Evernote‘s logo is the elephant, the creature with a reputation for never forgetting, and it’s true that Evernote allows me to capture tasks and to-dos whenever I think of them and funnel them into my task management system.
The logo could just as well be a lasso, though, since what Evernote does best is to capture information from multiple sources — web pages, whiteboards, snapshots, twitter messages, scribbles, and notes; display it on your computer or smartphone, or on the web; and sort it.
While some new tech tools make us scratch our heads and wonder why, the uses for Evernote are immediate and obvious.
Here are a few really useful things that Evernote can do.
1. When a client asked for help setting up a new and bigger filing system in their new headquarters, I searched online for storage options for large paper media such as surveys and architectural plans. I tagged each entry with the client’s name. Then the client and I sat down at their computer and looked at all the options I had found for them, with no hit-and-miss web searches along the way. The client was able to see the styles and prices available and make a fast decision.
2. While working remotely with a colleague, she wrote on a whiteboard, snapped photos of the board, and loaded the photo into Evernote. Because access to Evernote is available on the web, computer (Mac and PC), and mobile phone, and because Evernote recognizes text in the image, I could access the notes and search them to use in my part of our project.
3. When I planned a recent trip to the Napa Valley, I captured websites of restaurants, wineries, chocolate shops, and olive oil producers. I photographed wine labels to remember. I pasted reviews and “top 10” lists, all tagged with the name of the trip, plus “travel”, “wine”, “reservation”, and a few other words. While on the road, I used my iPhone to check the reservation confirmation for the Schramsberg winery tour and click the link to get the exact address.
4. When a friend flew out of the airport a few hours before her husband flew in, she used her smart phone to photograph the location of the parking space where she’d left the car and pasted it into Evernote. When her husband landed, he accessed the note on his phone, saw where the car was waiting, and drove it home, trading a few hours’ parking for two taxi fares.
5. Evernote could make a searchable recipe file, with scanned or downloaded recipes tagged with main ingredients, cuisine, and appropriate course.
The basic service is free; a premium service, with no ads, more collaboration capability, and more file types synchronized, costs a modest $5 a month or $45 a year — who knew you could keep an elephant for peanuts?
Have you used Evernote? Tell us what it does for you by leaving a comment here.