We all want to do some note taking at some point in time when using computers. Just about all computers come with an application or program that will let you type in text. Trouble with that is that it is only going to be text and all the notes that are created are all over the place on your hard drives. Depending on where you have saved the file and also on how you named the file, you may or may not have trouble finding the note again.
An Improvement On The Text Editor Solution
We can improve on this though, and there are applications that will give you a pile of extra functionality, some free and some you pay for. You should ask yourself, what is your purpose in taking the notes? Is it for study purposes, or for business. Is it just text you want or do you want pictures, audio and video with that.
Where will the information come from? Of course you can create a text note in whatever application, but what about if you want to clip something from a web page? How easy and quick is that to do? One click on a button on a web page or do you have to do the copy and paste thing?
Other Ways To Take Notes
Have a look at all of the features in applications such as Yojimbo, DevonThink, MacJournal, Circus Ponies - NoteBook and then compare them with Evernote. Evernote does everything except make the tea. They have good reason to call it your missing memory. It is a personal digital assistant that you can use just about everywhere.
I like being able to capture text and pictures from web pages with whichever browser I am using. In Safari there is a button that I can click, which will import the whole web page right into Evernote. Or it will just bring in what I have selected on the page if I only want part of the page.
You have a three pane interface with all of the Evernote interfaces, that can be on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or the web application. On the left you have all your notebooks, Tags and saved searches. On the right at the top you have a list of the notes in the top pane, and the actual note you have selected in the lower right pane. You can look at the notes as icons if you prefer.
The most important feature that comes with Evernote is the synchronisation. When I create a note on my iPad while I am out and about, I know that when I get home the note will be there on my iMac too, and my MacBook and on my iphone. If I had an Android device it would be there also. How good is that then?
Finding The Notes You Have Made.
If you could not find anything after you took the trouble to make the note, that would be a bit silly. With Evernote though you have levels of granularity to help you find things. First - You can put notes into different notebooks. All the notes for a topic in the right notebook. Secondly - You can use tagging, these are keywords that are easy to enter either as you make the note, or later if you want to do it later. Thirdly - All of the text in the notes is searchable, and even the text on an image is OCR’ed to be searchable too.
Tell Evernote to search in all the notebooks or choose to search just one notebook. If you are searching for more than one word, you can choose to search for files that have all the words in them or any of the words. I just searched in All Notebooks matching All of the words, Window and House. The search returned 22 notes. When I changed it to look and match with any, with those same words, I get 532 notes. Or with looking in all notebooks for just the word Window I get 104 notes. I can look in the notes, and see the words highlighted that I am searching for. By clicking on the tags in the pane on the left I can refine the search to only include notes with a certain tag word too. Tagging is useful in OSX and also within Evernote
Adding Various Types of Things To Your Notes.
I can take an iSight note from within Evernote. I can also record an audio-note . When I am recording an audio note I can write text in at the same time. I can drop PDF files in there as well. When I am using Evernote out on the road with my iPhone, the notes are location aware. If you want extra security in your notes you can encrypt the text. Just select the text and select Encrypt put in your desired passphrase and it is encrypted. Just make sure you don’t forget the passphrase or it will be gone forever.
From Evernote or in the Web application click on the sharing button. Then you can decide which notebook to share and who to share it with. Either with everybody or with individual that you invite. You have to be a Premium user if you want other people to be able to modify your notes. For added security you can make the recipient log in to Evernote first to get access to the notes that you have shared.
Wacom Bamboo And Inknotes
Evernote will let you create inknotes and also recognise the handwriting, so long as it is not a scrawl that looks like a spider crawled across the page. You will be able to search for the word, just the same as any words you have typed in. Another trick is to use the Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet to write annotations on photos. If you have the photo already in Evernote you can right click on it, and have it open in a photo editing software like Pixelmator. As soon as you save it, it is updated in Evernote.
As you can tell I am a fan of Evernote and quite happy to tell people all about it. Evernote keeps getting better and putting in new features and becoming available on more platforms. You have it for Mac, Windows, Nokia, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Palm Pre and on Windows Mobile Phones and you can even get it on the web. Great if you have forgotten to take in you own computer and can get access to any other computer connected to the internet. It is not only me that likes Evernote as I heard the other day they are getting millions of users fast.
I also use other note taking applications. I like Notational Velocity which syncs with SimpleNote on my iPad and I use TextMate for every article I write. But for sheer usefulness of having an electronic memory on all my computers, Evernote can’t be beat.