viewing and sharing my notes can be done with desktop apps, their web app or any number of mobile apps, like their iOS app. All of my notes are stored both locally and in the Evernote cloud, so my data is always in sync. If I make a change on my desktop app, it will be automatically synced and I’ll be able to access it the next time I use Evernote on my iPhone.
However, creating, storing and sharing notes is only a starting point for Evernote. It does much more than just that. If you pay for the Premium version ($45 per year or about $5 per month), you have access to even more great features.
Evernote provides the perfect clipping service for web pages. You can use their bookmarklet, Firefox add-on or Chrome extension to quickly clip a page and send it to your Evernote account. You can also email notes or save any document as a PDF and have it sent directly to your Evernote account.
When you clip a page to Evernote, it looks the same as in a browser—it’s pretty close to a perfect copy.
Evernote is also a clouded file storage service. Notes can accept any file type. Simply drop a file onto a note and Evernote will save and sync it. You can even drag and drop a folder onto a note, and it will automatically compress and zip it for you.
If you add an image with text, such as a scanned magazine article, Evernote will automatically process the image. They refuse to say that they support OCR, but their “Image Processing” feature works similarly to it. After you add an image (and Evernote processes it), you can search for text in the image. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
You can share any note you have on a social network like Twitter or Facebook.
Notes can also be shared with other Evernote users, or be made public to anyone.
There are several task management solutions available, including some excellent GTD apps like Things. I’ve tried just about all of them, but I’ve found that I don’t need anything fancy. All I really need is way to keep a list and to check things off. Evernote does that for me.
Sometimes when you have an idea, you can’t type. For example, you may be away from your computer or maybe you simply can’t type your thoughts quickly enough. It’s those times when being able to easily record your voice is the best and only way to capture your thoughts.
Evernote has you covered. Both their desktop and mobile apps support the ability to record your voice and capture it as a note.
Storing secure data
It’s hard to keep up with passwords and product keys, which is why many people keep digital notes that list all of their private data. However, there’s a problem with securing information that way—it’s not secure. That’s especially true when it’s stored offsite, in the cloud.
Evernote’s solution for this is encryption. They allow you to encrypt any text in a note. It’s so secure that if you lose the encryption password, then you lose the data forever. They don’t store your password or have any way of decrypting your data.
There are so many ways Evernote can be used that I wanted to add one more example. Evernote makes a perfect recipe keeper. When you find the perfect recipe online, use the clipping tool to save it. If you label it well, and include relevant tags, Evernote can become one of the most efficient and useful recipe keepers you’ve ever used.
As a final note, I wrote the outline and stored all of the images used for this blog entry in Evernote.