Get Organized and Increase Your Productivity With Evernote

Remember everything. Evernote’s awesome tagline hits home with just about everyone who has ever tried to keep up with the Internet torrent. If you’re looking for a productivity tool, this Evernote review is for you.

Evernote is a combination Web capture, bookmark, Web clipper, photo-storage, note-taking tool. I always thought it was just a way to clip things from the Web and store them, but it is so much more than that. This is a must-have tool for any business owner or executive who runs a company from many different machines, locations and devices. There are loads of ways to use it.

evernote

Let me walk through how I’ve been using Evernote through this test as a way to illustrate how it might serve your business.  I have a meeting coming up and suddenly remember something I want to share with the client, so I record a message on my phone and send it to my private Evernote email via text.  I clip about a dozen Web pages and tag them for future reviews or, even better, save them to the appropriate notebook.

I used an Android phone (see my review of the demo unit courtesy of Skype Mobile) to snap a photo of a great storefront and then of a handwritten note I made to myself.  Again, I use the “tag” feature as the photo uploads so I can find it later.  The handwritten note is “digitally translated” automatically so I can search on the words that were in that note. I tweet about the service and copy my Evernote notebook from within the tweet itself.

What I really like:

  • The document diversity Evernote allows.
  • The handwriting recognition aspect amazed me.
  • Getting away from my email inbox. This allows me to stay focused on a task based on how I toss ideas and documents into Evernote.
  • I can CC myself on a Tweet by simply copying @myEN on Twitter.  You have to follow the steps to authenticate your Twitter account with your Evernote account, but it’s easy.

What I wish it had:

  • The Android app that I’m running doesn’t allow me to clip or make notes via my browser.  It doesn’t do the same sorts of cool things that I can do from my desktop app.
  • A “share to Facebook” button.
  • I’d like it to explicitly tell me where it is saving the file or clip when I click the Evernote button in my browser.  I must have clicked “Save to Desktop Version” when installing the desktop app and was expecting it to be on the Web version, but Evernote is sending it to the desktop version only.  When you open the desktop app, it automatically synchronizes, but it took me a while to realize this.

The basic free service allows up to 60MB of “notes” and other filetypes.  The account settings tab lets you see remaining uploads for each month.  For example, I’ve added about 20 notes this month and can add 24,000 more. You read that correctly; text-based notes don’t take up much space.  I can add about 330 more Web clips, in which I’ve simply grabbed the entire page. Premium level is $5/mo if you need a lot more space or want to run Evernote for your business, school or nonprofit.

Overall, Evernote provides a way to toss all your ideas, to-do’s, photos, and virtual sticky notes into a large bucket and then sort and find them using tags and a super-powerful search function (especially the handwriting recognition).  Evernote has a great page on their site that showcases how other people are using the tool.

Learn more about Evernote.

10 Comments ▼

TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue is the Product Editor for Small Business Trends and an entrepreneur who publishes Tech Biz Talk. TJ is a former Wall Street Journal columnist. He also writes for Forbes and American Express OPEN Forum. He loves learning about technology apps and software services - share yours with TJ.

10 Reactions

  1. Do they have an app that would work on a Blackberry Storm v.1?

  2. Hello TJ, this is Ron from Evernote, thanks so much for putting together this post and sharing it with your readers. Glad to hear that it’s working so well to increase your productivity. I saw a few things on your wish list that I thought I could clarify. 1. We dont’ currently offer a way to install our web clipper on a mobile browser, you can add content you come across by selecting the email option and using the email address associated with your account. 2. We actually just released new sharing features that allow direct sharing to Facebook- http://blog.evernote.com/2011/04/26/evernote-for-mac-gets-sharing-audio-notes-speedier-search-and-more/ . Thanks again for all of the support, we really appreciate it. Let me know if you have any other feedback or questions.

  3. It’s the mobile functionality of Evernote that has had me come back to them from Google Docs mobile. I use the Android platform and Google Docs just doesn’t cut it at all. Evernote has been my savior especially when I’m traveling. I love being able to use the app and have my documents syncronized online – especially when I’m on a plane.

    I didn’t even realize that Evernote had this recognition feature. I can’t wait to try that.

    I only wish that Evernote could share documents more easily with Google Docs. Maybe I haven’t figured out all the features yet. I’m going to be playing around with it some more.

    Thanks for a great review

  4. Hey Robert, I’ll let Evernote answer that…

    Ivana, it is odd that Gdocs does not work well for you with Android. I have had problems with it, too, on a DroidX by Motorola, but not every time. I realized that I signed up for Evernote about 2 years ago, liked it, but didn’t find it that helpful. But upon my return to it for this review, I fell in love with it. I spent hours messing around, adding docs, saving things, organizing. Like you, a connection to Gdocs would be good. I’ve written several notes on paper, and on whiteboards, snapped photos and uploaded and then found them again. Love it.

  5. Hey Ron, great to meet you! Super glad to hear of these additions. Thank you for the link on Facebook stuff. Should have known that would be in the works! Will try that email suggestion.

  6. Email, like sharing straight from the browser, only saves the URL to evernote, essentially making it a glorified delicious. The only way I have found to clip actual web content from my phone’s browser to Evernote, is to share from the browser to Lead-it-Later, then share from Read-it-Later to Evernote. Very clunky. I don’t know why Evernote can’t pull content from the page if Read-it-Later can.

  7. TJ,

    I think I first time heard about Evernote in a interview with Robert Scoble. I have mainly used it to take photos of stuff, e.g. newspaper articles, clippings, wine labels, whiteboard notes, Evernote sticker from a twitter friend. It says: “I’m not being rude. I’m taking notes in Evernote.” If you go to my Flickr (Lindeskog) photo album, you will find a photo of stickers on my Moleskine notebook.

  8. Sounds cool. This is the intro guide I need to start using evernote. tnx

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