Like most teenagers, the first thing I do in the morning after turning off my alarm is check my smartphone. Using a phone requires less effort than walking around so I choose checking my e-mail as a way of gradually climbing out of the pit of sleep.
After e-mail, it’s time to check into my favorite productivity app. It tells me what classes I have that day, and I have a skim through the homework from the previous night to refresh myself with what we covered.
In school, I boot up the app and use it as a copybook for note-taking. If I get a hand-out from the teacher, I’ll scan it when I get home and place it alongside my notes. If I have to use a different computer, I can still access all my school notes by using the web interface of the app. I can also access it from an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry cell-phone. Got an iPad or Android tablet? Access notes from there too. The app can also store videos and sound files, if text files and images aren’t enough.
What’s the application? Enter, Evernote!
What is it? The simplest way I can think of describing it is like this: imagine a powerful text-editor (that can also hold images or videos) where you don’t have to manually save the files, and then those files are available on any other computer with a connection to the internet, or a multitude of mobile devices.
The title of “only productivity app you’ll ever need” is a pretty hefty one so how come I think Evernote deserves it?
Access Anything Anywhere
If I’m at home, researching a couple of books I’ve been meaning to get, I can use Evernote to save pictures, ISBN numbers and prices to one text file. Then, all that info appears on my phone when, a week later, I get a chance to go into Dublin to the bookstore. I can comprehensively weigh my options much quicker than I otherwise could have, and it stops me buying the wrong edition or paying extra for no reason.
The same applies to accessing schoolwork when I’m away from my laptop or saving recipes that I want to try later.
I love Flickr because I know that 12,000 photos are safe, even if my laptop is stolen or my hard-drives fail. Why should I take similar chances with school-work? Because Evernote files are saved on Evernote’s servers, something bad can happen to my laptop but all my files are safe.
Gone are the days of rifling through mounds of paper for that one phone-number. Evernote files are immediately searchable on all devices, including text in any images you import (such as a PDF or the scan of a bill).
Evernote is free, with some limitations. Going premium will bump your monthly allowance from 60 MBs to 1 GB. A free account is still enough for thousands of text-notes; you’d only be strained if you had a lot of hi-res images to upload.
Try it for a week and you’ll wonder how you survived before.
Tommy Collison, 5th Year student, writing for Simply Zesty