By Kevin Tea
If, like me, Evernote has become the main focus of your data storage system, then you will be looking at ways of maximising the ways that you capture all that “stuff.” The ability to be able to enter all manner of file formats into Evernote is one of its key features and the developers have gone full on to ensure that as many conduits into the app are there for you.
So, what options are available?
Having evolved from a stand alone module called Clearly, the Evernote webclipper is a browser bolt on that creates a button in the top tool bar. Wherever you are on the web if you want to save a whole page, just the article and ignore sidebar information,bookmark the URL or just small parts of the page, press the webclipper icon and the data is synced to your account as a note.
Webclipper comes with extra tools that enable you to highlight, draw arrows, pixelate part of the screen, do a screenshot and more.
All major browsers are covered including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and even Opera.
Livescribe offers a range of electronic pens that, by using special notebooks that help record what you write using a small built in camera which then syncs with a desktop application and stores the notes for future use or syncing with the likes of Evernote or, if you cough up cash for a Livescribe premium account, Google Drive modules.
Livescribe pens come in three flavours, the Echo, Livescribe 3 with Bluetooth and Livescribe 3 with WiFi.
All Livescribe pens also provide you with a recording module so you can record everything from short aide memoirs to yourself or entire meetings.
Livescribe pens are not cheap but they are great to work with. Having said that, I resurrected my old Echo pen installed the new software, upgraded the pen firmware and it will not connect to my Evernote account. Ticket lodged with Livescribe tech support.
Edited to add: feedback from Livescribe tech support: “Also, in case you have activated Two-Step verification on your Evernote account we have to inform you that currently Livescribe Desktop is not compatible with accounts that have 2 factor authentication required. The only work around is disabling the application to link with your Evernote.”
With note taking on assorted Evernote apps on desktops, smartphones, tablets etc. being so easy, physically writing my hand into a notebook seems so retro. My online colleague Daniel Gold has long sung their praises so in a moment of weakness I bought a small pocket Moleskine notebook. Like Livescribe, Moleskine notebooks use special paper to enable whatever you write or draw in them can be recognised when you use the Evernote camera function to record your input.
Once you have photographed your Moleskine data and photographed it, that image is synced with your Evernote account where the background magic happens.with key word identification, etc. To help further identify your note Moleskine Evernote notebooks come with a selection of “smart stickers” that act as tags.
I am not sure that Moleskines work for me as my purchase remains in virgin condition three weeks after I bought it and clever marketing ups the price to eye watering levels. But Steve Dotto had initial doubts and became a convert. You can watch his video Road to Damascus here.
While we are in a retro mood the latest “gimmick” for capturing data is the old Post-It note which, like a Moleskine page, you photograph with your smartphone’s Evernote camera module and it whizzes into your account for future reference.
Miss E, take a letter! All Evernote apps have a dictation facility that enables you to record your thoughts and general ramblings and then sync them to your Evernote account. I read somewhere – but cannot remember because I didn’t webclip it! – that IoS users can use Siri to record and save voice notes into Evernote, but if this floats your boat then it shouldn’t be too hard to Google it.
There are times, circumstances and situations that the input methods outlined above cannot be used. For example, I work in a security conscious organisation that blocks all cloud based services and certainly would not entertain me putting the webclipper onto the version of Internet explorer we use because of legacy software issues! If I come across something I want to come back to I can either copy the data or the URL and use my business Outlook to email the cut and pasted data directly into my Evernote account.
As outlined above the Evernote camera facility is widely used to capture Post-It notes, Moleskine pages etc. so why not just use it for the basic down and dirty take a snap and sync it to your account. Simple, but very effective.