There are plenty of note-taking applications out there; we’ve reviewed a fair number of them. So what makes the new beta version of Evernote stand out? For starters, they support a good number of clients, all synchronizing the same data: web, Windows, Mac, Mobile web, and […]

There are plenty of note-taking applications out there; we’ve reviewed a fair number of them. So what makes the new beta version of Evernote stand out? For starters, they support a good number of clients, all synchronizing the same data: web, Windows, Mac, Mobile web, and Windows Mobile. But potentially more important in the long run are their plans to improve your memory as time goes by. If they can pull off this plan, they’ll be in the position of offering value in the future based on actions you take today, which is a nice place for any business to be.

Evernote organizes your notes into notebooks, which can be public or private. Procedures may differ depending on which client you’re using, but you can add notes by typing in text, by clipping information from your web browser, by taking screenshots, or by sending email to your account. Notes can be tagged, searched by all sorts of attributes, and synchronized between various devices and Evernote clients.

But the real key to Evernote’s long-term success lies in their notion of “recognizers.” Right now the one that has gotten the most notice is their text-in-image recognizer. If you upload an image (whether clipped from the web or taken with your cell phone’s camera), Evernote will scan it for text – printed or handwritten – and add this text to the searchable text for the note. So if you capture a picture of a cocktail napkin from “Joe’s Lounge” you can find that picture in the future by searching for “Lounge”.

The text-in-image recognizer works very well. I was able to confuse it, but only with things like a picture of a road sign that was filled with bullet holes. On street scene photos, it managed to pick out text on buildings and even in neon signs – all in all a quite impressive performance.

But the real key to Evernote’s potential lies in their plans for future recognizers. The company is working on several of these, and when they’re ready to ship one, they also intend to run it over the entire corpus of data that Evernote users have already saved. For example, if and when they add facial recognition to the product, any faces you’ve ever saved should be recognized for searching.

It’s an interesting idea. If they can pull it off, then it makes sense now to start shoving everything you collect into Evernote – web clippings, scans of receipts, photos of everyone at every meeting you attend – with the hope that any time you’re trying to remember something, you’ll be able to find it again in Evernote. The game plan here is to make the service your offline memory. And unlike your real memory, it will just keep getting better as you age.

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  1. What a mess of an article.

    So whats the real key ?

  2. Looking for a pertinent way to organize my personal notes, I have tried evernote in the past and I found it was a valuable product.
    But like many/most application I am not satisfied with one thing: it is not portable in the sense that if you decide to switch to another “note organizing system” all you time investment is lost…

  3. I am using the Beta and I think it’s the best thing that has ever happened to note-taking! I have been a long time user of their product, and I’m just loving it.

  4. I am also using the Beta version. Previously used the 2.2 version from Giveawayoftheday.com, but it seriously lacked an online version. Since I cannot install the software everywhere I work, being a consultant working at different companies during the year.

    I like the Beta version a lot and use it daily already. Really good article on it.

  5. I’ve also started using the beta and amd really impressed. One way I’m using it is to build up a database of my business cards. I take a quick snap using my mobile phone, which I can then mail to my Evernote account. Evernote then automagically runs OCR on the business card meaning that the text on the card is searchable. So if I can half remember a persons name or company I can type it into Evernote and get a list of all the matched business cards. I can even type notes into the message that I send with the card (at a mingle for instance) which will show up with the original card.

    Alongside that I can photo other notes, flyers etc or even people faces and send them to Evernote as a record of things I’ve done.

  6. Anthony Russo Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Excellent application, and even gets better when mixed with Jott.com as I just talk into my cell phone and Evernote remembers what I say for me. The WebClipper is kinds flaky at times, but the Universal Clipper that runs in the tray is excellent and I take screenshots all the time in applications that dont usually copy too well.

    I can even use it in an online game to take a quick screenshot and save it to Evernote instantly.


  7. I just found this today through a series of connections that I will never get back to. I can see it’s potential for organizing URL’s and web searches, as well as it’s use for writers. Now, I want to integrate my computers and phone’s with my brain and have it remember my thoughts and experiences for me. Visit my blogs and websites for the beginning discussions on these subjects. Femtobeam.Spaces.Live.com Femtobeam.gather.com
    I am preparting to go into a beta of hardware, software and brainware integration and services with a new company, Femtobeam (currently being formed)

  8. great article on memory improvement, must also visit memory improvement

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