Amazing Productivity App – Evernote

by Tim Francis on January 10, 2012

Ever overwhelmed by the zillions of little notes and bits of information you want to keep track of?  Maybe you’ve got meeting notes, plus a picture of a whiteboard that had an awesome concept, plus a screenshot of a website you really like.

How in the heck are you supposed to keep all of that in one place?

The solution I discovered is a simple program called Evernote, which can be downloaded for free at http://www.Evernote.com.  Works on both Mac and PC.  Also works on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry.

Evernote allows you to make and aggregate all forms of notes – typed, spoken voice notes, screenshots, even pictures (yes pictures!) – into one place.  On each note you add to Evernote, you can include a text description (if you want), a note Title, and tags too.  When you need to re-call something, you simply search using Evernote’s search bar to find what you’re looking for.  Sha-zaam… there it is!

Super-cool feature #1: Evernote has a built-in OCR for images, which means that it does a pretty good job of scanning your images for words.  If there are words in your image, it will pick them up and include those words in any searches that you might do.  But what does that mean in the REAL world you ask…?

Think of how incredibly handy that is if you’re at a meeting where notes are being taken on a whiteboard, and you want to not only capture the whiteboard (say, by taking a picture with your iPhone) but also wanting to catalogue those notes into your Evernote so you can find them later when you search for related info.  Six weeks go by and you want to find info related to that project, so you search it in your Evernote.  Blam-o! …up pops your image of the whiteboard, with words highlighted in the image itself (by Evernote) – the same words you just searched for.  Amazing.

Or maybe you are at a trade show and want to get a picture of a product or display – just snap a picture of the product or booth.  Doubly amazing.

Maybe you want to quickly snap a picture of someone’s business card.

Maybe you are watching a webinar and want to capture one of the slides for future reference.

Obviously Evernote can only work with what you give it – if you have absolutely atrocious handwriting, it won’t be able to pick up the text.  But let me say I’ve been amazed with some of my handwriting (read: chicken scratch, LOL) that it has picked up.  WOW.

Super-cool feature #2: Evernote also has a mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.  This mobile app syncs perfectly with your desktop installation of Evernote.  The way it works is that everything you add to your Evernote is actually synced “in the cloud” (on Evernote’s servers) so it can be easily updated by (and to) each of your devices including smart phone, laptop, desktop, tablet.

So now you can literally just open up Evernote on your iPhone, use Evernote’s built-in capability to snap a picture of what you want to remember (or catalogue for possible future reference), and by the time you get back to your desktop / laptop / iPad / or wherever else you’ve got Evernote installed, it will already be all synced up.

And yes – you could have Evernote installed on, say, 4 different devices, and because all of Evernote’s storage happens “in the cloud”, and then is synced down across all devices, everything will always be up-to-date.  Once again… AMAZING.

Hope that helps!!!

(I know it sure has for me :) )

Tim

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