To be honest Evernote isn’t the note taking app that I’d prefer to use, I’d rather use Catch because it had everything I needed and nothing I didn’t. Sadly though Catch ended and I was floating around for an app that I could record my notes which also allowed me to edit them on the internet via my browser. I was also getting tired of apps who sold out or terminated like Astrid, IMO and Catch. Enter Evernote, it’s a big company with lots of users and hype on the internet. Sure it has a lot of bloat but it is not going away any time soon, which means a lot to me. With in excess of 200 notes I need something that I can keep organised.
What does the App claim it can do?
The authors at the Evernote Corporation claim that it is a modern workspace that allows you to sync between all of your devices. The app is suppose to free you from the dilemma of losing where you put your notes on that particular topic that you were brainstorming, all of your notes are available in Evernote. You can organise documents, photos, ideas, verbal notes, make checklists, collaborate with colleagues and more.
The free version still allows you to attach documents, collaborate and track business expenses and business cards, but the free version is not quite the app for the business man. If you really want it to be your choice of business tool then you will have to pay a subscription fee. Lets face it though, for the average Joe the free version has more than enough features.
Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?
It absolutely does allow for you to make it the note taking app where you can store all your thoughts and collaborate with others. I’ve used it to compile my thoughts when I wasn’t using a mind-mapping tool and have shared that thought with friends. I’ve used it record sermons at church and one liner notes taken on the fly. I could add much more to this but there’s already plenty of reviews for Evernote.
To be honest I haven’t really used all the features of Evernote, or integrated it to everything on my phone. I could use it to remind me to do that thing that I was suppose to do, and keep all my ToDo’s in a separate notebook with tags and due dates and times. I could use it to store photos and documents, but I do none of these. I use DGT GTD for my ToDo’s because it’s purpose built for that and has the right repeats that I need. I use QuickPic for my photo management, because that’s what it’s made for. My documents are typically kept in Copy.com or Google Drive because they can be downloaded or edited from that software which is made for that sort of thing. If however you want to do all this within Evernote, you can.
What do I like most about the App?
I hope that I haven’t put you, the reader, off of Evernote with my ramblings about the bloat and extra features that I don’t like because there’s quite a few things that I really do like about this app.
I like the Notebook implementation. This way I can keep work related notes separate from my sermon notes or my personal ramblings in journal notes. Even though I try not to, I like that you can even create nested notebooks.
I like how I can create multiple tags for each note to group the notes even further. I like how I can nest the tags to keep them organised and uncluttered.
I like the web interface and the Mac application.
The best feature that I like about Evernote is that it is available on all my devices. I can sync from my Android phone, to my Android tablet and have everything available on my Mac or available on the web anywhere that there’s a computer.
What’s not to like about it?
There’s too many features for my liking. The app for the phone is so bloated that it takes a long time to load on my phone. I seriously don’t think that it’s the number of notes since I don’t have that many yet (233 text only). I really think that the application is too big. I would really enjoy a lite version that has just the basics. I hear on the net that Evernote people might be culling all the bloat, or at least making the bugs go away. Maybe they might make it work faster on lower end devices (here’s hoping)
What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?
I’ve got a couple saved searches that I use that are based on a set of tags, but there’s no way to combine them so that I can see all of one tag and all of the other where neither of them have a different tag (Eg (TagA OR TagB) NOT TagC). This is not even possible by combining searches. Again, this is a niggle because for the most part, the search feature is quite good.
Another niggle is that while you can organise the tags in a hierarchy you can’t search for tags in that hierarchy. For example, I may have tags for my friends, acquaintances and work contacts for tagging notes that relate to them. I may now want to search for all the notes related to my work contacts however unless I add the parent tag(“Work Contacts”) to all the notes that relate to people it’s not possible. This is actually something which would be very handy however, at the moment, there’s no easy way to do this.
Why did I decide to keep/remove it?
I am really only using this app because there’s nothing else out there that allows me to easily sync to all my devices that aren’t going to disappear any time soon. At this stage, I’d drop Evernote in a heartbeat if there was something out there like Catch that I could be confident in that offers tags, notebooks and syncing. Mind you, if Evernote brought out a Lite version that is quick and responsive for lower end phones I might not bother.
Would my wife use it?
My wife tried it on her phone but she found that all the emails from Evernote and the bloat put her off. The app was just too slow and cumbersome for her to use it.