With all this technology the one thing that remains elusive to me is a comprehensive life organizer. I’ve been searching for something to organize my life since the days of Borlands’ Sidekick and Lotus Organizer, it’s like searching for the holy grail. I go through cycles when searching for the ultimate organizer, every time I start the hunt I think of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The recent search included Things for the Mac, The Hit List and OmniFocus. I bought Things for the Mac and thought it was great but after entering all my data in it and I started to use it, I realized it wasn’t for me.
However, I think I have found the holy grail for me and it’s called Evernote. I used Evernote back in March 2008 when it launched and felt it just didn’t fit into my workflow. However, over the past 3-4 months I have realized how awesome it is and just captures everything in life and let’s me file it away.
My big issue was I needed a to-do list and a way to capture notes from life. I tried using Things and it worked perfectly for the to-do list part but the notes part just didn’t work for me. Recently, I also noticed that I had over 50-60 articles that were bookmarked in Safari and no real way to access that information.
Enter Evernote. It handles to-do lists and I can create notes and search them like I’m the next Google. The most impressive feature is something called “web clipper” that allows you to take any content from the web and save it to Evernote, then it magically syncs all the data between your laptop, iPhone and iPad.
It really has become my new brain – what is the voltage of the CFL lights in the bathroom, what are the movies I want to watch, what are the books I want to read, how to make a great sangria (yeah I “web clipped” that article from lifehacker)…it’s all in Evernote and available on my MacBook Pro or iPhone.
The reason I love Evernote is because it fits into my work flow and I don’t have to think about using it…it just comes natural. I will admit, I use a combination of regular paper and Evernote. I use scrap paper for all my short-term to-do lists (1-2 days) and everything else I throw into Evernote.
They have a great freemium model so you can check out most of the features without dropping a dime until you are ready for the premium features. You can read more about their freemium business model here.
UPDATE: Several people have emailed me saying they love Evernote as well and gave me a couple of additional tips.
– scan documents into Evernote (it’s OCR capability is great)
– add images to documents