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EverNote is cool. I downloaded it in January thinking it might be cool or useful, but pretty sure it was more my inner geek taking over than anything else that prompted me to try it out. Well, I was wrong.

Remember when you got your very first microwave (my family was a very late adopter, so I really do remember my family’s first microwave)? Remember how you thought it might be useful on rare occasions? Remember how within a matter of days you couldn’t even remember life without one? Well, that’s what this has been for me. I now have it open on my computer at all times. I plan all my classes on it. I write my follow-up notes on what went well and what went poorly in my classes on it. I keep track of what I’ve tried and what I’ve found when working on really hard reference questions. And (as many CIL-ers know) I take copious notes at conferences and meetings into it. (People think I’m being “cool” or “hip,” but the reality is that I just can’t remember things I hear at meetings, so I have to take notes.)

I love EverNote. It lets me assign multiple categories to notes (which is much better than putting notes into folders), and I get to make up my own categories. It also lets me keyword search all my notes. It also comes with a “web clipper” that you can click and it’ll import selected parts or all of the web page you’re viewing at the moment into a new note. There are, however, a few things it doesn’t do that it absolutely should do.

  • It doesn’t work on a Mac, so I can’t use it at our reference desk.
  • It isn’t web based, so I can’t access it from all of the many computers I use all day.
  • It doesn’t sync, so you actually have to export from, say, your desktop computer to a flash disk and import into the database living on your laptop. To move back, you have to do all this in reverse. This requires that you remember to update your database on whichever computer you’re using at the moment before taking new notes so that you guard against overwriting old notes that you’ve edited.

But these lacks will (hopefully) be remedied in future upgrades. There’s a highly active user forum, and the developers spend a lot of time participating in the forum. Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE.

Published inTools and Technology