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QUESTION: What is the point of Evernote?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Kordi

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:15 AM

Hi,

Lately I feel like I am missing something. I do not understand what is the whole fuss about Evernote and similar apps. I've been trying to implement this for the past month and still I see no point. It seems to me that all its functions I handled a long time ago:

1. Files - I sync with dropbox - obvious choice
2. Photos and audionotes - sync automatically from Android device to dropbox
3. Webclipping - I've been using opera bookmarks for this purpose for as long as I remember - it is a no-brainer. It syncs automatically on all my devices and I will never ever resign from using Opera Mini ;).
4. Hand written notes - I handle this with toodledo - I have an app on my android device for toodledo account - toodledo is the center of my GTD system.

The thing that discourages me most from using EN is lack of offline support for free account. This makes android app completely useless in my opinion. I cannot rely on the fact that I always have INTERNET connection. Not to mention that having files only in the cloud makes searching for them take forever.
I would be able to pay 45 bucks per year for paid account ... but I see no point. What am I missing? Any thoughts?

#2 Metrodon

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

A single place to keep everything that you have in multiple places available from any device with decent search functionality to help me find the stuff I need.

If you are happy with what you have, I see little point in making the effort to switch.

#3 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:48 AM

Hi,

Lately I feel like I am missing something. I do not understand what is the whole fuss about Evernote and similar apps. I've been trying to implement this for the past month and still I see no point. It seems to me that all its functions I handled a long time ago:

1. Files - I sync with dropbox - obvious choice
2. Photos and audionotes - sync automatically from Android device to dropbox
3. Webclipping - I've been using opera bookmarks for this purpose for as long as I remember - it is a no-brainer. It syncs automatically on all my devices and I will never ever resign from using Opera Mini ;).
4. Hand written notes - I handle this with toodledo - I have an app on my android device for toodledo account - toodledo is the center of my GTD system.

The thing that discourages me most from using EN is lack of offline support for free account. This makes android app completely useless in my opinion. I cannot rely on the fact that I always have INTERNET connection. Not to mention that having files only in the cloud makes searching for them take forever.
I would be able to pay 45 bucks per year for paid account ... but I see no point. What am I missing? Any thoughts?


hi kordi. welcome to the forum. everyone has different needs and use cases, and evernote won't fit them all.

in my case, like metrodon, i have a single place where i can find everything, anytime, anyplace, with a rich variety of search filtering and sorting options. want to know what i wrote in an essay from spring 2005? i've got it here, just a second. dead tree paper in my house? not for long. i am digitizing my personal library. maybe these aren't the kinds of questions / concerns you have.

#4 jbenson2

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

What's the point?
A single source for my paperless office.
No more file cabinets and hanging folders.

#5 mrossk

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:11 PM

Not to mention that having files only in the cloud makes searching for them take forever.


In the free version the searching takes place on the servers of evernote! The search does not scan all notes on the servers through your slow mobile-connection. So only the single note that you search and open is transferred (and some metadata).

#6 peterfmartin

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:30 PM

I second(/third/fourth) what Metrodon, GrumpyMonkey, and jbenson said. For me, Evernote was a revelation because it gave me a way to keep everything together in one place, making all of my digital data (nearly) instantly searchable and organized.

For me, the other big thing was web clips. (Of the 10,301 notes I've created, 6,775 are web clips.) If there are other programs that do web clips, saving entire web pages in searchable formats, I don't know about them. (I haven't used Opera. Do its bookmarks save the contents of pages and make them available offline?) I guess I could always have saved web pages as HTML files on my computer, but then I would have needed to store them like other files, which goes back to what the others and I have said. Evernote is a far faster, easier, more efficient way to store and organize all my data, regardless of type (text, video, audio, web site, PDF, other), than Mac's Spotlight.

As Metrodon said, if other programs are making you happy now, you're probably best staying where you are.
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#7 Kordi

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

What's the point?
A single source for my paperless office.
No more file cabinets and hanging folders.


Bla bla bla... this is EXACTLY the kind of mantra I do not understand. Can you expand on what is so UNIQUE about EN that distinguishes it from all the other solutions? For files I have dropbox. Does the job much better than EN ever will...

