Fri, Apr 22, 2011

Gadgets, Online Life

Remember Everything.

Pretty bold slogan, right?

Head to Evernote, and that’s what you will see. Evernote offers its users the ability to save anything that they want. If you can type it, scan it, say it or photograph it you can store it in Evernote note. Even better, once it’s in there, you can able to file it in a notebook, categorize it and tag it and ultimately search for it. You can then access that information from anywhere with an internet connection. PC’s, Blackberrys, Android phones, iPhones… it doesn’t matter.

Capture Anything – Organize It – Find Anything Fast

Throughout the year, receipts for donations, whether they are physical receipts or confirmation e-mails are bound to get lost. We put them on our dresser, they sit there for months, and then we toss them in an envelope, never to be found again. Not with Evernote. If it is a physical receipt, I scan it into Evernote and then shred it. I then file it in my “Taxes” notebook and tag it with “2011”. When it’s time to do my taxes, I open the Taxes folder and search for “2011” and everything is there. Oh, and if it’s an e-mail confirmation for a donation, I simply forward it to Evernote using the e-mail address they provide me. Add @taxes #2011 (notebooks and tags) to the subject, and it’s filed accordingly.

Another great feature is optical character recognition (“OCR”). If you scan a document into Evernote, you will be able to search the document itself (provided the type is legible to begin with). Perfect example – when I originally set up Evernote I had a ton of printed recipes that I had accumulated over the years. They were in various unorganized manila folders. Appetizers, Thanksgiving, Italian – I think you get the point. After scanning them into Evernote, I was able to easily search them. Better yet, the notes that I may have made in the margins of the original recipes are still there to view as well. And get this – I installed the Evernote app on the Android g Tablet that I picked up a few weeks ago. I can now search for the recipe and then sit it on the counter in the kitchen. It may not be the most manly example, but I think you get the point *grin*.

Here are some other notebooks I have set up on my Evernote to give you an idea of what you can do:

  • Health – all health related stuff that comes in the mail that I haven’t been able to convert to electronic delivery
  • Home Inventory – take pictures of big ticket items in your house and store it on Evernote. You can take the pictures with your smartphone and immediately upload them
  • Automobile – receipts from car repairs and maintenance
  • Home Improvement – receipts and manuals for appliances, etc. Find the manual online and send it to Evernote. You’ll never have to search a manufacturers website again, and you’ll always have the correct manual at hand
  • Wedding – when my wife and I were planning our wedding, I used Evernote to store menus and estimates from the different restaurants that we spoke with
  • Bills – this is a big one, but whenever a bill comes in that I can’t convert to paperless delivery, I immediately scan it into Evernote and shred it. It helps to keep the paper intake low in the house. Trust me, things still get out of hand with paper laying around the house, but it’s better than it was before.

Well, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. Evernote has a free and a premium version. The free version limits your data transfer rate per month, and doesn’t allow for snaring of notebooks (a very cool feature). $45 gets you a year’s worth of their Premium version, which allow you to upload anyfile, up to 1 gigabyte per month (the free version only allows 60GB). Try the free version. I think you’ll like it. It took me about a month to realize I needed to upgrade.

Do you have Evernote? What are you storing with it? Or, what application do you use for archiving?

UPDATE: I fount a neat little 60 second elevator pitch for Evernote – You can check it out >here<.

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