REVIEW: Evernote

Machinery and people are important to businesses, but probably the most important asset for any business is information. The trouble is, it’s difficult to capture that information, and once the information has been captured, it’s often difficult to retrieve it and process it.

Evernote is cloud-based storage for snippets of information that you come across on a daily basis. Being cloud-based, you can access the information from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Your information is stored in Evernote notebooks. You can have as many notebooks as you like, letting you categorise your information and choose what information you share with others or keep private. You can also tag your information to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Using Evernote

Evernote provides free software that enables you to save any snippets of information that you come across. These snippets of information can be anything from text notes to pictures. Basically, anything that you can save on your computer can be saved to an Evernote notebook.

In addition to the Evernote software there is also an Evernote Web Clipper. This is an extension available for most popular Web browsers that lets you save sections of Web pages, entire Web pages, or just the Web page address. In many ways using the Web Clipper is a bit like adding a Web page to your Favourites, except that with Evernote, the saved Web content is available on any computer that’s connected to the Internet.

As well as saving information for your own reference, you can also share it with others. This information can be shared via e-mail, or you can share it via Twitter or Facebook. As an example, you could use Evernote to capture any mentions of your company’s products or services on the Internet and post those to your Twitter account to share them with your followers. There is also Web-based access to your shared information, so the people you share your information with do not need to install the Evernote software to view it.

You get a unique Evernote e-mail address which you can use to e-mail snippets of information to your Evernote notebook when you are when you are using someone else’s computer. This would be useful if you were working at a client’s site and came across something you wanted to save for future reference or share with your team.

Mobile access

Where Evernote really comes into its own is on mobile devices. Versions of the Evernote software are available for just about all modern tablets and smartphones. The mobile device software enables you to capture information on your tablet or smartphone and save it to your Evernote notebook.

As well as saving text notes, you can also use your mobile device’s camera or microphone to create information. Say you are on site. You can take a picture using your smartphone’s camera and upload that to your Evernote notebook to instantly share that image with your team.

Alternatively, in a meeting you can use your smartphone’s microphone to record the conversation to share that with your team back at the office the moment the meeting has finished, or use your smartphone as a dictaphone to dictate letters and e-mails for your secretary to type up for you while you are out. You can also access all of the information stored in your Evernote notebooks via your mobile device.

The Evernote Trunk

The Evernote Trunk provides access to additional software and hardware that adds functionality. Some of it is provided by Evernote, and some of it is provided by third parties. A lot of it is aimed towards personal rather than business use. However, there are products such as scanners that can scan directly into Evernote that businesses could find useful. Some of the applications in the Evernote Trunk will only work with certain devices such as the iPhone or iPad. Most of it costs extra.

Does it add value?

Evernote works really well, especially when used in conjunction with a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. Realistically, that’s when you are going to need it most and on that front, it’s ideal. Having said that, with the free account you are limited to 60MB of uploads per month. That doesn’t go far if you are uploading anything other than just basic text notes.

The premium account increases that to 1GB of uploads per month and costs £4/month or £35/year. If you aren’t going to be using Evernote in conjunction with a mobile device, there are other cloud-based storage options that are completely free and work just as well. But the way that it works with mobile devices makes Evernote well worth considering for people that need to capture information on the move.

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