You’ve probably heard of Evernote. Some call it a note-taking service, or an organization tool, or an archiving platform, but none of those terms are enough to convey just how much you can do with it. Evernote is, quite simply, an online spot to store anything and everything you might find of interest, to read or utilize later. The more you add, the more useful it becomes.
You can add to or access info on Evernote from the Web, full desktop programs for Windows (which we give a full five stars in our review) and Mac, or via mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone. Every single one of those interfaces has earned our Editors’ Choice award. That’s a lot of awards.
However, there is a new wrinkle: as of Aug. 19, if you have the free basic version, you can only sync notes to a max of TWO devices (not counting the Web-based interface). If you want full access on everything, as in the past, you need to pay for Premium Evernote.
There are also Evernote extensions for Web browsers, a handwriting and drawing app for iPads, even hardware that makes it especially helpful to input hard copy info into the service, including a special scanner.
That doesn’t even take into account the ecosystem of third-party software, apps, and services that make it a breeze to add items to your Evernote repository. There is even a version for Business users who want document sharing and collaboration tools in their teams.
Extras are great, but they don’t spell out just how to use Evernote. There are no lack of methods and best practices for getting the most out of the service. From what you can store to how you store it, there’s plenty to try. The competition from Microsoft, the totally free OneNote, is also worth considering as it’s better for taking typed notes—but as an info storehouse, Evernote can’t be beat.
Evernote’s got some issues, business-wise. It was one of the first Silicon Valley “unicorns,” a company valued at a billion dollars before it made a cent. Now, it’s having trouble monetizing its platform: a buzzwordy way of saying it needs to make money, and that’s why it’s killing products like Clearly and charging for things that used to be free. But that’s the price we’ll pay if we want to keep this service around.
So here’s our take on the top tips you need to get the most out of Evernote. If you do it right, it’ll be the database of your entire existence, make your day-to-day life that much simpler, and hopefully keep the company in business for many years of storage to come.