Too Much Data? New Evernote Should Help

Evernote launched a redesigned version of its iPhone (s aapl) software Tuesday, adding new views and features that further help organize thoughts on the go. Evernote 4, available in the iTunes App Store, now supports multiple attachments and up to 90 minutes of audio recording per note. A new resources button helps to find information based on context, and users can find notes on a map, based on the location where the data was entered, or browse by images or attachments. The popular software is free with limited use and storage, and available in a premium option for $5 per month or $45 per year.

Indeed, many of the changes in this Evernote update are to help people find the growing amount of data they’ve captured using the application. In addition to the new geo-tagged resource views, Evernote users can browse by individual notebooks or by the tags assigned to captured thoughts. Here’s a brief video look at the new views, features and design changes.

A blog post on the Evernote site notes that there are more changes to come; there were simply too many new features on the table to cram into this one release. Many of the changes will filter into the iPad version of the software which, like its iPhone counterpart, is free with limited use and storage, and available in a premium option for $5 per month or $45 per year. I’ve found the free version to be enough for my occasional use, but the extra online storage capacity merits a look at the paid option now that the app is easier to use.

While this new version has the spotlight today, I’m betting that most current and potential Evernote users don’t know the humble beginnings of this personalized, note-capture service. I’ve actually been using Evernote since 2004, when it arrived as a constantly expanding, never-ending roll of notepaper on Microsoft Windows Tablet PCs (s msft). (Now you know where the name came from!) It attracted my attention because it helped then, as it does now, to sift through a vast collection of my notes. The killer feature then, in my opinion, is still there today: captured images that contain text were scanned using OCR, or optical character recognition, so even text in photos is indexed and searchable.

The Evernote client software was eventually supplemented with mobile versions and the cloud-based service offered today, causing it to rightfully appear on many “top 10” lists for productivity software. Even before the application redesign that launched today, Evernote is a case-study in both the freemium app approach and the move from machine-centric to cloud-based solutions. And with the new look and features, the case-study continues.

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