Experimenting with Evernote

evernote For the last week or so I’ve been using a new application called Evernote. Actually, the term application may be misleading – Evernote is more of a service with the lofty goal of helping you remember everything. From the about page:

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

So far there’s a web interface, and clients for Windows, Mac OS X, Windows Mobile, and iPhone/iPod touch. I’ve been using the Windows, web, and iPod touch clients.

My initial reaction was to compare Evernote to Microsoft OneNote, and while there are some similarities, I think the comparison is unfair. OneNote is far better than Evernote at taking notes – the interface is more fully featured, ink is properly supported, and it feels more like traditional pen and paper. Evernote on the other hand is better at organizing information and making it accessible no matter where I am. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

So far I’ve been using Evernote as a collection of digital post-it notes. Instead of jotting something down on paper, I create a new note inside Evernote. The advantage, of course, is that I can access it on any computer or on my iPod touch when I’m on the go.

There are other ways to use Evernote too. The desktop client contains a “clipper” feature which makes it easy to take a screenshot or copy text from an application. There’s a “web clipper” for your browser, which makes it easy to save items you find on the web. And there’s integration with Outlook, which makes it easy to save email messages.

Evernote is fairly impressive already, but I think there’s lots of room for improvement. I’d like to see richer note editing, better support for importing from Word and other applications, and improved Tablet PC support. Coming at it from another angle, I think it could be interesting to add some social networking aspects to the site, to make it easy for me to share things with other Evernote users.

If you’d like to give it a shot, head on over to the Evernote website. You can also check out their blog, their FriendFeed page, and their Twitter account.

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