My App Addiction: Evernote

My App Addiction: Evernote

Feb 26, 2018

Like this needs any clarification…

Long, long ago, when I first got into mobile computing — styli devices were the rage — I really made an effort to do without physical paper. Every major platform at the time (including Palm, WinMo, etc.) had some sort of proprietary note taking utility, which was great… until you needed/wanted to leave the platform for another for whatever reason.

Nothing hurts more than losing collated inspiration to a computer crash or a hotsync failure.

It got better, and with the advent of true smartphones and cloud-computing, great cross-platform apps became more prevalent. This is how I originally found Evernote.

Why did it work for me? Well, on its own, it was a really well-designed app, and continued to get better. More importantly, the Evernote mobile app became my go-to almost anywhere I needed it: on my smartphone, on the web, in the cloud. As long as I had access to a portal, I was golden.

Still am.

Typically, I’ll write a note, snap a photo or make a sketch within the app on the go. If it needs more work, as in the first part of a complex project, I can then pull up the rudimentary entry and add detail, or convert it to something else as needed.

I also am somewhat beholden to the cottage industry of compatible hardware, like Moleskine notebooks that work with Evernote. On any given day, I can revert to handwriting and still save up my notes that way. There are a few apps that have native compatibility, and on Android, the app is almost always one of the top choices in the share menu.

Yes, there are other alternatives, and I can see where the developer may very well limit more of the free features to drive users to get a premium subscription; such is the world of mobile app monetization these days. That’s the thing: it pays to be early, and it pays to be good early.

Evernote beta adds fingerprint functionality and more

Evernote beta adds fingerprint functionality and more

Jun 22, 2017

Preeminent note utility Evernote is becoming potentially easier to use for people that have devices that have fingerprint authentication built in.

Now, immediately after the update, one is prompted with the option to add a fingerprint pinlock. This option can also be accessed from Evernote app Settings (in Account Info); here, all you have to do is scroll down to “Set up passcode lock” and set a 4-digit code.

When this is done, one can then attach it to one’s fingerprint authentication already set up on equipped devices.

The new build also adds in the ability to choose how users save photos. When you take a photo in the app, the app prompts you to save it as a photo, document, color document, a Post-it Note or a business card.

The new build also notes improvements to the syncing process.

Evernote remains free; there are premium subscription offers in-app. The new features are available now, and are included in the free bracket.


Evernote Gets an Update

Evernote Gets an Update

Feb 21, 2017

Collaborative note-taking application Evernote is releasing a new build that looks to be even more useful to its users.

Sharing functionality is the major talking point of this update (per Google Play):


We know sharing your work is important, so we’ve made some improvements.
Now, it’s easier to
* Send notes with other apps
* Share a link to a note that people can open even if they don’t have an account
* Invite others to collaborate
* See who else can access your content
The Shared section has gotten even better–filter the list of shared content to spend less time searching. Just enter a word from the title of the note or notebook or the name of who shared with you. Voilà!

Evernote remains free (with optional paid tiers) on Google Play.

Evernote Adds in New Section via Update

Evernote Adds in New Section via Update

Dec 8, 2016

Evernote is getting an update that adds in a new section.

Called “Sharing,” the new section brings in all notes and notebooks that have been shared with the user in one place.

Evernote remains free to use on the Play Store.

Evernote Add Note Stats and Camera Improvements via Update

Evernote Add Note Stats and Camera Improvements via Update

Oct 12, 2016

Popular note-taking utility Evernote got some tweaking today.

The current update adds note stats; now, users can see word counts, as well as the number of characters, lines, and paragraphs there are in a note.

Additionally, the developer made improvements to the camera autofocus.

Finally, there are the ubiquitous big squashing.

Evernote remains free on Google Play; there are premium tiers available to upgrade to in-app.

Evernote to Limit Number of Linked Devices on Free Accounts

Evernote to Limit Number of Linked Devices on Free Accounts

Jul 2, 2016

If you’re using the free tier of Evernote, it might be time to upgrade if you want to use it on more than two devices, as the popular note-taking utility is letting folks know that there will be a hard limit — yes, two — to the number of devices one can link to it if one is using a free account (otherwise known as Evernote Basic).

In condensed form, if one, say, owns three Android devices, and wants to use Evernote on all of them, one has to pick which ones to use it on. The good news is that Evernote on the web does not count against the limit.

To see how many devices are authorized to use Evernote on one’s account, all one has to do is sign into Evernote on the web, and then navigate to “Devices” in the Account tab. From there, one can revoke access to any extraneous devices.

Evernote Gets Better Link Support and More via Update

Evernote Gets Better Link Support and More via Update

Jun 15, 2016

Premier note-taking utility Evernote rarely rests in its laurels, and its current update underscores this.


* Better support for links in notes
* Improved handwriting support
* View notes in full screen on tablets
* Various bug fixes

Evernote remains free (with in-app purchases).

Google Drive Gets Better Compatibility with Evernote

Google Drive Gets Better Compatibility with Evernote

May 12, 2016

Google Drive is becoming a better tool with better tie-ins to note-taking utility Evernote.

Excerpts from the blog posts detailing the improvements:

Instead of pasting links to files, Drive content added to Evernote will now include thumbnail previews and a rich viewing experience. You can also search Drive from Evernote and any changes to files in Drive will sync automatically with your notes. There’s even a handy icon in the Evernote toolbar to jump right into your Drive.

