I use a lot of different devices for my work; iPhone, iPad, laptop, even a Windows tablet. With that in mind, I often have to remember which device I stored notes and web clippings. However, once I started using Evernote to store my notes, web clippings, images, etc., that problem went away.
Evernote is a note-taking and storing app that follows an “access from anywhere” motif and works on many devices and then syncs the information to the cloud, meaning that your notes are accessible no matter which device you originally stored them on. Evernote offers a free version of its application, which works well but limits file size and storage amounts. However, if you are willing to upgrade to Evernote Premium for $5/month or $45/year, most of those limits go away and you gain some added security for your account.
<b>How Evernote Works</b>
The basic unit of information in Evernote is the note. The note can be typed information, web clippings, files and images, pretty much anything that you might need. In addition, Evernote provides a variety of ways of capturing new notes. You can type text notes directly in an Evernote client, or drag text, images or allowed files into the application. My favorite tool is the Evernote Web Clipper, which is a plugin for IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. With a simple mouse click and menu select, you can snag all or part of Web pages or just the URL. There is even a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to send emails to Evernote. Every note has a date/time stamp and you can tag any notes for easy searching later.
Notes can be collected in notebooks, and you can search within or across notebooks as needed. It is even possible to search images with words in it (Evernote will run optical character recognition on the image to attempt to make the image’s text searchable). This will work even if the text is handwriting (well, unless the handwriting is mine.).
<b>Evernote Interaction with Other Apps</b>
Evernote links with many other apps, such as Penultimate, Skitch, etc. as Evernote has developed a suite of apps to try to be your “go-to” note taking and storing solution. Evernote calls its built-in access to these add-ons the “Trunk”. Most of these are owned or have been acquired by Evernote, including Skitch (screen capture and annotation app) and Penultimate (iPad handwriting app), and some have been developed by Evernote (like Hello, an app for remembering people). There are also a number of partner companies that enhance Evernote in one way or another, and these enhancements is where Evernote’s ability to be the end repository makes it a very valuable tool.
However this sometimes make it difficult to juggle between these applications, and makes the Evernote suite a somewhat “schizo” in its use. My hope is that over time these apps will evolve and become more integrated, but as Evernote is the lynchpin of the suite of applications, you could simply use Evernote as leave it at that.
<b>The Bottom Line</b>
I use Evernote for work and home related tasks on a daily basis. Up to this point I have been a free account user and have used it with no issues at all. There are some advantages to upgrading my account and I may consider that in the future, but at the end of the day this is a valuable weapon in my “work from anywhere” arsenal in its current form, and I like where Evernote is going in terms of development in its attempt to be that invaluable repository for your daily notes and bits of information.