Earlier this fall, SmallBizTrends writer Annie Pilon got us excited  about a new business version of Evernote that was said to be on its way to business owners. Well, during last week’s Le Web conference, business owners received their holiday gift just a little bit early when the new business-focused app was unveiled to the public.
Evernote Business  is designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses take advantage of their internal knowledgebase by giving them the tools they need to collect, discover, collaborate, search for, and share ideas within their organization for a more productive environment. The new Business version of Evernote makes use of the features free and premium users already loved, while adding a suite of business-only tools and capabilities including :
Smart Data Ownership: In Evernote Business, organizations have the right to access, use, manage and modify any Business Notebook and its contents. All Personal Notebooks and their contents remain completely private and controlled by the user who created them. Users fully retain the rights to their Personal Notebooks and Personal Notes, which cannot be accessed by the business in any way.
Simple User & Data Management: With the Evernote Business Admin Console, Admins can invite new users and manage existing users, as well as view and manage all of the Business Notebooks created by members of their organization, all in one place.
Companywide Business Library: Every Evernote Business account includes a Business Library, which is a collection of Business Notebooks that are available to all team members. The Business Library is the place where employees can share, discover and leverage the collected knowledge of their colleagues.
Simplified Billing: Pay as you go monthly by credit card, or pay for a whole year by credit card or invoice. Your company can easily increase or decrease the number of users at any time by contacting our Customer Success Team, ensuring that your Evernote Business account always meets the needs of your organization.
Store Everything, Access it Everywhere: Use Evernote to capture everything important to your business in a single place, including notes, research, presentations, documents, and more. You can even save entire webpages with the Evernote Web Clipper. Evernote works on smartphones, computers, tablets and via the Web, so everything your company captures can always be accessed in the office and on the go.
Knowledge Discovery & Continuity: Explore and discover the collective knowledge of your entire organization. Whether users browse the Business Library, use Evernote’s powerful search, or discover relevant content with our Related Notes features, Evernote Business makes any workplace effortlessly productive.
As both a former business owner and someone who manages multiple teams, I’m most drawn to the Business Library, which becomes a central repository for company information. Anyone in your organization is able to create Notebooks and add to them so that they’re searchable to anyone in your organization. Over time, the amount of information that would rest here could become a huge hub for your business. Whether it’s a human resource-type knowledge bank, a client-specific notebook documenting all work from all teams, or notebooks about company goals or milestones, aggregating the information into one collaborative environment and making it searchable will benefit many organizations.
Think of how many documents get lost in your organization. Or how useful it would be to find out a coworker solved the issue you’re facing weeks ago. The best part is Evernote gives you this information without you even needing to know the information exists. You start working on your Notebook and Evernote will find information it feels is relevant to what you’re doing. It does the work for you.
Another feature I like is the ability for users to maintain and leverage personal notebooks, without making them sharable to the whole organization. Performing a search in Evernote will give users access to everything they’ve created + everything the business has created. This is a great way to increase efficiency, while not sacrificing privacy to do it.
Of course, there are also potential problems with Evernote Business…
In order for your organization to really benefit for Evernote Business there needs to be a clear understanding of how Notepads and information are to be tagged and what the process is for creating them. Without that, it’s easy to see how a team of users entering in their own information in their own way could quickly become a bit of a mess and something that is hard to navigate and understand. However, if you’re able to get everyone on the same page and using Evernote for Business the same way, it could replace many of the Google Apps that business owners rely on.
What do you think of the new Evernote app? At $10 a month per user, is there a place for it in your business?