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Evernote which is currently in private beta, is a very versatile note-taking application that has powerful and commendable features that make it really useful. It has the capability to make you a rockstar note taker.

evernote_logo While previously mentioned Uber Note Easy Note Taking with ÃœberNote Easy Note Taking with ÃœberNote Read More can be accessed only via your browser, Evernote can be accessed via your desktop, web and mobile. Evernote is not just another note taking application where you just copy paste text and images – it can do much more than that.

How does Evernote work?

When using Evernote, you can capture all your stuff – web pages, to do lists, your handwriting, images whatever. What Evernote does however is – instead of storing all of these as just images and handwriting – it recognizes the individual elements and characters present in those and makes them all searchable.

As their page explains, there are currently four ways to add stuff into your Evernote notes repository. You can:

  • Type – Just enter your notes manually
  • Capture – Capture images from your digicam or webcam and insert them into your notes
  • Clip – Scrap web pages or pictures from your computer
  • Email – Email notes to Evernote when you can’t access the apps
  • Record – Tape your voice and embed them into your notes

Using the Evernote Desktop Application

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In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to dive into the desktop application that Evernote provides to capture notes. I’ll be talking about its salient features. Evernote is available as a desktop app for Windows and Mac.

The Windows desktop application for Evernote is a bit huge at around 52 MB, but once you install it, you’re probably going to love it. Start up the application after installation and you’ll be asked to enter your username and password that you created during sign up. When that’s over, the default interface will open up:


Click New Note in the toolbar and start typing your notes. Clicking on the small square icon to the right of each note opens up that individual note in a new window for you to edit. Click on the rectangular icon to the extreme left near the note toggles text/drawing mode. When you click it for the first time, you’ll be taken to the drawing mode and you can directly draw using a pen tool over your note, like this:


Basic drawing tools are present.

Using the Synchronize button from the toolbar, you can sync notes with the Evernote server so that you can access them from your mobile and the web. Clicking on Email opens up the default email client on your computer with the note in the message field so that you can send it to anyone. You can use the Tag button to tag notes for efficient searching and sorting later.

You can export notes and save a local copy to import them later. To export your notes, press Ctrl + Shift + X together.

Perhaps the most useful tool built into Evernote is the Universal Clipper that can be launched from the Tools menu. Universal Clipper sits on the system tray. Select an item from anywhere and press the Win + A key to save the selection as a new note. To clip a screenshot of the current view, just press Win + PrintScreen and you’re done. The Universal Clipper starts up when Windows starts, but you can alter this from the settings.


Right click the Universal Clipper Icon and select Show/Hide Floating Window. The window has two buttons. Click on the green button on the right and you can instantly capture any area in your screen and save it as a note.

When you’ve got a pile of notes built up and when you want to find that one note that you saved earlier, just type the keywords/tags in the search bar on the top right and there you see the matching results highlighted in yellow.

I’d advise you to toggle the note list into display using the F10 key. This divides the window into two panels and you’ll see the list of notes you’ve created on top and the selected note at the bottom.


From the tools menu, you can install the Evernote portable edition to your USB key. You can use the Note > Import Wizard to import settings from your mobile device or a folder on your computer.

Evernote Web Version

You can sign into to your Evernote account from the Evernote website, and you can manage all your notes from the browser itself when you don’t have the desktop app installed.

I wouldn’t say the web version is very smooth and polished like the desktop app, but still it should prove quite OK for your needs. If you saved any notes using the desktop app, you’ll see them here since they’ve all been synchronized.


The web version has got all the tools similar to the desktop app to help you manage your notes – like tagging, searching, etc. There’s also a bookmarklet that you can drag to your browser and save selections on web pages instantly to your notes. Firefox users can get the extension for Evernote to take notes from inside their browser.

Evernote Mobile App

Evernote is currently available for Windows mobiles, but apps for Java ME phones and the iPhone are coming soon. Just like the desktop and web versions, you can create and clip notes from your Windows mobile to Evernote and then sync them up.

Here are some screenshots of the Evernote mobile app in action (Thanks to Ross who offered the screenshots!):


Evernote Search:


Evernote Advanced Options:


Final Thoughts

Considering that note taking applications are getting popular by the day, Evernote could simply serve as your most friendly note taker, wherever you go. There are a myriad of things that you could do with it – once you learn how to use it.

From taking notes about your subjects/classes, blog post ideas, to-do lists, saving random stuff from the web for later reference, and lots more – Evernote could do them all. And the best thing is the sync feature because of which you’ll be able to access your notes not just from your desktop, but also from your mobile and the web. Install the portable edition – and you can store notes when you switch between computers that don’t have an internet connection.

Free Evernote Invites Giveaway

The Evernote guys have offered a hundred invites for MakeUseOf readers. If you need an invite to try out Evernote, just send an email to with the subject “Evernote Invite” and I’ll send them over to your inbox.

UPDATE : Sorry guys, we’re out of invites. Check out comments maybe you can find some there.

If you’ve tried any other note taking app before, do tell us in the comments!

  1. Doug
    January 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Anyone else having this problem? Via the web site, when I paste a moderately long file into a new "note", the "save" button disappears? IE6.

