28 February 2009

Evernote Thanks

It's easy - too easy - to be constantly critical, in the negative sense, of what goes on around us. Therefore when something works as it should, it seems worth saying "Thank you!" And when the something that worked as it should is a small company with a good product, saying "Thank you!" publicly is even more important.

So: Thank you, Evernote!

I have been using Evernote since 2005 to track my notes and ideas, keep clips from web sites and other sources, and generally help manage my life. The early version of the program was easy to use, easy to learn, and free. Eventually, I upgraded to a low-cost paid version, which enabled a synchronization feature, so I could sync my "notes" across different computers using a USB flash drive as the go-between.

Last year, Evernote released version 3.0, an even more sophisticated version - also free - that offers the synchronization feature across Windows, Mac, iPhone, and other platforms, along with a web interface. The premium version, very reasonably priced at $45 per year, turns Evernote into a file server: drop attachments into your notes, and they also synchronize across the entire system. Open those attachments up, edit them, and the changes are saved back to the system.

All this was cool enough, but it was not until I ran into a problem that I really appreciated how great Evernote is. A note I created with multiple attachments got corrupted; first time it has happened, and I don't know what caused it, but it stopped the program from syncing. Within one hour of asking for help, I had a response asking for some more detail; within 12 hours I had an e-mail from Evernote with the solution to the problem. Everything was back to normal after that.

If you're the kind of person who likes to jot down ideas, keep track of receipts, categorize information or to-do lists across different areas of your life, take pictures or audio notes to remind yourself of different things, and more ... Evernote is the program for you. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and they deserve a public thank you for their great product, and for their great customer service.

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