I’m still digging EverNote. I briefly reviewed a previous version here, and Marc has reviewed it over here, here and here. If you’re not really understanding what the deal is, lemme help shed some light. The first assumption is that you’ve got stuff to keep track of. Still with me? The second assumption (and this is a stretch, I know) is that you’re keeping track of stuff with text notes. The third assumption is that you gots a PC. Sorry mac-folk, but you guys have some pretty cool shizzle of your own.
So if you’re still with me, then EverNote might be your new friend. The big deal with EverNote (my activeword is en) is that if you’re keeping text notes in some directory, then you might be better off keeping those same notes in EverNote. There are some pretty compelling reasons for this, but they aren’t without downsides, in my view.
- You get versions. If you make a note on day one, and on day two you delete a bunch of stuff, then add more stuff on day three and on day four you realize you shouldn’t have deleted all that stuff, EverNote will show you all the previous versions of your note. Cool.
- You get good search. For me, the ability to search is king. I’m not the best organizer, so I really need to be able to find my stuff when I want/need it. EverNote allows you to find your stuff a couple of ways. First you’ve got categories and subcategories, etc. So you can tag the heck out of notes. Next you’ve got a decent ‘find’ function that highlights the relevant search terms through all the notes you’ve currently got displayed. CrimsonEditor (and other text editors, I suppose) will do a pretty nice ‘find in files’ search where you just point it at a directory and give it a search term. EverNote won’t do that, but it doesn’t need to since there’s only one file to search.
- You get drag ‘n drop. You can drag and drop all sorts of content into your notes. Word processing docs, spreadsheets, links to other folders or applications, links to webpages, etc. Webpages are particularly nice, since the link shows up inline and not as a long URL. Other links show up as a tiny icon with the document name or folder name.
- You get rich text. I have no need for full-on programmer text editors, so I use the free CrimsonEditor for my plain text needs, and until EverNote showed up, that’s where I’d create my ad hoc lists of things. Worked great, but not so good if I wanted to do rich text. I generally don’t want to do rich text, but sometimes it’s nice. Memo outlines, blog drafts, etc. Sometimes they’re easier to read with a bold header, or a "real" bulleted list instead of asterisks. Not to mention a full suite of typefaces.
- Everything in one place. This is a pretty big draw. Having all your notes in one "place" is nice. Even nicer when the interface is as easy to use as EverNote’s.
- You can’t forget to save stuff. Merlin mentions getting used to saving your work. Even better: get used to working in EverNote, which saves stuff on the fly. There isn’t even a "save as" function–it’s just done for you. When you’re used to saving your work often, it’s a little bit freaky to give up that small sense of control.
- It’s free. What else can I say?