May 22, 2012

Evernote: Productivity tool packs a punch

Evernote uses optical character recognition to find words within images and turn them into searchable text. Wild!

Change the way you document the world with this smart little app

Guest post by Janet Fouts
Social Media Coach

Productivity software? I’ve tried it. It seems to never do what I need it to do, and I spend more time setting it up and loading stuff into it than I do actually using it. Most of the apps I’d tried also had accessibility issues. Sometimes they synced, sometimes they didn’t, and I was constantly maintaining the tool that was supposed to make my life easier.

Until now. In a blog post I came upon, marketing ace Steve Rubel made a casual remark about a product called Evernote. This, my friends, is a very cool app.

In a nutshell, Evernote lets you add information to a database that is accessible through the Web, a desktop app, and your iPhone, Blackberry or smartphone. Items are tag-able and fully searchable so you can add pretty much anything, run a search, and quickly find it again wherever you are.

Let Evernote serve as your memory

Now when I say you can upload things, try to visualize this. You’re at a networking event and you suck at remembering names. With Evernote you can take a picture of a person with your phone, tag them with their name and they’re saved for future reference in your database. Even more interesting, include their name badge in the snapshot, even a handwritten name tag, and Evernote will recognize the handwriting and enter it as searchable text! Whoa!

Evernote can even turn a handwritten name tag into searchable text

Evernote can find text within images, recognize it and make the text searchable. The image at top is a snapshot I took of the bag given out at N2Y4 Mobile Challenge. The highlighted yellow text is the result of a search for the words “Mobile Challenge” in my Evernote database. I hadn’t even tagged it yet. I also found my notes from Raj Singh’s lecture, the images of the slides he put up, the website homepage with session info, and a reminder to connect with one of the people I met at that talk. Continue reading