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Evernote

Evernote gives a whole new meaning to the word synchronised. This software uses technology to help user organise various types of information from several different sources into one, central, web-based, synchronised location. The product also allows users to clip webpages and archive them for later reference, store screen shots, photos and text notes, all with a customisable storage system. Evernote will also organise things for you by the date of the note or other documents created.

The free version of Evernote gives you 60MB of free storage each month. To obtain 1GB a month you’ll need premium membership at $5/month or $45/year. The nice thing about about Evernote is the plethora of platforms and devices with apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry Windows Phone, Web OS and a web interface. For your $45 a year you’ll also be able to clip any file type and search with PDFs.

Evernote employs OCR to allow the user to search for images according to the text contained in those images. Being able to search for text in images is a greate way to save time. If the user needs to capture important information quickly, taking a snapshot for future reference is a handy option. Often, the OCR will even be able to read handwritten text in photos as long as it is fairly legible.

The most beneficial element of Evernote is it’s organisational system. The software contains several different ways to categorise information, such as tags and notebooks. Evernote allows the user to keep track of several projects at once with notebooks and then further organise the information within that notebook with tags.

Evernote also offer an alternative to bookmarking web pages. Instead of just the web address, the Evernote web clipper add on for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari allows the user to save the HTML on the web page as a note with just the click of a button.

Until recently sharing a notebook could only be done in the web interface. Sharing is a handy little feature that you don’t realise the use of until you need to use it. The real power of sharing, editing shared notebooks, is only available to premium users and is almost worth the $45 a year by itself.

To protect the sensitive information you store in Evernote they offer encryption. Just select the text you want to protect in the desktop version of Evernote, right click and select encrypt selected text. Once encrypted you can decrypt and view the information on any version of Evernote.

For those that find themselves drowning in piles of sticky notes, Evernote is a much improved alternative to the former. The organisation system and OCR make it worth a look for those that are looking for help in organising ideas at work, school, or for bits of data from everyday life I highly recommend giving Evernote a try.

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Reviewed by Matt on 15 February 2011

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