#8 Kordi

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

I second(/third/fourth) what Metrodon, GrumpyMonkey, and jbenson said. For me, Evernote was a revelation because it gave me a way to keep everything together in one place, making all of my digital data (nearly) instantly searchable and organized.

For me, the other big thing was web clips. (Of the 10,301 notes I've created, 6,775 are web clips.) If there are other programs that do web clips, saving entire web pages in searchable formats, I don't know about them. (I haven't used Opera. Do its bookmarks save the contents of pages and make them available offline?) I guess I could always have saved web pages as HTML files on my computer, but then I would have needed to store them like other files, which goes back to what the others and I have said. Evernote is a far faster, easier, more efficient way to store and organize all my data, regardless of type (text, video, audio, web site, PDF, other), than Mac's Spotlight.

As Metrodon said, if other programs are making you happy now, you're probably best staying where you are.


No Opera does not store web pages. But it has a very elegant way of storing bookmarks - I just drag the tab into the bookmark folder and voila. I kinda miss the point of storing web pages offline... although you are probably the first person in this thread to actually say something useful.

As for other types of files... so what EN is searchable. Its transfer restrictions make it useless for me to store files. Dropbox is much better for this.

#9 gazumped

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

As Metrodon already said - if you're happy with what you have, why switch? And don't get mad just because 22,999,999 (ish) people seem to have found something you've missed...

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#10 BurgersNFries

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

Bla bla bla... this is EXACTLY the kind of mantra I do not understand. Can you expand on what is so UNIQUE about EN that distinguishes it from all the other solutions? For files I have dropbox. Does the job much better than EN ever will...


First, Evernote is not really a file sync'er. It's main focus is to collect, organize & retrieve information. EN does that a whole lot better than Dropbox, which *is* a true file sync'er (at least across platforms.) You're compaing apples to oranges here.

Second, if you're happy with the systems you have, great! Asking opinions, then bashing them is rather trollish. (shrug)

As Metrodon already said - if you're happy with what you have, why switch? And don't get mad just because 22,999,999 (ish) people seem to have found something you've missed...


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#11 peterfmartin

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

Bla bla bla... this is EXACTLY the kind of mantra I do not understand. Can you expand on what is so UNIQUE about EN that distinguishes it from all the other solutions? For files I have dropbox. Does the job much better than EN ever will...


although you are probably the first person in this thread to actually say something useful.


Why the hostility? You haven't found Evernote as useful for you as other people have found it for them. That's fine, especially since it seems you're happy with the software you're currently using. So you ask for some insight, which is of course also fine, and people did their best to answer your question. Why are you responding so insultingly to people who are spending their time responding to you? What are you owed that you haven't gotten yet? (To be clear, I understand you said that I had given you "something useful." But you insulted everyone else who responded here, so you insulted other people who took their time to answer your question, which offends me.)

Here's my last attempt to respond civilly. Take it or leave it; please don't insult me if my response doesn't provide the answer you're looking for.

I also use and love Dropbox, and it's a critical element of how I store and share files. But it's not great at retrieving things. For example, when I search my Dropbox folder for terms, I get something like this. First, Dropbox doesn't OCR images, so it can't find images that contain that term (which Evernote does). But even if I use an outside program to OCR those, I still have the second disadvantage, which is: to find where and how the terms appear in each of those documents, I need to open them separately, and in separate programs. When I search Evernote for the same terms, I get this. It is far faster and easier for me to scroll through my Evernote note, seeing the highlighted search terms where they appear, than it is to open all my files (those outside of Evernote) separately and doing in-file searches separately on each one to find the instances of the search terms.

Also, once again, for me personally, having web pages indexed and searchable is absolutely critical. You said:

No Opera does not store web pages. But it has a very elegant way of storing bookmarks - I just drag the tab into the bookmark folder and voila. I kinda miss the point of storing web pages offline...


