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Friday, August 05, 2011

Did Evernote just kill my Moleskine???

This has been the approximate location of my Moleskine for about the last three weeks (that's on the desk calendar on my desk in case you aren't familiar with the layout of my workspace). 

It's been coming for a while... But breaking up is always hard to do. 

As many of you know, I've been a faithful Moleskine user for quite some time.  I have several sitting already used and a new one still waiting in the wrapper on the shelf in my office.  The pages are marked with to-do lists, ideas, meeting notes, thoughts, dreams, phone numbers and the like.  I have carried them around on Sunday mornings and always in my backpack to jot down ideas or things that I need to remember.  I have planned countless events and knocked off lots of projects from my ministry to-do list.  Many of those at my church have grown used to seeing me having it with me at all times. 

But times are a changin'. 

The past two or three weeks have been a bit of a test.  A test of whether or not Evernote could handle the Moleskine's work.  And at this point, Evernote is passing with flying colors. 

If you aren't familiar with Evernote, it is an program for both computer (Mac OS X and Windows) and mobile phones that syncs up online.  The free version, which I am currently using, has a limited amount of storage per month.  But I can store just about anything that I want... pictures... lists... ideas... snipets from books that I'm reading... random thoughts... things that I've found interesting on the Internet. 

If you aren't familiar with a Moleskine, it's basically a fancy tablet with lots of blank pages for capturing ideas. 

There are a couple of reasons why Evernote is taking the lead and the Moleskine is fading out of my ministry life:
  1. Evernote has limitless pages.  I can jot down a thought or an idea and move on.  I always felt bad or worried that I would lose an idea if I just wrote down one thing on a page... felt that I was wasting a whole page.  With Evernote, as long as I don't go over my monthly quota... and you can get more by upgrading... I don't have to worry about wasting a page.  Plus, I don't have to buy a new Moleskine when all the pages are full. 
  2. Evernote lets me "tag" things.  Basically this is assigning a keyword(s) to a note so I can find it quickly in the future.  Nothing frustrates me more than taking 25 minutes to find something that I can't find.  With Evernote, I go up to the search tag and search for it.  Bam! There are all the notes with that word or phrase. 
  3. I can save more things that simply written words in Evernote.  I can save pictures... audio files... PDFs of things that I've scanned... websites... pages that I've clipped from websites (Firefox has an add-on that makes that super easy).  If I read something or think that something might be helpful in the future, I can save it super-quick and easy!
  4. All my notes in Evernote sync with my mobile phone... which is with me any way.  No need to carry two things.  
  5. Evernote is free!  Both the mobile app and Mac OS app are free.  If you want to upgrade for more storage, you can for $45 a year (or two-three Moleskines).  At this point, I've never even gotten close to using up all my monthly usage.  
While I hate that I'm losing a trusted partner in crime and I hate that I'm losing the feel of paper and pen... the functionality of Evernote is making it more practical. 

So, Moleskine, is this the end?  For now, I believe it is.


Links:
Evernote in the Mac App store.
Evernote in the iTunes app store for iPhone.
Evernote websites with downloads for other computer programs (windows, Android, iPad, etc).

By the way: Evernote didn't pay me to write this article or review... Just one person passing along what's working for me. 

Jim


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