Our daily lives continue to become more and more overwhelmed with information. The problem that most of us face now is finding an efficient way to keep all of that information organized in a fashion that makes it easy to find what we’re looking for.
Evernote has got to be one of the best solutions for taking notes for just about everything imaginable. Whether it be creating to-do lists, shopping lists, or clipping stuff from the Web…Evernote does it all. Check out some of the amazing features that it includes, and it’s all free:
- Note Formats: Create notes in multiple formats, including text, Web, email, handwriting, image clips and custom templates.
- Multiple Categories: I’m not sure if categories is really the right name for these because they behave more like tags. Basically you can add as many categories to a note as you want.
- Powerful SmartSearch: Multiple methods for finding notes: visually, by time, categories, automatic labeling and keywords, complete with matching note count.
- Web & Email Clipper: Instantly add web pages and emails into EverNote from Internet Explorer, Outlook, Mozilla Firefox or Thunderbird using an ‘Add to EverNote’ button along with context menus.
- Drag & Drop files: Drag & drop or paste text with images from any applications into EverNote.
- To Dos and Note Templates: Create and monitor To-Do lists, expenses, contacts and other common note templates. Here are some examples of the different templates (click to enlarge a screenshot):
- Embedded To?Dos: Click Ctrl-Shift-C or right-click and select “Insert To-Do checkbox” anywhere in your notes to place a checkbox at the cursor position in any note. This means the note will automatically appear in the To-Do category until all of the boxes are checked off.
- Send notes via IM: Drag-and-drop your notes into Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Skype and other IMs to instantly transfer interesting bits of info to your buddies.
- Keep Your Sensitive Info Secure: Encrypt notes you want to keep private or protect from accidental changes or deletion. You can also password protect an entire EverNote database.
- Backup: Automatic and manual backup are available via the Tools>Options>Backup tab.
- Note History: All changes to edited notes in “History Notes”.
One of the cool things with Evernote is that you never have to think twice about saving your notes because it is done automatically while you work.
The Web Clipper is a very integral part of Evernote for myself. In Firefox it just adds a small icon next to the address bar, and clicking on that button will automatically create a new note from any of the content highlighted on the page. This is a very quick process and doesn’t require any other interaction. Once the note is saved you’ll see a little popup in the corner of your screen that you can always click on to edit the newly created note:
There is also an experimental feature that they currently have available called the Universal Clipper (pictured to the right). This is a separate download and once installed you will be able to quickly note just about anything by using double-clicking on the Universal Clipper icon in your System Tray. As seen in the screenshot, you can even specify an area on your screen to store in a note.
There is also an EverNote Plus version available for those who need synchronization capabilities or handwriting recognition features. I think most people will be content with the free version of Evernote since there is no time or note limitation, but Tablet PC users may find those more advanced features useful.
Thanks for the tip JavaSharp!