Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ever note? Or; what's up [with] Docs?

CPD23 catch-up week is upon us: it's spooky how they knew I would fall behind at this point... I'm not sure that it's wise to try to start up again on the part where I got stuck, but I'm going to plough ahead anyway and see what happens.

I had always planned to post the Evernote Thing a little later than usual, as I had never used Evernote and wanted to have some time to play with it before writing. Unfortunately, I never got around to registering and using the product; still haven't in fact! [goes off to correct this and read cpd23 briefing]. First thing: don't talk down to me, Evernote. If I want patronising, I'll use an Apple product. Don't pass off fairly common technology as 'magic'.

I may not get the full experience of Evernote, as I cannot install the client on my work PC (not without a great deal of hassle involving Information Systems colleagues, forms to evidence why I need said software and sacrificing a sentient mammal to Quetzalcoatl anyway). For this same reason, I cannot use the 'web clipper' either. I could install these on my home PC, and on my Android handset and maybe my iPod if I was really ambitious, but the web version would still be where I spent 90% of my time using Evernote, so I'll base my appraisal solely on this. I'm not sure how much I'd really use the 'on-the-go' versions of Evernote, as I'm largely sedentary and detest typing anything longer than txtspk on my phone; I see the value when out and about at events, but I don't attend that many, and my current strategy of frantic scribbling and later access to slides/resources covers 95% of sources/notes I want to capture.

I can see the usefulness of keeping notes from several sources (web, email, twitter, real life posters/whiteboards/business cards [via photo]) in one place. I've tried to do much the same thing in the past using Google Docs (scraps of data as text documents, often with little content in the doc aside from the title), but obviously this is a very different experience, with a more pleasant GUI and functionality more suited to notetaking. I doubt I would make much use of the photograph-manipulation features, as I'm rarely in that kind of context, but appreciate its existence.

Overall, I can see the merits of Evernote as a tool to answer lots of problems; they're just not problems which I particularly have. I can get by fine note-taking in Google Docs (as long as it doesn't keep seizing up as it has for the last week or so...) and, if I desperately have to make a note whilst I'm in the field, I can either jot it in my phone and sync it as a note later or just scribble it on my hand. It may be something of a snap judgement, but Evernote isn't for me.

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