Saturday, July 24, 2010

Evernote: Multi accessible notes, records and more

I have become a fan of Evernote in just a few days. I need multi-platform and multi-site access to notes, documents and other records, and this classy little PC/Mac program / iApp works like a champ.

iStockphoto.comGoogle Documents is my preferred multi-site documents and spreadsheets solution, and I use it several times a day on average. It works well for simple or even medium-complex word processing documents and spreadsheets. I access it from the office, I access it at home and I can view it from my iPhone in the coffee shop. It works on the PC and the Mac, and it works on my iPad. I even share some documents with colleagues and friends.

What Google Documents does not do well is simple notes, audio, pictures, PDFs and other records, and this is the need that Evernote fills. Like Google Documents, Evernote is free, at least up to 40 mb of uploads per month. A souped-up version is available for $5 per month, and I can see myself shelling out before long.

As an example of what I am doing with Evernote, my wife and I are planning a couple of out-of-Alaska trips in September. As I gather information items for the trip, I am saving them as PDF files and dragging them into an Evernote "notebook" labeled travel. Or I could easily make a web clip and bypass the PDF stage, but I like PDF for printouts.

I have another notebook for my office notes, and I just started another for some health related materials. Other notebooks will follow, I know.

Here's the part I like about Evernote: I can see my notes and records on: 1) my main home workstation, 2) my iPad, 3) my iPhone, 4) our Mac Mini that we use with the large LED monitor on our "entertainment center", 5) on my office computer at the office and 6) any web browser.

I have shared my travel folder with my wife so she can see it in her iPhone, or on her laptop or a web browser.

Now, I don't have to look through piles of travel related emails to find the confirmation information; it's all in one place. If I need to show something to an agent, I can just pop open the iPad and display it....whether or not I am connected to the cloud. So long as I have synchronized documents between devices, I have the data where I need it.

I already have many work-related notes already in my Evernote notebook, and I have been using this for less than two weeks. I keep a running note of what I want to talk to my boss about so that when we have some time, I can pop it open, no matter where I am.

Recently I started a note in my office notebook about budget items for mid-year consideration. I also have a couple of PDF'ed handwritten notes from staff meetings so that I can refer to them later. Today, I snapped an iPhone picture of something in the building that needs repair and saved it to Evernote to remind me to get it taken care of. I know at least one user that takes meeting notes on his iPad, and saves them to Evernote. I'm going to try that, too.

Here's a video that tells more about it. The Evernote website has a great video library showing other uses.

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