Last week, I wrote about 3 simple note-taking apps that made it easy to keep your life in order. Those apps didn’t have very many features, but that was the whole point, the focus was on the note-taking. In this weeks article, let’s look at two competing note-taking apps, Evernote and Springpad which are bursting with features and aim to completely reorganise your life.
Evernote’s greatest strength and feature, is that you can find it everywhere. I have it installed on both my Mac and my PC, I have an Evernote extension for Chrome, and I also have an Android app. It is also available for the iPhone, BlackBerry, WebOS, and the iPad, as well as all the major browsers. Unlike the note-taking apps I outlined in my previous article, taking notes in Evernote is not so simple. Of course, you can click on “New note” on the main page and start typing a short note, however this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The note itself can be in a number of formats including: audio, video, photo, text, etc. The note can also be formatted in a number of colourful ways.
In addition to creating and customising the notes, you can organise the notes by using notebooks and tags.
Once you have created your notes, formatted them, added a few tags and placed them in the appropriate notebooks, they should automatically sync to your other devices and to the Evernote website for easy access.
In addition to the basic task of creating and syncing notes, Evernote also allows you to do the following:
- Record voice notes
- Search for text inside images (using OCR)
- Email notes and share them across various social media platforms
- Save tweets as notes
- Easily save notes from other apps using the “Share” function
- Create a “to-do” list by creating checkboxes
- Save and bookmark webpages to view later
Lastly, if you would rather sketch down your thoughts, then check out Skitch, which is a great scribbling app that integrates into Evernote.
Springpad works much the same way as Evernote, by giving you a variety of tools to sync with and create notes with, but in my opinion, it has a much nicer interface.
When you start Springpad, you see a list of your notes. The colourful interface really makes it a pleasure to use.
To create a note, simply hit the “+” button.
Unlike Evernote, Springpad gives you a variety of things to add to “my stuff”. These include notes, tasks, searches, other media (photos, videos, audio), barcodes, and locations.
The great thing about Springpad is that it can effectively be a dump for anything that comes to your mind, it need not be limited to a linear note-format. You can:
- Create tasks, and to-do lists
- Look up products, places, movies and more and get instantly enhanced information
- Scan a barcode
- Take a photo or record a voice memo to save what you want to remember
- Add widgets to the home screen to save and access everything even faster
- Use the web clipper and Chrome extension to save web content
Once you have all the notes you want, everything is automatically categorized, synced and accessible everywhere. The categorization is based on medium and does not require you to manually create tags. You can also create notebooks and tags if you choose to do so.
Finally, you can act on your notes by setting reminders and sending content from the web to your phone and vice versa.
An in-depth review of all the features and functions of Evernote and Springpad are beyond the scope of this article. However, the small glance I have provided at their various features should help you make up your mind on which app you want to use. I personally prefer Evernote, because I use a variety of devices and it syncs across everything beautifully. However, Springpad’s organisation and UI is much more appealing to first time users.
Image credit: @boetter
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