Archive for April, 2011

I finally gave in to the inevitable: Evernote

April 12, 2011  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

Last month I signed up for Evernote.  I suppose it was inevitable.  Like a force of nature.

I had been looking for a solution to manage all of the information we have accumulated from the internet, email lists, and other sources.  A year or two ago, I investigated the usual suspects:  Devon Think, Together (formerly K.I.T.), Yojimbo, Evernote, and others.  I settled on Yojimbo because it seemed more like a Mac application, and I just wasn’t sold on “the cloud” yet.  Besides, it seemed like Evernote was just a fancy interface to an online OCR service.

So I trudged along with Yojimbo, barely using it.  I showed it to people and exclaimed, “look how awesome this is!”  But mostly I still just saved PDFs to my folders (which are organized pretty well).

Of course, you can’t hang around the Mac community and not keep getting peppered with messages about Evernote.  The final straw was Evernote showing up in the new App Store (and all the associated press around how many people were downloading and using it).  I realized that Yojimbo would never work because I couldn’t collaborate with it.  But Evernote is all about collaboration.

Now that I have been using it for several weeks, I keep finding new uses for it.  The real power, as I am slowly learning, is in the tags.  With my superb folder structure, I can perfectly place an educational newsletter in the folder for that topic.  But it’s also a marketing piece that I might want to emulate someday.  How do I associate both concepts to this article?  With tags of course.

The same thing works with precedent.  Find a great case that relates to motions to dismiss for breach of contract?  No problem, just tag it for those two concepts and the case identifier.

Of course, all this was possible with Yojimbo.  But Evernote adds the ability for our entire team to share information this way.  It’s a little work staying on the same page as far as projects and tags.  But the added benefits have been completely worth it.

I don’t want to get carried away, but I am finding that Evernote may be greatly changing the way we process and use information (and I am still just scratching the surface in how to use it).

So count me among the Evernote masses now.