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.
While previously mentioned Uber Note 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
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 Advanced Options:
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 email@example.com 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!