Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

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evernote food   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

What’d you have for breakfast this morning? How about two weeks ago? And hey, remember that time you and your friends went to that really fancy Japanese restaurant? If you’re a bit fuzzy on the last two questions (or even on the first), Evernote Food is a great way to answer them. I covered Evernote Food for Android before, when all it could do was log your meals. Now it’s time to give it another look, thanks to an all-new version that adds fun ways to track down new recipes and restaurants, as well as a fresh new look.

We’re big fans of Evernote here at MakeUseOf: We’ve previously shown you why you should be using it to remember everything, five uses for its desktop clients, as well as ten unique uses for Evernote itself. But even if you’re not so big on the core Evernote service, Evernote Food can be used on its own, and you don’t even have to have Evernote installed on your device.

Getting Started and Exploring Recipes

Evernote Food does a good job laying out its main features as you launch it:

evernote food 01   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

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Right off the bat, two things become obvious: It’s a beautiful app, and it lets you work with recipes, restaurants, and meals. Let’s dig into the Explore Recipes screen:

evernote food 02   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

This mouth-watering screen pulls in recipes from a selection of food blogs (preconfigured with Evernote Food — those are some lucky food bloggers). The “huge thumbnail” aesthetic shown here carries through the rest of the app, as you will see later in the meal log. Tapping into a recipe, however, yields a disappointing result:

evernote food 03   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

Evernote Food simply serves up the original website, making no attempt to summarize it or even apply a phone-friendly layout (like Pocket does so well). Reading the recipe off a phone screen will involve lots of zooming and panning, and is really not that great of an experience. Zoomed in, the text becomes a scosh more readable, at the expense of cropped graphics:

evernote food 04   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

Tiny indeed. So yes, you can find new recipes using Evernote Food, but you’d be better off reading them off a tablet or a computer monitor. Fortunately, this is easy to do, because Evernote Food lets you clip those recipes to your own cookbook. Tap the familiar elephant icon in the top-right corner, and Evernote Food shows the clipping screen:

evernote food 05   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

By clipping the recipe, you will be able to access it from any other Evernote client (not just Evernote Food).

Finding and Clipping Restaurants

Evernote Food also includes a new screen for searching and clipping restaurants you’d like to eat in. Powered by Foursquare, you can use the feature both for searching nearby restaurants, and to prepare for an upcoming trip. Here’s a search for restaurants around London:

evernote food 10   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

An individual restaurant’s screen looks like this:

evernote food 11   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

It has pretty much everything you’d expect: The name, a Foursquare rating, a map and an address, a phone number, and sometimes even a few tiny images (which cannot be resized). Notably missing are reviews, but that’s understandable: Evernote is very much an individual experience, and by including crowdsourced social reviews the company would risk muddling its focus. Still, this limits the restaurant’s screen usefulness: If you’re serious about finding some good eating, you may have to use Evernote Food in combination with a tool like Urbanspoon or one of these other helpful apps for deciding where to eat.

The Heart of The App: Logging Meals

New features notwithstanding, Evernote Food’s raison d’être is logging meals. Whether you enjoy logging only special meals with friends or, like me, you use it as a diet log to record all of your meals, Evernote’s meal logging feature is the most mature part of the app, and remains pleasantly polished in this new release. This is what an individual meal looks like:

evernote food 12   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

You get plenty of fields to fill in, as well as automatic location tagging (which you can toggle off if you wish). New to this version, you can now pull down a gripper below the image to reveal a full-size photo:

evernote food 13   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

Evernote’s meal browser uses the same layout as the recipe browser, and the wide, generous thumbnails are just as effective:

evernote food 14   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

These are all photos I took with my own phone during routine use, and I can’t help but admire how nice Evernote Food makes my food look. Yes, I like chocolate — who doesn’t, really?

Making The Most Of Your Free Space Quota

I’d like to end off with one important trick. As a free Evernote user, you get a monthly storage quota of 60MB. If you use Evernote Food several times every day, this can fill up very quickly: A full-resolution 8MP image can easily take over half a megabyte. Fortunately, Evernote Food lets you pick what resolution you want the built-in camera to use:

evernote food 16   Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track Of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

If you go to the Settings screen and then pick Image Options, you’ll be able to set Image Size to Small (640×640). This is a completely adequate resolution for documenting your meals, and even for sharing particularly nice photos. If you intend to print photos of your food you might want to go for a higher resolution — but for most other use cases, 640×640 would be plenty. And photos at this resolution take up just a fraction of the space they’d otherwise take, stretching your 60MB monthly quota that much farther (in about a year of using Evernote Food, I have yet to hit my monthly quota even once).

Is Newer Always Better?

I can’t say I love all of the new additions in this version of Evernote Food. The new features are of limited use: One lets you browse recipes but doesn’t make it easy to actually read them, while the other lets you browse restaurants but doesn’t include diner reviews.  So, in the feature department, I’d have to say Evernote Food now suffers from a bit of bloat.

On the plus side, the new look works very well, and Evernote Food is a pleasure to use and browse. It remains my food log of choice on Android.

Do you log your meals? Do you use Evernote Food, or another app? Let me know below.

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9 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Shay Shaked

The new app looks good but it’s not really that functional, as you pointed out. I use Food to mark down location in general as well, like stores for example.

Reply

Ronny

Hi Erez,
I use evernote to clip recipes from the net (Jamie Oliver for example), and I thought evernote food can serve as my cookbook. However although I saved all the recipes in the same evernote notebook including those I clipped from the app itself not all of them are shown in the app. Any ideas why?

Erez Zukerman

That’s pretty weird. Did you try syncing manually? (Menu > Sync)

Reply

macwitty

I was very happy when Food got an update on Android, esp. for the recipe part. Can just say I’m not as happy any longer

1. You can not have a book in evernote with all your recipes and get them up in Food. You need to tag every recipe

2. Food is locked in portrait mode why you do not see the whole line when zooming up to normal reading size. I’m not sure the tablet like cooking-sticky fingers

No I think I have to find another way to store my recipes

Erez Zukerman

Totally agree; as I said in the post, this part just feels bloated. It’s not that hard for Evernote to create a parser like Pocket, that shows the recipe in a mobile-friendly way. But until they do that (if ever), this part of the app just isn’t useful.

Reply

Judith

Hmm, looks like a nice app. I will have to check it out more. I have a very picky digestive system so to find a good restaurant that I can eat at is a bonus.

Reply

Melnitz

It seems to only search the recipe name when you enter a term — why not give me ALL recipes featuring, e.g., rosemary?

Also I’d like to be able to search for two or three ingredients.

Reply

Delia

I have just downloaded the free version as I am looking for a way to store all my recipes and get rid of a file. My problem is I can work out how to make different categories eg Chicken/Fish/Salads/desserts????? I also can use the search to call up my meals???? Please help as I do like the look of the app

Reply

Erez Z

I’m afraid there doesn’t seem to be a way to categorize recipes… You might want to look at something like Paprika for that, although it costs money and your mileage may vary: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hindsightlabs.paprika

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