Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tech Time ::: Intro to Evernote

Photo: Evernote.com

In my many efforts lately to get more organized, I recently signed up for and downloaded Evernote (and Evernote Food!), for my Mac and my iPhone, and have been tinkering a little with it to get acclimated.  I would often read about it in "best apps for productivity" lists around the web.  Mashable recently talked about it again, and it was another push for me to actually look into it, as my interest in it has been piqued several times.

Evernote, in a nutshell, is a note-taking and note-organizing app.  The way I started out using Evernote was as a way to organize my ideas for this blog, and keep track of ideas and inspiration for my business, many of which come to me on the go, or in waiting rooms, and then I have no way to write them down without texting or emailing myself. This app has helped me organize and tag those.  So the first things I did after signing up and downloading the required apps, was to set up "Notebooks" which you can think of as literally separate notebooks or file folders, and you put your related notes into those books.

So I set up a blog related book, a business related book, a tech related book and a home decor idea related book.  I also set one up that is just "random" for web clippings, etc.  It's a free app and service, with the possibility for a premium membership priced at around $45 per year.   The free service comes with 60MB a month worth of upload storage, which resets again every month, meaning you can upload 60MB per month of stuff.  I did learn that if you save photos or PDFs that will fill up quick. 

Photo: My Evernote App Dashboard

In the first 24 hours, I'd filled 48MB of my monthly allotment and deleting things you uploaded does NOT deduct from the allotment. The premium service increases that to 1GB per month, and includes the option for searching inside PDFs you've uploaded, added security (I assume passcode locks?) on notebooks and the apps, more space, offline availability of your stuff, and a few more features.

Admittedly those features appeal to me, however I am fairly new at this service and app right now, so I didn't feel the need yet to change my account to premium. If I run out of space too fast, I might change that and pay for the premium service and give it a fair shake. The only negative to the free service to me at present is simply the fact that there's no passcode lock without going to premium, and that photos seem to take up a lot of your upload space. So if you need the security on your notes, that's maybe worth considering if you don't lock your phone with a passcode, or now the fingerprint. (Why would you not?!)

Before I got too far involved, I downloaded the extension for my browser for the Evernote Web Clipper to allow me to save articles from websites and blogs, or save a bookmark link for use later. An example of a saved article is shown below, in iMore's iOS7 review (fantastic review!!!) I believe there's an app called Pocket for a similar use, but a lot of the reviews indicate that it's not syncing as well with Evernote as it should. So I didn't bother with that for now.

Photo: My Evernote App Dashboard

When you get inside the Evernote Desktop App, in my case the Mac version, you see at the top a dropdown for your account, a sync, and the satellite thing there shows the latest info if you click on it--for example it says I synced about 10 minutes ago.  There is then the "New Note" and you can change where it is, right now I am in my "Ame" Notebook which is just my "random" section, and I move things in and out of there if they change category eventually. Then the search field.

On the left you see "Shortcuts" which I made from the lower section of Notebooks, by dragging them into there. That allows me to just click to each specific Notebook.  I have a habit of calling them folders, vs Notebooks already. My recent notes include things about jewelry and the start of a clothes packing list for when my husband and I travel together.  I am planning to make a list for when I travel alone. I usually keep a clothes list and a toiletries/other list, for things like my spackle/hair armored truck and chargers and meds.  I usually make this list on paper, but I am going to try this checklist system for our next trip. I like that you have the ability to set a reminder/alarm for your notes, which I did for this checklist so about two weeks before our trip I can start putting things together (chronically overprepared!) 

Below the recent notes are a few other links, for Notes, where you can get a list of all of your notes; Notebooks, showing you all of your Notebooks; Tags, which shows you all of your categorizations; Atlas, showing any geographical notations, example here is where I had a couple restaurants tagged. Note to the Evernote folks: St. Louis is in Missouri, not in Illinois. East St. Louis is in Illinois, and they not the same thing...just sayin'.  Then there's a link for "Trunk" which is essentially a collection of apps you can buy or get for free that work with Evernote, or are by Evernote.  The aforementioned Pocket, Skitch by Evernote, Web Clipper, etc. 

Photo: My Screenshots of My Evernote Food App

I mentioned above that I also downloaded the iPhone app, as well as an app called Evernote Food. That latter app is pretty fantastic. What made me personally get it was the "restaurant wishlist", where you can search for new places, and put them on a list that you can refer to later when you want to find a new place to go. It allows you to make an Open Table reservation from each entry, but I am mostly just happy to have a list.

Photo: My Screenshots of My Evernote Food App

Another awesome feature of the Evernote Food app is the cookbook and recipe portion. In this part of the app, you search for recipes, and save your favorites, and you have your own personal cookbook. And as you clip recipes through the web, you can save them as well.  I thought that was pretty fantastic.  You can also take photos of your favorite meals, tag where you had them, and save that information into a note for later. I gave that a quick test over the weekend when we tried out a restaurant that was on our wishlist for a while, and I loved every part of my meal, but part of my husband's was pretty disappointing to him. 

I plan to keep tinkering with this service/app and see how I do with it. Usually I start out pretty good with something and then it either gradually fades out or suddenly just drops off for me. I am really trying to get myself organized, and hopefully I can get this to work for me.

Anyone else use Evernote? I'd love your thoughts in the comments below!

Be sure to follow according to ame on 
Twitter ::: Facebook ::: Instagram ::: Pinterest  ::: Bloglovin'

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?