I know, I know – we’re all so spoiled with free goodies for our phones. Why would anyone want to pay $5/month (or, better, $45/year) for yet another time waster?
Well, that’s the difference – Evernote is a timeSAVER and, for our family, well worth the upgraded version.
The two features that make it worth the fee, for us, are:
- The ability to share notebooks
- The ability to search through PDF’s (so, anything we scan and save into Evernote)
Let me tell you a story. It’s the love story of two very, very optimistic people who suffer from a shared malady: Hopelessly Inconsistent Household Organization (HI-HO). We’re a terrific team, my husband and I, but perennially paper-challenged to such an extent that it was really hurting our family. High stress levels over never knowing where anything was, every-so-often forgetting to pay an important utility bill (so embarrassing that I had to tell the Internet), and always having to ask “could you send me that document again?”
Enter shared notebooks. Now, I can not only save the contact information for the plumber; I can put it into a shared notebook so that my husband can access the information without having to call me – “What was that guy’s number? I think it’s on the refrigerator.” We use a shared notebook for receipts for repairs and bill-paying, and another one for recipes since we both like to cook.
I also share a notebook with friends who are fellow web designers; it’s a great way to post my notes from a presentation or an article I think they might find useful without clogging up their email Inboxes.
And, although I haven’t done this yet, I can see how sharing a notebook with a teenaged child might be very useful for helping to supervise a research project or keeping records of various accomplishments over the years. (At this time, you must be at least 13 years old to have an Evernote account).
To share a notebook, the sharer must have a premium account – so, for our family, I have a Premium account and my husband has a free account.
The search is on!
Oh, how I love this next feature: the ability to search through PDFs. Maybe I’m just easy to thrill, but this is really such a help. Another Premium feature, this means that Evernote can find information in PDF’s, handwritten documents I’ve scanned, and pretty much anywhere inside a note. Its super-smart search can even identify words in photos. The free version can search through handwriting and photos, too, but the Premium version is just a little bit better.
My dream is to someday have a nearly-paperless household, with all of the stuff we just can’t throw away yet scanned into Evernote so we can put our hands on it years down the road without having to use up storage space in a closet. I’m working on this a little bit at a time, and in my next column I’ll talk about some strategies to make this process a little easier.
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Copyright 2012 Dorian Speed