24 March 2011

Why Evernote has won my heart: An Ode

I'm in love! With a cloud note-taking program that is.  If I love it so much why don't I marry it you say?  MAYBE I WILL.  I'm thinking a summer wedding, so as not to compete with William and Kate's nuptials...

BUT ANYHOW, I have spent the past year (or longer) searching for the perfect cloud replacements for all my go-to software, and I found a lot of good ones.  However, I still hadn't come up with a suitable replacement for MS OneNote.  It was driving me insane.  I rely on OneNote to supplement my infamously spacey memory, as well as satisfy my secret obsession for militant organization and overly-complex filing systems.

In all my searching, Evernote was the only software that came close to doing what I needed.   Last year, I dabbled in Evernote, but hesitated to make the switch for one major reason:  my life was already in OneNote.  Since OneNote files (.one) are totally proprietary, I felt trapped.  Either I painstakingly cut and paste every important note into Evernote, or I stick with bulky, expensive and poorly cloud-integrated OneNote (Yes Gates, I know about MS SkyDrive, and it kinda sucks).  Not to mention the fact that the OneNote syncing and backup process is a total mystery to me, which makes me uncomfortable.

But I recently discovered that in late 2010, Evernote Windows changed my life forever.  Evernote now imports OneNote notes, automatically filing them in a new notebook with the right name, with tags based on their OneNote sections.  AND it doesn't make you find the OneNote files on your computer (which, as I said, I don't understand), it just finds them itself, and then asks you which notes you want from which notebook.  HELLO AMAZING.

Evernote has some other awesome features as well, like the new "Trunk."  The trunk is basically an app store, but for every platform, and also hardware. And all of it interacts with Evernote in some way.  For example, there are several iPad apps (and Blackberry apps, and Android apps, and iPod apps, etc) that will gather information (drawings with a stylus, video recording, pictures of receipts, etc) and send them directly to Evernote.  There are also a list of scanners that can send directly to Evernote, as well as more efficient note managers that sync, and of course the Chrome Evernote Web Clipper Extension and Chrome app.

All of this plus tagging, which is a way more intelligent organizational system than folder.  And a super cool elephant  logo, which is really, really important.  If I'm going to be clicking on an icon almost every day, it better be damn good lookin'.

Thus concludes my confession of love.  Expect the save-the-dates in the mail soon.

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