The point for me is that (a) I can read them anytime I want, (b ) I can tag them along with notes of any other kind, meaning I can store web pages right next to text notes, images, etc., organized by project, and (c ) much more importantly, I no longer have to wonder, "Oh, where and what exactly was that thing I read about [X]?" As long as I remember a few words from a web page, I can find it in a matter of seconds. I spend hours a day reading and collecting things online, so this has completely changed how I go about my work and what I do with what I find.
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#12 skellam

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:28 PM

First, Evernote is not really a file sync'er. It's main focus is to collect, organize & retrieve information. EN does that a whole lot better than Dropbox, which *is* a true file sync'er (at least across platforms.) You're compaing apples to oranges here.


Agreed. I use both Evernote and Dropbox regularly and they serve different purposes. Dropbox is the best for syncing files among various platforms, Evernote is best for collecting and organizing information.

#13 Kordi

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

That is my point, that EN is not a files syncer. So why ppl keep saying it can collect ALL kind of file types? Or that it can make your office paperless? It cannot... It wouldn't contain half PDF's that I have...
As for bashing ppl... simply to say... If one has nothing to say, one should say nothing. I asked for an opinion. In return I got marketing slogan from home page.

Coming back to my point. I still feel I am missing something and so far the only constructive argument mentioned was about webclipping capabilities. Thinking about it, yeah I could probably find some uses for that. Other then this... I am still lost.

P.S.
Oh and about my "happines" towards tools I use... aren't we all here perfectionists and overachievers? Just because I do something one way doesn't mean I am right ... Gazumped - Just because over 20 mln Germans followed Hitler blindly didn't make him right either...

#14 jefito

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

@Kordi: you can attach external files to notes in Evernote (e.g. spreadsheets, PDFs, etc), and those will be synced around. You can view and edit the attachments on most client machines, if there's software on the machine that can view/edit those file types.
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#15 BurgersNFries

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:44 PM

That is my point, that EN is not a files syncer. So why ppl keep saying it can collect ALL kind of file types? Or that it can make your office paperless? It cannot... It wouldn't contain half PDF's that I have...
As for bashing ppl... simply to say... If one has nothing to say, one should say nothing. I asked for an opinion. In return I got marketing slogan from home page.

Coming back to my point. I still feel I am missing something and so far the only constructive argument mentioned was about webclipping capabilities. Thinking about it, yeah I could probably find some uses for that. Other then this... I am still lost.

P.S.
Oh and about my "happines" towards tools I use... aren't we all here perfectionists and overachievers? Just because I do something one way doesn't mean I am right ... Gazumped - Just because over 20 mln Germans followed Hitler blindly didn't make him right either...


Again...if you're happy with your system, then great.

Since it appears your purpose here is not really to learn anything, I'm done with it.

And using the Hitler scenario simply proves to me that this is a trollish thread. Using Evernote or not, is not something considered "right" or "wrong" against humanity. Some people like chocolate & some like vanilla. There is nothing "right" or "wrong" about either one.
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#16 peterfmartin

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:46 PM

Gazumped - Just because over 20 mln Germans followed Hitler blindly didn't make him right either...


Godwin's law's corollary says this topic is now closed.
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#17 heather

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

You can attach any type of file (up to 25MB for a free user, up to 50MB for Premium) to an Evernote note, and it will sync to any of your devices. With Dropbox, there's no limit on filesize, but you're limited on overall storage space. With Evernote, you're not limited by overall storage space, as it is cumulative (you just get more and more every month, and you can accelerate this if you need more by purchasing it when you need it.

When you're collecting bookmarks of websites, the main issue is that those web pages might be taken down, or change so they don't contain the information you found important enough to bookmark anymore. I have a "Favorites" list in my web browser, and I have to periodically run them through a dead-link checker to see if they're still around. At some point I'll put them into a web site grabber to populate the pages themselves into Evernote, then I won't have to worry about losing the remaining ones.

And lastly, as everyone else has mentioned, the key to Evernote is in its searching. Yes, you can store images in other places, but no one else will allow you to search the words in your picture, in addition to voice to text AND search through your PDFs (even OCR them if you're premium), AND create a searchable index of your text..

Evernote is a personal search engine for your life. It's your external brain. It's not a bunch of different programs that do different things, it fills a completely different need.

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