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Evernote for iPad: Your New Best Friend

Evernote is a crucial tool for staying organized, collecting vast amounts of information easily, and syncing that information with a central cloud storage system that then makes their information available on any device. This chapter introduces Evernote and shows some of the useful tools and features that make it a worthy app and service for your own Ultimate iPad.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • What Is Evernote?
  • Evernote Overview
  • Navigating in Evernote
  • Creating Notes in Evernote
  • The Power of Premium Evernote
  • Possible Uses for Evernote
  • Don’t Forget the Cleanup

With the additional storage (discussed previously in Chapter 3, “Additional iPad Storage Options”) available to your iPad, I hope you’re beginning to see how you could take just about any file, document, movie, or photo and make it immediately available. Whether you go with a cloud-based storage service such as Dropbox or choose to use a Pogoplug service to create a home-based, local storage system, you’ll have in place a storage solution for your iPad that will help ensure you always have access to anything and everything you choose to store digitally.

But let’s talk for a moment about file organization. Although it’s great to have a 1TB hard drive available to your iPad, you’re only creating more work for yourself if you throw every file—song, movie, PDF, Word doc, and so on—into a single folder labeled Documents (or My Documents), for example. If you’ve worked with computers at all, you know that there’s value in creating folders for storing and dividing up your files to make them easier to find. For example, on my 3TB external hard drive I have a number of folders I’ve created: Movies, Music, Photos, PDF Articles... you get the idea.

And inside each folder are subfolders. For example, my PDF Articles folder contains five folders: Woodworking, Health, Recipes, Technology, and Electronics. I store scanned articles from woodworking magazines in the Woodworking folder and scanned recipes in the Recipes folder. (And these subfolders don’t just contain scanned pages that I’ve turned into PDFs—later in Chapter 12, “‘Plays Well with Others’: Remote Control and an Extra Screen,” I’ll show you how to convert online articles you find into PDFs.)

Although I use my 3TB hard drive to organize similar files (only MP3 music files go into the Music folder), I use another tool when I need to collect a variety of file types into one central location. I write technology books, so there are times when I want to have all my research files in one location and not scattered over a number of folders. For example, in my research for this book I collected (and scanned) brochures on hardware, online reference articles, photos of products, screenshots of software, and even videos and voice recordings. This mix of different types of files are kept in a single location that I can access on my iPad at any time.

The tool I use to do this is called Evernote, and it’s not just for writers. Evernote users have discovered that Evernote is a crucial tool for staying organized, collecting vast amounts of information easily, and synching that information with a central cloud storage system that then makes their information available on any device—phone, computer, or tablet.

In this chapter, I introduce you to Evernote and show you some of the useful tools and features that make it a worthy app and service for your own Ultimate iPad.

What Is Evernote?

Evernote is many things, but I would describe it as a tool for collecting and accessing your important information from all your digital devices—phone, computer, and tablet. In a way, it’s a cloud service because the data you choose to store in Evernote is backed up on the Evernote organization’s own storage service. But it’s also a local storage service because all of that data is synchronized and stored on any devices you install the Evernote software. If you make a change to a document on your phone (running the Evernote app), that change will be pushed out to any other devices you have running the Evernote software.

Evernote will run on Mac and Windows computers, and the app is available for iOS and Android phones and tablets. For each version, however, the app looks a little different. Although I have Evernote installed on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air laptop, and Windows 7 desktop computer, I tend to only create data in Evernote on my laptop and iPad (and occasionally my phone). The Windows version looks and operates differently from my Mac and iOS versions, and I really only access Evernote on my desktop when I need to print something (my printer is only connected to the Windows PC), which is rare. Very rare.

Evernote is free to use, but it does have a Premium service that runs $45 per year (or $5 per month). I encourage you to try out the Free version first, of course. Not everyone will need all the advanced features that the Premium account offers (and I’ll cover some of those later in this chapter), so check out Evernote and learn how it works and whether or not it is useful to you before committing to the Premium version.

Entire books have been written about Evernote, so there is simply no possible way I can cover every feature, tool, and use that Evernote brings to the table. Instead, I want to provide you with just a quick overview to get you started using Evernote and then show you some of the useful tools that will go hand-in-hand with using your iPad.

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