To call Evernote a product wouldn’t do it justice. This uber-popular note taking service has expanded to the point where it is an entire platform. Now there are dozens (if not hundreds) of applications that tap into the service for backup and more that enhance it. It is free for limited use and for a small price you can get almost unlimited uploading for notes and pictures.
If you aren’t familiar with Evernote, I will let Wikipedia explain it to you:
“Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms (including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and WebOS), and also offers online synchronization and backup services.”
If you have used Evernote, you may have realized that it could make a splendid digital journal. Not only is it free but also available on almost any platform and very easy to use. Still, I personally would never use it as a daily journal. This is mostly because the service is almost to broad to be used just for journaling. In other words, I wouldn’t want to mix all of my notes with my private journal entries. Most people probably wouldn’t care and I think Evernote is a great option for them.
In fact, my wife recently came to me looking for a better journaling solution. She wanted to keep a personal journal that was accessible from both her iPhone and Mac laptop. Additionally, she wanted to keep journals for both of our kids (that are way to small to keep their own).
I thought about this long and hard- I couldn’t mess this up for my own family! I thought of Evernote but didn’t think she would like to use it as we have recently tried to go paperless with Evernote as our medium. I wanted Meernotes to work, but it didn’t have an elegant way to journal from a computer (I realized that I could have her go into a backed up Dropbox note to update an entry from a computer, but I tried it and it was anything but ideal).
Ultimately I recommended Day One for her. It is simple and attractive and even recently was given the ability to include pictures. It also has a Mac version to go along with the iPhone app so she can write on the go or with a keyboard if she would like.
If Day One had the ability to keep multiple journals within the app, my quest would have been completed. She would have been able to keep three separate journals for herself and the kids. Since Day One doesn’t have this feature, however, I had to keep looking.
That is where Evernote came in. Since kids journals don’t need to be personal or private I realized Evernote would be the perfect medium for this project. She could write stories about them and even include pictures from nearly any device. The organizational benefits would also really help keep everything cataloged and sorted using notebooks, tags and stacks.
Another benefit is that since we have been trying to go paperless, we recently purchased a Scansnap scanner which is directly connected to our family Evernote account. This means that any crayon coloring (no matter how illegible), certificate or drawing can just be scanned and tagged and it will also instantly be part of that childs journal!
I feel that this solution is the best for what my wife and I were looking for. I’m still happy with Penzu but am excited to help contribute to these records of our children’s lives.
Any Evernote journalers out there?