June 30, 2008


Filed under: My Life,Technology — Allan @ 7:38 am

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.



  1. Cool app Allan I’m definitely gonna give it a try in an attempt to collect my sporadic random text ramblings. Then you can also use to link to chunks of text (like the tinylink system but for text.)

    Comment by Melissa — June 30, 2008 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  2. hi allan,

    pse send me an invite. i’d like to try this.



    Comment by suzan — June 30, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  3. OK, check yer mailboxes.

    Comment by Allan — June 30, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  4. You have my name in your post, but you don’t send me an invite :'(

    Awesome post dude, I never thought Evernote would be that cool!!

    Comment by Tyler — June 30, 2008 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  5. Here’s a great article on how to really use Evernote:

    Also, private beta is now finished, so anyone who wants can go sign up!

    Comment by Allan — June 30, 2008 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  6. I’ve seen you tweet about Evernote before and was curious, so thanks for writing this. It looks like a really efficient way of handling all the “stuff” we need to hang on to until while we’re pregnant with ideas.

    What was the learning curve like for you? Would you say that it’s pretty easy to get your head around all the functionality?

    Comment by justBcoz — June 30, 2008 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  7. learning curve was fairly non-existent. Fire it up and start making notes. I keep finding more and more features as I use it and it scales with you. Only just learned you can nest tags :P

    Also, check

    import PDF, search for Evernote notes in Spotlight and text encryption.

    Comment by Allan — June 30, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  8. Now if this could sync onto my iphone that would be cool.

    Comment by Alexis — July 3, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  9. […] keep going on and on about this program but I really like using it.  Effortless note taking on Mac, PC or Linux, […]

    Pingback by My 10 must-have Mac tools « MediaFrenzy — July 11, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  10. What does this cost?

    Who has access to all the notes someone makes?

    This may be a great datamine for

    Comment by Bill — July 29, 2008 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

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