Generally, my desktop looks like something exploded all over it. One of the things I used to save most were text documents with little notes about an idea I had, or something I should build or something I have to get done. I played with Yojimbo for a little bit and also with Circus Ponies’ Notepbook. While both of these are excellent pieces of software I never really got to using them properly or with enough effort to see any real benefit. For about two months now I have been using the beta of Evernote, and I have to admit, it is a damn fine piece of work. (I’m actually writing this up as draft in Evernote)
So, what makes it so much better?
Firstly, the application is cross-platform. It runs natively on PC and Mac and on selected phones. For most of the apps that I use I couldn’t care if they don’t run on a PC, but our team are on both PC’s and Mac’s and so here finally is something I can rave on about that they can also use.
Then, the application sync’s to a web version of your notes. So I can continue to edit my notes when I’m not sitting at my machine. The changes made on the web sync back to your desktop version. I know that I could do this through Google docs, but I actually prefer working in a native application. Web apps are not as responsive as I often need them to be.
You can also enable an Evernote menu item to clip items and screenshots directly into Evernote.
Which neatly brings me to another feature – text recognition. When you sync new notes up to the server, any notes that contain images are analyzed for text portions and text recognition is done on them. I’ve just synced this note with a screenshot from Twitter in it, and now when I sync back, the text should have been recognized.
I can now search for text within images in Evernote. It filters down to only matching posts and text is highlighted. Sweet.
My one small problem that I had with Evernote was that I couldn’t easily share notes with people. This has now been added and I can mark a Notebook as public which creates a page for that notebook that anyone can browse. Of course, if we could share Notebooks with other Evernote users so that we could collaboratively create and edit notes that would be awesome.
Currently Evernote is in beta, but I have 17 15 invites if anyone wants. Leave a comment or let me know on Twitter.