The notebook-on-steroids service Evernote has been steadily growing stronger since its App Store debut. Version 3.0 is the best yet with some extra features that improve its usefulness and stability.
Evernote is designed to keep notes, voice recordings, photos, and web clippings within one app and synced across multiple devices. Clip a web site on your Mac, and then view it later from within Evernote on your iPhone. Or tap out a few notes on your iPhone and then pull them up later from your Windows PC. Given that many people have two or more computers to keep in sync along with their iPhone, this is an excellent feature.
Evernote’s greatest strength is its cross-platform appeal. Along with a dedicated iPhone app there are desktop versions for both Windows and Mac. The closest thing to Evernote on the PC is Microsoft’s OneNote – an excellent notetaking app in its own right, but it lacks the over-the-air syncing and cross-platform extendability.
From within the Evernote iPhone app you can create a new text, photo, or audio note. You can take a new picture or import an existing one from the iPhone photo gallery. Notes can be assigned a name and tagged to make for easier searching. Notes created on your desktop version are available for viewing or editing – though certain notes with photos or special fonts will only allow you to append text at the end. Evernote establishes a custom e-mail and Twitter address so you can e-mail in notes or save tweets. If you are worried about heading somewhere the AT&T network coverage may be a bit spotty, mark a note as a Favorite and it will be available without an Internet connection.
An Evernote account is free (so is the app), although you get some extra perks by signing up for a $45-per-year premium account. The premium service increases the amount of data you can upload, uses SSL encryption, and removes the ads in the desktop version (a full comparison of the free and premium accounts can be found here). If you find yourself more of a casual user, then the free version will probably meet your needs.
Evernote is not perfect. It can be a bit poky at times – so much so that when I just want to write a quick note I will use the native iPhone app and then email it into Evernote (you could do the same with the new Voice memos app). Sometimes even though Evernote says your notes are all synced, the newest ones take a bit longer to show up.
Despite these minor glitches Evernote has been one of my favorite iPhone apps. It is incredibly useful and continues to get better. It is an essential productivity tool for any iPhone user.