I’ve recently added a new tool to my productivity arsenal. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you will already know about the first two killer apps I use everyday to stay on the cutting edge of productivity. Well that may be hyperbole, but at least I seem to be keeping up. My #1 and #2 productivity apps are Nozbe and Jott, for which you can find a variety of posts in the Index.
And while many may say that I am a Johnny-come-lately, as there have been many blogs singing the Evernote praises for quite some time, I thought it only fitting to add my two cents, while officially adding Evernote as my #3 productivity app.
The first requirement for all of my preferred productivity applications is platform independence. I need these applications to work from my Windows machine at work, my Macs at home and from my iPhone everywhere else. And Evernote fits the bill nicely with both Windows and OS X clients, a shiny new iPhone native application, and a web interface for everywhere else.
So what is Evernote? Sorry, I thought everyone but me knew by now. Evernote is what I would call a clip and save application. It provides the means to grab content from a variety of sources and save it to a notebook for later use. Some folks even use it as a GTD (Getting Things Done) application since you can also type notes, although I think there are better GTD tools out there – Nozbe anyone?
So what do you clip and save, you ask? Here’s a partial list.
- Content from a web page
- A snapshot from your iPhone or other mobile device
- An image capture from your iSight or web cam
- A scanned image of a paper-based document
- A typed note
- Any pdf or other common document file
- Record an audio note right from your iPhone
So after I save the image or other note to Evernote, it is automatically synced to my iPhone, and available from any computer I happen to be using. This is definitely a full featured application, as you can see here.
But there’s more. Evernote has a very powerful text rendering feature that inspects the image for readable text, which it then converts into searchable text.
Other great features include the use of tags, a simple search across all notebooks, and support for sending images and notes via email, including from my iPhone. So, if I’m out and about and someone asks about something I’ve saved, I just send them a copy via email. The application also supports a public or shared folder, allowing you to provide a URL to a friend or coworker, giving them access to anything stored in that folder.
Another great use I’ve found for this application, is to save screenshots from my iPhone. I no longer have to sync photos with my Mac in order to make them available for import into my pictures folder. Instead, I choose a new snapshot note from the iPhone, take the picture, and it automatically appears in the Evernote client on my iMac.
Bookmarklet for Grabbing Web Content
There is also a very cool bookmarklet available for use in your browser, which makes saving web content so easy. To initiate a new note, just drag through the desired content on the page, and then click the bookmarklet. A dialog box will appear in which you can enter a name and choose a notebook in which to store the note.
Click done, and the content, with text, images and links intact is saved to Evernote. And the URL link back to the original page is added as well.
Note the image, formatted text and working links included in the finished note here.
Well, there you have it, the third musketeer in my productivity trilogy. This is one very slick application that I highly recommend, so go check it out at http://evernote.com. Thanks for reading, John.