If you’re anything like me, you process a ton of information throughout the day. I used to find that a lot of that stuff went in one ear and out the other. I was (and am still) pretty good at remembering the important stuff, and frankly some of the not-so-important stuff too, but there’s just way too much out there to remember all of the details after a quick glance. This is when I turn to Evernote.
Evernote is software that helps me capture notes (text, recorded audio, photos/scans, documents, web pages, etc.) and provides a service that lets me access them from any device using a great text search. It’s easy to capture notes and just as easy to find them later.
Every note sits in a “notebook” which is kind of like a simple folder that the notes sit in. Evernote lets you have as many notebooks as you want.
I started using Evernote as a free app back in the late 2000’s, then in 2010 I made the decision to start paying for their premium version to get a few more features. It’s the first time I was wooed by a freemium service and I have been extremely happy with my investment!
Yup–the very first one. Before anything else. Not only that, but on my Android phone I set up their little widget so I can launch the app, capture a note, capture an image, or record some audio each with only a single click.
It’s a tool that frees me from having to carry a bunch of extra stuff around. I don’t have to save some little scrap of paper that I (or that a friend) scribbled an idea on. I don’t have to tear that ad or article out of a magazine. I don’t have to send an email to myself with that web page or quote I want to reference later. Instead I can send it to Evernote (when I’m on my phone or tablet) or use the desktop app or “web clipper” (when I’m in a browser on my laptop).
Evernote did a good complete reworking of their mobile apps a year or two ago which got rid of a lot of the issues that plague older apps.
The app itself is snappy even on older devices. I have an old phone from a few generations ago that I keep around as a media player and note-taking device which still does just fine running Evernote.
One thing that does cause me occasional issues is that, because I have so many notes in there, space can become an issue. While the app is smart enough to only download the contents of my notes when I need them, the amount of storage space used on the device grows as more and more notes are opened. I’ve dealt with this by clearing the downloaded files, but it’s something I’d like to see be a little more user friendly.
It feels important to call this out. I’ve been a OneNote user since Office 2003 (embarrassingly long since it wasn’t that great in 2003). I use OneNote nearly every day and yes I use Evernote just as often. They both work well for different purposes, largely because of the way they are architected.
There are plenty of blog posts out there comparing the two services so I won’t bother with that here. Instead, I want to comment on a couple of the reasons that Evernote continues to be worth the investment even when compared to OneNote which wouldn’t have an incremental cost.
I wrote a blog post back in 2010 where I talked about how they had a very compelling offering even with the free version. It wasn’t a crippled version of their product–in fact at the time they included just about every feature, but limited the total upload storage space I could consume each month.
The big feature I wanted when I started subscribing to the premium version was to be able to extend the search to return results inside of attachments like PDF files and pictures. So when I wanted to find a PDF file and the only thing I can remember is that Boba Fett was mentioned in it, I can search for his name and it’ll find the note and the PDF.
Since I became a user, they’ve added a ton of features to the premium offering, but the basic service still lets you create, save, and search notes from the web, a mobile device, or your desktop. When I tell friends/co-workers/random people about Evernote, I usually suggest they just try it out since the free version is so representative of what you get with the paid services.
…but I don’t want to bury my more detailed stories inside of this post (which feels kind of like unpaid advertising, but I really can’t say enough good things about their service).
In short, I’ve been using the premium subscription for over 6 years and I’m as satisfied now as I was when I started. There aren’t many services I’ve been that happy with–especially when it includes desktop apps, a cloud app, mobile apps, all connected with a cloud-based service. Seriously, when I think of how many freemium services have seemed great and then faded with subsequent releases, I’m really glad they’ve been such a solid team.
Do you use Evernote or perhaps know of something else that’s better? (I question whether the latter is possible…but I am curious) Leave a comment and let me know.
Just a couple of days ago, while many Dynamics CRM customers getting ready for Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta, Microsoft dropped a press release as well as a Bob Stutz blog post about some forthcoming functionality in the Dynamics CRM Spring release. Microsoft is making good on their more frequent release cadence for Dynamics CRM 2013.
I’ll be curious to get a pulse on the reaction of folks at Convergence, but at face value this is going to be a great update.
For those of you who are just starting to evaluate CRM options, Michelle Groen of Hitachi Solutions will be holding a free introduction demonstration webinar next week. It’s scheduled for February 6th, 2013 from 2-3pm EST and will be covering the following information:
This is a great way to get a feel for the application and inspiration for what it can do to help transform your business.
If you’re interested, please register (the last one exceeded capacity and only pre-registrants could get in) using:
Full Disclosure: I am employed by Hitachi Solutions.
A co-worker recently shared this project with me as we’ve had some experience with clients who had large number of options that needed to be added to Picklists.
Unfortunately, Dynamics CRM doesn’t offer a way to batch import these lists, rather it’s up to the administrator to add them one-by-one. Adding in a dozen of these isn’t so bad…especially since you should only have to do it once…but when you start looking at two dozen, fifty, or more of these it becomes a real hassle (and a hotbed for fat-fingered garbage data). That’s where the CRM Option Set Utility comes into play.
The goals of the project are simple enough:
After spending some time with the application, specifically testing it using on-premise CRM Organizations, there are a few things that I’ve found worth highlighting:
The bit I like is the community aspect of hosting a repository of common option sets. There’s about a dozen so far, but as this builds out it will hopefully be a first-stop when looking for a cleansed list like this.
I’ve gotten some pressure from folks to noodle a bit on some topics that have come up when working with a Excel and MS CRM system…no time like the present to make good on some material.