Evernote Review (Part 1)

I have now created an Evernote account and am busy seeing what this offers to my pursuit of a Paperless PhD.

First, I am impressed that there is quite a bit of storage available on the free version, so it may be supportive of my ‘financially neutral’ philosophy. Also, I am pleased to report, that the premium package is a mere $45 for a year…I have spent more on shoes πŸ™‚ So If I think the increased functionality is what I need to streamline my study further, this upgrade would be a possibility.

So once signed up for my free account I was faced with a blank canvas, it is neatly set out and works around you creating ‘notebooks’ to place files in. You can write a note directly in the text box on the right hand side. Easy. There are also videos to watch to show you how to use the interface. Another great thing is that it is set up to work across devices, so you can access your storage from any computer, tablet or mobile device. It seems to be very friendly πŸ™‚

My next mission was to upload a PDF (portable document format) file to an Evernote notebook. I searched the page and couldn’t locate an ‘upload’ or ‘attach file’ button…hmmm. Looking in my settings menu I noticed a special email address for my account…light bulb moment…you need to email to your Evernote page. A few seconds later and the three PDF files I had read and annotated over the last couple of days appeared upon my new Evernote. I was able to drag and drop them into a new notebook I created for PDF files.

Now the true test was to see if my comments transferred with the PDF file, as googledocs was unable to do this. Here is the interesting thing about Evernote, it stores the whole file. To read it, you don’t see it in a reader like on google docs, it allows you to download the document to your mobile device to be read. So in terms of archiving information, Evernote is brilliant and keeps your files exactly as they have been uploaded. However, I have yet to find a way of working on the file online, as I can in googledocs if need be. Notebooks in Evernote can be shared through Facebook or email.

Evernote also works with google accounts and a google notebook can be uploaded to Evernote at the press of a button. I was also able to send a text based email and it became a note instantly.

The only hiccup is word documents, it won’t upload them unless you have the premium package*. So this is the only drawback, so at this stage I will be unable to have all of my resources and work in the one place. I can cut and paste the content of the word document into an email and this becomes a note, with comments I have added appearing as a hyper-linked footnote. I see this as an option to back up some of my work in progress as they can be edited in the Evernote browser.

At this stage, I see myself working between googledocs and Evernote, both provide different types of backup for my developing body of work, and both allow me to select people to view and input as necessary.

Does anyone else have experience with an online tool that will allow me to combine everything in one place? What do you use? How does it make your work or study easier?

*Evernote now allows uploads of word, powerpoint and excel files in it’s free account. These can be edited and saved within Evernote. this blog post was amended on 1/8/12.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liz
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:26:14

    Thanks for introducing me to evernote – I have the app on ipad & iphone. It’ll be handy for annotating pics of kids working on learning tasks for my anecdotal records. Have you looked at right clicking in google docs to add comments/annotations yet? A friend showed me yesterday.

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    • Fiona T
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:45:24

      Yes, have played with google docs a bit and had found this annotation option, thanks for letting me know of this too. Will be good for collaborative work πŸ™‚ Have also found out a little about ‘onenote’ the MSoffice version of evernote. That will be a blog in a couple of weeks (I have a friend who is going to give me a ‘tour’ soon).

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  2. claireconeill
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 21:20:19

    Hi Fiona,

    Thank you for making contact, it’s always exciting to come across others with similar interests!

    I’m also a big fan of Evernote, though have never used it for sharing documents (I treat it as much more of a digital notebook). When I have the need to share documents, I use Dropbox as much as possible. It’s also free, so might be worth considering before paying for a service elsewhere πŸ™‚

    Cheers,
    Claire

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