I’m sitting here on my iPad really enjoying much of what Evernote offers. It isn’t so much that I’m able to do everything, but for the kind of device that the iPad is (as I use it), it actually is almost a perfect application. That said, if I could enhance it a bit, I think that not only would it be a better application/service, but it might just change a lot more than how we remember things.
Enhancement #1: Rich Text in Notes
The number one issue that I have in just the writing aspect of Evernote on the iPad is that if I have rich text (meaning formatting such as bullets, bold, italics, etc.) that I’ve done in the web browser version, it won’t show up like that in the iPad version. Yes, this could be something that only happens in the Premium version of Evernote, but man, having this alone would be so helpful.
Enhancement #2: Connect to Blog/Content Management Services
Right now, there’s this great application(-like) framework called Trunk that Evernote is pushing. Basically, it is a way to add applications to your mobile, desktop/PC, or accessory environments to get a bit more out of Evernote. On the software side, its simple things like taking a note and bookmark from Olive Tree‘s Bible Reader and adding it directly into Evernote.
I’d like to see something come out on this end for blog and content management services. Off the bat, a connector that would take my WordPress blog, turn it into a notebook in my Evernote instance, and then anything that I write in there and add the tag “publish” to would automatically publish to WordPress, but also be seen in my Evernote notebook. Along with that, I’d love to see a SharePoint connector that would take a document/slide/picture library from there and add it as a notebook in Evernote that I could view in an online or offline state. Bonus points there for allowing me to also be able to edit the properties of an item from Evernote and have it sync back to the server.
Enhancement #3: Import RSS Feeds of Picture Galleries as Notebooks
Similar to the above idea, I’d like to be able to subscribe to an RSS feed of images, and then have that feed appear as a notebook within my Evernote account.
This could be a easy money maker for Evernote too since there’s a limit towards how much space per month a user can transfer/use. After a person gets to a certain percentage of their allowance for the month with this plugin, a note from Evernote asking the person if they want to upgrade or risk not seeing new pics until the next month would work so very well.
Enhancement #4: Option to Turn Images into Vectors (then Edit)
One of the things that I’ve been doing with Evernote a lot is to take photos of my whiteboard on my mobile and send them to Evernote. Usually though, I only need a few pieces of that whiteboard – and usually not on that original image. I’d love to have an extension or feature that would turn an image into a vector that could then be cropped into smaller bits, and saved as a new image. That new image could then be added to other notebooks or items in notebooks for better usage.
For example, I have a whiteboard calendar, I already take a snapshot before major trips. Being able to take that snapshot and while traveling (or at a rest stop while traveling), I could take that image, cut the days out and paste them into my calendar (or better yet get some image recognition in there and it goes into the calendar automatically, with the cropped image as an attachment), then I’d be all too happy.
And as long as these don’t count too much against that monthly quota (even on Premium accounts), this too could be very useful.
The One Enhancement I Won’t Ask For (Yet)
There is only one thing that I’m not sure that I’m ready to do with Evernote just yet, and that is have a notebook, or a few notebooks, that are shared between me and other people. I can see the use-case where it would work well. I’m just not yet at that point with Evernote where it needs to be in the product just yet. I do see it useful for many, and so it could very well be that feature for most other folks.
With that, I also won’t ask for integration with Google Docs. Yes, I wish it were there. But, its not and I can accept that. Dropbox would be very nice though (hint, hint).
What I See with Evernote
I will admit that I am a bit slow on the addition of Evernote into my usage flow. Back when I was using the HP TC1000 Tablet PC, I really liked having Microsoft’s OneNote. I got to the point with that application that I was trying to take notes for everything, ink all the time, and essentially have a digital file cabinet for nearly anything. These days, I even know a few people that have hoards of information stored in OneNote. It really is that good – and Evernote is right there.
Evernote has the potential to be as disruptive as WordPerfect/Office was on the PC side. The ability to literally mash-up a document or set of documents (notebook) and then tag them with information that is relevant to you is more like how we work with documents today than ever before. We aren’t just word processing, we are thought-processing – and Evernote really helps through this process. The features that are being offered through its Trunk services extend this. I just think that it can go further.
If you’ve not given Evernote a try, I would recommend taking a small set of info that you deal with and trying it out. Or even try out OneNote if you are in an environment where Microsoft if more the taste of the day. Both apps will help redefine documents for you, and might also give you a chance to take a glimpse at things beyond what we used to do.