I’ve been using Evernote Premium for a few years now and I think it is a fantastic device for organising documents and making them available. I began using it originally in a work context. I kept finding snippets of information online and wanted to retain them in a way that made it easy for me to take advantage of. I also use my iPad in a work environment to take notes and brainstorm and I find it a great way to bring all these things together.
Some recent developments have made it a really good tool for a blogger, someone who is interested in food and even more for a blogger who writes about food.
The basic principle of Evernote is that it has good interconnectivity with lots of applications and that it operates over a wide range of platforms. Evernote is available on the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Evernote hosts all the documents in the cloud and so you can capture things into Evernote wherever you are and then access everything from everywhere later.
One of the obvious applications of this is capturing recipes and ideas. Of course most of the web browsers have a really slick widget which allows seamless capture of web pages – as much or as little of the page as you want and tagged at the same time. Chrome is particularly good for this. Notes can also be photographs and there are a range of Evernote apps to make this a great experience. I like to look through the recipes in the Sunday magazines and then photograph (read scan) them in for use later. I used to cut them out and keep index cards but the benefit of Evernote is that these are searchable.
A further feature of Evernote is that images are scanned by its software and any words are attempted to be recognised and made searchable. This means that recipes are instantly more useful but also you can take a photograph of a menu at a restaurant and as many elements as Evernote can recognise are searchable – how else will you remember the name of that special noodle dish you had on holiday?
The essential power of Evernote has now been enhanced by the Evernote Food app. This has a number of features in a really slick phone app. There are four main elements:
1. Explore recipes. This presents recipes from a range of precanned online sources. If you are looking for inspiration you can browse through them. As well as identifying some new sources you can of course easily clip any you like into the Recipes folder in Evernote.
2. My cookbooks. This makes all your captured recipes in Evernote easily accessible and you can notes to them which will be saved back into the main application.
3. Restaurants. This shows restaurants close to you but also allows you to capture what you ate and save favourite locations.
4. My meals. This is a way of capturing meals as you have them. Just take a photo and add any notes alongside.
Evernote is, in my opinion, streets ahead of Microsoft’s OneNote for anything which requires capture from the web as a main component. It also is really strong in its range of input options. Reviewers say that OneNote is better if you will be creating the documents yourself using work applications. The Evernote app itself is free, as are many of the add-ons. The premium service offers much more storage space, searchable PDFs and collaboration.