Friday, January 27, 2012

App Review: Evernote

I'll start with a softball. I hope everyone knows about Evernote.

Grade: A

Quick Pitch: Evernote is a note taking application that allows you to take notes in the form of text, photo, or audio (or all three) and organize those notes into Notebooks. It comes with 60 MB of free storage space and is possibly the most consistent experience across devices available. Notes can be shared for collaboration.

Full Story: I certainly don't use Evernote for everything it can do, which is more a testament to it's full power than anything else. If you wanted to go all in with Evernote you really could manage most parts of your life with it. From a business sense, the best part about Evernote for me is being able to take quick notes on the go. Most of the time that means snapping a quick picture of a document or leaving an audio note to myself, but I frequently make text notes as well. I have set up several folders for different business needs and when making a note it's easy to choose which notebook I want to place it in, or just drop into my default folder for later.

  • Widget - I use the 4x1 widget on my phone which allows me to jump straight to text, camera, or microphone to start a note. It also opens the app or a search. The larger widget will show snippets of recent notes, I use this on my tablet.
  • Multi-device - I take most of my notes during the work day on my phone, but I often access them at night via my tablet or desktop. The syncing is seamless and unlike other apps I've tried I never worry about any workarounds to make accessing my data the same.
  • Free - Hard to beat that right? You can upgrade to premium storage, and eventually I will probably have to do that. However, if you're mostly using it for business purposes, many of your notes have a short shelf-life so you shouldn't have to worry about that 60 MB limit for a while.
  • Frequent updates - Evernote is still innovating and making this product even better.
  • Google Docs integration - admittedly they overlap a little so I understand the separation, but I'll also admit that Google Docs is better for professional documents. It would be nice to integrate my notes into my favorite cloud document platform.
  • Space limit - I can understand why they have one, but 60 MB seems quite small for a society where gigabytes are the norm. While I haven't hit the threshold yet two things are true, I'm stingy about the photo/audio notes I leave there, and I won't like the day I suddenly hit my cap and have to decide to either clear stuff out or pay up. I'm happy to pay for premium features, but size is always an awkward one.
You can download it from the market here.