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« Road Test: Journalling (Revisited) | Main | Structured v. Unstructured? »
Tuesday
Oct172006

Evernote - A Note Taking Program

I've always had trouble finding a good simple program on which to keep miscellaneous notes and other odds and ends. Most of the programs I have tried are either far too complicated, lack basic functionality, or are highly unstable. Yesterday I googled "personal information manager", which I do from time to time in the hope that something new will turn up, and this time it did!

Evernote has one great advantage right from the word go - in its basic version (which is all I think I need at the moment) it's free. But it has the look and feel of a highly professional program. What's more it's highly intuitive and extremely simple to use. I was competent in just about all the basic functions within 15 minutes of downloading it.

The basic idea is that it keeps all your notes in a continuous roll, rather like a blog. With the ability to categorise and carry out instant searches, it's easy to find stuff again. When I say it keeps your notes, that probably gives the wrong impression. The "notes" can be almost anything. Text, documents, webpages, links, clippings, images - just about whatever you like.

I've already established that it's very easy to put stuff into Evernote. The real test will come when I've put a huge volume of stuff in and want to get it out again!

I'll report back in due course.

Reader Comments (10)

I have used the program for more than one year and I really find it fantastic.

Extremely powerfull but simple and flexible....
October 26, 2006 at 9:57 | Unregistered Commenteranon
Thanks for your feedback on this program. I've been throwing everything I have at it for the past week and a half and so far it's shown up very well.
October 26, 2006 at 12:48 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I've been using it daily since sometime this summer and currently have 451 articles in it, some of them longish and with multiple images and links. Right now, the database is about 26 meg.

Although it is designed for installation on a full-fledged PC, I was able to install it on my USB drive and am able to use it at work where I can't install programs and at home. Folks who are interested can find information on the user forum at the EverNote website.

With the USB drive, I can use it wherever I can plug into a PC, and thereby access both work and personal information easily on the road.
October 27, 2006 at 19:43 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hungerford
I've recently had the same epiphany about Evernote. Since the mid eighties, I've been searching for a program that is as lightning-fast and simple as Tornado (an old program that evolved into the bulky, overpriced InfoSelect). Many programs tried hard--and that was their problem. Evernote is exactly the friend my 43 year-old mind needs to stay on top of everything and anything I can drag, drop, or punch into it. There's nothing like a 'search as you type' feature for instant information. I'm hooked.
November 14, 2006 at 14:26 | Unregistered CommenterKen Donofrio
Hi Ken, I certainly agree with you about Tornado Notes and InfoSelect. Tornado was extremely simple and therefore I used it all the time for everything. InfoSelect removed one really useful feature of Tornado -the ability to hyperlink - and then went on to add feature after feature (neglecting the basic rule that you need to get one feature absolutely right before adding the next).Eventually it became so complicated that I gave up on it.
November 14, 2006 at 16:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Have you tried NoteLens? I am note sure how critical all the web related stuff is, but it is pure, clean and fast.

http://www.windsorinterfaces.com/notelens.shtml
February 16, 2007 at 2:30 | Unregistered CommenterGordon
Thanks for the tip about Notelens, Gordon. I've given it a quick once over and, as far as I can see, Evernote does everything it can do and a lot more. Since both are free, I'd go for Evernote.

Mark
February 17, 2007 at 10:53 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi All
Recently I had a go with Evernote, Livepad and a few others. In the end I went with Notesbrowser because I really like the flexible layout. I like Evernote but I really hate the scrolling format, and find it irritating. Notesbrowser is easy to use, can do lots of things and you can change the way you layout each section. It's easy to see bits of information side by side which you can't do with Evernote. Cheap at £15 for the registered version too. I love it!
http://www.notesbrowser.com
May 15, 2007 at 11:10 | Unregistered CommenterNicky Perryman
Thanks for the tip about Notesbrowser, Nicky. I don't think I've come across that one yet, so I'll check it out.

I like Evernote but I do agree that the format is not as flexible as I would like.

Mark
May 15, 2007 at 16:25 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Just a quick update on Evernote. I had tried it a few years ago when I was on a Windows system. and recently noticed that it was available as a beta for the Mac (which I recently switched to). The Mac version looks pretty slick, and although it does not have everything I might want, the future vision looks pretty good.

The amazing thing to me was the ability to take a picture on my phone or Mac and have it analyzed for text recognition. Not perfect, but pretty good in my limited trials.

The thing that really sold me was the cross-platform ability. I enter most of the stuff on my Mac, but have Windows versions for my wife and son. Everything syncs smoothly between the three, and I have web access when I need it.

Currently I use Journler and am pretty happy with it. Journler is a slick program in all aspects. Evernote does not have all of the capabilities of Journler, but I believe many should be on the way.

Personally, I need to decide if Evernote will totally replace Journler. If not, I will at least use it for it's cross-platform and web sync.

Since it is still in beta, I believe you need invites to access it. A search should bring some up if interested.

I got here searching for how people use Evernote for DIT. If anybody has ideas, I would love to hear them.

Vince
April 7, 2008 at 18:48 | Unregistered CommenterVince Petrell

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