Evernote passed over 100 million users in May 2014, and it's not hard to see why. Evernote is a free application that allows you to save all kinds of data in private notebooks that are synced to Evernote's cloud service. You can then view and search the notes using any of your connected devices, including laptops and smart phones. You can share your notebooks with friends, and with a paid premium account, you can let others edit or add to your notebooks.
Evernote really shines in capturing text, graphics, PDF documents, office documents, and web pages. Scanning visual data in Evernote is a breeze, thanks to generous thumbnail images. You can combine your own words, pictures, and attachments such as PDF files in a single note, creating rich documents. Evernote can also save audio files, although video is not supported.
There are several ways to create notes in Evernote:
- You can create a new note from scratch.
- You can drag and drop files onto the Evernote icon. Depending on the file type, it will either convert them into Evernote's native note format, or add them to a new note as an attachment.
- You can drag files onto a note that's open on screen.
- You can e-mail notes to your private Evernote e-mail address, and it will sync them into Evernote.
- You can use Evernote's Web Clipper tool to capture web pages, in whole or in part. The Web Clipper allows you to assign notebooks and keywords on the fly. Notes will be tagged with the source address automatically. It's available for all the major web browsers.
- There are numerous other apps that sync with Evernote, including Evernote's own mobile apps Food, Hello, Pocket, and Skitch.
Inside Evernote, notes are arranged in "notebooks", which can be further grouped into collections. For example, you could have a notebook of nearby attractions, containing dozens or hundreds of notes about things to see and do, and you might group that with other notebooks related to travel to help keep your notebook collection organized.
Evernote will even scan images for text (in other words, do OCR), allowing you to search for words in snapshots you took with your phone's camera; for example, you could take a photo of a receipt, and search for the items in the receipt later.
Although its native navigation is notebooks, Evernote also supports keywords. This gives you an additional way to group notes and connect them in various creative ways.
Evernote is a great tool to have in your collection. It's my note-taking tool of choice.
- Easy to use
- Integration with many other apps
- Powerful search
- Shared editing requires a premium subscription
- Evernote is information-oriented; it is not designed to make your data look pretty. Formatting is very limited