To date, this column has explored many different app synergy uses, each comprising a multitude of apps and steps. This week, we're doing something a little different. Rather than explore one use composed of many apps, we're going to look at many uses, which only require two apps each. The common link for each use will be Evernote, a well-regarded app that many people use, but few seem to use to its fullest potential. With its sizable trunk, Evernote is a natural fit for app synergy; it gains a wide variety of uses, depending on the app or peripheral it is paired with. It is impossible to include all of them in the space of this article. What follows is a sort of app use tasting menu, which highlights Evernote's versatility when used in synergy with other apps. We will start with the apps that Evernote develops itself and move on to some of Evernote's interesting interactions with third party apps. A special thanks goes out to Andrew Sinkov, Evernote's Marketing VP, for his assistance.
Use 1 - Organize Your Email (Evernote and Mail)
Anything that can be emailed can be organized in Evernote. Every Evernote account is associated with a specific email address, which you can add to your address book or contact list. Two of the main sortable categories within Evernote are notebooks and tags. From directly within your email subject line, you can choose a destination notebook for your message, as well as assign it a preexisting tag. The benefit of sending your emails to Evernote is the ability to use its advanced search features. Not only can you search general text, you can also search the text within an image, as seen in my "mood board" search below.
Use 2 - Draw Attention To Something (Evernote and Skitch)
Skitch for iPad is a productivity app made by Evernote. It is used to annotate your photos, screenshots, Web pages, and maps, which can then be applied to a variety of uses. For example, you can give directions to a team member, highlight a new hotspot to check out, or, as stated in the app's motto, "draw attention" to anything else you can think of. As expected, Skitch has easy integration with the main Evernote app, sending your annotated image with one simple tap.
Use 3 - Say Hello To A Stranger (Evernote and Evernote Hello)
The driving idea behind Evernote Hello is to help you remember people. With the app, you can see who you've met and be reminded of when and how you met them. Like with Evernote's other apps, Evernote Hello connects directly to the main app, allowing Evernote to become a contact storage manager. Evernote's CEO, Phil Libin, did a good video overview of the app, which I share here.
Use 4 - Journal Your Foodie Memories (Evernote and Evernote Food)
I am passionate about technology. I am equally, if not more, passionate about food. It's a wonderful thing when I can bring these passions together using app synergy. Evernote Food provides an easy interface to combine your beautiful food photos with all the information necessary to remember their context. When paired with Evernote, you can then create a food journal, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. You can also use this app to create a recipe database or share your memories with your friends.
Use 5 - Study For A Test (Evernote and Evernote Peek)
To me, Evernote Peek is the most interesting of the apps that Evernote makes. It allows you to turn the notebooks you create in Evernote into a useful study aid. What makes it more unique is its integration with the iPad Smart Cover. Raise a flap of your cover and you are presented with a clue, which was your note title. Raise your flap some more and you can see the answer, which was your note body. Even if you don't own a Smart Cover, the app comes with a virtual cover. It's an excellent way to study and also an excellent example of app synergy.
Use 6 - Write Something (Evernote and Penultimate)
Sometimes, I just want to jot down a note real quick without typing anything into it. Evernote doesn't have native handwriting functionality. Fortunately, Evernote recently bought Penultimate, which specializes in it. The app is already integrated with Evernote. All you need to do is link to your account from the settings icon and then send your page. Unfortunately, it seems like the search function in Evernote was not yet picking up my handwriting, but hopefully that will change in the future.
Use 7 - Make A Game Of Your Notes (Evernote and Evermatch notes)
Despite its name, Evermatch notes is not made or owned by Evernote. However, it is designed specifically to work with your Evernote account. It uses the notes stored in your account and creates a memory matching game out of them. There are various settings you can tweak to enhance your experience. For example, instead of matching two of the same notes, you can match notes that were created in the same time period. You can also have the game focus on older or more recent notes, or adjust the notes to randomly shuffle themselves as the game progresses. Evernote is an app meant to store all of your memories. Evermatch notes provides an interesting way of helping you recall those memories.
Use 8: Get Your News (Evernote and Feeddler)
When people think of saving articles to read later, they think of apps like Instapaper and Readability. To an extent, Evernote can do the same thing. It has a Web application that does do the same thing, although there is not yet an iOS counterpart. There is a workaround to this, but it's not the most simple process. Fortunately, there are many news apps that have direct integration with Evernote. I chose Feeddler RSS Reader Pro as an illustrative example. As seen, it's a simple thing to send an article to Evernote, as well as other common read it later apps. It should be noted that you need to be an Evernote premium member in order to get offline access to your notebooks.
I've only touched on some of the most basic uses that Evernote is capable of. There are many more, many of which use non-app services and peripherals. For example, Voice2Note is a Web-based service, which allows you to transcribe your audio notes into searchable, taggable text. Livescribe produces an actual pen, which digitizes your handwriting and sends it to Evernote. If you want even more Evernote use ideas, you can check out tips and stories shared by Evernote users.
Evernote is many things. It's a company and it's an app. But it's also a platform. Many people are intimidated to enter the Evernote environment because they find it complex. Hopefully, this article has demonstrated that Evernote is not so much complex, as it is diverse. As explained to me by Andrew Sinkov, Evernote is about creating contexts and memories. By nature, this covers a lot of ground, from photography, to productivity, to news, and everything in between. Ultimately, Evernote is what you make of it. You can make it simple. You can make it complex. Try to make it yours.