App of the Week: Evernote

Since late in my junior year of high school, I used my computer to take notes in class, excluding math class (it just doesn’t work out the same way).   For the most part, I used programs like Word, as well as OpenOffice/LibreOffice’s Writer to take notes, using a general bullet point format.  This year, however, I’ve been experimenting with dedicated note taking apps, such as Growly Notes a few weeks earlier.  This week I decided to look specifically at Evernote, a very popular note taking tool in recent years.

Evernote works like this.  After making an account with them, you install the desktop client.  Using this, or by logging into Evernote.com, any notes you type will be synced up to Evernote’s servers and any other desktop client logged into your account.  Each note is saved in a user made notebook for easy organization; I usually make a notebook for each class, as well as other important things going on at the moment.  Even if you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still type your notes up, and they will sync again next time Evernote is open and there is an Internet connection.  Evernote also allows you to download their web extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for easy access.  It also gives you the option of having a menu bar icon for quickly making new notes, grabbing screenshots, audio recordings and more.  Yep, Evernote supports picture, text, and audio notes all in one convenient package.  You can also share collaborative notebooks between other Evernote users.  And if you’re working on something private, you can always encrypt text and notes in Evernote.

The interface, thanks to the 3.0 Lion upgrade, is beautiful.  It is clean, crisp, and easy to understand.  There’s also plenty of organizational option for how you want to sort through your notes, whether by icon view, or more practical things like alphabetical order.  One of the coolest things to me was the full screen mode provided in Lion.  When put into full screen, the app takes up the whole screen, but changes the view
layout to show just your notebooks and the notes you have in the selected notebook.  Once you click to open the note, Evernote pops up a single window over the rest of it, letting you focus solely on the note you’re working on.  There were some issues that put me off from full screen mode in 3.0.1, but those were quickly fixed with the update to 3.0.2.

One downside to Evernote is that by getting a free account, you limit your syncing to Evernote’s servers to 60 megabytes of syncing per month.  It resets every month, but 60 Megabytes of notes is a lot more than what it looks like at first.  If you don’t believe me, this list from Evernote shows how many notes you would have to sync each month to hit 40 Megabytes (that was their old limit).

  • Typed notes: 20,000
  • Ink notes: 10,000
  • Mobile snapshots: 400
  • Web clips: 270
  • Audio notes: 40
If you’re still concerned you’ll go over the limit, you can always pay for the premium version, which gives you a gig for syncing, which gives you more features like scrolling through PDFs, or you can make your notebooks to be stored locally.  They won’t be synced to Evernote’s servers, but you could always use something like Dropbox to do sync them elsewhere.  Plus, Evernote has a Usage button, letting you check out how much space you’ve used this month and how many days you have left in this cycle.
Evernote is a simple, but effective note-taking application that I highly recommend to anyone looking to use their computer to take notes.  You can use the Web client from any modern browser to take notes, or you can download the free client for Mac OSX 10.6 or higher in the Mac App Store or at Evernote.com.  You can also download the client on Windows, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Phone 7.
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Posted on September 28, 2011, in App of the Week and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Evernote to finally have its dedicated todo app. Uou can check EverDo.it, will be available on the market later this year.

  2. Evernote is one of my favourite apps. I use it also as a task manager, and finally i Think I found a great GTD® app working with Evernote. Everyone who want to manage files and task – I encourage you to have a look on SmartGTD.

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