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Evernote: Note Heaven

Evernote: Note Heaven

Deep down I have never really liked the idea of cloud computing. The thought that all my tasks, emails, contacts, events and notes would sit on a public area only protected by a username and password just didn’t sit right. Despite the reality that no one is actually interested in my latest note or calendar event it still made me nervous.Cloud computing is here and growing fast and to be honest I’ve grown into it at a colossal rate.


MobileMe, Google Apps, and various other services have resulted in the feeling that our computers are almost useless without an internet connection. Email, contacts, and events are already in the cloud and now it is the turn of Notes. I have always loved the on the iPhone but always wished I could sync with my computer rather than have to email the note to myself for processing later.

This is a massive disadvantage if you work on a number of computers and try to keep notes from a particular project together in one place. There is no real way of sort, searching or tagging the notes created on the application.

The latest weapon in my GTD regime is the brilliant note taking application Evernote. The Evernote cloud service is available in two forms. A free version that offers 40MB storage per month with non SSL connection and a premium version that offers SSL, 500MB uploads per month and the ability to sync any file. The premium version doesn’t actually cost a premium at only $45 per year.


Both services offer the key essential features:
Both services offer the ability to sync across platforms. Whatever you sync with the cloud is available across the various platforms you can use to access Evernote. PC, Mac, PocketPC, iPhone. There is hardly a device left out. Evernote offers the ability to tag notes and even the text within images is also searchable.

The desktop interface offers a range of note management features. Your notes are automatically viewable as large (readable) thumbnails for easily identification.

You can add tags to your notes, and syncing takes place automatically every 5 minutes while you are online. The main toolbar offers a range of functions.

You can force a sync of your data using the sync button and your monthly upload allowance is graphically represented in a horizontal bar graph. For general school use I suspect 40MB is enough storage abut I feel the premium account with the added encryption would be recommended for storing sensitive information or records.

Managing notes couldn’t be easier and the Mac version offers the ability to record a video note via the iSight Note button.

Files can be simply dragged into the main interface. The free version is limited to ink, PDF, Image, and audio whereas the pro version offers the ability drag pretty much any other document into Evernote. The only limit is no single document should be more than 25MB.

Watch the YouTube video demoing the rich features of the desktop account.

Evernote for iPhone (and iPod Touch) lets you capture any moment or idea as it happens, wherever you may find yourself. Notes can be captured in text, photo and voice (on the iphone). The notes are then synchronised with the cloud and thus accessible on the desktop application and web almost instantly.

As well as accessing your notes on my own computer and iPhone you can also access the system via the Evernote website. From the website you can still create, edit, delete and print notes.

The Verdict

I’ve been using the service for about a week now and paired with my GTD software I am finding it a really useful tool both at the computer and while out and about with the iPhone. I haven’t seen any major sync issues and my upload bar hasn’t changed very much in the last few days.

To be honest the main attraction with going ‘premium’ is the additional security and the ability to sync and view any file format.

Given Google recently announced they would be stopping the development of Google Notes  making Evernote the best solution for anyone wanting to store the ideas and notes in one place. If you were a Google Notes user you can easily import your Google Notes to an Evernote account. Click here for a tutorial.

Perhaps I have missed something but surely shouldn’t everyone have an Evernote account. I’d love to hear your opinions and experiences with Evernote (especially if you have been using if for a few month). Please post below,

I’d also welcome any comments you may have on the security aspects of cloud computing ?



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