Bring ‘Em Out: EverNote {app}

by Katelyn Block on January 30, 2012 · 19 comments

If you’re anything like me, you’re really organized. Kind of. But when other people come and see your workspace, they look at you like you’re from planet Pluto (which isn’t even a planet anymore). I’m a space cadet, so maybe I’m from that planet. I honestly don’t know where my brain is sometimes. Moving on. My workspace — my living space — is organized in an unorganized way. I know where everything is, even if it’s in a pyramid pile of clothes. The jacket I wore on Saturday? It’s in that giant pile where my sweatpants, other three jackets, and probably my pants are. I hate pants. But actually. When it comes to my school notes, I have this thing where I take a million in a Pages document (Microsoft Word is waaaaay too expensive for me), and then save it in a folder. Can you imagine opening Pages, opening my files, searching for the right folder, and then figuring out which document I’m looking for? If I’m searching back through months of notes for that one lecture back in early January, to put it plainly, I’m screwed. I might as well just re-read a whole textbook while I’m looking for one page. Duh, use the Table of Contents. I have recently discovered the app called EverNote; a free application that allows you to create “notebooks”, under which you can have different sections of notes.

Typical user interface.

The best part with the organization is that you can easily sort your notebooks by which part of your life they apply to, i.e. Blogging, college, your family (especially if you have kids), work, general interest, and whatever it is that you have going on. If you see an article you dig, you can easily save it to EverNote with the Google Chrome Extension (is there anything Chrome doesn’t do?), and add your own notes as you please. The most baller part of the app — it keeps formatting, and allows you to change it. In the past, I have used CourseNotes because it cost a small amount of money ($5-10 I believe), and in my head, something is (almost) always better if there is a small fee involved. WRONG.

Full-screen mode. Sleek and easy on the eyes. Note: minimal distractions. Hashtag, baller for my techno ADHD.

CourseNotes, like other apps, restricts you to very specific formatting, and there is no tab, change in size // color, or change in font involved. This is an issue for me, when I much prefer to create emphasis with indenting and larger headings. Colors help a bit too. I would much rather review notes that have mild variety to the formatting than those that are all left-justified and black, size twelve, sans serif. This app has kept me incredibly sane the last day that I’ve used it, and is perfect for my technology ADHD which goes from TweetDeck, to notes, to e-mail (all of which I promise I will respond to ASAP), and allows me for quickly go back and click on a different section of notes. Often, I’ll be reading for a class and think of a blog idea; boom, click from class notes to my Blog Ideas notebook, type, and switch back. It’s like tabs in a web browser, for your notes.

In fullscreen mode, opens up Notebooks in a pop-out window. Darkens the background to make sure you’re paying attention. Thanks, EverNote.

EverNote isn’t very aesthetically pleasing, but the nice part is that it’s plain enough so that while you use it, you’re not distracted by a variety of colors and textures in the background and on the sidebars. I have study ADD. I need to focus on typing, and typing only. There are still many features on EverNote I have yet to explore — such as importing PDF documents, the drag-and-drop images feature, and syncing a notebook with a website. For more info on apps for your Mac, click here. I’m kind of spending all night there. It’s fine. #appaddict What do you look for in a productivity app? Have you tried EverNote? What do you think? xoxo, Katelyn

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney January 30, 2012 at 6:29 PM

This is awesome! I just downloaded Evernote and I love it. I record workouts on it all the time!

If you’re looking for an app for keeping track of school work in college…one of my good friends in college actually designed an app called iHomework that is awesome for that! He designed it our senior year and I wish he could have hurried up and made it before then! I think it’s like $1.99 or $.99 but it’s well worth it! Seriously :)


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

He designed it??! Ah! I’ll buy it just for him ;)


Pamela January 30, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I love EverNote! I use it on both my phone and my computer. I always say I’m organized in my own way!! :) There is also an “EverNote Food” app, which I downloaded.


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Really?! I want.


Julie @ There and Back Again January 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I’ve never used EverNote but I love OneNote (unfortunately it’s part of Microsoft Office so it does cost)… it is definitely aesthetically pleasing! You can color-coordinate your notes and notebooks. Obsessed. It looks like EverNote has the same functions and organizational tools, though. I wish I’d discovered one of these when I was in college instead of later, it looks so helpful the way you’re using it for classes!


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Oh boo. I can’t spend money. It’s an issue. I love colors! I’ll look into it. It is SO incredibly helpful! I love using it for all things classes and blogging — seriously keeps me so organized.


Ben Ingber January 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Evernote isa wonderful app, i also use dropbox A LOT especially right now planning my wedding and such. On to Microsoft Office being too expensive…I have Office 2011, if you want it email me…


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I have been using DropBox a LOT for school — one of my classes actually requires it! I would looove to have it. I’ll shoot you an email!


Miranda @ Living One Bite at a Time January 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I use Google Docs and love it! Is Evernote really that different from Google Docs? I like separating my stuff into the different classes I’m taking, too, and you can do that using Folders in Google Docs. Also, it does let you do all the formatting changes you want.

I have Word, too, but I like using Google Docs better – it’s so much easier. I guess that one problem is that you need the internet to use Docs, but I’m not usually anywhere where I don’t have the internet. I like that I can access Docs on my phone, too. I’ll write my grocery list on my computer and then at the store I can just look up my list on my phone.


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

EverNote is sooo much more organized, and most of all, local — GoogleDocs is best when you are collaborating with others.


lee January 30, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Whatttttttttt theeeee h. I’ve been missing out. My desktop is just a huge mess because thats where I save everything to. #organizationalprobz


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Get it. NOW.


Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee January 31, 2012 at 7:13 AM

I should try EverNote! Usually I take notes manually onto a notebook but that gets really tiring, and often my teachers don’t lecture us in class but actually link to a notesheet online, so this would be better than printing them out every single time! Thanks for the information. :)


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Exactly! And you can highlight to choose specific parts that you want only — great if you’re clipping an article online!


Kristin @ FoodFash January 31, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I recently downloaded Evernote for grocery shopping and I LOVE it! The only thing I was looking for in an app was to be able to type my list at my computer and have it automatically sync with my phone. I wonder if I would have been more productive during college if apps were around…


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM

You can get EverNote for your smartphone, and it syncs. :)


Sarah T. January 31, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I used Evernote for EVERYTHING!! It is on every one of my devices and I used it every single day. You should download the evernote clipper. I use it to clip recipes from blogs and then I can access them at the store or on my kitchen counter. I also use it to clip things like reservations for a conference so I have them all in one folder.

Google Docs is awesome, but I don’t think there is a decent app for iDevices yet….

Plus, I met the guys from Evernote last year at the ISTE conference (teacher-nerd, yes I am) and they were so stinkin’ cool. I tweeted that I should have asked for a cool pink elephant tee and they tweeted back that they were holding one for me. Gotta love cute pink swag.


Katelyn Block February 1, 2012 at 10:09 PM

It. is. magical. And the clipper! Truth, GoogleDocs can definitely improved. YOU DID NOT!! I want to meet them!


Lori Lynn May 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I know there’s even a Droid app for it as well. I’ve never really had a need to use it, but it looks like something that would be useful to use. My brother uses it in his work a lot, as a computer programmer.


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