Desktop SoftwareInternet

Application Review: Evernote

Evernote Web
Evernote Web

Evernote is a cloud-based service for taking notes and storing all kinds of data. I use it mostly for text and photo snapshots, but will also store documents and audio files from time to time. Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite applications, which I use on Windows, Macintosh, iOS and (sort of) Linux.

Evernote is available for several platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, iOS, Windows Phone, and Android. They also make their service available via a rich web interface. A free, open-source clone of Evernote, known as NeverNote, is available for the Linux operating system. The program allows you to type text notes, audio notes, and photo notes on devices that have cameras, such as Apple Macbook computers or iPhones.

Evernote also publishes several add-ons and applications which integrate into their services. One add-on is the Evernote Web Clipper extension, available for several popular browsers.

Evernote iOS
Evernote iOS

This extension allows you to clip and save an entire web page, or selected text, right into a new note in Evernote, which you can then read and edit later. Evernote recently released Clearly, another add-on for Mozilla Firefox, which clears up a lot of clutter on web pages and boils a page down to its main content, making it both easier to read and easier to save info to Evernote.

Evernote has similarities to other online storage systems, such as Dropbox, but it differs in its user interface. I see Evernote primarily as a note taking application with a storage backend, while Dropbox is a storage engine that integrates into your operating system’s filesystem. Also, Dropbox restricts you not on uploads, but the amount of information you can store on their servers, as opposed to Evernote, who limits you on how much you can upload.

Sample Blog Post
Sample Blog Post

Evernote uses the “freemium” business model, giving away their core service offering and charging for an enhanced version, which costs $5/mo. The free service limits you in the type of files you can upload (PDF, images, plain and rich text), and the amount of data you can upload (60MB/mo at the time of this writing). The premium service expands this to allow you to upload a wider variety of files, e.g., MS Word and Excel documents and MP3 audio files, and increases the monthly upload limit to 1GB. You are effectively not charged or restricted by the amount of data you can store on their servers, just how much you can upload. In other words, with a premium account, you could conceivably store 12GB of data on their servers after one year, or 720MB of data with a free account.

Evernote’s CEO, Technical Guy, and Marketing Guy host a semi-monthly podcast on their products, and regularly feature listener feedback on how they use Evernote. The podcast is a great way to get new ideas for using their service.

Blog Post, with Clearly applied
Blog Post, with Clearly applied

The uses for Evernote are numerous. I use it every day for:

  • Diary/journal entries
  • Clipping web pages to read later
  • Drafting blog posts
  • Drafting long emails when working offline
  • Drafting letters and proposals
  • Documenting work as I go through a project
  • Inventorying things via snapshots
  • Storing e-books
  • Taking snapshots of noteworthy passages in books
  • Storing and retrieving recipes
  • Managing todo lists

Do you use Evernote? If so, leave a comment and tell us how!

You can find out more about Evernote at

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