April 12, 2024

Binary Blogger

Are you a 1 or a 0? News, Thoughts and Reviews

Evernote – The Centralized Notebook

6 min read

   As technology expands into pretty much everything we use, as users we are moving farther and farther away from a centralized piece of hardware as our focus point of use and storage. Most people now have laptops, some have desktops, smart phones, and now tablets. But there is this adopted usage that the hardware is refreshing every few years rather than hanging on to a desktop PC for 5 years+. With that distribution of connectivity across multiple devices, it’s very difficult to connect back into a home network to access information and applications. For documents and notes this is where Evernote comes in.
   Evernote, the note taking service you may or may not have heard of. This is a Techie Pro review of Evernote and some insights on how I use this fantastic service. I call it a service because it’s much more than a website. It’s a storage location, a website, a live document creation tool, a collaboration tool (of sorts), and it can be your virtual file cabinet. 

   Like most applications and services I decided to use this as I saw more and more websites talking about it. I gave it a shot and after a week or so of the free version, I paid for the full service and went all in on it’s abilities. For me that’s huge. I rarely pay for services on the Internet, mainly because where one site charges for it, there is another that does not. But Evernote has flexibility and capabilities that others do not all in one spot. It’s best to think about Evernote as a service. Even though it’s a website, you will find yourself using other avenues to load and work with Evernote than the website it self.  

    Evernote is laid out in Notebooks. A Notebook is a collection of notes, files, photos, audio clips, etc… Each Notebook can be kept private or made public through sharing. For example here is a public Notebook I have – http://www.evernote.com/pub/joenobody1877/recipes . Like most services now, there is an aspect of social networking built into it for sharing a little bit more about yourself to the world. 
    As your Evernote use grows, so will your Notebooks depending on your need for organization and order. This layout is very simple to follow and to get used to and like most physical cabinets they are as messy or as in order as the user lets it. You can get yourself into a mess if you are not aware of keeping things organized. This is in now way fault of the service, but of the user.
    To offset this, Evernote has the ability to have each note contain tags. Looking at my shared Notebook http://www.evernote.com/pub/joenobody1877/recipes, on the left side you will see a drop down menu called Tags. As you create or load files, Tag them. Again, the more your use grows, the more critical tags become to help you organize and later find your notes and files. In a sense, it becomes a fully indexed database. The more detailed the tags are the easier it will be to use the site as it grows.
Loading Notes
    A note in Evernote is whatever piece of information you say it is. It is not just a place for text. You can load text notes, photos, PDFs, emails, full websites, and audio recordings. There is really no limit on what kinds of notes you can load and Evernote provides the ability to load notes from pretty much any device you have.
    Here are some of the services Evernote provides to load and read notes:
  • Direct from the Evernote website – http://www.evernote.com
  • From a Desktop Application you install. More robust than the website, local backup of all your notes away from Evernote, really nice editor built into it.
  • From your phone. Evernote has an iPhone App, iPad, Andriod. These applications allow you to see your notes already loaded, load new ones, send photos, and load voice notes from your phone.
  • Browser plugins for clipping. If you are on a site that you want to save but dont want to print, the browser plugins allow you to Clip the website. Basically it copies the website and loads it as a note. Great for tutorials for later reference.
  • Link your Twitter account for backup of Twits. Each twit sent to @myEN, after you link your accounts, will be sent to Evernote for backup.
  • Forward emails to your own Evernote email address to save emails into Evernote.
  • Many more accessibility options from many other applications and services which can be seen here – http://www.evernote.com/about/integration/
    Evernote is taking transmissions to and from their service. As their site states, the transmission is secured and stored in a locked data center. http://blog.evernote.com/2008/04/15/evernote-privacy-and-security/ But for some Techie Pros 😉 that is not enough. So, Evernote has included additional encryption options. Even better you can encrypt parts of a note rather than the whole note. In my shared notebook there is a note I created that shows what this looks like called Encryption Test http://www.evernote.com/pub/joenobody1877/recipes. When you look at it the selected text I encrypted will not be read without the passphrase. The passphrase is drew if you want to see how it works. I also attached the Evernote video on how to encrypt.    

Usage Tips
   What do you use Evernote for? You will figure out how it will work best for you but let me fill you in on how I use Evernote.
  • Random notes – The obvious use. Random notes, thoughts, lists, etc… You have a thought, write it down.
  • Lists – I share a Grocery Notebook with the family and as we need things, run out of things, think of something we need, add it to the list. So when the weekly grocery shopping comes around we have a central list. 
  • Web Collections – I use the Clip features quite a bit. In addition to using bookmarking sites like Delicious or Chromes bookmark synch capability, I want to save sites locally without printing them out. This is where the clipping feature is very useful. Even though it’s not a Recipe, I put in a Clipped article about photography in my shared notebook. http://www.evernote.com/pub/joenobody1877/recipes
  • Elimination of Bulky Paper – This is my main use right now. I recently built a new home and with that came tons of manuals, documents, books, etc… I had a drawer wasted stuffed with these bulks manuals. So I went around, wrote down all the model numbers of my appliances, equipment, gadgets and went to each manufacturers website and downloaded PDFs of the manuals and loaded them into Evernote. With the Premium Service’s 500 MB monthly allowance transfer is more than enough to load them all in one shot. Now I have all my manuals in one place and down have to hunt if I need to service, clean, upgrade, get parts for something. 
  • Backup – Twitter, work orders, contracts, bills, receipts, warranties, or any paper document scan and load into Evernote for digital storage and centralized access.  

   In short, Evernote is a fantastic service for keeping information, any information, central and easily accessible from pretty much any current-gen device you have. What happened with my use, the more I used it, the more I love it and the more expansive my use is getting.
   I would recommend this to anyone who has a file management issue, paper or digital, and want to get a hold of the organization. Anyone who has lost data from a single device crash would respect this service more. Evernote has a free mode, which has limited options, but more than enough to hook you.

End of Line…

The items in this post are purely the thoughts and opinions of the author. All facts and data are gathered across various sources and the author’s conclusions are based that information. Techie Pro

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