On and off for the past week I have been playing around with Evernote (still in Beta), now that the program will be available for the Mac. Like other versions of the keep your brain organized programs (Devon, Yojimbo, OneNote), Evernote promises to let you “remember everything,” indeed its icon is an “elephant” (personally I think one of these programs should go with a goldfish, as in you only have to remember something for 3 seconds to use the program). While I am an avid user (some say fan-boy) for Devon I am willing to consider other options, and Evernote had three features which were enticing: 1) A clean simple “Mac-like” interface (this is my main complaint with Devon). 2) Web Syncing-which would allow me to use it anywhere via the iPhone and 3) Text recognition with images (i.e. you can handwrite notes, take a picture, and save it to your database).
But my conclusion, not powerful enough, not even close. Evernote is designed to be a note capturing, note taking, program, not a research organization one. For example, you can clip info from websites and import easily to your database, but the process takes a couple of extra steps as it routes you through a webpage for confirmation, not for the high-powered clipping. Second, it doesn’t directly import .pdfs (or not at least as easily as Devon), instead you have to convert the content into notes, and I couldn’t figure out an easy way to import audio or video files (not even sure it can handle these). Third, and most importantly it doesn’t even come close to the search function of Devon, which suggests other terms, similar terms, related terms, does fuzzy logic, shows other articles which are similar, can suggest sorting and filing locations for articles, and summarize . . .
So, while one could use Evernote as an on-the-go note taking sorting application, a remember everything, organize your research application it is not.
I do have ten invites if others would like to beta-test. Leave a comment below and I will email you an invitation if you want to give it a try.