Finally, for all the data flotsam and jetsam we accumulate, there’s an application to make your online life searchable. Evernote gives you a central database to keep accounts, passwords, bookmarks, notes, recipes or whatever you want. It stores them securely and keeps it all easily accessible in numerous ways. Evernote is an application you install on whatever platform you’re on (Mac, PC, iPhone, or access it via the web) and, using a free account, synchronize it all together.
Of the three Cloud applications I’ve discussed here, this is the one I use all day, every day. Although there is a free version (ad sponsored), the inexpensive pay account ($45/year) is a must if you intend to use this to its fullest extent. Evernote wants to consider itself your searchable filing cabinet, and its tools do exactly that. Tag notes with tags that you make up on the fly and then sort the whole system via those tags, or search for any text you might have in a note.
Many online applications have the ability to store notes and search them, there are two things that set Evernote apart: Integration into a browser and the ability to take pictures of anything and OCR it automatically. The picture part, although it’s very cool, I don’t use much. You use your iSight or iPhone camera to photograph nearly anything and save it to Evernote. When the item gets to Evernote’s servers they perform some impressive OCR voodoo to make those photos searchable. If there’s text, a general search of all your normal text documents will also find the photos with the text somewhere in them. For example, a picture of a map that had the words “New York” on it would show if you chose to search for the term “New York.”
The second exceptional feature of Evernote puts a small Elephant-shaped button right into your browser bar. Come across a page you want to have available to you later? Click this button and the entire page—pictures, text, whatever (not flash or other embedded things) as well as most of the formatting will pop right into a new Evernote note, along with the Title of the page and the link to the original. Unlike simply bookmarking a page in a browser, doing it this way makes that page completely searchable. Bookmarks are one thing, but this is far beyond.
Paul Meyerson has been a Macintosh consultant in the NYC area for more years than he wants to admit. His new company, www.macsupport.com, aims to take care of any and all Macintosh issues for the home or small business users. Using a combination of telephone support and remote control software, Macsupport.com is able to deal with a variety of home users’ issues quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.