I tried Evernote for the first time in the summer of 2010. It was getting a lot of hype and some people I knew and respected were big fans so I signed up but could never really get in to it.
Then when I started at the current job two things changed – 1) I was going to be working with an iPad so wanted to make the most out of that in the inevitable meeting onslaught and 2) I realised just how many notebooks I was burning through and just how many I was misplacing or losing.
I settled on Evernote mainly because it was the one I remembered and that it had a premium option – I try to avoid relying on anything free these days as they seem to inevitably disappear just when you are completely locked in!
The discovery of Penultimate and its integration with Evernote which meant my scribbles using my stylus would be indexed and searchable was a huge moment for me – I use this app constantly in meetings and it has revolutionised my note taking. They are actually useful *and* findable now!
The recent addition of Reminders means I am experimenting with to-do lists for the first time really – in the past I’ve basically just relied on a combination of my calendar, email and memory – but a combination of old age and Lotus Notes are screwing with that so this seems a good idea. Its early days though and still not natural for me.
This article on Lifehacker really made the whole thing click for me and like it suggests I chuck pretty much everything into Evernote now – I clip webpages, create notes to myself, use Skitch for screenshots – it is the repository for both my work and my blogging with scraps of notes and saved pages making up the foundation of about 90% of the content on this blog recently (for better or ill).
As Google Reader sprints towards the grave one of the big features I have been looking for in a replacement is decent integration with Evernote (and a decent Android client) so far thats been a deal breaker for the main contenders.
The fact it syncs across my iPad, Air, Nexus4 and the web version I can actually access in the office is invaluable and I think in general I am still only scratching the surface of its capabilities. I am not linking between notes or even really creating many notebooks but I am going to start experimenting more with both of those in the future.
In just a couple of months it has reached the point that I wonder what I did before it really (well I know – there is a pile of Field Notes and Moleskine notebooks on the bookshelf next to me – the ones I didn’t lose!) and I look forward to learning more of its capabilities over the next couple of months.