Evernote is a searchable digital notebook for storing and indexing all your digital info – documents, notes, recipes, music, web pages, pictures, videos, Delicious bookmarks, business cards, scanned pages, data backups – really you’re only limited by your imagination. Called ‘your second brain’ by the developers themselves, Evernote remembers stuff so you don’t have to. Here’s another good description:
As far as I’m concerned, it’s good for anything (or more importantly, everything) you can think of. And that’s sorta how I use it – a big ass digital junk drawer that syncs to the web, indexes the text within my images and works great on my iPhone – Cranking Widgets Blog
I’ve been storing and searching data on my PC for 5 or 6 years now – using an app called InfoMagic Extra which I’ve blogged about before. Although it’s pretty old it worked well – and still works well. Data are stored as RTF files so nothing is locked away that I can’t easily get out. Problem is that technology had overtaken it and modern digital notebooks offer so much more. Evernote is one of these and seems to be gaining a lot of very satisfied followers. There are many blog posts about Evernote out there so I’ll pick out just a few points.
Sync with your laptop, and mobile devices
Perhaps Evernote’s most notable feature is that your data, as well as being stored on your PC or Mac, can be synced to the Evernote servers and on to your other supported devices like laptops, iPhone, Android, etc. So you can have access to your notes everywhere and update them from each of these devices. An Evernote app hasn’t been released for Linux yet but I have heard it works under Wine.
You can also share notebooks with everyone or with select individuals. Among other uses, this will allow collaborating with business partners and clients, and also allow employers to implement a central store for notes and ideas accessible to all project members regardless of their location.
Easy to get data into Evernote
If you have a scanner you can probably scan stuff directly into Evernote. I’ve set up my Epson Perfection scanner and blogged about it. Here’s another link to a post on scanning to Evernote. You can put your digital photos into Evernote and it will try to decipher any text in them and make that searchable. Just make sure to resize your photos first otherwise you could exceed your 40MB monthly limit fairly quickly. And you can add selected text or clip entire webpages into Evernote using their Web Clipper. You can also email info to Evernote and archive your Twitter tweets.
It’s free – if you want it that way
Evernote operate a ‘freemium’ model – the app is free if you upload less than 40MB of data per month to their servers and if you want to sync limited file types – images, audio, ink, PDF. The Premium version has a 500 MB monthly upload allowance, allows syncing of all file types but one single note cannot exceed 25MB. It’s also ad-free and has SSL encryption when uploading data to the servers.
Having said that, if you don’t want to sync your info to different devices but just run Evernote on one device like your PC, or if you’re unhappy about putting your personal data in the ‘cloud’, you can actually operate Evernote completely free – by making all the notebooks Local Notebooks. This way your data will only be stored on your device and not synced anywhere else. You may also want to add your data to a Local Notebook if you’re operating a free account and you’re approaching but don’t want to exceed your monthly data limit. In this case, when you’re creating a notebook, just make it a local notebook until you get into a new month with a full data allowance, then transfer the data to your synced notebooks.
Some useful Evernote resources
There are downloadable pdf format guides for Windows and Mac Evernote versions available here. The Evernote team produce a podcast about once a month, detailing new features, Evernote use cases and answering questions. Worth downloading and listening to for the very latest on Evernote. Here’s the feed or subscribe through iTunes. Here’s a few more useful sites:
I’ll add more of the best resources as I come across them.