Apps

12 Apps of Christmas, Day 6: Evernote

Some TechRepublic editors and bloggers highlight their favorite app in this 12 Apps of Christmas series. The sixth app, recommended by Will Kelly, is Evernote.

 

Evernote
 

The 6th app of Christmas Will Kelly gave to you is the champion app called Evernote.

In the spirit of the holidays, we thought we’d create a smartphone series based on a popular Christmas song. The 12 Days of Christmas starts on Christmas Day, but our 12 Apps of Christmas begins today, and we'll continue to post one app per day, leading all the way up to the holiday. However you celebrate this season, and whatever device you own (or platform that it runs on), we hope that you find some gems over the next 12 days -- as these are the apps that the TechRepublic’s editorial staff and bloggers actually use and feel passionate enough to write about. Here's what Will Kelly had to say about one of his favorite apps called Evernote.

Evernote is a very popular app that's available for Android, the iPhoneBlackBerry, and Windows Phone. They offer both a free version and a Premium product that costs $5.00 a month/$45.00 a year. I’ve been using Evernote since the early days, and I've watched it transform from just a note-taking app into a product line tailored to help people collect and remember information. 

Since getting my first PC, I’ve always been better organized electronically than with hardcopy, so I truly fit the Evernote user demographic. Evernote is where I keep ideas, notes, and research for my TechRepublic posts, corporate client work, and my personal projects. 

The Evernote Web Clipper and Clearly make it easy for me to capture articles and blog posts for later reference. I especially like being able to drag-and-drop Word documents and Adobe PDF files (Figure A) into Evernote.

Figure A

Figure A
A PDF saved in Evernote for later reference.

Because I’m a Premium user, I can search inside PDFs, Word documents, and even screen images I save in Evernote. Another bonus is being able to create offline notebooks so I can refer to information on my iPhone or iPad on the rare times I’m not on Wi-Fi.

Evernote lets you set up notebooks to better organize your notes. I use synchronized notebooks for client work, so I can access the information in the cloud and across my devices. I create notebooks to organize notes for particular projects. I then use notebook stacks (an Evernote feature for grouping notebooks) across various parts of my professional and personal life.

Recently, I’ve been relying more on tagging to organize the content I capture and my notes (Figure B), because I found myself creating too many notebooks over time. 

Figure B

Figure B
Tags in Evernote.

The Evernote app is running on all of my Macs, PCs, iPhone, iPads, and Android tablets to ensure that my notes and research are always accessible. I regularly take notes using Evernote on the Mac during client meetings. My preference is to keep the formatting in my notes simple. However, Evernote lets me format notes using bold, italics, and other options you’d expect to find in a word processor. Using Evernote on my iPhone lets me take pictures of white board drawings and save them directly into Evernote for later reference. Evernote has allowed me be a paperless note taker after years of jotting down meeting and interview notes on yellow legal pads.

I highly recommend Evernote if you have project notes spread out across folders, cloud accounts, and apps, and you want to centralize all of your note-taking for sanity sake and easy reference.

Do you use Evernote, or are you partial to another note-taking app? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

TechRepublic's 12 Apps of Christmas

 

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

5 comments
a.portman
a.portman

I love Evernote. And yes Richard Microsoft, it is way better than OneNote. I do not tag items the way I should, but it really doesn't matter much since search will find what I am looking for in the text of a note without a problem.

I use the Firefox and Chrome add-ons all the time. Do I want just the URL, the article, or the whole page? Perfect for looking at products.

Richard Noel
Richard Noel

Is it better than OneNote?  Has anyone tried both?

bhopper
bhopper

Good program, and I use it at work, just not all the time.


But... notice stallasmith and marykate53.  Think their comments are "similar" ?

rla2680
rla2680

great application. I use it with penultimate as a digital notebook with a jot pen to actually write things down.

david.engelstad
david.engelstad

@Richard Noel I used OneNote extensively from about 2003 to 2013. I loved it, wrote at least one novel with it, house-hunted, and kept a journal. I've now switched to Evernote, primarily for the ability to sync to every device I have, including iOS devices. THAT is what makes Evernote the better app.

They have different models of organization and I'm still getting used to that. OneNote has three levels which makes it a better hierachical model, where Evernote is much "flatter" but the ability to Tag in Evernote gives it that edge.

Finally, OneNote, like so many of MS products, is pretty much a closed system. Evernote publishes their APIs and there are hundreds of programs that link to it, feed from it, work with Evernote to extend the capabilities further in the future. The Clearly clipper makes getting info from the web a breeze and much cleaner than "Send to OneNote" out of IE.

It hasn't been an easy transition, but I find Evernote to be the stronger, more extensive, more available tool.