  2. heart
    July 28, 2008 at 10:12 am

    you know, i was really excited about getting my hands on evernote beta invite, but now, that i have read this entry: ?

    I feel kind of... strange I guess. 40MB of *monthly* upload?

    I have gmail , 6 GB, and more coming, and before evernote, I have been using gmail with to send a copy of virtually everything, that interests me, to my gmail account, and make it searchable.
    per day, I usually have 40 to 50 websites, that I save with

    I honestly dont know, how much space i use within one month with gmail, since there are also every day 40 newsletters.

    but right now, I dont see a huge incentive of using evernote to replace gmail and apart from the sync effect to cell phones and such.

    and their desktop application that is as huge as 50 MB as exe file.

    I wish there was an article addressing this upload monthly limit.

  3. Patrik
    June 19, 2008 at 2:20 am

    I use David RM's Journal for writing my blog posts and Eluma for online web research.
    I'm quite unsure how Evernote will help me. I have alot of files on my computer but since I have a good structure I can find what I'm looking for quite fast without Evernote.
    If I get a call that I need to jot down something to remember I might use Evernote, but I can't see that I would like to keep that note in Evernote for long.
    When the caller is done I can review the note and place it where it belongs and then delete it from Evernote.

    It just seems Evernote doesn't add much other than another bin to me. As another commenter said in another blog post.

    If I'm hungry I go in the kitchen and look in the fridge. If I need schampoo I go look in the bathroom. What Evernote seems to do is take all this and throw it into a large bin. So next time I need something I must search through the bin

    This isn't entirely correct I think as Evernote references the original file. So instead of actually putting in the schampoo in the bin it just throws in a note where the schampoo is. I would still find the schampoo unless it was missplaced. If it was missplaced I would just put it in the correct place.

    I wonder if I am missing something or I might just don't need Evernote.

  4. Mark Fulton
    April 25, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Testing Evernote out its pretty sweet, kind of like a web based MS OneNote... which is very cool. I think I can even import my notes to Evernote.

    I have 10 invites to share, just contact me if interested :)

  5. Shankar Ganesh
    April 24, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Guys, I've got a new batch of invites.

    88 remaining, let me know if anyone needs any!

    Just shoot a mail to with the subject "Evernote Invite" and I'll be glad to send them over to you :)

    • Shankar Ganesh
      May 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

      I'm now out of those invites too.

      Please look for Evernote invites elsewhere. Thanks.

  6. Verdican
    April 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    This is a bit late since there is only an hour and a half left until the deadline, and I'm sorry for not posting it sooner. The folks at Evernote are extremely happy to have a million notes on their platform. As a result, they are offering open registrations for today only. You have an hour and a half left to register. Good luck and have fun with this extremely handy applications.

  7. JoNathan
    April 24, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Would love to try the beta ... if you have an invite and would be willing to share please contact me at j.fietzer AT yahoo DOT com.

  8. Marc
    April 24, 2008 at 7:51 am

    You can just sign up for the beta program - at least, that's what I did. :)

  9. Ellen
    April 23, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Great review. I've been using Evernote for a few weeks now and stopped using Google Notebook. I love Evernote. Also, if you use Jott which takes voice calls from your mobile phone and converts them into email you can set it up so you can call in notes to your Evernote account using your Evernote email address. It's great to be able to call in notes.

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

      Ahh! This is a great and innovative use! Thanks for telling us.

  10. Nxqd3051990
    April 23, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I have 10 invitation, who want email me
    I'm not spammner, I want to do sth ^^

  11. Shankar Ganesh
    April 23, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Update: All 100 invites have already been distributed. There was just a lot of interest in this application!

  12. Shankar Ganesh
    April 23, 2008 at 2:26 am

    I have only a few more left now!

  13. Sankaranand
    April 22, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    i was searching for an alternative to notepad and i think evernote has everything i wanted for.. send me an invite... i just want my play hands on it..

  14. Shankar Ganesh
    April 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Hey all,

    I have just 39 invites remaining now. Grab one by sending an email to with the subject Evernote Invite

  15. Nik
    April 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I tried this when it was on Giveaway of the Day, but I didn't think it beat One Note just yet. So, I stuck with One Note. I didn't feel it was worth moving a year's worth of school stuff over.

    A large improvement from the original version however!

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm

      I don't know, but Evernote just seems to be a great, usable application. I've tried OneNote before, and Evernote is certainly comparable with OneNote

  16. god below
    April 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    evernote is a great application -- easy to use, syncs flawlessly and pretty clean looking overall. my only gripe is that it's not compatible with tiger so i have to either opt for the windows xp version or just hang online most of the time, but then again i should probably upgrade to leopard by now.

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm

      I think they're working on an OS X version.

      • Shankar Ganesh
        April 23, 2008 at 3:19 am

        LOL sorry it's you who has to upgrade your Mac :P

  17. Keith
    April 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Ive been using Evernote since 2.2 and have been using 3 since March and I love it. A couple of the points that I think you might have missed. With the ink note as the call it, you can select the words that you drew into it and it will recognize them for searching. Also the search that they have is amazing. It can find words inside of pictures and has good handwriting recognition, its far from perfect but I've had pretty good luck with it.

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 22, 2008 at 9:59 pm

      Wow, yes I missed it. Thanks for the heads up ;)

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