Evernote product chief Erik Wrobel talks up the enhanced integration. “Evernote is where people capture and nurture ideas,” he says. “This integration with Google Drive helps people cultivate those ideas with rich context.”

The new features are available now; both apps are free on Google Play.

Check out the trailer highlighting the changes below:

[via Google Drive Blog]

Evernote Improves Data Entry Tools via Update

Evernote Improves Data Entry Tools via Update

May 2, 2016

Evernote is getting updated, allowing the well regarded note-taking utility to add in-app features like special text attributes, amongst other things.

– Many enhancements to the editing experience
– Support for strikethrough, subscript, and superscript text styles
– Camera now automatically detects and captures business cards, documents, whiteboards, Post-it ® Notes and receipts
– Ability to mark up images and PDFs
– Select multiple notes at once
– ‘Trash’ can now be emptied

– Fixed many note display and note editing bugs
– Various bug fixes and stability improvements

Evernote remains free, with premium features available for purchase.

Evernote for Android Gets Update

Evernote for Android Gets Update

Sep 23, 2015

Evernote is getting some retouches via an update that is rolling out now; of note is the merging of the standalone widget companion utility back into the “main” app.

Per it’s Google Play page, the changes include:


Brand new widgets
• Three new widgets: Actions, Action Bar, and List
• Easily create and access notes right from your home screen
• New Simple Note lets you jot down quick text notes without opening the app
• Widgets are now added to your widget menu automatically when you install Evernote, no separate download

Miscellaneous bug fixes

The new build is available now, and Evernote remains free on Google Play.

Evernote Continues to Get Better with Another Update

Evernote Continues to Get Better with Another Update

Feb 28, 2015

Evernote seems to enjoy being one of the best note-taking tools on the market; it is getting yet another update:

Update includes:
– Improved formatting bar
– Ability to re-order reminders
– Improved camera for L devices
– Bug fixes

Evernote remains free (with optional in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen Hardware Review

Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen Hardware Review

Feb 25, 2015

When I look at adding accessories to my workflow, I try to keep to a few important precepts: portability, functionality and compatibility. Portability is obvious; the ability to use stuff on the go is quite important. With regards to functionality, before adding an addition or substitution to my creative/work process, I’d rather know that it is worth the time to make a change. Lastly, the ability to use a tool with other tools and across platforms is priceless.

On paper, Livescribe’s Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen seems to touch on these elements quite comfortably.

Livescribe has created quite the niche with in the smartpen offerings; it has several products, with one of the most celebrated (Livescribe 3 Smartpen) on its way to full Android compatibility shortly. The Sky Smartpen is more of a cross-platform workhorse that boasts some admirable tricks up its sleeve.

The review unit Livescribe sent us showed the piece in its retail glory: the 4GB pen, micro-USB cable, two covers and a good deal of documentation. Livescribe also cobbled together starter pack of sorts, as we also got a Livescribe starter notebook and a more ostentatious Livescribe Moleskine Lined Dot Paper Notebook.


The pen itself is interestingly designed, and, at first glance, I suspected it might be a tad unwieldy. It looks a bit like a traditional fountain pen, tapering from the “top” to the exposed pen tip. On the frame, one finds a speaker grill, microphone and monochrome OLED display, while at the very bottom, there is a 3.55mm audio jack and a micro-USB charging port. The unit also has a built-in camera and wi-fi chip.

The smartpen arrived mostly charged, do I was able to get right into using it. The online setup hints at some if the functionality coming up, as one gets it up and running with wi-fi and also connects to Evernote. Holding it in hand allayed in handling concerns I might have had.


The key is the paper in the notebooks. Using microdot technology and the camera in the pen, it allows the device accept commands from the paper, but also, it takes written data and translates it to Evernote, such that one sees a digitized form of the handwritten note in Evernote just as it appears in the notepad. It’s an interesting concept, and depends on wifi connectivity and, of course, the aforementioned paper.

In practice, the solution is dreamy. The paper incorporates visual commands that can be read by the smartpen camera when an icon is touched by the tip. One can write notes on the microdot paper, or initiate a voice note by visual voice command. When finished, syncing can be attempted (by icon as well), and it appears in a corresponding Evernote notebook. Even the setup is pretty interesting, and is facilitated by the same paper-camera combination.


The end result, when it works, is a smooth concept. I used it to take training notes while coaching, and having a digital copy that can be shared and otherwise manipulated is invaluable. Evernote functionality itself opens up a a wealth of secondary options (like Skitch) which increase usability. The microphone allows it to be used as a an audio recorder.

Ah, but the key is when it works. Updating the unit was a bit of a drag, and it took me quite some time to fix a sync issue. The notebook is a phenomenal idea, and while the smartpen can be used as, well, a pen, for full functionality, one needs to use the companion paper. Now, Livescribe does provide templates for people to print, but a postscript printer is needed to provide the visuals the smartpen needs to interface with. Also, the Sky Smartpen (at $170 on Amazon) can be a sizable investment.

There are a bunch of accessories, from pen cases to dedicated headphones to replacement ink cartridges that can potentially add even more usability to this device.

Even though it isn’t new on the market, this piece is an excellent cross-platform tool that creates a viable connected solution in the right hands.

It’s hard to put a price on that.