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SOFTWARE

Evernote: a Lightweight Organizational App
By: Joe Eitel
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    2010-06-08

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    Evernote: a Lightweight Organizational App


    (Page 1 of 2 )

    Evernote promises to keep us from ever losing the little scraps, inspirations and bits of information we come across in our day-to-day lives that we want to save. This free application, designed for your cell phone and other platforms, takes what you feed it and indexes it on the Internet. Let's take a closer look and find out why so many users are in love with Evernote.

    In his celebrated book In our Time, the famous writer Tom Wolfe poses this question: What if “the greatest artist in the history of the world, impoverished and unknown,” suddenly gets the inspiration to create the greatest work of art in the history of the world…but he doesn’t have any writing utensils or paper? At the end of the story we find out that this no-name artist ends up sketching this brilliant piece of art on a fast food restaurant napkin using his finger and New York City tap water, only to see it disappear into thin air seconds later and as a result, die of a broken heart.

    Never mind the fact that a starving artist would never be able to afford this technology; the point of all of this is that, had he been familiar with Evernote and had an Internet-enabled phone, this tragedy would have never occurred. Kind of a far-fetched story, but you get the idea.

    Evernote is an incredibly interesting new online application that invites users to “remember everything” in their “notable world.” In short, it enables us to save all of our ideas, the things we see, and the things we like on our computer or cell phone. This information is then stored and indexed on the web, allowing us to easily search for and retrieve whatever brilliant ideas, recipes, business cards, photographs, or other random bits of inspirational or work-related information we come across during the course of our day. Just think of it, you’ll never have to keep track of individual notes, Web pages, photographs, business cards, e-mail messages, voice memos, or scraps of paper again; and best of all, it’s free.

    According to the company, their goal “is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient.” Evernote’s chief executive, Phil Libin, is even a little surprised as to how quickly the application has caught on and the many ways it is currently being used.

    According to Libin, Evernote currently has about two million users and is thriving with “people in the world who aren’t satisfied with their natural brains and need to remember more.”  It’s not just the number of people using the application that’s fascinating to Libin, but the vast array of different kinds of people who’ve found this easy-to-use application useful to their everyday lives. “At first I expected the service to be popular with productivity-obsessed people, but I’m surprised at how many other types of people discovered it,” Libin said.

    The chief executive has heard of both clothing and interior designers using the application in order to remember outfits or rooms they liked. Reportedly, scientists and reporters are also flocking to the application and using it as a way to stay organized and make their research, interviews and other important information more easily accessible when writing articles, studies, and books. Evernote even found a farmer who uses the app to keep tabs on his cows and a chef at a busy restaurant who uses Evernote to track ingredients from various vendors, discover new ingredients, and create new recipes and menus, among other important tasks.

    This is not to say that this application is only ideal for those with hectic schedules and even more intense working conditions. If you’re a student or simply looking for a more organized way to gather your thoughts, Evernote may prove to be very helpful. Sure, this all sounds easy enough, but is it? Let’s find out more about Evernote and how this Mountain View, California-based start-up recently managed to raise $10 million to expand to new platforms and move beyond the United States.

    User Interfaces and Accessibility

    Evernote has only been around since June of 2008, but it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular organizational programs on the Internet, with most users reporting they use it at least once a day. So, why has Evernote become so popular? Two reasons: it helps users get things done, and it’s an excellent, generalized tool that helps them sort out their daily --  and often unorganized -- lives.

    Visually speaking, Evernote is pretty straightforward and incredibly well-designed. The user interface is simple, attractive, clean, and streamlined, with the application’s main features clearly laid out in a way that makes them easily accessible. At first, some kinks in the applications operating system were reported, but that was well over a year ago. Now, each form of the system works perfectly.

    Evernote can be used on the web, on Windows or Mac, and on mobile devices such as the iPhone, among others. Users don’t even have to download the application if they don’t want to, and if they don’t, there aren’t any downfalls. They can still sign in and use Evernote’s wide array of tools, which is especially useful for users who want to access the application from different computers. So, whether someone accesses Evernote through the application’s website, in offline mode, or using their mobile phone, all the features and tools will remain the same and be just as easily accessible as they would be on any other device or medium.

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