Some kudos for Evernote

I stumbled upon Evernote a few months ago while looking for a software application to manage my ever-growing to-do lists. As the name suggests, Evernote is not a to-do management software. It is simply an application that lets you take quick notes in any situation and from any device. However, since it let me add check-boxes next to lines of text, it doubled up as my simple “to-do management” app as well, besides becoming my everyday note-taking software. It suited me just fine also because I work across three computers — my office laptop, my office PC, and my home laptop — on any given day.

So what does Evernote have that Google Docs (unfair comparison, I know!), Notepad, or for that matter some of the expensive note-taking software out there, doesn’t? Here’s what:

  • Evernote is not entirely in the cloud or on your PC. It’s somewhere in between. Most importantly, it lets you decide which notes you want to save in the online repository and which ones you want to store locally. So, if you’re worried about your intellectual property living on somebody else’s servers, Evernote may be a good app to try.
  • It supports elaborate on-the-fly tagging of notes and notebook/folder-based organization; something that you’d expect from a good note-management software.
  • The storage limit for free users is well calibrated. I usually take only text notes and I haven’t been able to consume even 10% of my monthly limit over the three months that I’ve been using Evernote for.
  • The “ink note” feature comes handy if you like to conjure up impromptu diagrams and schematics.
  • The Search, Print, and Email features work like a charm. It’s obvious that the app developers chose to stick to a limited array of features, but deliver them well.

And did I tell you that the UI of Evernote rocks as well? It’s clean, unambiguous, and very thoughtfully designed.

Another good thing about Evernote is that, besides PCs, it works with almost all breeds of smartphones out there. I haven’t used Evernote on a mobile phone yet, but I’ll likely have an opportunity to do so later this year. More about the mobile experience later then!

[Update 6/2/2011] I use Evernote on two more devices now — my HTC Desire HD running Android Gingerbread and iPad 2. Having all my notes available on any of the five devices I use is a great convenience. However, the app developers could probably add a feature or two to better support checklists and rich-text notes on smart portable devices.



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