What’s the latest trend for Mac and PC users? Data synchronization between devices. In my never ending quest as the resident Mac360 Value Vixen™, I’m sworn to uphold the search for Frugal Apps which do more, cost less.
My latest find is a note taking, snippet keeping, idea bucket, a document grabber, and web clipper tool that goes about anywhere you go, and runs on about any device you’ll use. Even better, if you don’t mind an advertisement or two, it’s free.
Capture, Clip, Store, Free, And Green
First, the problem. Note applications abound for Mac and iPhone users. We have apps that collect and store and retrieve about any kind of information you can grab from the screen.
Second, most of them have one thing in common. Few features, no price tag. Or, price tag for more features.
Look, the world’s economy is in a shambles. What we need is a paradigm shift of practical proportions.
I’m in favor of Mac note apps, utilities that capture and store everything I can think of, but I want all those collected pieces on every device I’ve got.
We’re already into the 21st century, so as much as some utilities are nice in standalone mode, I’m not in standalone mode. I move around. So, give me the tools that move with me, already.
That means I want to capture and store and sync stuff from my Mac to my iPhone, perhaps to my husband’s new Android gizmo, to the PC at the office. How hard can that be?
Every Note Goes Into Evernote Everywhere
Free to the rescue. I’m deep into trying that which I haven’t tried before, a single system for capturing and storing all my stuff, an app, nay, an entire system that does it from everywhere and every which way but the moon.
There are two reasons. First, I hadn’t tried Evernote. Second, that list was for commercial tools, not free (look for the Top 12 FREE Tools on Friday). Evernote—drum roll, please—is free.
Getting started with Evernote is a breeze. Sign up online. Hey, I said it was free. That’s something close to with not obligation, but it costs less.
Much More Than Mere Mortal Notes
Here’s the skinny. Evernote is really a system. It’s an application that runs on almost anything. And it syncs to Evernote which means it syncs to whatever apps you’re using.
For example, if you’re on your Mac (I’m betting you are—raise your hands!), Evernote lets you create note, capture snippets, grab a web page or screenshot, save a document, even snap and save a photo.
Evernote keeps all your stuff safe and sound, stored away on various devices, or, just on your Mac or Windows PC.
Evernote does something like what Spotlight does on your Mac. All your stuff is indexed and processed, and it becomes searchable. You can create multiple notebooks, add tags to make items easier to find. Do it all from your Mac (or PC, or someone else’s Mac or PC), even your iPhone or iPod touch, and—dungeon music, please—even on Android phones, BlackBerry phone, the Palm Pre and Pixi, or even the dreaded, dreary, and oblivion bound Windows Mobile Phone (or, whatever they’re calling ‘em these days).
What does Evernote look like? How does it work. Read on to Page 2 for the walk through, the Unofficial Step-by-Step, and examples of how Evernote shows up on this or that device (and the secret that makes it green).
Continued from Page 1…
Evernote bills itself as One Account. Many Devices. That pretty much tells the story. Set up the account, download the Evernote application for your particular chosen device, set some Preferences, and you’re good to go.
The basics are exactly what 21st century infoholics really need. Access to the same stored information, but from different devices. That’s a trend that I expect to continue. Many iPhone apps sync their data seamless, wirelessly, easily with the Mac or Windows PCs.
The Evernote Web Clipper option works with Internet Explorer for PC users, and Safari for Mac users (there’s a Firefox extension, too), so all you need is a browser and—here it comes—you’re good to go. Again.
Setting up your Evernote preferences on the Mac is a breeze (after all, this is Mac360, right?).
Create multiple notebooks, decide what to do with your clips (and notes and other stuff), and configure Evernote to your tastes and requirements (click on any image for a larger, pop up view).
While Evernote is quite simple to set up and use, it’s also a good tool for Mac power users. Check out the keyboard shortcuts for those of you being weaned from point and click.
I said it would be easy. It’s also fun. For Mac users, the Evernote interface is a quick learn. What you see is what you get, quick to master, similar on all devices, and the only negative is what amounts to an obscure ad on the screen.
Check out the Evernote window. It’s not exactly Rocket Surgery or Brain Science.
Next up is the Evernote editing window for notes. You can create a note within Evernote’s app or from the Mac’s Menubar (now you know why Apple went to the widescreen design for Mac screens). It’s like a little word processor.
You can even email notes, clippings, snippet, etc., right from within Evernote. And, taking a cue from Apple’s MobileMe snazzy email application, Evernote has a Web 2.0-looking web page, so if you’re not on your Mac and are forced by the Demons of Microsoftia to use—gasp!—a PC, Evernote is still there to tell you it’s alright, and life will be good again as soon as you get back to your Mac.
Alright, enough about Evernote on the Mac and Windows PCs or in popular browsers. What else have you got? How about running Evernote on your mobile device? You’re in luck. Not only is there an iPhone App Store app for Evernote, there’s also versions for other so-called smart phones (compared to an iPhone they don’t look so smart, do they?).
Evernote runs on Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Pixi, and even Windows Mobile whatever. If you’ve got a phinger and a phone, you’re good to go.
What To Do With All This Magic?
It’s not really magic, you know. It’s just technology that’s eminently useful, and priced right. As in free (though there is an annual fee if you’re averse to seeing those scrawny advertisements).
Evernote does a lot. Use your phone to snap and store a business card. Capture and store receipts, plane tickets, confirmations.
Use your phone’s camera to capture the white board of an important meeting. Plan a trip using web pages, Google maps. Add sound clips (like a voice memo), video clips (right from your Mac’s iSight camera).
If you tweet you can create notes using Twitter (sometimes something so cool can have a feature that’s more of a solution looking for a problem). I don’t normally go ga ga over an application with ads, but these are unobtrusive and Evernote just does so much and is priced so right.
Did I mention that Evernote is green? Yeah, well, it’s just the color scheme of the web site instead of some kind of affiliation with whaling-ship-chasing Greenpeace dudes. But, hey, green is green. This one is, but just doesn’t cost any green (apologies to non-US based Mac360 readers who may have a currency that is not green).