Among productivity tools, Evernote is one of the most widely used. And for good reason: it offers on-the-go workers an easy means of categorizing notes, PDFs, images, sound recordings and other data.
Evernote provides a central hub for managing all the minutiae that comes with being a road warrior. With Evernote, there's no need to piece together a week's worth of information scrawled on sticky notes and napkins. The tool allows you to stay organized from the start.
Simple notes can be created natively within the app, and collections of notes can be categorized into albums, allowing users to segment data into projects. These notes can be automatically backed up to a master copy in the cloud and revisions can be automatically synced to all a user's devices. The cloud repository can also store and access files created outside the service and attach them to notes. Voice memos and images can be recorded using a smartphone or tablet's onboard hardware, and Evernote handles them just like it does all the other notes in a user's account.
Quickly looking up travel plans is no sweat with Evernote, and it's easy to add notes whenever appropriate, such as to document a last-second agenda change. Because the revisions sync to the cloud, a user doesn't have to worry about updating other devices. What's more, the automated syncing can facilitate remote collaboration by making the newest notes available to all the members of a team. Cameras can be used to turn business cards into PDFs, for example, or to store images of a whiteboard during a meeting and quickly archive a few notes alongside the image.
Evernote is also flexible. Available both as an app and a Web service, it can be accessed on virtually any device. OS support includes Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android as well as Chrome OS, WebOS, BlackBerry. Evernote also applies optical character recognition, enabling it to search any text in an image.
Evernote isn't perfect, of course. Each version of the app works a bit differently, so the experience of getting content into and out of Evernote can be inconsistent.
There's also the matter of Evernote's security. It provides password protection and encryption, but if you want additional fortifications such as more granular layers of password protection, you'll need to pony up for the Premium service ($5.00 per month or $45 per year), or the Business program ($10 per user per month, slated to launch in December).
That said, the Premium account includes nice service bumps, such as boosting monthly uploads caps, eliminating ads, and supporting larger files and text searches within PDFs.
And though additional apps can add complexity, they also create an ecosystem, which many users will consider more of a benefit than a burden. In fact, Evernote has been successful not only because it integrates note-keeping and archiving into a single UI but also because it can connect with so many other services and tools.