Evernote is software that is a digital extension to your biological memory. Remembering ideas becomes trivial.
The intellectual demands on professional life can be overwhelming. Great minds are best deployed to the intractable problems to hand. But life is made up of lots of little things that have to be remembered. Evernote stops you wasting effort on remembering all those little things, and liberates your imagination.
In March 2014, I presented this paper to the American Bar Association at their annual legal technology conference TECHSHOW.
What makes Evernote joyful to use is that it mirrors the distinctive way in which you, personally, remember and recall ideas. Evernote adapts to you.
- Perhaps you like to highlight journal articles in different colours each with their own meaning: Evernote can capture those colours from paper magazines and retrieve them swiftly.
- Do you wish you could add your own spoken thoughts about an article that you just read, so that you can listen to those same thoughts months later when reviewing the article? Evernote can record your thoughts and file them with the article, so that even if you forget that you made an audio note it nevertheless comes back of its own accord when you retrieve the journal article in future.
- Do you have a flash of inspiration at 9pm on a Saturday night and need the insight to return to your consciousnesses at 11am Monday? Let Evernote watch the time and prompt you by delivering the information right at the precise moment you need it.
You don't need to learn any new system. You don't need to change. You keep doing what you do in the way that you like doing it. And you let Evernote - on your telephone - adapt to you.
Evernote also has some other magic tricks.
- Do you scribble notes in messy handwriting on post-it notes? Evernote can recognize your handwriting. Watch Evernote do that here.
- Reading on a computer screen is hard - particularly as we get older. What if you could make any web page look more like paper, automatically increase the text size, and have an on-screen highlighter? Watch Evernote do that here.
- Imagine being able to search something in your memories that you remember seeing but didn't write down? You can see the scene so clearly in your mind's eye - if only you could focus in on one part of the picture. You don't need to imagine anymore. Watch Evernote do that here.
Videos form part of the paper because some things are better seen than read. Most of the videos run only a few minutes each. Just click on the links in the paper and start watching.
The paper is designed with a legal audience in mind, but is probably well understood by professionals and anyone with an interest in using Evernote better.