With the demise of further development of Google Notes, I didn't seriously think for long about implementing my own web notebook. Instead, I've persevered with Evernote and it's gradually infiltrating my daily habits.
Me, I like lists, so I've captured some thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses.
- Web access means ubiquitous access
- Native iPhone app means it suits the limited UI
- Native Windows and Mac apps, mean that clipping and saving both native and web content is easy
- Accepts rich formatted text, pictures, PDF attachments
- The free version is pretty capable (for now)
- Text recognition on images, so the text is searchable. This is pretty clever
- Lack of decent text editing. I hate making something a heading by selecting bold, and upping the font size. I want styles, or at least HTML-type headings (h1, h2…).
- Searching on iPhone is a bit painful, although very flexible. Why can't I just go to a home page with a list of all the notebooks?
- Lack of rich text editing on the iPhone, so you can't edit most of the docs you create
- Can't select Google Mail as my email client on any platform
What I am getting used to is having all this information at my fingertips, wherever I am — work, home, or out and about. It's a GTD inbox for one. I also keep a shopping list on there, so when I have an idea, it's quick to add, and when I'm in the supermarket, there it is. Same with books to read when I'm in a bookshop, DVDs to watch when I'm in the video store and so on. I have some favourite recipes on there so I can think about what to cook when I'm at the shop and know what ingredients I need to get. And so the list of uses goes on.
Some have suggested that Evernote is a killer app for the iPhone. That's overstated, but it's certainly a good example of how a ubiquitous network and multi-platform client can make your information more mobile.
Another example I talk about: I was in a café one Saturday morning reading a magazine, and saw a recipe that was worth noting down. I could have quietly (and selfishly) torn it out of the mag, I could have tried to find it on the Internet, or I could have typed it into my iPhone, but no, I photographed it with the iPhone and uploaded it to Evernote using the app. Some time later it got OCR'ed and the text is now searchable. That's pretty neat.