While visiting family and friends in San Francisco for Christmas and New Year’s, my friend Tim was raving about a Web app called Evernote — how it was allowing him (and his boss) to remove all paper from his life, when he combined it with a new high-speed scanner (though a scanner is not required).
I’d heard of Microsoft OneNote and had even tried it out way back when, but didn’t like that all the notes and information I created were “stuck” on my local computer and not accessible via any Web browser.
Enter Evernote — it was like a Web-based version of OneNote, Tim said, where your data gets indexed, tagged, and even OCR’d (Optical Character Recognition), such that any text in documents you scan gets automatically converted to digital text and searchable in your account. I was intrigued.
I soon signed up for a free account and have found Evernote to be even better than I expected. The idea is simple and the tagline is really true: Remember everything. The application creates a timeline of documents for you, so that you can get a virtual history book of your digital life for everything you input to it — be it simple notes, task lists, PDF docs, photos you take (e.g., wine labels, birthday cards, business cards etc.).
Say you have a stack of business cards you don’t want laying around. Just scan them all (or take photos of them), upload them to your Evernote account, add some tags (or let the OCR do its thing), and you can always search for these business cards alongside every other piece of information in your life.
You can input via a number of methods:
- Web app
- Desktop app (Windows or Mac)
- Mobile device (iPhone or Windows Mobile)
I did, of course, immediately install the Evernote iPhone app and it’s quickly become one of my favorites.
As outlined on the company’s site, I can capture a number of different input types via my iPhone from anywhere, enabling me to do all of the following:
- Create and edit new notes on the fly
- Snap a photo right into your account
- Record a quick voice memo
- Easily access all of your notes
- Select notes for offline viewing
The sync between the iPhone app and my Web-based account happens almost immediately. I can then jump into my Web account and email myself (or anyone else) any of my notes, reminders, or documents.
The basic account is free and allows 40 MB of uploads per month. The premium account is $5/month or $45/year and gives you 500 MB of uploads per month, additional file type support, stronger security, and more. I haven’t upgraded to premium yet, but the more I start using and depending on Evernote, the more likely it is that I’ll upgrade.
Start organizing and remembering all those little inputs in your life today.
Happy New Year![ Subscribe to gabeanderson.com via email or RSS feed. ]