Apps for Windows Phone:

Evernote: More than just taking notes

Overview:

Whether you are a highly organized individual or a messy ogre, you would have used/seen Evernote. Unless you are living under a rock, in that case, you might not have. For the uninitiated, it’s that green app with “Elephant” icon on your smartphone screen. In a world dominated by red or blue, the green of Evernote brings a breeze of freshness to the same old home screen. Whether you have it or not, Evernote is a cross-platform cloud-based note-taking app and much more.

Consider it as your electronic cabinet for filing all the documents that are cluttering your desk. You can fill it with e-papers, audio clips, photos, web pages, or pretty much everything you want to sort or organize, as “notes.” Well, asking it to sort your socks is going too far now.

All your “notes” stored with Evernote, can further be organized under different “notebooks,” with separate categories akin work docs, family, friends, designs, agreements, or anything else you want to conjure up. You can also assigns tags like “personal” or “work” to your notes. It makes searching for them a tad easier. Every time you look for any tag you have created, the notes associated with it will show up. You can have up to 250 such notebooks with your free Evernote account. You can always upgrade your account ($5 per month or $45 per year). Available for Windows (Desktop and Touch), Windows Phone, Android, Mac OS X, iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), BlackBerry, and WebOS, Evernote gives immense flexibility to organizations and individuals alike.

The user interface for different platforms (specifically for Windows and Mac) can be different; however, the core functionality of the app remains same for all.

Why Evernote?

Simply put, because you cannot take your bulky notes and files everywhere. Now, there are other apps like Google Keep and Microsoft’s OneNote that gives you the same functionality, but none of them comes closer to Evernote, in terms of ease of use and the awesome text editor box. Operable on pretty much every platform and browser, Evernote, is a boon for modern professionals and businesses.

You not only can read and edit your notes on the move, but also can create new ones ahead of your impending meetings. With features like adding images, audio recordings, web clippings, file attachments, and reminders, Evernote is one destination for all your documents. And with its real time Sync feature, you will always have the updated version of your notes on all your connected devices.

The Design:

Accentuated by the signature green, the flat design of Evernote has a minimalistic approach to it. The Android users have some control over color scheme of the app, allowing you to choose from green, dark and light themes. But we like the default green.

The default home screen of the app has nicely sized flat buttons for creating New Note, attaching image, attachment, creating audio note, and upgrading your account. Our only gripe with the home screen is the translucent “VIEW ALL NOTES” button, which requires some time to get use to. Clicking on the big “+” of New Note opens a neat text editor box, this makes taking note a fluent experience.

In typical Windows Phone fashion, to add a picture, tag a note, or more options comes up through eclipse. The buttons to open camera, start audio recording, putting bullets and check mark are given right at the bottom of the screen. While, that does not create any nuisance on the screen, we think the buttons for bullets and check marks could have been replaced by better alternatives.

Overall, the uniquely designed Windows App for Evernote, is easy to get use to, with still some room for enhancement in the user interface department. However, if you are an avid Windows Phone user, you would not notice any difference. The same cannot be said for the users coming from the land of Android and iOS.

What’s different in Windows Phone?

The first thing you will notice about the Windows Phone App for Evernote is, how surprisingly different it is than any other Evernote mobile app, if you have used any. Now, without taking away anything from the prophets of uniformity among the mobile apps across the platforms, we think the design here keeps up with the flat design of Windows Phone platform and is a welcome change. You certainly can choose to disagree.

In terms of functionality, like on all platforms, the Windows Phone App too has some idiosyncrasies to it. To be very precise, the awesome search engine of Evernote does not allow cross-Notebook search for your Note, if you are inside a Notebook i.e. you need to come to main screen to search for a Note saved in any other Notebook. It’s just annoying at times.

Overall, with its minor annoyances, the Evernote App does a brilliant job at being your everyday notebook, for students, professionals, and organizations alike.

Free or Premium: What’s good for me?

Even “To be or not to be” does not come closer to the dilemma of “Free or Premium.” The evangelists of free and premium versions of every app can be found professing their theories all around us. It is the same with the “Free” and “Premium” versions of Evernote. With $5 per month or $45 per year, the arguments, both, for and against, the free and premium versions are equally tempting. Including the ad free experience and an increased storage space.
While the free accounts get 60MB per month limit for their documents, without any total limit for lifetime, the premium accounts get 1GB upload per month. Some more features available for premium accounts, but not for the free ones include a dictation tool, geo-location tagging of notes, feature to save notebooks offline, and the ability to record audio memos.

If those features excite you as a user and you do not mind a nominal fee of $45/Year you can upgrade your account. Even if you do not, the overall experience of using Evernote does not change drastically.

Are my notes safe?

Like any cloud based service, the questions regarding the safety of Evernote have been surfacing time and again. Especially, because the notes stored on Evernotes servers are not encrypted. This makes them susceptible to any security breach. If that scares you, you might not feel confident storing your notes on Evernote cloud.

But, the cloud based service is just one aspect of it, the other one is the app itself. You can choose Evernote offline to store your documents on your local device and eradicate the safety concern associated with them being on cloud. However, that also means that your Notes will not be synched and available for you on other connected devices. For more security concerns, you can go through the privacy policy of Evernote. Will you?

The Evernote Experience:

The robust Evernote app, operable across different devices has made it an imperative productivity tool for modern users. The beautifully designed text editor box makes taking notes (even the long ones) a seamless experience. The wide array of options available, allows you to add voice recording, image, art, or any attachment, making it just the complete tool for any meeting or classroom.

If typing long texts on small screens is not your thing, there is the desktop and tablet app as well. There also is the audio note taking app, which you can always use to record important moment of meetings. The syncing on cloud is a brisk affair, allowing you to keep your notes in sync on all your devices.

Overall, in the fast paced modern life, Evernote is a brilliant way to carry your notes around.

A little note for you:

The wide assortment of ways in which Evernote can be used, makes it overwhelming at the outset. However, once you settle in, it is just a brilliant digital cabinet for notes, files, photos, and more.

Personally, we like to carry along our notes and save Web Pages with us, and we haven’t found anything better to do so. The design is easy to get acquainted to and so is the user interface. The sync feature keeps everything updated, so any list that you create on your computer, tablet, or phone remains the same across the devices. If you are an unorganized tyrant looking to get organized, look no further than Evernote or at least give it a try.