To the test – Evernote software
by Keris Lahiff
Software is available for almost every business task required from accounting to human resources. However, in an increasingly mobile workplace and with our information society skyrocketing out of control, keeping track of all your ideas, inspirations and notes can become a full-time job in itself. Thankfully, software can now act as secretary to your brain – it's about time!
Evernote software has identified and effectively solved the problem of information overload. The software recognises how much information an individual is bombarded with daily and how difficult it is to retain those tidbits of interest.
In essence, it’s an external brain, an interactive scrapbook, an e-diary, and a digital filing cabinet. It captures all the things that pique your interest – whether it a text note, snapshot, web clip, audio bite or article – and saves it for retrieval later.
With Evernote, you can effectively capture any and all bytes of information, as simply as creating a note or even taking a snapshot.
And, for those perpetually lost in their website bookmarks or wanting to recall online articles of interest, Evernote offers a handy tool in the web clipper. This installs a button at the top pane of your browser of choice so when you come upon a website of interest that you want to retrieve later, simply click the button and it saves the link and HTML text as a note in your Evernote bank.
Once you’ve collated your information, Evernote automatically organises it according to date. The software also allows you to custom organise with the use of tags (so corresponding notes can be grouped easily), note titles and notebooks. The notebook feature works as a folder organisation system, where notes can be filed according to an elected project name.
Find and retrieve
Up to this point, the features offered in Evernote are similar to many software filing programs. But what sets it apart, its truly killer feature is its retrieval system. Evernote utilises cloud-computing functionality, which means information is not stored locally on your hard drive but is stored all in one central web-based location, otherwise known as ‘the cloud’.
Evernote allows you to access an online bank of your clippings, snapshots, links or post-its through your Evernote account (the apps for which can be downloaded onto your desktop computer, smartphone, laptop or tablet and has both Mac and Windows-compatible downloads). This means your notes are right at your fingertips, available from anywhere you have access to an internet connection and the software.
Or, if accessing on a foreign computer without the software downloaded already, Evernote can set up mobile access through a URL, meaning you can type your Evernote-allocated web address into any internet-equipped device to retrieve your notes and clippings. You can even make your notes public to share certain information with colleagues and friends by providing them with the URL.
The software also utilises optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which reads and interprets text in images, so any snapshot you take of a post-it or whiteboard, for example, will store that snapshot and when you search later for the text in the snapshot, it will retrieve the image.
And, for those living in fear of computer failure, Evernote automatically synchronises all notes with your online bank, so data back up is a non-issue. Plus, all information, particularly that of a sensitive nature, can be password-protected and encrypted.
Free vs. paid app
The program is available for free download and it is incredibly functional and has infinite possibilities for your note taking or information storage needs.
For increased functionality, there is a premium version available for download for $5 a month or $45 annually.
The difference between the free and premium versions are non-essential. While the free version limits the monthly upload allowance to 40MB (which you’ll find difficult to fill unless excessively posting photos or audio files), the premium version has 500MB monthly upload allowance, increased security features and customer support, and a more reliable OCR (image recognition) service. It’s best to download the free app first, then, if you find you are limited by its capabilities, upgrade (even though at $45pa, the premium version is unbelievably cheap for such useful software).
For those drowning in post-its and ideas, this could be life-changing software.
Published on: Thursday, December 09, 2010